Yo-Yo Weight Loss

Mitch Dorr

On June 16, 2009, roughly one year ago today, I wrote a column entitled, Critical Mass. In the article I stated that my goal was to weigh 210 by June 16 of 2010. As I look back and read that article, I realize that

failed miserably in accomplishing that goal. In some respects, I thought that by writing an article in a newspaper, that it would force me to accomplish my goal. That really isn’t the best motivating factor.

Here is a short re-cap of the three main points I made in June of 2009 in order for me to get back into great shape: First, I need to divorce myself from Coca-Cola. That is my number one addiction.

Second, I have to know my weaknesses. I am a carbohydrate addict and there are just some things I won’t be able to eat. People always preach

moderation,” but what they don’t understand is that certain people have a propensity to eat carbs much like a smoker likes his nicotine.

Third, if I want to lose weight it means setting aside the time for some hard work. No secret diet, no fad exercise machines, just working out on a regular basis despite life’s busyness of work, kids, road trips, and ball games.

I can honestly say that I failed to be consistent in all three of those points in the past year. Like many others who struggle with their weight, I rode a roller coaster of success and failure.

On June 16, 2009 I weighed in at 262. After a solid month of working out and eating right, I lost 13 pounds as I weighed in at 249 on July 12. I then began to weigh in weekly as my first month had me motivated to “stick with it.” On July 18, I was down to 245 and then on July 30 I was down to 241,

I was down to 237 on August 7. I had lost 25 pounds in about two months. I was feeling better and thinking about new and exciting fitness challenges.

Football practice started one week later and my nice tidy daily schedule would soon become obliterated. Nights of watching film, brainstorming sessions with coaches, etc. took over and before I knew it, convenience foods and my ultimate stress reliever, Coca- Cola, was back in my normal diet.

By November 15, I weighed 251 pounds and basketball season was now beginning. I decided to enter an online fitness challenge and my goal was to not eat fast food on our road trips.

By December, I was back down to 232 as I was lifting weights four days a week and eating well. I felt like I was close to the brink and looked forward to getting into the 220s. It never happened.

I took my last two graduate classes to finish my master’s degree this spring. After school, I would finish up things in my classroom, spend a bit of time with the kids, and then work on my course work at night. My workouts ceased as my final paper deadline loomed closer and closer.

Needless to say, I weighed in this week at 249. I lost 13 pounds this year. Or did I? I actually lost 44 pounds and gained 31 pounds in the same year. Just think if I wasn’t a yo-yo! I would weigh 218 pounds and my self-confidence would be through the roof. Instead, it's 8:43 a.m. and I am writing my column as I drink my second Coke of the morning. Like anything else I do, I try to learn from experience and failure.

What have I learned? I think I took two things away from this past year of struggling to get back into shape.

Like many others, I gain weight during stressful times in my life. While I love coaching, it makes the days a lot longer and it brings a lot of stress with it. It also brings more social opportunities with it like coaches' meetings at Sven & Ole’s, potlucks, and numerous get-togethers with the coaches.

I need to recognize those times for what they are and have the self-discipline to practice moderation in those instances. I also need to plan out my meals so I am not grabbing the first thing I see when I get home at 9:00 p.m.

Second, I also need to work out regardless of my schedule. If I really want to get into shape, I will fit my workouts into my schedule. If it really isn’t that important, then I won’t. Because of this, I have learned that I need to try to sleep at least six to seven hours a night during football and basketball season. If I don’t, I will just sleep through my morning workout.

While I am not going to make a public goal in this article to try to motivate my weight loss, I will say there are only four Cokes left in my fridge. Hopefully next year I can write an article about how conquering emotional eating and sleeping better helped me lose 44 pounds without any of the weight gain.

After all, actions reveal what we truly value in life.

Mitch Dorr, a Cook County High School Class of 1993 graduate, is now a social studies teacher and coach at his former alma mater. Mitch coaches Vikings football and boys’ basketball.

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