Saturday, October 11, 2008

Final day of the Beer Diet Challenge

Before and AfterIt's been a long eight weeks of trying to lose weight while still managing to enjoy fine craft beer at the same time. When I came up with the idea for losing weight I was already highly motivated to drop some pounds. At my heaviest weight this year, I weighed nearly 205 pounds and I was getting unhappy with myself. With 26 years of marriage and having added nearly 40 pounds of weight during that time, my size was starting to show. I started cutting out snacking and eating smaller portions and dropped below 200 pounds. I started believing I could do this.

Then, back in July, I was given the gift of a Nintendo Wii Fit exercise board from my family. I was skeptical that something designed to be a game would do me any good, but I decided to give it a try. If anything, the Wii Fit gave me incentive to get off my butt and move around a lot more. Within a couple weeks I had dropped a few more pounds and felt better.

It was then that the idea of using my blog to motivate myself and challenge others to lose weight with me came up. Thus the Great American Beer Diet Challenge was born. I managed to get 2 other people to compete to see who could lose the greatest percentage of body weight by the last day of the Great American Beer Festival.

The motivation of the contest helped me get going during the first several weeks. I felt as if I could drop down to the mid-170s if I kept at it. But staying motivated became a hard thing to keep up. My seasonal allergies came back with a vengeance in September and kept me from exercising for two to three weeks. My job started getting real busy and stressful. Exercising became something I had to force myself to do again.

My weight loss seemed to have hit a wall. For weeks, I'd fluctuate between 186 and 191 and seemed to be going no where. Last week, I realized that I only had 1 week left to go and I was stuck at 189. I only managed to exercise once or twice during the last week and then the GABF came up.

Volunteering for the Great American Beer Festival all day on Thursday was like the equivalent of three to four exercise sessions all in a row. I lifted kegs, bags of ice, moved around tables and must have walked several miles during the day. By the end of the long 14-hour work day - I was exhausted. I must have lost 3-4 pounds that day alone.

Yesterday, I stayed at home because I was still very tired. By the afternoon I was feeling better. My wife put me to work outside in the yard hauling rocks from one end of the yard to the other in a wheelbarrow. OMG. I quickly became tired once again. I must have lost another couple of pounds.

Today was the last day of the Challenge. I stepped on the scale this morning and got my final weight for the competition. My final weight today is 185. Now granted, when I officially started the competition my official starting weight was 192. So, I only lost 7 pounds total, but when I came up with the idea for the competition I weighed 196 pounds and unofficially lost 11 pounds. I won't gross you out with another "gut" shot this time however.

So for the competition, I officially lost 7 pounds or 3.65% of my starting weight. It's less than I thought I could lose and I certainly could have done much better. Now's the time for my competition to chime in and let me know how they did. The one who lost the biggest percentage of weight will win a 6-pack from me of Colorado craft beer.

So, now that the competition is over, will I continue to try and lose weight? Yes. I'd like to get down to about 175 if possible, but knowing how hard it is to stay motivated during the cold months and holidays can be, I'll be lucky just to maintain my current weight over the holidays.

So while it IS possible to drink about 1 beer a day and still lose weight, it can be very difficult. If you drink a beer too early in the day, you'll lose your motivation for exercising. Simply by reducing your food intake and sticking with that helps a lot. Exercising and getting your heart pumping helps you overall.

I realize now that in order to really enjoy life, you have to be in good shape. Drinking a lot of beer won't help you stay in shape but it can be a celebration in your life. Everything in moderation can be a wonderful thing. Cheers!

Related articles:
- Celebrating Anniversary at the GABF.
- Great American Beer Diet Challenge.

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