So not too long ago, I stepped on the scale and discovered that I’d hit 200 lbs. Everyone has a different ideal weight, but for me at 5’7″, knowing what I used to weigh, that was the last straw.

I’ve struggled with my weight since I moved away to college and immediately slid into the soda-and-chips diet. I’ve done Weight Watchers a couple of times with great results (lost 25 lbs each time) but inevitably fell back into my old eating patterns. I like chips and fries and white rice and soda, and I drink sugary caffeinated drinks the way a lot of people drink alcohol. I work a desk job at home, in an area full of coffee shops and restaurants. I’m a decent cook but often lazy as hell and I get bored with things if I eat them too often. Pretty much a recipe for blobularity.

To make matters worse, 90% of my extra fat goes straight to my gut, pretty much the least healthy place to be carrying it. Add in a family history of diabetes and hypertension, and you get a lot of reasons to lose weight.

After seeing the scale hit two bills I decided to start on Operation Stop Being A Blob. I started it gradually by attempting to make better food choices and starting on the Couch to 5K running program. I lost an ittybit of weight but wasn’t gaining much traction. Then I started personal training sessions at a nearby gym. The trainer recommended a strict high-protein, low-carb diet and I figured what the hell, why not give it a try.

So far I’m down to 165, a weight I haven’t been in a long time. I have three sizes of jeans in my dresser due to weight fluctuations and right now the smallest size is starting to fall off my butt a little. I’m cheating a little by lapsing into sugary lattes instead of plain drip coffee, and I’ve lost momentum on the running program, but damn if I don’t feel a hell of a lot better than I did.

Things that have helped the most:

  • Going high-protein/low-carb. I’m not sure how much to believe the “carbs are evil” story but the simple fact is that protein keeps me full longer. I have a chicken breast with a little bacon on top for breakfast/lunch and I’m not hungry again till late evening.
  • Having appointments with a trainer. This is expensive, but ensures that I will get in those intense 1-hour workouts twice a week.
  • Having those appointments at a gym I can walk to. Seriously this thing is half a block from my house, I have no excuse for not making it there and it doesn’t eat up much time in transit.
  • Paying attention to my progress via how my clothes fit. Making it down to my small jean size, and seeing my shirts no longer sausage-tight, is a huge boost. It gives me a reward for getting this far and a reason to keep going.
  • Finding stress foods that are not as disastrous for my waistline. Sugary lattes and bunless cheeseburgers may not be good for me, but they’re a lot better for me than cheese fries and 96 oz. sodas.

The Operation will continue (with a few “cheat days” for the holidays) but overall I’m pretty happy with the progress I’ve made. I’ve got better muscle tone, better endurance, and my back hurts less. I’d love to see 140 again someday but you know what, if I don’t make it there I’m okay with that. I don’t want to be thin, I just want to be healthy.