Newsland33

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Newsland33 last won the day on March 22

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  1. Newsland33

    Achieving is believing

    Lorna: Thanks for the nice words and thoughtful note. Your point is well-taken. I didn't mean to suggest that you can't lose weight without exercise (I also had amazing quick results in that area from my first W30 effort and my wife has also done well without increasing her exercise greatly). What I should have made clear is that for me, the two have gone hand-in-glove. Creating better nutrition fundamentals set the stage and gave me the energy to want to workout, and the increased activity level has really helped burn the fuel (and the stored fat). You're right, though: For me, it also started with changing my relationship with food and the last changes will serve me well no matter my level of exercise. I also know that I wouldn't be talking about a 60-pound weight loss without a similar commitment to exercise. Thanks again for taking the time to write - and good luck on your journey. Cheers - ML
  2. Newsland33

    Achieving is believing

    (Note: I also posted this to a long thread called 'Achieving is Believing' in this forum, but thought it might be fun to start a thread of folks who have completed Whole 30 or life milestones. Hope you enjoy - and feel free to chime in! - ML) -- A year ago today, I was physically miserable and fed up with myself. My feet, hips, back and shoulders ached nearly constantly. I had no real desire to exercise and was wiped out at the end of most days. I weighed nearly 255 pounds - probably the heaviest I have ever been in my life. It also was the day I took the first step toward trying to get control of my weight and health by jumping into the Whole 30 pool. Privately, I set a lofty goal of losing 50 pounds in a year, thinking I would be thrilled if I managed to lose half that - especially since I had set the same goal the previous year and lost 1 pound in 12 months. This morning, I weighed in at just under 195 pounds. I feel - and look - better than I have since I was in college. I am a professional communicator and words are my stock in trade, but in this case I fear that that my words won't do justice to the sense of accomplishment, pride, appreciation and gratitude I feel for what has happened to me over the past 365 days. Still, I'm going to give it a shot. For context, I am a 55-year-old man who has battled weight issues most of his life. For the better part of two decades I have consistently carried 30-40 pounds more than is healthy. It has contributed, I'm sure, to a laundry list of joint issues that have required surgery. I have launched more "get healthy" attempts than I care to admit, and my New Year's resolution for every year that I can remember has been to "lose (fill in the blank with some large number) pounds this year." To be honest, I'm not sure what was different about last year. Maybe it was the fact that I was approaching 55 and realized that I didn't have unlimited time to make lasting change. Mostly, I think it was that I finally got sick and tired and feeling kinda sick and tired. Whatever the motivation, I'm certain of the role Whole 30 played in helping me stick to a plan for once. I've detailed my progress at various times throughout the year ('Achieving is Believing' thread), so you can read earlier posts for more, but the nearly immediate positive feedback my body provide to my new eating habits became infections. My joint inflammation receded to background noise within a couple of weeks. My energy level spiked. I dropped a meaningful amount of weight in the first month. And, most weirdly, I even had a fatty cyst at the base of my neck that was scheduled to be removed disappear about three weeks into my first month. My first Whole 30 month went so well that I actually had to force myself to do the food reintroductions (but do them - it's important to know what works and doesn't work for your body). And I can't stress this enough: If weight loss is an motivating factor for joining Whole 30, changing your eating habits isn't enough. I was lucky: my body felt so much better from Whole 30 that I wanted to be more active. The more I exercised, the more weight I lost and the more I wanted to exercise and eat right. It became a virtuous circle of healthy behaviors. Armed with knowledge about my body, food and exercise - and buoyed by the support of family and friends - I have seen my weight drop steadily, my body composition change dramatically and my health "stats" improve sharply. I am a few days away from finishing my third Whole 30 month and have completely changed my relationship with food. As important, I have fallen in love with being active. I'm at the gym three days a week, in the yoga studio another day or two each week. I have enjoyed challenging day hikes in the mountains of North and South Carolina and early this month began training for my first 5K race. My only regret, if I were to have one, would be that I didn't do this 10 or 15 years earlier. That said, I easily feel 10 or 15 years younger than I am, so I have truly just started looking at age as a number, not a statement on where I am in life. My challenge now is to figure out where to go from here. I still would like to lose another 10 pounds or so, but honestly I'd be fine to stay where I am as long as my fitness level stays high. Besides, while this started out as a way to lose weight it has become so much more. In many ways, this has been one of the most rewarding years of my life. To honor that experience, and to ensure that the past 12 months haven't just been a happy blip, I feel the need to find another big mountain to scale (probably not literally in my case). That's the challenge I have set for myself. If I figure it out, I'll be back to share with all of you who have been supportive of my efforts this year. For today, though, I am going to enjoy the moment. I've already said thanks to those closest to me, without whose support and love this doesn't happen. The same goes for everyone traveling their own journey to improve their health and their lives. I know as well as anyone that progress is rarely a straight line, but that fact that we're all out here trying has to count for something, right? Keep fighting the good fight - and thanks to all for helping me win this round. With appreciation, ML
  3. Newsland33

