Reversing 10% Growth

In an earlier post, I mentioned the shock of seeing my weight gain from January 2007 to December 2007.

I just turned 36. I’d been hoping my age would finally catch up with waistline. Alas, my waistline stayed out in front of me. *sigh*

So here are a few of the things I’m doing this year to reverse that 10% growth.

  • I’ll be increasing the protein in my diet. According to Dr. Al Sears, protein tells my body that “the hunting is good” and I don’t need to convert my food into fat. No need for my body to hoard. (He also advocates cutting out grains. I’m not willing to go there yet!)
  • I’ll be drinking less beer and wine. ๐Ÿ™ It turns out that a beer has about 150 calories. Just one beer a night adds up to over 1000 extra calories a week. Apparently, that’s around 15 additional pounds a year! Very close to my 20 pounds!

    I’ve already started this. It’s really easy to grab a cup of tea or a glass of water rather than a beer. Who’d have thunk?!

  • I’ll be cutting down desserts. I liked a couple desserts a day. But that’s a lot of sugar (which I think makes me eat more) and “empty” calories. So I’m going to limit to Wednesday and weekends. Or just Wednesdays and Sundays. We’ll see how it works!

    (I can rationalize not abstaining on the Sabbath–Friday night and Saturday–and there’s ample historic evidence that Sunday is a Christian feast day. So not eating dessert on Sunday wouldn’t make sense. Ah the joys of rationalization!) ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I’ll be eating more fruits and vegetables. My awareness of these plummeted last year. But these are too important to neglect.
  • As a matter of fact, I’m committing to eating more “real” food than “low fat” or “low carb” chemical lab concoctions. Since I like food, particularly real food, this year I’ll learn to enjoy it more slowly, as opposed to shoveling it down.
  • Portion control. Ever since I did Weight Watchers years ago, I’ve been amazed at how small portion sizes really are. And how satisfying. I’m going to watch my portions–not just “watch them go into my mouth”! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Keeping them smaller will certainly help.
  • I’ll keep drinking a gallon of water a day. The health benefits of 8 glasses a day are dubious, but I know I have fewer zits when I stay well hydrated. That’s enough motivation for me!
  • Last year, I added an additional 2 months of circuit training simply by working out 12 times per month rather than 10. Thank God! I’m scared to think of how much more weight I’d have gained had I not done that!

    This year, I’ll keep up the 12 visits per month. But I’m adding aerobics and calesthenics. Probably an eliptical workout 2-3 times a week. (I’ve started this and it seems sustainable.) I’m coming to grips with how incredibly sedentary my life is: sitting in front of a computer at a desk, sitting behind the wheel, or sitting in front of a laptop on the couch. Certainly less activity than my farming forebears experienced in a typical day. So I’ll augment that with stepping up the exercise. Literally.

Overall, I think this is quite sustainable. Basically eat less, exercise more.

Marc A. Pitman

Marc A. Pitman helps leaders lead their teams with more effectiveness and less stress. The author of "Ask Without Fear!ยฎ," he is the founder of The Concord Leadership Group and He's also the executive director of and an Advisory Panel member of Rogare, a prestigious international fundraising think tank. He is the husband to his best friend and the father of three amazing kids. And if you drive by him on the road, heโ€™ll be singing 80โ€™s tunes loud enough to embarrass his family! You can connect with him on Google+, on Twitter @marcapitman, and like "Ask Without Fear!" on Facebook. To get his free ebook on 21 ways to get board members engaged with fundraising, go to

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Kathleen

    Marc: Have you read Jordan Rubin’s book, “The Maker’s Diet” or seen his web site? Despite the fact that he uses the term “diet” in the title, the book is really about nutrition and healthy eating. The result can be weight loss for those who need it, as a person’s system is stabilized. His basic philosophy of culling our eating habits from Old Testament information is pretty dead-on. He also emphasizes protein, fruits and veggies, and organic/free range sources. This is the program I followed when I lost 20 pounds in 2006, and the book that really prompted me to reevaluate the sources I purchase food from.

  2. Marc

    Thanks for the recommendation, Kathleen!

    Now I know where I got my 20 pounds… ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Kathleen

    Not entirely…some of them found their way back to me in the latter part of 2007. Of course, I blame the car accident for that! But, when I work up enough energy to do something about it, I’ll use the same methods again. Let’s face it, brownies made from organic flour, organic cane sugar, omega-3 eggs, non-aluminum baking powder, and organic Sunflower oil are still brownies—and too many translate to weight gain. Sigh!

  4. Damien Tougas

    Another good tip would be that rather than saying that you want to try to eat more fruit and vegetables, why not make more of a policy, or food rule for yourself. A good example of this is in this blog post here:

    This person made the rule that they wouldn’t eat any meal that didn’t have at least one fruit and one vegetable present. I would go take it further and suggest that the rule should be don’t eat any meal that doesn’t have one fresh fruit, and one fresh/frozen vegetable present (i.e. canned, dried, juiced etc. doesn’t count). Perhaps the only exception to that rule would be breakfast where instead of the vegetable I would have another fruit.

  5. Marc

    Kathleen: I know!!! I wish those brownes didn’t count. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Damien: Because I want to make sustainable changes. We’re talking baby-stepping. Sheesh. You’d probably suggest I eat vegan next, huh? ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Damien Tougas

    Hey, I didn’t say anything about being vegan (I don’t consider myself to be one)… in fact having 1 fruit and 1 veggie per meal would put you right where you need to be as far as the US food guidelines go ( Of course I wouldn’t believe everything in that pyramid due to all the meat and dairy lobbies behind it’s recommendations, but hey, that’s a topic for a different discussion!

  7. Kathleen

    Because I also have reservations about USDA and FDA guidelines and the various food and pharmaceutical industries powering them, I often look to other cultures as I decide how I feel about a particular recommendation. The Ayurvedic ideal considers meat as the side dish, a serving not larger than a deck of playing cards. Many European and Asian cultures consider fruits, vegetables, and whole grains the main food categories, and meat as an accompaniment or “seasoning” and I tend to agree. See Deepak Chopra’s “Perfect Health” for Ayurvedic insight.

  8. Marc

    Thanks Damien! I hope you “heard” my tongue firmly planted in my cheek!

    As I was thinking about your suggestion afterward, I realized how reasonable it really is. It’s amazing how “out-of-practice” I’ve gotten!

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