How do you go about doing this weight loss thing, step by step?

Man, I get this question all the time. How did you lose your weight? How have you kept it off? How did you start?

This is a step by step blog on how I lost the weight and have kept it off for over 8 years now.

Well, you may get some responses that you weren’t expecting—as did I when I first started out. Here is the abridged version of my story and what I did-step by step for my weight loss process.

So, as many of you know or have read, I lost my weight at age 40 in a weight loss contest at work. I wanted the money to go to Vegas so that I could have a weekend of buffets, concerts and slots. The problem was, I couldn’t do a quick fix.

The contest

It was a looonnnggg process—6 months long. I couldn’t do the cabbage soup diet or the military diet, or any other diet that you can’t sustain for any length of time.

I didn’t panic like I would have before. I had really hit rock bottom. I had totally and completely failed at the weight loss thing for so long, I no longer had any hope of losing it.

So, I figured, I would win the money so I could live it up in Vegas. I figured I would be in a Hoover-round by the age of 50 and have oxygen by 55. I pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I was going to be a statistic.

It was freeing and super sad all at once. In my previous desperation, I had been accepted to get a gastric bypass, but I knew I would eat right through it. I was desperate at that time, but after accepting the fact that I was a loser and would be one my whole life, I had somewhat of a peace fall over me.

No more fad diets, no more disappointments. No more hope for my future.

That ship had sailed.

So, my new goal was to win the money. I did the weight loss thing just as a step to the money. I actually didn’t have any intention of keeping it off.

Like absolutely none.

What I did to lose 50 pounds in 6 months.

I knew I needed to do stuff that was way different from what I had done previously. I needed to lose weight over a long period of time, so the quick fixes were out.

I hatched a plan so ridiculously stupid I KNEW it would work….

The 49/51% rule was born.

I devised the 49/51% rule. My head was keeping me from weight loss. I knew that on every level, but never could change it. I was fat, not dumb!

The rule was only to be used for this contest only. I made sure NOT to get my hopes up. Hopes was too dangerous a thing to have, and there was no room for that in this contest.

I would stay on my diet 51% of the time and 49% of the time I would cheat. O would go out for dinner or eat dessert. I gave myself permission to cheat without feeling guilt.

I made the rule to reflect a week. It went like this—4 days out of the week I was ON POINT. Like, I did not deviate from my Weight Watchers ways AT ALL. The other 3 days out of the week, I was pretty liberal. I followed the Weight Watchers ways kinda, but if I was going out to eat, I got what I wanted. Dessert? Yes, please. Pasta? Duh, it’s the bomb—lets do it!

This rule helped me get over feeling like a total and complete failure. I wrote everything that I ate down, even when I screwed up. I may screw up on Tuesday, and that was cool, as long as the rest of the week reflected the 49/51% rule.

I knew I also needed to move more. I refused to be gymtimidated, so I started a walking group. It was horrible, painful and wonderful all at the same time. 85 year old females were my nemesis out on the road way. They out walked me in every way. It was humiliating. However, I have a pretty competitive streak. I knew that if I couldn’t beat them, I could trip them, so there was that….


It was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. I hated it. It was hard. I then went on to do well over 30 half-marathons and one full one. It became my thing.

So, the 3 things I did to lose over 160 pounds:

Ate right Exercised. I repeated the above two.

That is it. I joined Weight Watchers and the Loma Linda Lopers (a running/walking group) so that I would be held accountable.

I screwed up a lot during this journey. I binge ate cake. I chickened out on a few races. I cried myself to sleep after a particularly hard eating day. I felt like a failure at least 50% of the time.

I lost 160 pounds doing the above. There was no special diet, no special pills no special workout I did that had me shedding pounds like a snake sheds skin.

Let me address that elephant in the room.

The one thing I did not put on this list was my mentality.

I did not feel like doing this crap. That is why this contest thing worked for me. I knew I would not feel like losing weight-I was in a mental jail of sorts when I started, and I knew it.

I knew deep in my heart I would not be successful, but I did it anyway. How?

Well, when you hit rock bottom, there isn’t a whole lotta places to go but up.

That is exactly why I wasn’t doing it for the weight loss.

That ship had sailed in my mind. However, I could do it for money, though-there was no hopes and dreams in that. If I didn’t win, there was no down side. I wanted the money, but I didn’t need the money.

There was no pressure. There was no pain if I failed. It was just a “shrug and move on” kind of thing.

You will never feel like losing weight.

There is no perfect time, no perfect way of eating, no perfect exercise that you can do to magically lose weight and keep it off.

I basically picked an eating plan and a walking group out of the air. If I would have picked a vegan eating plan and yoga, it would have worked too.

I still don’t feel like it, but now, it’s a habit. Its ingrained that I exercise, that I eat right, that I do my morning routine.

That I just plain move forward.

Some days I eat too much. Some days I wake up and look at the lines on my face, the stretch marks on my ass and the extra skin on my legs and tell myself this lifestyle isn’t working. It’s too hard and I want to eat cake.

Then, I pad into the kitchen and make myself some oatmeal or protein cake and I remember why I like having my weight off.

I can cross my legs. I can sit in a restaurant and not worry that I can fit into a booth.

I can get down on the floor with my grandkids. I don’t get winded walking to my car.

I don’t have to shop in a fat person store. I can get clothes off the rack—and by the way—you don’t have to pay for each square inch if its off the rack.

Man, don’t get me started on how they make fat people clothes look hella ugly, and how much you have to pay for them. Incidentally, I wore sweatshirts with poodles on them because that is all I could find in my 5x size.


Stop waisting time (see what I did with that??). You will never feel like doing it. Ever. So just start. Make it a habit. Do a diet plan or an exercise plan that you feel you will like and stick to for a while. You can always change it up, but only after you have done it for at least a couple of months.

Don’t throw shade at yourself. When you do this, you down your efforts and habits that you have made and it erases and demeans your hard work.

Just knock that crap off right now.

You can do this. Motivation is overrated. Plodding and habit is where its at.

Don’t worry, when you find that you no longer have to throw your stomach up over your shoulder to pee, I am pretty sure this will have you stoked and help propel you forward.