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Ten Pounds To Go

skinfold calipers

I’ve got four weeks to lose ten pounds.

My father on Easter Sunday, during brunch, asked me how much I weighed. I clock in at just a hair under 6’3″. I get away with a little extra weight as it evenly proportions on my body as it gains. Well, my metabolism has finally caught up with the rest of the bozos my age. I can get fat just like you.

I was not proud to admit it but I was at my heaviest of all time. I had checked the scale just before brunch and then announced my score. I was at a robust 224.

Please understand that at my wedding, four years prior, I was at my thinnest at around 175 lbs. Of course I was totally stressed out and not eating much.

After doing a ton of research I’ve determined that the only thing that really matters is what percentage your body fat is at. I could be 220lbs with 8% body fat and be totally ripped. Conversely I could be 190 with a 20% body fat and be unhealthy. All that really matters is how much lean muscle I have and how much fat.

Well, I have calipers which are the things that pinch your sides and give you a readout of your fat. At the time of Jesus’s resurrection  I was at 24%. That is a big, fat boy.

As I told my parents my weight they started laughing. I’ve always been the most fit one in the family. I bike twenty miles to work (which is good), eat like a total pig (which is bad), and have a metabolism that just won’t quit. Since it’s obvious that I had some habits that needed changing, my parents quickly quieted their laughter with a serious tone.

“You need to lose some weight. It’s scary because you don’t look big at all,” my mother said. She was right!

So my dad proposed a bet. My birthday is coming up on June 10th. If I could lose something reasonable, say twenty pounds in ten weeks, then he would pay for my birthday dinner. This is great as we’re going to a pretty expensive place to eat. If I lose, however, the bill comes to me.

Now, instead of getting all caught up in the fat vs. muscle showdown, I realized I needed to peel off some easy weight first. I remember losing five pounds in a week before, when I was younger. Totally thought I would have all twenty pounds down within four weeks. I cut dramatically down on my calories. Not to an unhealthy degree, but enough to have me go to bed a little hungry. I was probably eating 500 less calories a day than I was during my normal gorging self.

Well, it’s been five weeks, and I’m down eleven pounds. While this is cause for celebration, it’s also cause for alarm. I only have four weeks to lose almost ten pounds.

The only option other than blatantly starving myself is to beef up the exercise. Increase the muscle mass and do more cardio. This does not come easy to me. I can’t believe I bike to work even now, as during the winter I don’t move at all. So, to add to that is crazy.

But I’m not getting stuck with a huge birthday dinner bill.

I’m glad, though, that this last ten pounds is a struggle. Struggles are good for the soul. It’s a nice reminder that I’m not the all-powerful being I treat myself as most of the time. I’m just a guy whose body is finally shapeshifting. I was going to complete that sentence with some animal, but I couldn’t come up with one. Oh well…

Once I get to twenty pounds, by the way, I’m going to celebrate by giving away twenty copies of my book to my email subscribers.

So tomorrow my lunch will be, not joking, chicken and vegetables. No seasoning, sauce, or anything that resembles taste. And yes, I know I could put a little sea salt or marinade on there, but I won’t. I want to learn to love it bland. It’s not fun, but this is work dammit!

I’m on my first diet ever, folks. I haven’t had pizza or anything too terrible in over a month. I just hope it becomes a lifestyle.

And, if not, I’ll become the jolly fat guy humorist. Hey, that’s a decent niche!

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Comments 12

  1. Kathleen

    The last 10lbs are the worse. I think it’s because it was the first 10lbs that joined you; they aren’t quite ready to part ways yet.

  2. Mothers little hleper

    Good luck with the 10 pounds, the last 10 tend to stick to me like glue and never want to leave me. Do men lose weight faster? I seemed to remember reading that somewhere some time ago.

  3. Killian

    I admire your dedication and drive. But I have to say that, in my not-at-all-humble, unsolicited opinion, “learning to love it bland” is the stupidest thing you could possibly do to yourself.

    Here’s why: bland, tasteless food that you don’t enjoy is a punishment for those extra pounds of fat that you want gone. It’s a temporary fix to win a bet, a sacrifice that you will come to resent. Why not make food that you love to eat, but that will also accomplish the same end goal of weight loss? Chicken and vegetables for lunch? Fantastic choice. But add a teaspoon (you don’t need more for this) of olive oil in a pan and some spices in whatever ethnic strain is your favorite, and the meal becomes something you can look forward to, like your birthday dinner.

    And hell, enjoying yourself while winning a bet is so, so much more satisfying than resenting every second of it.

    Good luck!

  4. Kat

    Leaving your food bland is a recipe for failure because it’s something that you’ll never stick with for long. You’re setting yourself up to binge on something that tastes good because you’ve driven yourself to it. Adding some herbs and spices adds no calories. Squeezing some lemon or lime juice on your chicken and veggies adds practically no calories but tons of flavour.

    Good luck!

  5. Eleanorjane

    I feel you on the getting older, weight gain thing. Husband and I have been off and on My Fitness Pal for the last couple of years slowly inching our way downward. I’ve lost about 20 pounds with maybe another 10-15 to get to where I’m happy. I do recommend the website to everyone though – it’s like online Weight Watchers but free. You track your calories and exercise and it produces happy little charts of your progress.

  6. Trinity

    Oh man, I hope you make it! I think you can!
    I’m in somewhat of a similar situation(needing to lose some weight fast). When I go back to work in August I will be working at my old high school 10 years later. Considering I’m at my highest weight ever, seeing a bunch people who knew me when I was 18 and 130 pounds is scary and embarrassing! Good luck with your chicken and veggies!
    If I can’t lose some weight I’m just going to make a shirt that says something like “I just had a baby in March stop judging me!” Hehe

  7. OldDogNewTits

    First of all, my birthday is June 11. So, we’ll need to have a virtual drink. #hugedorks

    Secondly, at the urging of several friends … both male and female, I’m experimenting with a gluten-free existence. It’s supposed to not only effect weight loss but also elicit lots of other plusses for your body and soul. All of the people I know who have tried it, men in particular, have lost significant weight.

    Food for thought. (Sorry, That was a terrible expression to use here.)

  8. Hope

    I knew I liked you for some reason – we share a birthday!! However, this is the last birthday I will count, I will be 39.

  9. Glady Beveridge

    I’ve lost 35# since January, trying to get healthy. My first goal was to tie my shoe without my eyes bugging out. Feeling better one day at a time.

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