A few weeks ago I turned 29. Although I still feel the same, my next birthday is one of those big milestone birthdays, 30. This is the last year in my 20s, so I guess that’s a pretty big deal. I’ve done a lot since turning 20. I graduated college, bought my first new car, got a real job (where I’ve been for 7 years), got married, bought a house, traveled to some great places, finished my first half-marathon, and so on and so forth. All in all, my 20s have been great, but there’s one thing that’s really bothered me about the last 10 years, my weight.

I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life. I can still remember being made fun of as early as 5th grade for being the fat kid (I was often called “Jelly Rolls”). I was teased and bullied about it a lot. In high school, I may have tipped the scales at 150 soaking wet. I tried so hard to gain weight for football, but had no success. In college, I gained some, but not an outrageous amount of weight. It’s hard to tell when it got out of hand really. Sitting for 8-10 hours a day at work, with an abundance of sugary treats has taken its toll over the years.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve lost some weight here and there, but I’m still no where near where I need to be. So, I’ve decided that before I turn 30, my goal is to get down to 170 pounds (technically I’ll need to lose 38 pounds, but 38 by 30 doesn’t quite have the same ring as 30 by 30.)

How I Will Succeed:

  • Have a goal that’s SMART: A smart goal is a goal that is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. The great thing about a weight loss goal is that it’s all of these things.
    • Specific – Get healthy or lose weight, wouldn’t be a specific goal, but losing 30 pounds is very specific.
    • Measurable – I have a scale, so it’s measurable.
    • Attainable – According to BMI calculators, 170 would put me in the healthy BMI range. Because of this I’m assuming that it’s an attainable goal.
    • Relevant & Timely – I’m pretty sure that weight loss is always relevant and timely if you’re at an unhealthy weight.
  • Make the World My Accountability Partner – The great thing about having a blog is having a platform to be heard around the world (whether it’s actually being read or not). Once I hit publish on this post, anyone in the world with an Internet connection will know about what I’m trying to accomplish. That’s a pretty big motivator.
  • Track my food & progress: 
    • I’ll count calories the first couple of weeks, just to get my bearings. I’m hoping after a few weeks this won’t be necessary. I’ll be using the My Fitness Pal Android App for this purpose.
    • Studies have shown that food journals (diaries) help with weight loss. I’m planning on using Evernote Food as a photo food journal.
    • I’ll be setting up a Google Doc to keep track of my weight, blood pressure, body measurements and workouts. I expect my weight to fluctuate a lot over the first few months as my body changes. Tracking my measurements and blood pressure will help me from getting discouraged.
    • In addition to weekly weigh-ins, I’ll be taking a couple of photos each week to see my visual progress. The changes will be small, so having these pictures over time will help me to see results. These will be for my own benefit and not something I’ll be posting.
    • I will post here on Luvs2Eat to update my progress  periodically.
  • Have a plan – (More on that in a minute).

My Plan:

I want to keep this fairly simple, so I won’t be going with Weight Watchers (although it’s worked for me in the past). I just don’t feel that counting every single calorie that I eat is a long-term sustainable behavior. My goal is to make changes that I can turn into long term habits.

  1. I will eat only natural foods. If I don’t know where it came from, I’m not going to eat it. If it has an ingredient I can’t pronounce, I’m not going to put it in my body. My list of focus food will include lean meat, chicken, fish, veggies, eggs, beans/legumes, fruits (in moderation because of fructose) and nuts.
  2. I will drink only water or unsweetened teas (especially green tea). I’m shooting for a minimum of 64 ounces per day.
  3. No sugar (even juice). This includes the dreaded high-fructose corn-syrup (which shouldn’t matter if I follow rule number 1).
  4. No grains. My carbs will come from fruits, veggies, nuts and beans.
  5. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day. This can be as simple as a 30 minute dog walk.
  6. All rules were meant to be broken. I’ll allow myself 2 “cheat” meals and 1 “cheat” snack per week.

Join Me:

I want to thank all of you who will be supporting me over the next year, especially my wife (whose blog I have commandeered). I’m sure this process won’t be easy, but I will be able to accomplish anything with the strong support system that I have. Be sure to keep up with my progress by checking back here, or subscribe to our RSS feede-mail list, like us on Facebook, or  follow me on Twitter.

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to get healthy, wait no longer. There’s no need to wait for a special milestone, like turning 30, to improve your health. Join me on my journey and do something to make your life a little bit healthier. Maybe you’re not looking to lose 30 pounds, but maybe you want to eat out a little less, eat a few more vegetables, or cut down on the amount of soda you drink. I’d love to hear about your success stories in the comments, or feel free to send me a message.

Additional Reading:

I won’t get too much into the science behind what I’m doing, but if you’re interested in learning more, I highly recommend reading the following:

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a Dr. I just read a lot. I talked with my Dr. before starting this plan. Please consult your doctor before starting any kind of weight loss plan.