Thursday, May 31, 2007


Current Weight: 231 lbs.
No New Change Today

I've added a small selection of links at the right for more helpful diet information. It's hard to find good sites offering only honest, free tips, most are advertising some new diet fad or book for sale. If you know a good site or two, let me know.

50 Weight Loss Tips contains fifty smart tips for eating healthy and changing your lifestyle in the right direction.

Healthy Weight Loss Blog is the blog of the Green Mountain Spa. Not only do they offer affirmations and book reviews, but they also provide some healthy recipes.'s Diet Guide lists many of the common diet fads, and includes a quick review of each one.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Take It Slow

Current Weight: 233 lbs.
Change 3: Take it slow.

Don’t make too many changes at one time, especially drastic changes. My first impulse when I wanted to lose weight was to change everything I could toward achieving my goals. However, looking forward toward the long-term, I realized this was a quick path to failure. It is easy to become overwhelmed by too many changes and give up far short of reaching any milestones.

Everyone is different, and is more open to changing different aspects of their life easier than others, so set your own change pace. For me, changing two or three things about my lifestyle and habits a week should be attainable, so that will be my weekly goal. Some changes will be much easier to make than others, some will be harder, but the harder changes can typically broken down into smaller changes.

Start slowly, make one change. If you can keep to that change for a day or two without too much effort, make a second change. If you find yourself slipping and unable to keep to the current change, go back 1 step. It is far easier to recover from one step back than to stop completely and start over.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Set Achievable Goals

Current Weight: 235 lbs.
Change 2: Set achievable long- and short-term goals.

Set long- and short-term goals that you can reach. My current goal of 50 pounds until the end of the year means that in the next 31 weeks I want to lose an average of 1.6 pounds. Some weeks the weight loss will be greater, other weeks I may have no loss, but 1.6 pounds per week should be an attainable average. My short-term goal is 10 pounds in the first month, which is an average of 2.5 pounds per week. It's a higher average than the long-term goal, but it is typically easier to lose the first few pounds.

When you have a target, even if you fall short of that target, at least you progress. If you don’t set a target, you have nothing to aim for and are guaranteed failure. Decide what you want to achieve as an end result. Write it down to clarify and specify your goal, and then create short term goals that will bring you toward that end result.

When you set outrageous goals, you get easily discouraged and give up. A healthy, achievable change in weight is 2-3 pounds a week through rigorous exercise and good diet. I'm trying to take this slowly and make only little changes to my lifestyle so it will be easier to maintain those changes and keep the weight off.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Weigh Yourself Every Day

Current Weight: 235 lbs.
Change 1: Weigh yourself every day.

By tracking changes regularly, we become more aware of how our everyday actions affect those things we are tracking. One study showed that freshman college students who did no other change than weigh themselves regularly during their first semester gained 25% the weight of those who did not weigh themselves.

Seeing changes, even little ones, can also be very motivating. Some days the change will be a negative loss (a gain in weight), but a recorded negative trend will deter any discouragement. Pick a regular time of day to weigh yourself, since your weight will vary throughout the day, and weigh yourself in the nude, so you are recording only your actual weight. A good way to perform both of these is to weigh yourself after your morning shower.

A good digital scale is not necessary, any scale you have should work fine, but a digital scale will give a more accurate and consistent reading. A digital scale will also show smaller changes, which can be more encouraging.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


My name is Charles Patterson. I was in the United States Marine Corps for 8 years. While in the Marines, I was in the best shape of my life. I weighed 180 pounds, was rarely ill, and could run 3 miles in 21 minutes. I have been out of the Marines for 13 years now. I currently weigh 235 pounds, I get sick more often than I used to, and I would be lucky to run 3 miles in under 45 minutes.

Life’s events happen to everyone, getting married, having children, getting a sedentary job instead of an active one, and we adjust our lifestyle and habits to accommodate those changes. If you don’t make deliberate accommodations to these types of changes, you may find yourself in the same situation as I.

My goal is to lose 50 pounds before the end of the year, and maintain it permanently. I plan to do this through little changes. Every day or two, I will make a small change in my lifestyle, or replace an old bad habit with a new, better one. Each day I will record my progress in an attempt to see which changes have effect, and which ones do not.

I’m writing this blog to track my changes, track my progress, to keep myself on task, and to help others who want to try to change their lives. Most of the changes will be entirely free of cost, or cost a negligible amount.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Getting Started

With a large percentage of the US population overweight, it seems like everyone is on a diet these days. One of the problems with diets is that they require a drastic change to most people’s lifestyle, so they typically fail. They are also only short-term fixes to long-term problems, and the diversity of diets, from the “Beverly Hills Diet”, to the “South Beach Diet”, to “Fat Loss 4 Idiots”, really don’t leave anyone sure which one is the right one that will work for them.

Another issue is cost; diet books aren’t given away free, and weight loss programs, like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, cost continually as long as you are in their program. No one wants to pay for something that may, or may not, work, and nothing in any diet book is revolutionary enough to warrant purchasing when the information in most diet books is knowledge that anyone can typically gain through a little free research.

Any physician or personal trainer will tell you the formula for weight loss is the same today as it was 1000 years ago: calories consumed through food minus calories burned through exercise equals excess calories stored as fat. If the end result is a positive value, you gain weight, and if it is a negative value, you lose weight. Other things can help you achieve a healthier lifestyle, such as proper nutrition, but in truth, for weight loss, the formula never varies.

In my opinion, the reason most people fail at weight loss is they try to drastically change too much of their lifestyle at once, either through some diet plan, rigorous exercise program, or both. It took you many years to develop the lifestyle and habits you have, and they will not change overnight. Moreover, even if you can manage a short-term lifestyle change, because the change is so drastic, most people revert to their old habits once they achieve their goal.

Through little changes, however, big results can be achieved over the long-term, and can be maintained easier.