One year ago today, I weighed 237 pounds, wore a size 42 trousers, loved eating and drinking beer, and said of myself, I’m 6 feet tall and “I am a big guy.”
Today, I weigh 198 pounds, wear size 38 (sometimes 36) trousers, still love eating … and still say “I am a big guy” – and now that means something different.
I’ve always eaten a lot. I never really watched what I ate. My wife and I did a lot of takeout during the week and went out to dinner on the weekends. With this eating habit my weight always went up and down 20 pounds.
I have always bicycled, as I hate, hate running. Cycling is the only exercise I do for pleasure, especially on the weekends when I have more time to be outside. During the week I would take spin classes at work. Still, I’ve never done enough cardio. I’ve always done more weights.
With our move to CT we joined NYSC and I started spinning with Briana eight years ago. My wife came into NYSC for a free class one night and met Briana. Briana told my wife she taught spin and was a personal trainer. My wife said, I bet you know my husband. She described me as a “big teddy bear” and Briana said “OF COURSE I KNOW BEN!” My wife asked Briana if she would be willing to train the two of us on Sundays before and after spin. This is where my journey began.
Over a year ago, I gained ten more pounds than I usually carried, and I started to think more about my weight. My pants went from a size 40 to a size 42, and then the 42s got tight. I looked at pictures of myself and I was not happy. I made a New Year’s decision to do something. I made a date with Briana to talk about it, she started to give me some good ideas, and we made a resolution – I would focus on losing 15 pounds. Just that. Nothing more.
Briana calls it “Ben’s Aha! Moment. He came to me with a plan. Every decision he made, he questioned, to make sure it was realistic. He knew that every week we were going to talk about it.”
I decided to,
· weigh myself once a week, every week and keep a weight diary
· allow myself two “cheat” meals a week
· reduce portion sizes and focus on healthy, low density food
· cut out almost all refined sugar
I found I enjoyed losing the weight. When I achieved my 15-pound goal, I decided not to set a goal again, just to keep doing what I was doing, finding more little ways to cut back. I finally gave up my BIG bowl of cereal I would have on weekends. I learned to eat healthy at restaurants. I didn’t miss dessert. I got a Peloton to cycle at home – I love it and use it almost every night. Often, I just have a nutrition bar and some fruit for dinner as I generally have a large breakfast and lunch. Briana taught me “eat during the day, not at night!”
I realized, “Bad habits are your worst enemy. Good habits are your best friend.”
I found a lot of guys around my age (47) were doing similar things, and we provided positive reinforcement for each other. I think we talk more about fitness and diet than our wives do!
It’s been all Briana and me, learning to eat right every day. I want my health numbers to be good, my clothes to fit and my wife to think I look attractive.
For 2017, I would like to,
· possibly meditate, learning to become more mindful
· move up to a C+ level rider on the Peloton from C
· eat more of a plant-based diet, and never order meat in a restaurant, only fowl and fish
· drink more water
Says Briana, “Ben now gets it!”