John McKown's Blog

Family Man - Motorcyclist - Web Guy - Loving Colorado as My Home

My Weight Loss Program - Results!

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Down 36 pounds in 3 months, 6 inches off my waist, and still going!

I have made significant lifestyle changes recently to get in shape, lose weight, and be healthy.
After my divorce from Kelly in 2011 I was pretty depressed, and I gained a lot of weight. Way too much weight.
I could not wear a lot of my clothes, I snored at night, and I couldn't participate in sports that I wanted to play. 
Now, my skinny jeans are falling off of me. My life is so much better and happier, and it is showing!

I got remarried to an amazing woman, we now have a daughter, and life is a million percent better with someone that supports me.
After our daughter got healthy (she was a premie), it was time for a fitness and self confidence reboot. 

Here is how I did it...

After getting remarried, then eventually moving into our new home in October of 2015, I finally had the money,
space, time, and schedule to be able to get into shape. In a very serious way I made this my goal. 
And having a new wife that is super-supportive and believes in me is a huge part of it.
Sadly, I didn't have that before in my life. Being happy and deciding to just do it took commitment with no excuses. 

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Our new home in Parker, Colorado. 

We started with my wife and I doing some basic walking around the neighborhood regularly to get into shape.
The walking, even wtih some moderate diet changes, produced next to zero results. That was pretty discouraging. 

With the winter approaching in late 2015, I knew that I needed to join a gym. A REAL gym. 
I joined Lifetime Fitness in Parker, Colorado. It is enormous. It is bigger than a WalMart.
It has indoor and outdoor pools, soccer field (indoor), basketball, rock climbing, racquetball, everything. It's insane.

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Lifetime Fitness in Parker, Colorado.

How it all started - getting a metabolic test and dietitian information: 

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The photo above is how I looked when I first started my program. 
With the metabolic testing, they showed me what my target heart rates should be when I work out. 
The thing I learned from this is that when you work out, you have to take little 5 minute slowdowns so that your heart rate drops.
Then, you start working out again. And the rollercoaster of heart rates can burn up to 20% more calories.
So I worked that into my program. This was a big help when I first started and I think it jumpstarted my fat loss. 
Today, I don't wear a heart rate monitor at all because I can check it with the workout machines that I use for cardio. 

I got talked into their personal training program (VERY expensive at $85 per workout),
and I did that for the first couple of months, twice a week. So that was almost $700 per month.
I knew going into the training that I was not going to do it long term becaue of the cost, but it was a much needed kick start for me.
The accountability early on was worth it.  

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I made it my mission to hit the gym SIX DAYS PER WEEK, no matter what. 
It wasn't easy. Especially on the nights where I went in very late so that I wouldn't miss a day.
I believe this was a photo that I sent to my trainer, proving to him that I was at the gym at 9 or 10PM.
Having that accountability helped. I have taken my workouts further now, and I do a minimum of one hour per day on a treadmill, then weights. 

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Here is what a typical day on the treadmill looks like. No running or jogging at all. Just brisk, inclined walking. 
Super easy on the joints. You might be surprised to learn that I burn more calories on a treadmill than I do on a stair stepper or eliptical. 
I put the elevation on a 9-11% grade (steep) and I walk at 3.5 miles per hour, for one hour. 
This always puts me at over 800 calories. Then I do a core workout and machines or weights. 
All in all it is about an hour and twenty minutes. 
At 9% grade you get just over 800 calories. Over 11% is 900 calories. 

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Having a heated pool that my wife Christine and our daughter Madelyn can enjoy makes this gym membership even better.
It is definitely nice on the colder Colorado days. Sometimes we visit the gym just for the family pool. 
There are hot tubs there too, and when I workout with my neighbor we hang out there to relax and chat. Its awesome.

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What I eat and don't eat:

  • Lots and lots of chicken breast.
  • Egg whites in bulk from Sam's Club are super awesome. Whole eggs too in moderation. I got a small pan that makes a round 4" omelet.  
  • Large stainless water bottle for use to, at, and from the gym. That gets me most of the water requirement per day.
  • I eat peppers, onions, cheese, milk. 
  • Some potatoes, but I don't overdue it. 
  • I minimize the carbs. No Pizza. Some pasta. 
  • No candy, sweets, no ice cream, no cakes or pie, nothing like that. 
  • No fried food. Occasionally I cheat here, but very, very little. 
  • Chipotle can be good if you do it right - no rice, just double meat chicken bowl (no tortilla), beans, and Fajita veggies with guacamole (good fats) on the side. This is a great meal. 
  • Salmon and steak. 
  • Stay away from cheap fried Chinese food. Replace it with Thai (massaman curry chicken) and Indian (chicken Tiki Masala). 
  • No more pizza 
  • no desserts
  • no second helpings. 

Benefits so far: 

  • I don't snore anymore. 
  • My clothes all fit. 
  • I have way more energy.
  • I am less stressed out and more relaxed. 
  • I don't get easily winded. 
  • I feel light on my feet. 
  • My knees and joints feel better. 

Will post more soon. 


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