Obsession with Numbers

by Jeremy Chance

I think innately as human beings, we are all obsessed with numbers. They’re so readily available for us. Statistics. Grades. Money. Time. And most relevant to me right now:  Calorie consumption. Miles. Cardio time. Reps. Weight.

This week I just finished my tenth consecutive week of working out six days a week. Thanks to my Lose It! app on my phone and account online, I’ve been able to track my calorie consumption. I’ve only gone over my daily amount once in 8 weeks of using the app.

I’ve ran more miles in this 10-week period than I have ever in my life. On the treadmill I can run comfortably at 8 mph (7.5 minute mile), up from the 5 mph when I started. I live on the elliptical.

I’ve also lifted weights pretty religiously. I haven’t lifted this rigorously since baseball conditioning in high school.

But the most important number of all right now is 35.6.

In 10 weeks, I have lost 35.6 pounds and am currently weighing in at 232.4 pounds. Last week, just for fun, I tried on a pair of jeans from my freshman year (before my “Freshman 30”), and there’s some room to spare. I tried on some vintage fit (though it should say “not for fat people”) shirts that didn’t fit before, and now they do. The problem is, and I use the word problem loosely because it’s a problem I’m okay with, now all of my dress clothes and other clothes are starting to not fit.

I don’t want this post to be one where I sit here and brag about how hard I’ve worked and how much weight I’ve lost. I mentioned that I want this space to partially serve as a resource for other people who want to lose weight, and that’s what I’m going to do.

The reason I’ve been so successful with this weight loss is because I’ve worked so unbelievably hard at. There’s nothing else I can really say other than that. Working out six of seven days of week is a pretty rigorous routine I’ve gotten myself into.

Here’s what a standard workout week looks like for me:

  • Monday: 30 minutes on the elliptical, arms workout (chest press, flys, curls and triceps), finish up with 5 minutes on the treadmill
  • Tuesday: 45 minutes on the elliptical OR 10 minutes at 7.5 mph, 10 minutes at 7 mph and 5 minutes at 8 mph on the treadmill
  • Wednesday: 30 minutes on the elliptical, arms workout (chest press, flys, curls and triceps), finish up with 5 minutes on the treadmill
  • Thursday: 45 minutes on the elliptical OR 10 minutes at 7.5 mph, 10 minutes at 7 mph and 5 minutes at 8 mph on the treadmill
  • Friday: 30 minutes on the elliptical, arms workout (chest press, flys, curls and triceps), finish up with 5 minutes on the treadmill
  • Saturday: 45 minutes on the elliptical
  • Sunday: a day of rest

In addition to putting in so many hours at the gym, I’ve really been watching what and when I eat. For starters, I’ve really tried to cut out eating out as much. I’ll admit, I think the fall semester I ate out 4 of 5 days a week on campus, and that’s how this semester started out too. Now? I couldn’t tell you the last time I ate McDonald’s. I had Burger King as a “celebratory meal” for running the 5k. I’ve only occasionally eaten at Qdoba, and all you PMO people out there now how difficult that is.

Those days I would forget to bring a turkey sandwich to campus, I’d order Jimmy John’s or grab Subway. The only time I would allow myself the option of eating fast food would be Tuesday’s when my little brother, little sister and I would grab lunch and would occasionally go to Arby’s. Even going out to restaurant’s I’d watch what I eat. Anytime I’m home there’s generally one trip to Applebee’s and one trip to Rodney’s, but I still try and eat really well. Those 100 ouncers of beer may not be the best, but I run a little extra after partaking in those.

I’ve almost completely cut out pop. I allow myself to drink pop once a day, but most days I don’t at all. I drink a lot of water, lots of milk, and have recently started drinking both SoBe Life Water and Vitamin Water.

To make a long story short, my obsession with a number has developed through hard work and eating smart.

I’ve been fortunate to have as much success with this as I have, but I still look in the mirror and am not satisfied. I still have to stay motivated, and looking in the mirror gives me that motivation.

If any of you have any questions or want to leave any encouraging words, go ahead and leave a comment.

Until the next time, I’m still going to be working hard to get my life together and keep it that way.

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