Losing 20 Pounds in 3 Months

Losing 20 pounds in 3 months

Towards the end of this past summer, I had gotten past my comfortable weight, as a result of a fun summer, not working out enough, and enjoying the food and beverage. I was up to 194 pounds, and though I carry it well (on my massive thighs primarily), it’s still pretty robust for my 5’10” frame.
It really pissed me off. And since I don’t believe in moderation, I decided to do something extreme about it, and on August 23, I tweeted the following:

Here I am, 3 months later, having achieved that goal. Looking back, here’s the simple plan and how it worked.
Step 1 – State goal publicly
I’m a big believer in using any means possible to motivate yourself, and committing to something publicly is a great motivator. So I tweeted and posted to Facebook about my goal, told all of my friends, and committed to myself. Not only did this motivate, but it’s also a great way to get other people’s support, especially when you’re turning down food and drink. 

Step 2 – Decrease food consumption
I don’t believe in fad diets. Losing weight is all about a simple equation:
Weight Loss = Calories IN – Calories BURNED (divided by about 3,500, which is the approx number of calories per pound).  
So if you’re running a 500 calorie deficit per day, you’ll lose about a pound a week. Since I was trying to go faster than that, I needed to make sure both factors changed. Reducing food consumption takes discipline, and it reminded me of my days as a lightweight rower. I didn’t skip meals (occasionally breakfast), just reduced what I ate, and ate extremely healthy foods.
Step 3 – Dramatically increase mileage
The second part of the equation is the calories burned. Once I made the goal, I went from running occasionally (5-10 miles a week) to regularly running 30-40 miles per week, every single week. Running 30 miles burns about 4,000-5,000 calories, which is about what I was targeting to lose. 

Step 4 – Profit
Three months later, I’m back at a comfortable 174 pounds, and at a steady point that I can maintain pretty well with some basic working out and healthy eating.  I feel great and look great (according to my girlfriend at least, which is all that counts). Just in time for Costa Rica 😉
Next Goal – Qualifying for Boston Marathon
Now I have to pick a big audacious goal to train for again, so I’ll announce that here. My goal is to qualify for the 2012 Boston Marathon.  For those of you keeping score (and who isn’t), that requires a 3:10 marathon, which is 26 miles at a brisk 7:15 per mile average pace.  The gauntlet has been thrown.