For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Kyle Lambert, and my wife Allison runs this very website. Over the last couple of years Allison (The Fit Tutor) has helped me take huge steps to pursue health. Up to this point, staying fit has been relatively straight forward: eat healthy and workout hard. However at the beginning of this year my world got flipped upside down.
I was diagnosed with the heart condition Obstructive Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. After tons of doctor visits, tests, and stress my doctors informed me that I needed to give up working out.
Valid Excuses Aren’t ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ Cards
For some, news like this would be perfect justification, “Finally an excuse that no-one can argue with”. For me, this news was devastating, humiliating, and heart-breaking. My wife is a personal trainer, and she always tested her new workouts on me. Working out was something we did together. Walking through this season emotionally deserves its own separate article though, so let’s bring things back to focus.
I was devastated, but I knew I couldn’t just lie back and let things take their course. In every situation there are things we can take control over. Although I had lost control of my workout routines, I had not lost control of my diet. This gave me hope.
The news that I had to quit working out also came with the news that I shouldn’t gain weight… This was frustrating to say the least, but I knew I had to get serious about my diet. I had to replace my fitness routines with something else. If you know me, you know I’m a big nerd at heart, so when I came across an article about how a guy lost 60 pounds just by tracking his weight with spreadsheets, I was excited.
In March I created a google docs spreadsheet and shared it with my younger brother so we could keep each other accountable. I decided that weighing myself in the morning would give me the most consistent and clear results. When I started, I didn’t expect tracking my weight to be super helpful or insightful, but it was. There can be a big problem with the scale- not with the scale itself, but with your perspective. Weighing yourself without a bigger picture of where you’ve been won’t help you. In my spreadsheet I have a column for daily change: if I lose weight the numbers are green, if I gain they are red, and if I stay the same, gray. I also have a graph that has hard data as well as a trending line, so I can tell if I am gaining or losing over time. This lets me know where my body and weight are heading.
Weighing yourself daily breaks weight loss into daily increments.
Tracking my weight has really helped me with food decisions. I have a couple guilty pleasures that don’t play nicely with weight loss. I love late night snacking and I love craft beer. I don’t drink beer in excess, but empty calories and carbs in drinks don’t help you achieve health goals. Weight tracking made it easier to skip these daily temptations. Tracking sheds light on what seemingly small food temptations do to your weight. When you focus on daily goals you aren’t focused on dropping 10, 25, or 50 pounds; you are focused on incremental improvements. For me, beating my previous day’s weight is a little win. If I gain a little it’s ok too, but knowing where I’m at allows for course correction. I saw results once I started skipping out on late night snacking and drinking my daily beer, and started being mindful of portion sizes.
Seeing Results Gives Hope
Over the last couple months I have lost (and kept off) about 8 pounds. This isn’t my end goal, but it really excites me. I am excited that even though I can’t work out anymore, I am able to stay at a healthy weight. I am not a victim. I am in control of my body and my decisions, and I can have a healthy future. I know some of you are discouraged, some of you are angry, and some of you are humiliated. I understand. Fitness is tough, it can seem intimidating, but if you want to make a change and you need some help, the Fit Tutor is here. The Fit Tutor is a step that only costs $11.99/mo, but taking a step and shaking off the excuses will give you hope, and hope will give you back your future.
Start weight tracking:
- Create a google spreadsheet – here is a great template for weight tracking
- Purchase a digital scale
- Pick a time of day to weigh and record your weight, I recommend mornings
- Recruit a friend to join with you
- Pick one bad habit you want to give up for one we and record the results
- Don’t stop, the more data the better
*Disclaimer: Weight tracking may not be for everyone, especially those with eating disorders. The goal is not starving yourself, it is understanding your body. Your weight is not your value however small victories can help establish a healthier lifestyle.