The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Nick 2.0 

I've been working on this post for a little while, so bare with me. Basically it comes out of the Blog Surfing which I sometimes do. One of the types of blogs that I'm seeing more and more often is the online training and/or weight loss diary. As to why they post these on a public web log, I don't know. Maybe it's so that friends and family can encourage them. Maybe they like the idea of a stranger happening upon it and keeping them honest. Maybe they post it there just for themselves, because it's easy.

Anyway, in the interest of someone who may stumble on my site, I figure I'll share my personal upgrade experience, which I call Nick 2.0. For those of you who don't know me, at the end of 4 years of an engineering college degree program (in other words, 4 years of sitting in front of a computer or in a lab), I had gotten to be pretty big. I weighed 255 lbs., and had 40 inch waist to be exact. I won't post a picture, because frankly I try not to look at them any more. The reasons for my decision to lose weight are really not important and I won't discuss them here. The important thing is that I had a couple, and they weren't just passing reasons. It's important to have a real reason to do this, because it really helps you stick with it.

When people find out I lost so much weight, they usually ask if I did Atkins or South Beach or some other "fad diet". After all, how else can you do it? I usually tell them I went on a really strange diet, so strange in fact that it has no real name. Really? What's in it? All cabbage, nothing but seafood? Come one, details! Well, you eat less (and healthier) and exercise more. Too which I usually here something resembling... "Oh, that diet". Yes, that diet. The only diet that works. In fact, it's not really a diet. It's a lifestyle change. This is what I do now. I exercise, I eat right and I'm much healthier (and frankly happier) for it.

Yet most of the "diet blogs" I see around are people doing some fad diet. I see people struggle with Atkins, or South Beach, or some other diet that I've never heard of. I see these people with wild expectations of weight loss in a short period of time. And when they don't see those results, they give up and end up right back where they started. And actually, even if they succeed in those aspirations, in a year they will most likely be headed back to weight gain anyway. Why? Because dieting is only half the equation. If you don't exercise, and get your metabolism up, and your calories output up, then when you go off your diet (as they all do), you will put the weight back on. Worse yet, most of these trendy diets are terrible if you're trying to exercise. You need carbs if you exercise, and you need to exercise. They most efficiently provide your body calories for muscle gain, which in turn increases your metabolism. Other kinds of calories will not translate as easily for your body, and you're more likely to burn muscle! That's the worse thing you can do.

In reality, my diet plan actually consists of three parts, not just two. Part three (above and beyond diet and exercise) is patience. How much weight is reasonable and healthy to lose? Ask a doctor and he'll say 1-2 lbs per week. That's it. The other trick is that you'll gain weight, and lose more than that sometimes. The trick is to know that you're trending down, and not to let the little up ticks bother you too much. This means you're in it for the long haul folks. But that's ok, because it's easier on your body overall, and I think makes the transition in your head easier too. And believe me, there will be a mental transition too if you're successful.

So how much did you lose Nick? Well, three years roughly after I started, I've lost 80 lbs., and my 34 inch pants are getting kinda loose. I'm also doing triathlons, and other stuff that I frankly wouldn't have thought of a few years ago. I suppose I could go into more detail on exactly what I did if people are interested, but suffice it to say, it's possible.

Best of luck to the rest of you out there trying to do the same. It's well worth the trip.


Congratulations. I had a similar experience, only I was always a chub growing up. When I was in my early twenties I tipped the scales at around 210 lbs. My motivation to lose the chub was a girl. Over the course of a year and a half I dropped down to 155 lbs. That was over ten years ago. I probably took the weight loss too far. Right now I'm at 168 lbs and my family & friends say I look much healthier now than I did ten pounds lighter.

  Posted at April 04, 2006 2:34 PM by Anonymous No longer a chub  
I've lost 80 - down to 195 - in the past 70 weeks. I'm one of the types you mentioned that keep a record of it on a blog - mostly to remind me to stick with the program I guess. Similar program. Rollerblading and biking mostly.

  Posted at April 07, 2006 9:49 AM by Blogger Rick  
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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.

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