My office does a biggest loser competition every January, right after the Christmas break. Usually people have put on a few pounds over the holidays due to heavy eating, and cold weather that prevents them from spending as much time working out as they usually do. The buy in for this event is always $40 per person. This year, the event got far larger than it ever did before with a total of 50 people participating, which made a total pot of $2000.
I thought I had an advantage this year. With the fact that Mia was born in October. Until late December/Early January I was not getting much sleep, thus I had not been working out much. Add to the fact that October through December is the prime of college football season (my favorite season of the year), college football is the only sport that I actually watch on a regular basis. When the competition started, I weighed in an at a ridiculous 228 pounds.
Back in college, when I was at my healthiest, I weighed between 185 - 188 pounds. It hit me that I was literally 40 pounds overweight. It seemed like as good a time as any to start working towards getting back to a reasonable weight, which for me is a goal of 195.
The next 11 weeks were a mix of heavy cardio, good diet and many walks with Stoli and Mia. Here are the big things I learned
- No matter how hard you work out, your diet is equally, if not more important than your excercise if you want to drop pounds. It is very easy to consume more calories in 30 minutes than you can burn in 3-4 hours of working out.
- Losing weight isn't really difficult. It really is just a commitment to yourself. Losing weight is a simple math equation of burning more calories than you consume on a daily basis over and extended period of time. If you burn more calories per day than you eat, and you do that over and over, you will lose weight. No gimmicks, no tricky diets, no starving yourself or counting carbs etc. Eating healthy and busting your ass in the gym.
- People make a lot of excuses. Since I was running this program at work, within the first 10 days, 25 out of the 50 people dropped out. I heard every excuse in the book; "I have no time," "Men lose weight easier than wome" "Women have an advantage in a % body weight lose competition" "I will do better the next time" and the biggest, and most useless excuse "I am doing a bunch of little things to lose weight"
After 11 weeks, I weighed in at 197 pounds. Admitted this was a slightly manipulated weight. The first weigh in was in jeans and a sweater, the last weigh in was in slacks and a nike fit shirt. I also worked out crazy hard the morning of the final weight in to sweat out as much weight as possible before the weigh in. I did good, however I came in 8th place. I lost less than 12% of my original body weight. The winner lost close to 23% of his body weight. I never had a chance. I would have had to have had to weigh in at about 170 pounds to accomplish this, and that wasn't going to happen.
I gained a little weight back as soon as it was over since I had manipulated the weigh in, however I have been doing pretty good at staying around 201 since then. I have a goal of being under 195 for our trip to Jamaica in a few weeks.