    Achieving is believing

    A year ago today, I was physically miserable and fed up with myself. My feet, hips, back and shoulders ached nearly constantly. I had no real desire to exercise and was wiped out at the end of most days. I weighed nearly 255 pounds - probably the heaviest I have ever been in my life. It also was the day I took the first step toward trying to get control of my weight and health by jumping into the Whole 30 pool. Privately, I set a lofty goal of losing 50 pounds in a year, thinking I would be thrilled if I managed to lose half that - especially since I had set the same goal the previous year and lost 1 pound in 12 months. This morning, I weighed in at just under 195 pounds. I feel - and look - better than I have since I was in college. I am a professional communicator and words are my stock in trade, but in this case I fear that that my words won't do justice to the sense of accomplishment, pride, appreciation and gratitude I feel for what has happened to me over the past 365 days. Still, I'm going to give it a shot. For context, I am a 55-year-old man who has battled weight issues most of his life. For the better part of two decades I have consistently carried 30-40 pounds more than is healthy. It has contributed, I'm sure, to a laundry list of joint issues that have required surgery. I have launched more "get healthy" attempts than I care to admit, and my New Year's resolution for every year that I can remember has been to "lose (fill in the blank with some large number) pounds this year." To be honest, I'm not sure what was different about last year. Maybe it was the fact that I was approaching 55 and realized that I didn't have unlimited time to make lasting change. Mostly, I think it was that I finally got sick and tired and feeling kinda sick and tired. Whatever the motivation, I'm certain of the role Whole 30 played in helping me stick to a plan for once. I've detailed my progress at various times throughout the year, so you can read earlier posts for more, but the nearly immediate positive feedback my body provide to my new eating habits became infections. My joint inflammation receded to background noise within a couple of weeks. My energy level spiked. I dropped a meaningful amount of weight in the first month. And, most weirdly, I even had a fatty cyst at the base of my neck that was scheduled to be removed disappear about three weeks into my first month. My first Whole 30 month went so well that I actually had to force myself to do the food reintroductions (but do them - it's important to know what works and doesn't work for your body). And I can't stress this enough: If weight loss is an motivating factor for joining Whole 30, changing your eating habits isn't enough. I was lucky: my body felt so much better from Whole 30 that I wanted to be more active. The more I exercised, the more weight I lost and the more I wanted to exercise and eat right. It became a virtuous circle of healthy behaviors. Armed with knowledge about my body, food and exercise - and buoyed by the support of family and friends - I have seen my weight drop steadily, my body composition change dramatically and my health "stats" improve sharply. I am a few days away from finishing my third Whole 30 month and have completely changed my relationship with food. As important, I have fallen in love with being active. I'm at the gym three days a week, in the yoga studio another day or two each week. I have enjoyed challenging day hikes in the mountains of North and South Carolina and early this month began training for my first 5K race. My only regret, if I were to have one, would be that I didn't do this 10 or 15 years earlier. That said, I easily feel 10 or 15 years younger than I am, so I have truly just started looking at age as a number, not a statement on where I am in life. My challenge now is to figure out where to go from here. I still would like to lose another 10 pounds or so, but honestly I'd be fine to stay where I am as long as my fitness level stays high. Besides, while this started out as a way to lose weight it has become so much more. In many ways, this has been one of the most rewarding years of my life. To honor that experience, and to ensure that the past 12 months haven't just been a happy blip, I feel the need to find another big mountain to scale (probably not literally in my case). That's the challenge I have set for myself. If I figure it out, I'll be back to share with all of you who have been supportive of my efforts this year. For today, though, I am going to enjoy the moment. I've already said thanks to those closest to me, without whose support and love this doesn't happen. The same goes for everyone traveling their own journey to improve their health and their lives. I know as well as anyone that progress is rarely a straight line, but that fact that we're all out here trying has to count for something, right? Keep fighting the good fight - and thanks to all for helping me win this round. With appreciation, ML
  4. Newsland33

