I’m a reporter. This means I ask a lot of questions as part of my job.
Who? What? When? Where? Why? Wienerschnitzel!?!
It seems only fair then that others ask me some questions on occasion — and they do a lot of that lately because of my weight-loss success.
With that in mind, I’ll answer some of the questions I get the most. Feel free to fire away if you’re wondering anything else. Except for this question: Have you noticed your hair is also getting thinner? As I age (gracefully, of course), I much prefer discussing my receding waistline than my receding hairline.
On with the Q&A:
How much have you lost?
Well, maybe people don’t really need to ask me this because I tend to blurt it out often, which reminds me: I’VE NOW LOST ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-ONE-POINT-ONE POUNDS — YES, 121.1 — SINCE MARCH!!!
Thanks for asking!
How much do you want to lose?
I’ve been obese my entire adult life. I slipped under the 200-pound mark for about two weeks seven or eight years ago, but I’ve spent far too many years in the 300-plus range. I tipped the scale earlier this year at an all-time high of 374, which meant that as a 5-foot-8 guy I was either 210 pounds too heavy or about 3 feet too short. (Seriously, I checked the BMI calculator and I’d have to be 8-foot-7 for 374 to be considered a healthy weight.)
I know the BMI isn’t an end all, be all to health, but I want to step on the scale and be at a weight that isn’t considered morbidly obese, obese or even overweight. I just want to be fit and be at a healthy weight. At my (generously rounded up) height, that weight is 164 pounds. To do the math for you, I want to lose 210 pounds overall.
I honestly can’t wait to start hearing people tell me that I’m too skinny and that I need to stop losing weight. People are so used to seeing morbidly obese Jody that they aren’t going to be used to seeing healthy weight Jody. It’s gonna happen. Next year sometime.
How are you going to handle life on the road?
It’s tough to lose weight while traveling about 50,000 miles and staying in hotels for 70-plus nights a year like I do. I enjoy eating ribs in Memphis and North Carolina. I love indulging on beignets and po’boys in New Orleans. I look forward to VooDoo doughnuts in Portland, southern food from Mary Mack’s Tea Room in Atlanta, thin-slice pizza in New York City, clam chowder in Boston, TexMex, BBQ and Whataburger in Texas, ketchup chips and Tim Horton’s doughnuts in Toronto and …. wait, is that drool on my keyboard or is it raining in here?
This year, I decided to heed the advice of my wife, who wisely told me, “Hey, Dork Face, your company is paying for your food while you travel. Have them buy you grilled salmon and veggies.” (She doesn’t really call me Dork Face, by the way. She could, but she doesn’t. This also makes me wonder what other pearls of wisdom she’s been telling me for the past 15 years that I somehow didn’t hear.)
During my recent road trip to New York, Philadelphia, North Carolina and Florida, I ate pork chops, meat sauce on veggies instead of pasta, healthy salads, an egg-white omelet, even some BBQ (in moderation, which honestly was a huge feat). I had good food and didn’t feel deprived, but I didn’t pig out.
I’m also packing a bunch of my program’s healthy food in my suitcase. Being prepared and having good choices with me at all times, whether I’m at the hotel, the basketball arena or in the plane, is really helpful. I’ve even been packing my blender in my luggage to make an occasional protein shake. (It’s unlikely that I’ll win a hotel neighbor of the year award anytime soon, but it’s helping me so I’m OK with that.)
Do you always take half-naked selfies in hotel mirrors?
Are you going to get skin surgery?
This is an interesting question. I still have about 90 pounds before I reach my goal weight, and it’s already clear that my body is going to look like a Shar Pei dog when I get there. My body is kind of like a balloon that’s been inflated and deflated over and over. It’s not surprising that my skin isn’t just going to snap back into place.
I’m already starting to get a bit self-conscious about different parts of my skin that’s been stretched and doesn’t look like I’d like it to. By the time I get to my goal, I’m guessing I’ll want help with my turkey neck, my flappy arms, my saggy belly and buttocks, my moobs and my droopy thighs.
That will cost a lot of money and will leave permanent scars. There are always risks and pain when it comes to surgery, too, so those are things to seriously consider.
I won’t even consider surgery until I’ve proven to myself that I can keep the weight off for a year or so.
Let’s hope I get to make this choice! Maybe I’ll start a Help Thin Jody Not Look Like A Shar Pei GoFundMe Fund.
Shouldn’t you get some clothes that aren’t baggy?
Maybe. Probably. OK, yes. My body is now in the 2XL or 1XL range, so it’s time to retire the 4XL clothes. Most of my 3XL clothes are now too big, too. I have a bunch of smaller clothes that don’t quite fit yet. It’s possible my wife, who’s much more fashionable than I am, might tell you she hopes they never fit.
Hmm. Maybe I’ll start a What Not To Wear While Losing Weight GoFundMe Fund so you can help me there, too.
How are you losing weight?
My program is all about helping people obtain optimal health. I eat six small, nutritionally balanced meals a day and try to glug down a bunch of water (100 ounces is my goal). Five of my fuelings each day are scientifically optimized and medically approved for efficient and effective weight loss. They include a healthy nutrition profile with lean protein, good carbohydrates, healthy fats and a bunch of vitamins and minerals. The program offers more than 70 choices of food, including pancakes, crunch snacks (cinnamon and honey mustard pretzel sticks, BBQ bites, cheese puffs), hot and cold cereal, pudding, potatoes, pasta, ice cream, bars, shakes, etc. The food is really good. And though the portions are small, I’ve actually come to appreciate that eating this way has helped with my self control and portion control.
I also eat one healthy whole-food meal a day. This fueling includes 5-7 ounces of lean protein and three servings of non-starchy vegetables. I get teased about posting pictures of cauliflower-crust pizza, but it fits the criteria and tastes pretty dang good (especially if you think of it as eating cauliflower and not pizza).
The combination of eating the types of food I do and the consistency of eating small meals throughout the day helps boost metabolism, regulate blood-sugar levels, minimizes cravings, increases energy, improves sleep and, yes, fosters great weight loss, among other positive benefits.
(If you’re interested in learning more, I’d love to chat about it! Just send me a message.)
Are you exercising?
No, I’m not. That always shocks people who think that you have to work out for hours on end a la The Biggest Loser to experience dramatic results. I’ve lost 121.1 pounds in eight months, but I’ve only gone to the gym a time or two. I’ve gone on a few hikes and walks and I’m definitely more active than I used to be, but I’m not exercising, per se.
The popular thought is that weight loss is 80 percent diet and 20 percent exercise. For me, it’s been 99 percent healthy eating and 1 percent exercise.
Five years ago, I tried to lose a bunch of weight while training for an Ironman triathlon. That was hard on my body. I plan on re-entering the triathlon scene as soon as next summer. Exercise is certainly a habit of health I want to incorporate into my lifestyle, but I’ve decided that I’m not going to do intensive workouts or training until I’m at or close to my goal weight. I just think it will be better for my weight loss, health and joints to approach it that way this time around.
Thanks to my lean-protein-rich diet, my body is holding onto its muscle mass (or at least the limited amount I had before beginning this program).
- Starting weight (March 6): 373.7 pounds
- Last recorded weight (Oct. 28): 258.0
- This week’s weight (Nov. 17): 252.6
- This week’s loss: 5.4 pounds
- Total loss: 121.1 pounds