My 18 Months As A Loser
There's a popular saying I came across during my time in the corporate world, "what gets measured gets managed". The implication is that in order to control or improve an aspect of a business, you have to be able to measure it, and build a process to impact results. And like many things I observe, it doesn't just apply to business.
Here's my story.
For many years I was overweight, all my adult life, in fact. At various stages I'd tried a multitude of diets, with limited success (i.e. none). I'd always been sporty and active, but whatever I was doing, it wasn't right, wasn't working, and I had no idea what to do about it.
Then about 3 years ago I was watching an online technology blog and it featured a device called Fitbit. It mentioned features around measuring your daily calorie burn via your activity levels during the day, and when you combine that with recording your calorie intake, via your food and drink consumed, it will tell you whether you have a surplus or deficit. You then adjust your behaviour accordingly. All of a sudden I was able to measure the two key irrefutable elements of body weight management, calories in and calories out. It was different from anything else I'd tried, and I signed up right away.
The first data I received was revealing. Two things became abundantly clear. I was nowhere near as active as I thought I was, and I was eating way too much for someone of my stature. No wonder I was overweight, and no wonder nothing I did was working. Dramatic changes were needed. The facts were there in front of me. I knew I had to change my habits.
Out went a bowl full of cereal as a quick breakfast; in came modest portions as recommended on the box.
Out went lunchtimes sat at my desk with a cheese sandwich, in came lunchtime 30 minute walks and turkey salad sandwiches with no spread. Out went lazy evenings watching TV on the sofa, in came evening strolls to hit my daily steps target.
And more changes I won't go into here.
Here are the key principles I learned:
the simple equation is calories in vs calories out
if you can measure both sides of the equation, you can manage the balance
Fitbit provides you with the tools to measure you daily calorie burn.
It also provides you with a vast food database to record your food intake on it's online system.
That is the hard bit. For me this involved logging everything that I consumed, not only which foods and drinks, but how much, with a fair degree of accuracy. So this meant a new set of weighing scales and a routine of measuring out portions whilst preparing meals. It wasn't easy at first, then it became a habit, and now it's part of my life that I barely think about.
And the results are amazing. I lost 18 kilos in 18 months, and the best bit of all is that it's stayed off, a year down the line. And I now have good habits ingrained that mean that it's no effort to stay the way that I'm happy with.
Oh, I should mention that I have no relationship with Fitbit except as a very satisfied customer. There are many other devices and systems out there, and you should choose the one that suits you best.
There's no doubt that I'm a different person than I was back then. To achieve results like this requires change, sometimes dramatic change. And change isn't easy. But it can be done. Now that I'm a life coach, change is my business, and I hope that my story inspires you to believe in yourself that you can change. And if you want to talk about it with me, give me a call or drop me a line.