Name: R. Hauser
Location: American Heart Association, WPB, FL
Improvement: 20+ lbs Weight Loss
Time: 3 Months
Program: 2009 Total Transformation Challenge
What was your biggest challenge / obstacle (s)?
I really like to eat, especially proteins like roast chicken, roast turkey, ribs, steak, chops, pork, lamb, and barbecue. I also have a problem with chocolate, which is frequently available at work. It is sometimes impossible for me to stop. My whole life I have been able to eat a lot, and I took pride in cleaning my plate and finishing a big plate of food, and taking seconds. It is “manly” to eat the whole thing. In addition, I like to cook. And when I make something good, I like to eat a lot of it.
What motivated you to stay on the course?
I was too heavy. I was snoring and had high blood pressure. We had great phone calls each week and I was feeling good and seeing results. Each week I could see the trend of a few pounds going off. My clothes were fitting looser and my overall health from eating better foods improved. I had energy. I did not feel lethargic due to big heavy meals, greasy breakfasts, or alcohol. I felt better at work. My strength and endurance was improving dramatically, and the weight loss just made it easier to work out more and run longer distances.
Did your diet change? If so, how?
I eat breakfast every day now, and rarely is it a bagel, donut, or muffin. I also do not eat a big heavy lunch. I have either a salad and/or several servings of fruit and vegetables every day. I use yogurt as a snack for late morning or late afternoon when I get hungry. I try not to get really hungry, which is when I lose focus and can get tempted to eat the wrong foods, or too much food, especially fast food. I used to think it was ok to stop at a fast food restaurant or have a big heavy meal if I was in a hurry or traveling on business. Now I use sensible judgment about lighter and healthier foods wherever I am.
What advice could you give to others that want the same results?
Don’t skip breakfast. Drink plenty of water. Don’t ever let yourself get really hungry. By giving up greasy, fatty foods such as French fries and pizza you can make an enormous difference. Eat a sensible lunch every day, such as a salad, turkey sandwich, or a reasonable portion of pasta with grilled chicken and red sauce (no cheese). Take advantage of fresh, low-fat proteins like salmon, shrimp, and grilled chicken and low-fat sauces like marinara and salsa. If you are out eating beef, have a reasonable portion of top sirloin or filet mignon with a big portion of broccoli or asparagus, rather than a fattier steak (such as a strip or ribeye) with baked potato. Use butter spray on vegetables, not butter or oil. If you must have dessert, add fresh fruit and berries; limit rich treats to 100-200 calories such as a few pieces of chocolate. Avoid cake, cookies, and ice cream. Limit alcohol as much as possible; 1-2 glasses of wine, once or twice a week. Do not drink soda, beer, fruit juice, Gatorade, or hard liquor drinks.
How is this experience going to affect you going forward?
The things I have learned need to be lifelong habits, not just part of a diet. Anybody who views this as a diet will go back to eating too much and the wrong things and will regain the weight. I don’t think that will happen to me. I don’t feel deprived. I treat myself once or twice a week. I don’t need to stuff myself to the gills to feel satisfied. I feel good about what I did and am motivated to keep it up. The combination of weight training, tennis, and running really took the weight off. I will get more consistent at tennis by sticking with it. I will be able to run longer distances comfortably by sticking with the diet and exercise routine.