As you can see, it's not a dramatic drop, and there were some ups and downs throughout.
Recapping the stats posted earlier:
Height: 5'7" --> assuming same
Weight: 220 --> 204
Body fat (on electronic scale): 40.1% --> 36.7%
Chest: 44.5" --> 43.5"
Biceps: 12" --> 11.5"
Waist: 47" --> 42.5"
Thighs: 25" --> 25.25"
Neck: 17 3/8" --> 16"
Here's my math for the fat loss, subject to peer verification:
Started with 220 pounds, 40.1% body fat, meaning 88.22 pounds of fat and 131.78 pounds of everything else.
Ended with 204 pounds, 36.7% body fat, meaning 74.87 pounds of fat and 163.09 pounds of everything else.
That means I lost 13.35 pounds of fat and put on ... 31 pounds of muscle? No, that can't be right. Man, I'm no good at math problems. Someone help? I did some math yesterday that suggested I lost 11 pounds of fat and put on five pounds of lean muscle. That sounds more real, but may also be entirely wrong. (Revised calculations suggest I put on 2.6 pounds of muscle. Numbers still need checking.)
A 16 pound overall loss is nice, but it could've been better. Commentary further down. I'm most impressed with the shrinkage around my waist -- studies have shown that midsection fat is the stuff that's worst for your health, so to see the biggest reduction there puts my heart at ease, literally. I'm also happy about getting my neck back, with an improving jawline. Between the two, I'll feel more comfortable wearing button-up shirts. The only number that got bigger was the thigh measurement -- I'm not bothered by that, since I'm fairly certain I've packed on some leg muscle.
Let's recap the goals set out in BAS:UW:Week Zero:
- Ultimate goal at this point is 160 pounds with a body fat percentage at the high end of "healthy". I'm setting the six-month goal as a 50 pound loss, putting me at 170 pounds as of mid-March 2007. Ambitious, yes.
- Fit into size 36 pants. 34 would be nice. I can't imagine 32.
- Be able to wear new, nice clothes proudly and comfortably
- See improvements in empirical measures: blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol
- Have more energy
- Less unnecessary sweating
- Quit smoking
- Reduce pain in back, neck, chest and knees
- Develop a masculine physique
- Improve flexibility, thus reducing groaning, grunting, huffing and puffing
- Gain respect for my discipline and achievement
- Get a better sense of myself as an attractive person
- At the end, shave off my mustache/goatee. It's the mask of the fat man.
So, what started six months ago in response to missing the opportunity to be part of the Life Network (now "Slice") series X-Weighted Season 2, is now over. What have I learned?
Well, I can see what held me back from being a bigger loser.
- I should have started resistance training a lot sooner -- more muscle is good all around, and more muscle burns more calories;
- I should have made a stronger long-term effort to hold back from enjoying the tasty treats offered by coworkers, and the temptation to augment my bagged lunch with off-menu snacks from the deli downstairs;
- I could have put up more of a fight against the "pizza option" when there was no dinner plan at home -- though I really don't regret pizza. I should, but I really like the pizza they make downstairs;
- I set a weight loss goal that was not practically achievable. That was discussed earlier in the project. Perhaps short, achievable goals are the answer;
- Being "accountable to the public" for my weight loss is not, in itself, sufficient motivation to work out like a fiend and eat like a forensic accountant, but it helped.
I'm not giving up. I'm not planning to do weekly weight checks on the internet any more, but I'm not about to give up on my fitness goals. That 160-170 pound figure is still the goal. It's a target. It's not a six-month target any more, but it's still a target. As I said months ago, my goal is not to get a little less fat -- it's to get fit. To give up now ... to stop exercising and return to eating junk whenever junk seemed tasty ... would be to make this project a gimmick. A blip. A stunt. The gimmick was there as motivation to actually make some changes, not simply for the sake of drawing attention to myself.
I made some changes. I didn't make a dramatic physical transformation, but there have been changes. I've spent more time on a treadmill in the last six months than ever before. I've put on pounds of muscle. I've eaten a lot of good food. I've taken up a sport. I've taken some risks and seen some rewards. This has been worthwhile, and it's worth continuing.
Of course, it's not all me. I'm not going to take all the credit. If I'd been able to do this all on my own, odds are I would have done it long ago. Thanks to Amanda for taking part in the X-Weighted audition processes, cheering me on even though Halifax didn't make the cut, calling me on my bullshit along the way, loving me despite my cookie binges, helping me dress for my size, and feeding me delicious and healthy food. Thanks to Sandra and Byron for offering their own perspectives on fitness, leading by example, passing on their wisdom about what works for them and what doesn't, and for rooting for me from half-way across the country. Thanks to my family for keeping tabs through the blog, posting their attaboys and waytogos when I made gains, and questioning my logic (even when they did so anonymously). And thanks to everyone else who's been lurking in the shadows and reading along. I don't pretend to have a large and loyal audience, but I get enough questions about the project to know that a few people have been watching.
And there's more to come. I've run the before and after photos through a morphing program and have come up with some nifty videos. I hope to combine that with some footage shot at the initial weigh-in/measurement and a few more clips from along the way and put together a little thingy for YouTube.
Thanks for joining me on this journey!