Weight A Minute! Drop Some Pounds (Don Ward)

By: Don Ward
By: Don Ward

Colorado is the least obese state again! I'm trying hard to keep the average down.


Once again Colorado tops the leanest list in the U.S .   19.1 percent of the people in our state are obese.  That's in every five of us...and we're as good as it gets.  Mississippi is the fattest state and has the second highest diabetes rate in the nation.  Clearly too many Americans need to drop too many pounds.

Right around the first of the year I wrote a blog about fitness and what has worked well for me.  I mentioned then that I'd check back in with a progress report in a few months.  Here it is.  I'm down about 10 pounds so far for the year. I hike Pikes Peak every summer with some good friends and we all decided last year that we all needed to drop some weight before this year.  One guy is down 35 pounds since mid-January...one is down about 5 and another has lost 27!  We're all exercising a lot more and eating a lot less.  It's that simple.

Here's a look at the blog I wrote that spells out what has worked for me.  I'm down a total of about 28 pounds since I first stepped up the fitness effort, since about January, 2009.  I called this piece,   "HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT IN 11 EASY STEPS..OK NOT EASY"   Take a look, maybe it will help you hit a weight goal, and help all of us keep our state at the top of the lean list.


First Published December 31st, 2009




*I’m not a doctor.  I don’t even play one on TV.

*I’m not a personal trainer. (I once had in impersonal trainer.  “Go lift what you want,” he’d say, “I’ll be over there on the phone.”)

*I’m not a registered dietitian…not even an unregistered one.

*Your results may vary….heck, MY results may vary.


I’m just a guy who had some success this past year losing weight. I think I’m ending ’09 about 14 pounds lighter than I started it.  I’d like to lose another 10 in ’10.


Because we’re 11 News here are 11 ideas that could help you lose weight.  They helped me.


1)      Join A Gym -  Try to find one close to your home. If the drive is too long, it’s too easy to say, “Oh, I can’t go today, I don’t have time.”


2)      Make Time -   This is not a 3-month project.  This is a life-long habit. Make the workout part of the daily routine several times a week.  If you don’t go, don’t feel guilty, just feel more determined not to miss the next one. Your day should feel like there’s unfinished business if you miss the workout.


3)      Find A Partner -   I have two different buddies I meet at the gym at various points during the week.  This helps during the workout, and it helps even more to ensure that there IS a workout.  If my workout partner is going to be there, I have to go, period.  There’s an important psychological need to not let down someone else.  Clearly though, there are times when you simply can’t make it.


4)      Exercise Relentlessly -  I go 5 or 6 times a week, that may be too much for some. I may have too much time on my hands.  If you work hard for one week, then slack for a week, you lose ground and it’s harder to get back.  Dedicate yourself to go all-out for that 30 to 60 minutes every time.


5)      Cardio Is Key -  Lifting weights is great, it’s good to get stronger.  For me though the one thing that leads to weight loss is cardio.  Get on a treadmill, an elliptical machine, a bike, and go!  Use the calorie counter on the machine. It may not really be a precise measurement of how many calories you’ve burned, but it is a good consistent measure of how hard you’ve worked.  If you burn 550 calories on a treadmill in 45 minutes, try to hit that mark and exceed it the next time, then every time.


6)      Speed Up And Shut Up -  It’s fine to chat with your partner during the warm-up phase of your cardio time. It’s fun, a chance to catch up.  Once you starter the real work…run more, talk less. An occasional comment may be needed, but if you’re able to have a full-on conversation while you’re doing your cardio….you’re not working hard enough!


7)      “Whoa-whoa-whoa-listen to the music.”-   Maybe not the Doobie Brothers, but something. On days when I do cardio by myself I bring the i-pod.  I usually listen to one of three albums:

      Green Day- “American Idiot”


      My Chemical Romance- “The Black Parade.”

     All three are mostly hard-driving rock but with a few quiet moments to re-group.  You’ll reach a point when you know which part of which song coincides with a certain point in the workout.  It’s amazing what music can do to motivate the mind. Pick a few things you really like and make them part of the routine.


8)      Try To Eat Better- but don’t be obsessed. I try to eat at home more often. I try to buy more fruits and vegetables.  I don’t worry about every little thing I eat. Dessert once in a while won’t kill me, as long as I’m doing the time at the gym.


9)      Don’t Eat Fries – OK that’s a  little arbitrary.  I just picked one thing I used to eat a lot, that I know isn’t good for me and I stopped eating it. ( I call this the French Resolution)  This way if I ever have to get fast food I think about something other than fries, maybe apples instead.  At a restaurant if you get a big burger, skip the fries, see if they can get you a salad instead. 


(To any dudes reading this: I know the whole salad thing sounds kind of lame. Remember, we’re not making food choices to impress women. We’re making food choices to lose weight....................to impress women.)


10) Remember That NOT GAINING Can Be As Good As Losing – The first task is to stop gaining.  Eventually you can turn that into losing. If you’re exercising and lifting for the first time in a long time then you might be gaining some muscle weight.  When your clothes start to fit better you are making progress, even if the scale doesn’t say so. Stick with it, don’t forget, it took you your whole life to get to this weight, it might take time to lose some of it.


11)  Start….Now.  A new survey just came out which shows that a lot of overweight people don’t want to exercise in front of others.  I understand that but this is not Jr. High School.   I’ve never heard people at the gym stand around and say, “Oh look at him…he’s giant!”  If anything, people might think, “Wow, that person’s pretty big, but now they’re doing something about it.”  I’ve actually had a conversation at the gym about a woman who used to be pretty big and who we noticed had lost a lot of weight. We talked about how cool that was.  That could be you!


 Also, drink lots of water and skip a meal every once in a while.  Try a pre-made diet shake (slim-fast or grocery store version) and a banana instead of dinner.


Try some of these ideas ..they might help.  I’ll post the blog again in a few months and we’ll see how we’re doing.  Again, I know my list isn’t perfect, it isn’t scientific, it isn't based on any level of expertise, simply on my own experience.  It may not be any good for you, but it works for me.


If you like some of the ideas please give them try it and send along a comment. 


Important addendum #1

If you don’t like the ideas, well clearly I’ve already stated it in about as many different ways as I can think of:

I know it’s not the perfect plan, it’s just my plan.  So if you have any negative comments about that keep them to yourself…I don’t care.

(I learned that from my impersonal trainer)


 Important addendum #2

 I, Don Ward, hereby copyright the term "impersonal trainer" and hereby restrict its use on any blogs, billboards, advertising fliers, facebook posts, birthday cakes, t-shirts or tattoos.




So that was 6 months ago.  My goal is 175 by 45....175 pounds by my 45th birthday. That's about four pounds and three weeks away.  It's treadmill time!


We'll talk again soon.


Don Ward

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