The Weight Loss of 2020

I know I probably sound like the boy who cried wolf at this point. 

But I’m doing another weight loss plan. And it seems to be working pretty well so far. 

If you know me, you know I’ve tried so many different things over the years. Some of them seemed to work really well. Others seemed to do basically nothing.

Ultimately, none of them worked because none of them left me in a permanently better place. 

What I am doing right now has been working. 


What am I doing? 

Well I hired a trainer (which I’ve done before) but this time it is a nutrition coach as well as a fitness trainer. We don’t meet in person (after our initial chat). 

He sends me meal plans and workouts and I log any mistakes and check in once a week with a weigh in and report. He sometimes adjusts my workouts or meal plans accordingly. 

That’s it. I am at the gym for about an hour every day. I am prepping pretty much every meal I eat (or only ordering specific food types when I go out to eat) 

Ultimately what I’m doing is eating a moderate healthy diet of a good amount of veggies, some protein and a little carbs, and doing a good mix of cardio and weight workouts every day. 

Reading that, I know what you might be thinking. “Duh! of course that’s how you lose weight. Why have you never tried that before, dummy??” 

Well I definitely have. And I can tell you what’s different about this. 

First two you give; last one you earn.

Accountability

This is a big one. Every week I have to send my trainer an email that lists every way that I didn’t adhere to the meal or workout plans. That includes every donut, and every time I skipped cardio because I was running late. This is painful at times but it really does help to curb how many times I choose… poorly. 

Investment

Hiring a trainer isn’t cheap; neither is hiring a nutritionist. Technically I’m enlisting both of those services in one, and nope, that’s not cheap either. In addition to paying for a gym membership, I pay my trainer in 3 month increments. Knowing that I’m putting time, energy, and a not-small sum of money into this plan helps keep me from giving in to those random days when someone brings a box of donuts for the office. 

Authority

My trainer is a competitive bodybuilder whose career is training and coaching people on fitness and nutrition. So despite being – on the surface – super basic advice, it helps me stick to the plan when I that the person telling me the plan is in stellar physical shape. 

My trainer. He *probably* knows a little bit about building muscle. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Specificity

Speaking of the plan, it’s worth noting that I have VERY specific types of food and ounces of each type of food to eat laid out for my every meal. It’s simple but very specific to follow. The beauty of this is that it rules out my own sense of moderation. Here are a few actual examples of my own moderation nutritionally: 

  • Well I know I’m stopping at McDonald’s but I won’t get a McFlurry this time, and I getting small fries, and Diet Coke, and no I don’t the DOUBLE Quarter Pounder with Cheese, the normal one will do. 
  • I can totally get a desert because I had a side salad before my entree.
  • I always add cheddar to my scrambled eggs because I read a Keto book once.
  • Slow recumbent biking for 30 minutes at the gym is way better than not going to the gym.
  • That was a great workout, I deserve a giant protein smoothie.
  • I’m not getting a Coke Icee, Popcorn, AND Skittles; healthily just choosing Popcorn and the Icee. 
Me, to me

My brain is a MASTER at convincing me that a terrible choice is actually a wise one. So  the specific plan I now have doesn’t leave much room at all for me screw it up. 

I do get one cheat MEAL a week, and after going buck wild the first couple of weeks with those, my stomach was VERY clear with me that I needed to tone that down. 

Sustainability

I know I just talked about how this plan is very specific, and it is. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t sustainable. Most adults, when they’re doing life well, prepare most of their weekly meals instead of eating out every meal.

That’s pretty sustainable, and it’s basically what I’m doing. There have been some moments when social pressure has been high, but it’s been great training to my discipline, and also in some cases, as I mentioned above, I can find something on-plan to order, and still get to connect with friends over a dinner out. 


Why am I doing it? 

Well the one sentence goal is: 

I want to dance with my daughter at her wedding. 

And no, I don’t want her to get married young just to help that happen. 

Don’t grow up too fast, Charlie Hope.

But beyond that, and maybe deeper than that – I want to conquer my own body. For most of my life my uncontrollable appetite has been in charge, and I curb it here or there, but I’ve only ever slightly delayed the morbid obesity to which I have succumbed.

In terms of measurable goals,

my goal for 2020 is to lose 50 lbs.

I may just exceed that this year at my current rate, and I certainly hope to lose a total of at least 80 lbs, eventually. 

I want to be out of XLs and XXLs and out of pants that most brands don’t even carry unless I special order it from their website. 

I don’t want to have my own boobs anymore. I’m ok with pecs, but not boobs. 

I want to have to get that surgery because I have too much extra skin floppin around.

So now, I fight back. If I win nothing else in this world, I will be in good physical shape.  


So how is it going? 

As I write this, I’m just over 8 weeks into the plan.

Right now I’m down a whole size across pants, shirts, and coats, and

I’ve lost 19 lbs since January 6th. 

I also feel a lot better. My average heart rate is down by close to 10 bpm from what it was in December.

I can actually feel musculature taking shape underneath this Klumpian fat suit I’m wearing. 

I have started to test being off of omeprazole and though I’m not quite there, I’m starting to need it less often.

I don’t quite feel like a decrepit pile of junk whenever Charlie asks me to sit down on the ground. It’s not easy yet, but it’s much more doable. 

I have a long way to go, but I am on my way, and I’m not stopping. 

What do I need? 

Encouragement. Words of affirmation is my number one love language, and when I get encouraged, it just gives me a huge boost. Follow my stories at @thedrewallen on Instagram to follow along, and at some point there may be more video content about my journey. 

I leave you with a quote from a current hero of mine: 

“Success isn’t always about ‘Greatness’, it’s about consistency. Consistent, hard work gains success. Greatness will come.”

Feel free to leave encouragement or questions in the comments.