    Achieving is believing

    Trapper: Sorry for the delayed response. I've been off the site for a few weeks. I hope you're doing well on the program and still making progress. Having support is vital (I couldn't have done it without my family and a couple of close friends in my corner every day). I'm going to post something longer later tonight, but today is the one-year anniversary of my step into the Whole 30 world, and in many ways I am a different person (for the better). I'm glad my experience has helped you a little. Keep at it and know there are people out there ready to help. Cheers - ML
  5. Newsland33

    Round 1 Done! Results for a Mid 30's guy

    Great stuff. Amazing what you can learn about your body - and your capacity for a little self-discipline - through this program, isn't it? I'm nine nine months removed from my first W30 month (I've done two this year) but I use the lessons daily and the results have been better than I could have hoped (I'll spare the details here, but I've written about it a few times on this forum "Achieving is Believing" thread). One specific response to your post: The point you made about exercise is spot-on. I combined a commitment to fitness with my W30 eating habits, which I'm sure has had a huge impact on my weight loss (nearly 60 pounds). Today, I am in the gym or yoga studio about four days a week and exercise is something I schedule into my day and which I look forward to doing - and never would have thought that possible. Congrats again on the great start - good luck on the rest of your journey. Cheers - ML
  6. Newsland33

    Whole 30 Victories

    We could be writing the same book. Good for you! Congrats. - ML
  7. Newsland33

    Down 50 pounds!!

    Sorry - I somehow missed this before. I'm a 55-year-old man who has struggled with weight in some way since I was a kid.
  8. Newsland33

    Achieving is believing

    Sorry for the delayed response; life's been hectic the last couple of weeks. Thanks so much for the nice words - and congrats on your success! It means a lot to know that folks are reading and find something useful in my words. Best of luck with your own journey. Cheers - ML
  9. Newsland33

    Sticking With It!

    This is terrific! Admittedly, my primary motivation was (and remains) weight loss, but I've also been transformed in so many other ways. Congrats on the success - and kudos for making it NOT about the weight loss. Good luck! - ML
  10. Newsland33

