Summer Weight Loss Challenge!

Don’t continue reading if you’re not prepared to see a few pics of me in boxers.

You were warned!

This summer I finally decided it was time to stop saying, “I wish I could lose some weight,” and actually try and do something about it. It’s really easy to say you want to lose weight, but never do anything. The hardest part may just be the getting started.

I had a little extra push on 2 fronts. One, the Gaijin Gamers forum was doing another (their 4th) Un-fat Challenge, which would provide some kindred spirits and good-natured competition to help keep my motivation up. The second push came from my bike. I picked it up last October and really had yet to put it to good use. I used to ride constantly years ago, and riding again was the reason I got the new bike.

So, this is me, on June first of this year:

Yup, all 100kg of me. 220 pounds of me. Not in terrible shape, but not great by any stretch of anyone’s imagination.

Changes were needed!

The first thing was no more riding the train to work. I’ve got the bike, the weather’s good…let’s do it! Not only did I ride to work, I started finding longer routes home. More time in the saddle meant more calories burned. I started off easy, but the more I rode, the longer the rides home got.

The other big change was in my diet. Junk food out! No more sodas, cut way back on the canned coffee (lots of sugar in those) and stay the hell away from the snacky breads in the convenience stores. I figure I dropped at least 1,000 useless calories from my daily diet right away. I also started eating healthier.

This is what I ate pretty much every day for the last 3 months.

1 egg and 3 sausages. At first I cooked these in the microwave, but then moved to a saucepan. They tasted better with a little butter, too.
1 english muffin with butter or cream cheese and jam.

I made a good-sized salad with corn, mixed beans and occasionally a can (46g) of chicken/
A basic ham and cheese sandwich on wheat or rye bread.
On picnic days during summer camp the salad was replaced with cucumber and carrot sticks and some moromi miso for dipping. Yum!

125g of whole wheat pasta with one of a variety of sauces (meat sauce, carbonara, napolitan, avocado cream with cheese)

low(er) calorie frozen treats like Coolish or Papico

Energy Foods
While cycling I usually pack a Clif Bar to eat if the ride is a longer (over 40km/25mi) one.

Water, and lots of it.
Diet Sodas – Occasionally a Pepsi Nex, but not that often.
Sports Drinks – Aquarius, Pocari Sweat, generic brands of the same stuff. These were my go-to sweet drink for the last 3 months. Good for a recharge after a long ride, too.

So that was the plan. Eat healthier and ramp up the exercise at a comfortable pace. Here’s how the months progressed, both in terms of exercise and weight lost. (My scale measures in kg, so I had to do the conversion to pounds with an app. Pounds have been rounded to the nearest whole number.)

163km / 101 miles
approx. calories burned from cycling: 6885

June 1 – 100kg / 220 pounds
June 8 – 98kg / 216 pounds
June 15 – 96.2kg / 212 pounds
June 22 – 95.4kg / 210 pounds
June 29 – 94.4kg / 208 pounds

639km / 397 miles
approx. calories burned from cycling: 26918

July 6 – 94kg / 207 pounds
July 13 – 92.8kg / 205 pounds
July 20 – 92.0kg / 203 pounds
July 27 – 91.2kg / 201 pounds

1065km / 662 miles
approx. calories burned from cycling: 46925

August 3 – 90.2kg / 199 pounds
August 10 – 89.8kg / 198 pounds
August 17 – 88.4kg / 195 pounds
August 24 – 87.0kg / 192 pounds
August 31 – 86.0kg / 190 pounds

Summer Totals
Distance ridden: 1867km / 1160 miles
Approx. calories burned from cycling: 80,728
Weight lost: 14kg / 30 pounds

I didn’t measure my waist at the start, but I’d say it was around 105cm/41″. Now it’s in the neighborhood of 91cm/36″. That’s a much nicer neighborhood.

So what’s the final result? This:

And here’s the before and after, placed side-by-side:

Not too bad! ^.^

I feel a lot healthier, and have much more energy than before. I used to get winded after 15km or so when I started out back in June. This week I did a 102km ride and wasn’t really tired until about 90km or so.

Now the challenge is to keep the weight off. For real this time!