Sometimes I get discouraged about losing weight. Since it happens gradually and I see myself in the mirror every single day, I don’t tend to notice the change. So for shits and giggles…well…and motivation…I look at old pictures of myself.
I’m down over a 100 pounds from my heaviest. When I lost weight the last time (I’ve bounced back and forth quite a lot over the last few years. I’ll probably die like Luther Vandross or James Coco if I do that again) I’d reward myself with buying smaller clothes. I’m now able to fit into the smallest things in my closet again. I’m pretty happy about that. A lot of times people will reward their weight loss achievements with some junk food. I never understood that.
Jackie Kashian and a big, fat me.
I hated having to wear all my fat clothes again. For most of last year I was on stage in t-shirts because none of my button up shirts would fit. I refused to buy new bigger ones too. There is a larger comedian who I’ve been mistaken for before. He and I worked a gig together a long time ago. The booker specifically had it in the show itinerary that jeans were not permitted on stage. He ended up wearing sweat pants. Late last year I was watching another comic on stage and hanging out near his merch table after the show. Someone in the audience pointed to the sweat pants guy’s headshot and and asked if that was me. That was my bottom this time around.
This time around is different than the last. The last time, I joined Weight Watchers. I found them to be terribly flawed for a few reasons. Before I get into that though, I will tell you what I liked about Weight Watchers. I liked being held accountable for my nutrition every week when it came time for the weigh in. I liked being able to go online and track everything through their website. I liked the Point system because it got me in the habit of looking at labels. Here’s what I didn’t like about Weight Watchers. The center I went to had four or five different scales and they were not calibrated right. One would show that I gained during the week, while another always showed that I lost. The Point Plus program is a piece of shit. Losing weight is hard enough. Figuring out their system made it even harder.
Here’s what I found to be the biggest flaw with Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers wants you to eat a little less than your current body weight…so as you lose weight you continue to eat less and less. So you’re rewarding yourself by taking something away. Logically that doesn’t make sense to me. Prior to Weight Watchers, I was seeing a nutritionist through my doctor. She said to eat towards your target weight. She said on it’s most basic level, you figure out how much you want to weigh and add a zero to the end. So that’s how many calories you should eat. I liked that it was simple. So when I did Weight Watchers I gave myself the Points that I’d be allowed at my target weight.
This time around I didn’t do Weight Watchers because of how much I hate the Point Plus system. I also decided that since I’m in my 40s it was time to hold myself accountable for my own actions and not need to basically pay someone to weigh me every week. I found a free program online called Lose It that tracks my food intake and exercise. It also has an App on my phone so I can update stuff throughout the day and not worry about forgetting to log something. I bought a good scale and weight myself regularly. I’m not rewarding myself by buying new smaller clothes. I rewarded myself by going into the container that had the old smaller clothes and seeing what fit again.
Much less of me and the great Bobcat!
I’ve also taken stock of why I’ve fallen off the wagon in the past. It always smarts small. I may be out on the road and see a Wendy’s and decide that one fast food meal won’t kill me. A week later and I’ve visited Wendy’s five more times. I may crave a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, so I reward myself with one. A week later and there are a half a dozen empty Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup packages in my car. I have an addictive personality. I just have to accept that. There are certain things that I love that I just can’t enjoy in moderation. I love fast food and I love peanut butter cups. I also really like drinking…but when I do, I make poor choices. So these are three things I just have to avoid. I’ve had forty years worth of fast food and junk food and twenty years worth of alcohol.
Losing weight is only part nutrition. It’s also a lot of exercise. I love Planet Fitness. It’s just the basics. It’s a place to go and do cardio and to left heavy things. There aren’t pools, saunas, classes, or a juice bar. It’s simple. That’s what I like simplicity. I’m running for the first time. I started my year off doing a 5K in about 48 minutes. It was really mostly walking. Now I can run 5k in about 28 minutes on average. I never thought I’d be able to run. Sometimes I’ll run outside with a friend and that’s a whole new thing in itself. I live near a park with a 17.5 mile long biking/running path. It’s fun going out there sometimes and seeing new things. I much prefer running on a treadmill though! It’s a lot easier. Yes, it gets boring sometimes, so I’ll kick up the speed or the incline. Then I’m not bored so much as I’m angry!
Every time I’d lose weight I’d plateau right around 210 pounds. I always had the hardest time breaking through that. A friend suggested the Jillian Michaels Shred videos. It has three different levels of intensity. I’ve done the second level three times now. It’s just 20 minutes, but it’s 20 minutes of ass kicking. I get very angry. I tend to yell pretty awful things at the television. I’m sure my neighbors think I’m a monster. I never thought I’d be a guy who could do a high impact aerobic work out, but I am. And by drastically changing up what I was doing at the gym with cardio followed by weight lifting, I totally broke through that plateau.
So this is what is working for me. I hope it helps. I’m certainly not an expert on nutrition or fitness, but if anyone has any questions, feel free to leave a comment or drop me a line. It’s hard. Unfortunately I treat losing weight like I do performing. When I’m on stage I’m way more aware of the tables who aren’t enjoying it than I am the people having a blast. With this stuff, when I look in the mirror, I just see how much more there is to lose. But that’s my issue. I’ll figure out how to deal with those eventually too I hope!
Thanks for reading.