    Achieving is believing

    In late January, I set an ambitious weight-loss goal for myself. It was the same one I had set the previous January, and at which I had failed miserably (which pretty much describes almost every weight-loss effort I have made over the past three decades). The goal: lose 55 pounds in a year, which would bring me under 200 pounds for the first time since shortly after I graduated from college in the mid-1980s. Eight months later, I've reset my goals - but for all the right reasons. Last week, I officially hit the 55-pound mark. I still don't believe it, to be honest. I carry an irrational fear that a couple of days off the food "wagon" or away from the gym or yoga studio will result in 20 pounds reappearing around my mid-section overnight. At this point, the mental hurdles are much greater than the physical ones (probably always were), but that fear is dissipating the longer I stick to the plan and the more evidence I compile that this isn't a just happy phase in my life, but a new way of eating and living. The last eight months have included two strict W30 months (February and August) and a half-year of living by the principles to the greatest extent possible. For me that means, as little added sugar as possible, significant limits on grains (and alcohol) and moderation in all other food types on the W30 "no" list. It also means fully embracing an active lifestyle that includes 4-5 formal workout days a week, and more movement in general. When people ask me "what have you done?" here's the short answer: Move more and eat less stuff that my body doesn't need or want. Simple, right? We all know it's a lot more complicated than that, but some days it has helped me to keep it that simple. Focus on what makes me feel better, physically and emotionally, enjoy the success I have had and try not to beat myself up when I'm not "perfect." My next goal is more modest in some ways, but still a challenge given how far I have come: Lose 10 more pounds by the end of this year. After that, another five by late January 2019. That would make 70 pounds in a year and put me at a point where maintenance is a worthy long-term goal. Honestly, I never thought I would be writing this type of post given my history, my age (55) and the fact that I've never taken to forming lifestyle habits (good or bad) much throughout my life. To the extent that any part of my journey is helpful to someone else, I hope it's this: I'm the last guy who expected to be able to take control of his weight, health and relationship with food as I have over the past eight months. If I can do this, there is no reason others who have struggled mightily can't do the same. Thanks, as always, for the continued support from those on this thread, and from the inspirational successes of others in the Whole 30 community. With appreciation, ML
  11. Newsland33

    Achieving is believing

    That’s great to hear. It’s hard to overstate the difference this has made for me. Keep up the great work!!
  12. Newsland33

    Achieving is believing

    On Monday, I completed my second round of Whole 30, this time with my wife right there next to me. (She did a great job finishing W30 for the first time.) Collectively, we lost 22.5 pounds (she beat me by .5 pounds for the month:)). As exciting as that is, even more fun was working on our health together. We cooked together, shopped together - did dishes by the piles together. It was fun tho watch my wife warm to the idea of W30 over the course of the month and become even better educated about her food choices. She also brought some much-needed creativity to our selections, which meant fewer grilled chicken salads for me this time around. Most of all, I've enjoyed the interesting conversations that this journey sparked, and not just about food. We've discussed exercise, travel, health and much more in conversations that somehow got their start in a chat about our W30 journey. Her support has been invaluable to me and I think she would say that I've helped her stay on the straight-and-narrow. And the experience was good enough that neither of us has really jumped off the wagon, so technically we're on Whole 32 and counting. The reintroductions will start soon enough, but the fact that we didn't feel the desire to leave the program the minute our 30 days were up says a lot. Those who have read this entire thread (thanks, by the way), know how the past seven months has changed my life for the better. I'm currently 52 pounds lighter than I was when I started and my health stats are immeasurably better. What started as a huge "stretch" goal - to lose 55 pounds in a year - is hopefully no more than a couple of weeks away from being a reality. Eating better isn't the only reason for the change, but it all started with refocusing my relationship with food. For that, I am grateful to the entire W30 community. With appreciation, ML
  13. Newsland33

