Logging my weight and the resulting graph above has been a great motivator.

Logging my weight and the resulting graph above has been a great motivator.

Since June 1st, I’ve lost a little over 50lbs!

Big headline I know, but I’m pretty excited about it. I still have some work to go, but I wanted to take a minute to share where I started, my goals, and what has worked for me. This is going to be a long one.

I've always been a little on the bigger side, but things had gotten out of control.  Having back issues and the resulting surgeries had allowed me to get lazy using that as an excuse.  Add to that plenty of other factors such as a poor family health history, a love of food and beer, and poor self esteem, and next thing I know I had ballooned to over 270lbs on my 6'2" frame.  Not good.

Over the summer, after motivation in the form of coaching my son’s team, I started playing baseball again for the first time in 22 years. I caught the bug from him and started looking for softball teams in my area but stumbled on an adult baseball league and thought that would be way more fun. I was right but it was also a lot more demanding. My body didn't move the way it did 22 years ago and in addition I just didn't have the stamina. 

Getting in shape for baseball was my biggest motivating factor to get started.

So, it was June 1st, I weighed 270lbs, wanted to get in baseball shape, and I needed a plan.

I can be described as a bit of a nerd at times so obviously, when I decided to go down this path I looked for tech solutions to help me. I sat down and thought about what my priorities were and what I would need to get started. 

1. I don't enjoy going to the gym or have the finances to pay for a membership or personal trainer so I wanted something (preferably an iOS app) to guide me along the way. 

2. Needed to change my diet. While I can cook, I’m not the type to formulate my own recipes. Especially healthy ones. Add that to the list.

3. A method to analyze my activity, track my weight loss, and manage my goals.

So lets take a look at my solutions and how they’ve worked for me….

1. After checking out and trying a few fitness apps, I have settled on FitStar Personal Trainer and FitStar Yoga. I hate running and since I'm not in the Air National Guard anymore, that wasn't a necessity. I wanted an app/plan that included variety and allowed me to focus on specific goals, in this case weight loss. FitStar has a number of programs you can select from including Get Lean, Get Strong, Daily Dose, and Get Moving. Each with a selection of workouts for those particular needs. It also has a Freestyle section with workouts aimed at a specific target or situation. These range from ab focused routines to morning wakeup or even running focused warmups. The workouts are anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes depending on your selections and are presented to you in the form of videos. I really like this app a lot.

Second in this category is the FitStar Yoga. I was hesitant at first but decided to give it a try after feeling stiff all the time and wanting more flexibility. It operates just like the Personal Trainer app so I wont waste too much time on details, but I really enjoy this as well.

If you’re interested in checking out the FitStar apps, use referral code 2Q6XU5.

2. The app and site Fit Men Cook has been absolutely essential in my success. I plan my meals out for the week, only cooking once or twice during the week which takes all the stress out of deciding what to have on a daily basis and takes away the opportunity to make bad choices. On a day when the last thing I want to do is cook and would have otherwise picked up take-out, I just have to grab out of the fridge and reheat. This has been the crucial factor for me. The site and iOS app have been really helpful because I can scale the recipes to a desirable size, it collates ingredients into a simple shopping list, and the recipes are budget friendly and optimized for meal planning. Last but probably most important is they are all very tasty as well.

3. My Apple Watch. Yup, it’s the ultimate geeky tool but I love it and it really has helped me reach my goals. First of all, it tracks my daily activity and lets me know how I’m doing toward reaching my goals. It even gives me gentle reminders if I haven't gotten up from my desk in a while. Second, the apps mentioned above work very well with it. The watch app for FitStar displays the current exercise and the number of reps or time remaining and the Fit Men Cook app has a really helpful display of your shopping list for the grocery store. It tracks my heart rate during the workouts and catalogs everything so that I can compare how I’ve done in previous days/weeks/months. This is all in addition to everything else it does. Love it.

So thats it, the tools that have helped me loose a little over 50lbs since June 1st. Please let me know if you have any questions, but more importantly, what’s worked for you?