Struggle with Weight Loss and Healthy Eating

Thirty-five. That’s how many pounds I lost when Melanie and I moved to Canada for 10 months. I moved back in March of last year, and maintained a steady weight – I even managed to lose a few more pounds in the process! Then, come June of the same year, I started a new job and things spiraled out of control.

Early Years

I’ve always had my fair share of chub. Even in grade school and into high school I was definitely overweight. Come sophomore or junior year in high school (it was May… can’t recall the year now), I was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, it was many months before I knew that’s what I had. During that time I had practiclaly stopped eating most foods for fear of getting sick (that was my “O” in OCD). I ended up losing something like 60-70 pounds (unhealthily, I might add!) in that very short time. People would make comments without really knowing my situation, such as, “I wish I could lose weight like that!” No, you really don’t. Anyway, I had tons of support and help from my friends and family, learned what I had, and worked to beat it.

College Life

Over the years my weight came back up as I started eating much more sensibly again. Then I got lazy. Not lazy as in I never did anything; quite the opposite. I was incollege at the time, working at a retail store which included constant moving around and working in the warehouse with deliveries on a regular basis. I was getting a decent workout and feeling great! But I wasn’t watching what I was eating. Slowly I creeped back up and regained much of the remaining weight I had lost in high school as my body took in all the things I once again enjoyed.

Canada

After college I moved back home for a few years before falling in love with a French-Canadian and venturing up to our neighbors in the north. That is when my healthy transformation happened. I was eating less food, but not only that, I was eating healthier food. I found that people as a whole were generally more conscious and vocal about the foods they ate and health choices they made with regard to diet. It was great; I was eating plenty, losing weight, and loving it! I even continued this healthier lifestyle 10 months later when I moved back to Wisconsin. I sustained that for a couple of months, but then something changed.

New Job

Following my time in Canada, when I was completely self-employed, I picked up some contract work when I moved back to Wisconsin. In June of 2010 I started a new assignment, and that’s when things went downhill for me. You see, at this new place of work they provided free lunches. Every single day. It wasn’t terrible “cafeteria” food either. Oh no, this food was, by-and-large, quite edible. More than that, it was downright delicious on many counts! And so I ate. And I ate. And then I ate some more, until I had racked up a a sizable 15-20 pounds, putting me closer to – but thankfully still a bit off from – what I weighed just before moving to Canada. That said, I wasn’t happy about this recent change.

Enter Now

Ten months after starting this new contract, I’ve had enough. I can’t keep eating the way I’ve been and gaining weight like I am. It isn’t healthy and I’m not happy. So what am I doing about it? Recently I’ve checked out a few different calorie helpers and weight loss tool, mainly LiveStrong, Shape, and Lose It!. All three have their benefits and drawbacks, but I’ve finally settled on Lose It!, at least for the near future.

I’m still finding it challenging to resist the urge to grab an unhealthy snack, or opt for the healthier option for a meal, but I’m working on it. I’ve come to realize that, although you can lose weight just by altering your eating habbits, I need to mix exercise in with my dieting. This will not only help expediate my weight loss and allow me to splurge on higher calorie treats more often, but it will also help me tone my body and actually get it in shape and not just shed pounds.

And so here I am, weighing more than I’d like and not being in the shape I desire. I’m going to kickstart this weight loss and healthier eating lifestyle by heading to the Wisconsin Bike Expo Sale this week and hopefully ride out on a brand new bike. Bicycling is my favorite outdoor activity, and I’ve never had a truly nice (non-department store) bike. Now let’s just hope for some nice weather so I can put it to use!

  • Russ

    Instead of taking advantage of the free food based on its level of deliciousness, you should maximize the free food based on its level of difficulty to attain/retain at home (fruits/veggies). There’s the full salad bar every day and even canned fruit most days. I rarely eat salad at home because a bag of salad goes bad in just a couple days.

    • http://mikebranski.com/ Mike Branski

      That’s very true, and a great way of looking at it! As an aside, we bought these Tupperware fruit/veggie containers and it can keep our salad crisp for up to two weeks! It’s clearly some sort of magic.

  • http://www.decatrimweightlossreviews.com Decatrim Pete

    Mike your story is not an uncommon one. I think the best thing you have said here is to buy yourself a good bike. Exercise is one of the keys to good weight loss for many people. Finding some form of exercise you like to do then do it. Even better if you can find someone to team up with and do it together.
    You should congratulate yourself for writing this post as well. Go for it.

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