    Achieving is believing

    Today is a good day. A very good day. Today, I stepped on the scale and learned that I am 50 pounds lighter than I was on New Year's Day, 2018. Thanks to the framework and tools Whole 30 have provided - and a lot of work - I have done something over the past 7 1/2 months that I have been telling myself I was going to do for a long time. I am two-thirds of the way through my second W30 month, spaced about six months apart, and am feeling better than I have in decades. From a weight perspective, I'd still like to lose another 15 pounds or so. From a regaining-control-of-my-life perspective, I've already won. Big. I'm a professional communicator, my stock in trade is words. So, when I finally got so fed up with myself at the beginning of the year that I vowed (again) to make this the year I was going to lose the weight, I wrote about it. Here's a snippet: Jan. 1: Down three pounds from the same date a year ago and down three pounds from my last weigh-in, 49 weeks ago. The very definition of treading water. Problem is, no one has ever tread water indefinitely. It never ends well for the swimmer. So, it’s time to swim to shore, which happens to be about 50 pounds away. Will spend this week working on a game plan – no more hope as a strategy. Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock. ** About four weeks later, at the suggestion of a friend, I started Whole 30, without much expectation, as you can see: Jan. 27: Old (bad) habits die hard, it seems. More than three weeks since I last sat in front of this keyboard. Funny how the individual days can drag on at times, while the weeks fly by. Determined, though, to keep at it as best I can. Determined to prove that new habits can be built, even when the architect is an old guy. Speaking of old, feeling every bit my age – plus about a decade - these last few weeks. Back and hip have been really cranky, limiting what I have the energy to do at the gym. In all the years I had back trouble before, I never really had the nerve pain that I’m experiencing now. Painful to sit for more than a few minutes and hard to get completely comfortable no matter what position I’m in. Experience tells me where this ultimately may be heading, but before I got down another path littered with tests, specialists, surgeons and large medical bills I’m going to make sure I’ve driven down every non-invasive avenue I can find. Next exit: Diet. Not just to lose weight, but to see if what I am putting into my body is contributing to the pain and inflammation I’m experiencing. I’m not convinced, but it can’t hurt to get a better idea of how different foods affect my body – and certainly couldn’t hurt to start dropping pounds. So, tomorrow I officially join the cult of “Whole 30” - paleo-type cleanse and exercise in extreme discipline. No dairy, grains, sugar, legumes, alcohol or artificial crap (goodbye Diet Coke). Basically meats, fish, veggies, fruits, nuts and water. The method, especially the strict no-cheating rule, seems a bit extreme but the premise makes sense. Reset your body chemistry by eliminating everything but the types of basic whole foods that we are historically programmed to consume and see how your body reacts. From there, so the theory goes, you can start to add back substances to see what, if any, cause adverse effects such as weight gain or inflammation. How hard can it be? I like everything on the good list and I can do anything for 30 days. Right? ** As it turns out, I can do anything for 30 days. And in that first month, I lost 18 pounds. Most of the back pain and joint inflammation I had been feeling was gone. More importantly, I redefined my relationship with food and built a foundation for exercise upon which I have continued to build. Armed with knowledge, I settled into a mostly whole lifestyle over the next five months. For me, that means virtually no added sugar, very limited grains (but good ones), modest amounts of dairy - and no Diet Coke (204 days and counting). I also limited my alcohol mostly to the occasional glass of red wine and a nice sipping bourbon. Here's the thing: I don't feel deprived, because I'm not depriving myself of things. I'm just being mindful of my choices and trying to make them count. In my world, that means no unnecessary fast food stops because I'm having a temporary late-afternoon hunger pang; grabbing a banana or handful of pistachios instead of a bag of chips when I need a quick snack; saving pizza (which I love) for the occasional treat at the end of a good week. In late June, my weight loss started to level off as my body adjusted to the new me, so at the end of July I waded back into the W30 waters for a jumpstart, this time with my wife for company. Today is day 21 and we're both doing well. She's experiencing what I have been talking about for months and I'm in high gear. As I said, I'm a professional communicator. So it pains me a little to admit that I don't really have the words to properly express how grateful I am to the Whole 30 team for creating such a life-changing program, and to my family and friends who have cheered me on every step of the way. This trip isn't over, but I love where it is headed. With appreciation, ML
  14. Newsland33

    Committing to a Whole 90!

    Dayna: Your persistence is inspiring, and your honesty is really helpful. This isn't easy and even though I am two-thirds of the way through my second W30 month, spaced six months apart, and feeling great it is work. Every. Single. Day. I've been fortunate. Weight was my only real issue and even though I had been way too heavy for way too long, I don't have any serious health problems aside from some bad joints. I entered into W30 in late January for the first time almost solely because I wanted to lose the weight before it became too late (I was 54 when I started). My results have been positive beyond my wildest expectations. Today, in fact, I hit the 50-pounds lost milestone, and I'm now at a weight I haven't been at in three decades. Beyond that, every the major health data point is better than it was seven months ago. I'm also sleeping better, my previously near-constant joint pain is gone, I have tons more energy and I'm focused at work like I haven't been in recent memory. In other words, it works. But you know that already because you've done an amazing thing and are well are you way to more rewards. Congrats and keep it up! Thanks for sharing With appreciation, ML