The personal website of Chris Coyier

It’s No Secret

I’m overweight. There is only one good way to lose weight, and it’s no secret. You need to eat better/less and exercise. If you burn more calories than you consume, you’ll lose weight. I know that. Everybody knows that, even the people buy the miracle products on late night TV. That doesn’t mean it’s easy to act upon.

I have a lot working against me. I work from home sitting in a chair. I sure don’t burn a lot of calories that way. Nobody cares what I do for meals. Going and getting fast food for any meals is easy, a nice break from home, and delicious*. Both my Mom and Dad are overweight. I don’t have any hobbies that are big calorie-burners.

So for me, I need to force some exercise into my schedule. That’s not too bad actually. Exercise is also a nice break. I recently bought an Elliptical machine (always my favorite at the Gym) so I can use it often. It’s been a few weeks and I use it tons. I’m thinking of getting some weights as well. Despite being overweight, until this recent move to Tampa I’ve always had and used a Gym membership. Probably on average 3 times per week I’d go run or lift weights or use the Elliptical or whatever. I’m thinking of getting a dog as well, and those walks will be all the more exercise.

Exercise isn’t really my problem. Food is much more my enemy. I love it. But not in a foodie way where the savor the complex flavors. I like great restaurants, to be sure, but I love McDonalds too. I like food like a smoker likes cigarettes (thankfully I don’t do that anymore). I like food like a gambler loves poker or an alcoholic loves whiskey. It’s an addiction. Eating salads for lunch feels like withdrawal in a way. There is a weird physical/mental reaction to it. My brain plays tricks on me telling me why I deserve some crappy food today. My body plays tricks on me telling me I’ll be too tired and distracted to be productive unless I cram some grease in there. Fulfilling those desires has short-term feel-good benefits, and terrible long-term effects.

About four years ago I was also pretty overweight, and I went on a huge health kick and went from nearly 300 to at one point under 220. It was pretty fantastic. One of the things that helped me at the time was a variety of pills from my Doctor. They worked great for me as an appetite suppressant. I’ve since tried to get them again from a few Doctors but nobody would give them to me. But I can’t let some pill be my crutch. I’m nearly 300 again (took years to put it all back on) and I’m launching into another health kick. If I can get to 250 in six months, I’ll consider that a huge success.

Wish me luck.

* That’s right. Fast food disgusts a lot of people. I wish I was like them.