Update March 1, 2019: It’s unbelievable, but I have lost 30 pounds since I started this process 8 weeks ago. The principles I outlined below work. It’s not easy, but it works.
Let’s face it, losing weight is difficult—very difficult. Living with three autoimmune diseases (Psoriatic Arthritis, Sjögren’s Syndrome, and Ankylosing Spondylitis) has made it nearly impossible for me to exercise.
I finally found the right combination of diet, and yes exercise, that worked for me. But I had to leverage some extra tools in order to help me reach my goals.
The dreaded “D” word! First of all, let me say, I am not a dietitian, health guru, or medical professional. I’m just a big, okay fat, guy that really, really wanted to lose weight.
It came down to simple math for me. If I burned more calories than I consumed, I would lose weight. The major component I eliminated was sugar. In my post, “Why No Sugar,” I discuss some additional motivation I received in order to eliminate sugar. My no sugar diet substantially lowered my calorie intake and reduced my appetite.
I currently use FitBit which is really helping me “stay honest.” I also purchased a Bluetooth enabled scale (Renpho) that syncs with FitBit. I receive a nifty weekly report from my FitBit activity which is really encouraging. It is amazing how much you can accomplish in a week once you set your mind to it. There are a lot of great products out there—pick one that works for you.
Everything, and I mean everything, I eat goes into my FitBit app. If I pop a mint into my mouth, it is tracked. If I drink a cup of coffee, it is tracked. I am very calorie conscious and I check the calories on everything before I eat it. This action alone has helped me turn down higher calorie foods.
Every morning, without fail, I weigh myself. This moment of truth is painful sometimes, but it can also be quite motivating when the weight is going down. My weight is recorded automatically in the Renpho app and then Renpho syncs the data with FitBit automatically. Easy peasy is what I need in order to stay consistent.
This one has been the hardest by far considering my life of chronic pain. The only exercise I can do consistently is walking but I needed some leverage to help. Even with the extra leverage, the pain is almost unbearable. But I figure I am going to hurt anyway so I might as well do something good for my body.
A walking stick is my main tool. It is nothing fancy, you can pick one up just about anywhere. My hand tends to go numb part way through the walk so I just switch hands. This important tool helps me keep balance and if I get tired, I can stop and lean on it.
Arthritis in my right knee really bothers me so I have a knee brace. My orthopedic doctor gave me the brace and it is a big help! The brace I have has a hole over the knee with extra padding around it. Two Velcro strips, one below the knee and one above the knee, secure the brace to my leg.
Finally, I have a shoe with good arch support. My feet are the source of some of my greatest pain so it’s a real battle to walk. A good, comfortable shoe can make a big difference.
Write down your goals
In my post “2019 is My Year of Health!” I provide scientific proof of why this step is so important. If you want to have an advantage to help you meet your goals, this is it! Be specific about what you want to accomplish, but don’t try to accomplish too much at once or it will become overwhelming. I wrote down three simple goals to help me move forward and it is working!
Be encouraged even if your weight loss is slow. Slow and steady wins the race—this is not a sprint. This is the marathon of life and any movement forward is a good thing. You can do this!
God Bless… Danny