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Greetings from Southeast Michigan

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Hello Everyone,

Just wanted to introduce myself and state some of my goals. I currently live in the Southeast Michigan area between Detroit and Ann Arbor (go Blue!!). I definitely consider myself a nerd, however, I am one of the unprofitable ones (liberal arts degrees!! -- History and Philosophy).

Anyway, I have pretty much always been overweight, except when I was in elementary school. I was a little underweight then. I think there was a two week transition when I was "normal" weight, before becoming overweight. I wasn't too big for most of my life, however, I eventually got a desk job seven years ago. This, combined with a somewhat slower metabolism that comes with no longer being in my 20s, caused me to gain a lot of weight. I am not sure what my high weight was, as I think I lost some weight last year. I decided that I had to get serious and make a change. Last December, leading into the new year, I realized that my 40th birthday was just a year and a half away. I decided then that by my 40th birthday, I will be in the best shape of my life. Beginning on January 1, that gave me a full 17 months to do this. I bought a scale, and weighed in on January 3 of this year. It was not what I expected. I had guessed that I was a lot lighter than I turned out to be. I weighed in at 295. This was definitely a motivating factor.

I knew if I tried to do too much at once, I would be doomed to failure. The first six weeks I spent correcting my diet. I am now eating more fruit and vegetables in a day than I would eat in a week. I am trying to eat 90% of my meals homemade. This is a lot easier for me than others in my situation, as I am a great cook (I spent over 10 years in the restaurant industry). Six weeks in, I started strength training. I got the Bodylastics resistance band system, as it was very affordable and portable. I have been doing this for 4 1/2 weeks, and I am noticing a lot of improvement. I am stronger, and I see some hints of muscle poking through here and there. My next step, which I think will be the hardest part of this stage of my fitness quest, is to quit smoking.

Anyway, I hope to get down to 195 - 200 lbs, with good muscle definition. I want to be strong, not just look like I could be strong (fat guys are always assumed to be strong for some reason -- we're not, we're just fat).

My progress to this point is 22.5 pounds lost, and quite a few inches around the waist. At this rate, I will probably need to buy new pants soon, and I can almost button the top button on my shirts!

My target date is my 40th birthday: June 1, 2011. I believe that this is realistic.

Any advise or suggestions are welcome.

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Thanks for joining us on here man, and I think your goal is absolutely attainable. Congrats on your success up to this point, which is something to be extremely proud of. Considering you've adjusted your diet and made that a priority...if you can stick with it I have no doubt you'll be able to accomplish whatever you want by the time you turn the big 4-0.

I'm not a smoker, but I bet there are a few on here who have quit. I think that will be the next big challenge for you - one that will be incredibly difficult - but absolutely possible.

I'm not sure if you're familiar with Leo Babauta over at ZenHabits.Net, but he actually used THIS technique to quit smoking. Might be of some help to ya!


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