Shrinking the Shrink – 19_Jan_10

A lot of people have asked me how I have lost so much weight and gotten so much fitter in such a short time. I am starting a series of posts here to explain it simply and clearly.

I am calling this series of posts Shrinking the Shrink– I work as a psychotherapist, a ‘shrink’. I hope none of my colleagues or clients is offended by the term ‘shrink’. It’s just slang for my profession. And I am getting smaller, so Shrinking the Shrink sounded kinda fun and catchy to me.

I am an ordinary guy living in an ordinary way. I am nothing special except for perhaps being pretty smart- no brag, just fact. But there are a lot of people smarter than me. Hopefully I will prove smart enough to communicate this material in a way that can help a lot of people live simpler and healthier lives.

I live in one of the unhealthiest cities in the USA- Memphis, TN. There is awesome tasting fat-generating food all over my city- Memphis has great food. And Memphis is rated as very unfriendly to walkers and cyclists. And public transit stinks, so we don’t even walk to the bus stop. In Memphis most residents usually drive everywhere because most neighborhoods are designed for auto-based citizens- shopping, recreation, and jobs are usually a few miles away. If I can succeed here in Memphis, you can succeed, too, wherever you are.

What I am doing isn’t rocket science and I am not doing anything extreme, in my opinion. However, I am not eating the SAD (Standard American Diet) and the food pyramid people would definitely not condone how I am eating. But I mostly love how I eat and I really enjoy food. I don’t weigh and measure anything and I don’t count calories, protein blocks, fat grams, or anything else like that.

There are a lot of people who might guess that I am exercising a lot more than I actually am- I am working out regularly, but not too much- I have definitely exercised a lot more than this in previous years. I don’t spend hours doing cardio and I don’t do a zillion crunches a day. I don’t live in the gym constantly and I am not pounding the pavement racking up mile after mile jogging. No weight loss drugs or magic herbal weight loss pills, laxatives, or anything like that enters my body. (Well, I do get headaches, so now and then I might take some over-the-counter stuff like aspirin for my headache).

I am stronger, leaner, faster, and have more energy and stamina than I have had in years. I really like the results I am getting.

I’ll tell you how I am doing it in this series of posts- stay tuned. No charge. No e-book to buy, no ‘members only’ area that costs $$$. Free. We all need to know stuff like this. And, from the data I keep hearing about the fitness and fatness of our young people, lots of us need to hear this info and start living it ASAP.

Healthy eating and healthy living- that’s enough. The human body is designed by nature to be healthy and strong– we just have to stop getting in the way of our health with poor food choices and poor lifestyle choices.

Here’s the deal- I have lost about 30 pounds total in 4 or 5 months. I have only been seriously tracking this since October 24th, 2009, not quite 3 months ago- I have lost a documented 20 pounds since the date of October 24th 2009.

That’s not an unsafe rate of weight loss for a guy my size. I started around 238 as the heaviest I saw on the scale sometime in the late summer 2009–that would have been a maxed out bloated weight after some beer, pizza, or lots of corn chips or ice cream or some sort of tasty debauchery like that. The lowest I have seen lately on my scale is 208 – that would have been a dehydrated state after a long walk on a slightly warm day. That’s a 30 pound difference.

Now I live daily between 210-215, depending on how hydrated I might be. While the medical establishment’s BMI calc says I am overweight at 210-215, even at the edge of obesity, my guesstimated body fat is 14% according to my Tanita scale- not too bad for a 56 year-old guy. My BF of 14% is below the national average for all adult males BF which is reported to be 15-22%.

I am not content at my current 210-215 range with the 14% (BF). I want to drop the BF down to a leaner level so I am going to focus my efforts towards that goal. I have already started. I will document that effort here.

After all, I am investing in my own body, the vehicle that will hopefully carry me into my 80’s in wonderful vibrant physical condition. 8% BF is the number I have seen that seems to be the lowest BF men can attain while still accruing a health benefit. That means there are no health-related reasons for a man to drop the BF below 8%. A lower BF might be dangerous.

An estimated BF of 14% means I have about 185 pounds of lean (non-fat) mass- muscle, bones, whatever else is in there. With 185 as my lean base, a daily living (not dehydrated) weight of 200 would put me at a BF of around 8%. The numbers are not exact but it is all a guesstimate anyway. But, 200 gives me a concrete goal to shoot for on the scale. That means I intend to lose 10-15 more pounds.

This is a start. In my next Shrinking the Shrink post I will outline a simple eating style that almost all of us can follow if we have the willingness and means to do so.

Comments, questions? Leave a comment below- I will answer as soon as I can. No comment spam, please! Comments are moderated- if you post inappropriate or offensive stuff I will delete it.

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