Case in point...
In November of 2013, I saw a notice for a weight-loss competition at my local rec center. I had crept back up - going up and down for a while, but mostly up - and I was getting desperate for something to give me a kick in the rear end. Back into all of my bad habits, I was only on the way up.
I decided to go for it. The entrance fee was $250. I had to commit to 6 months of working out with a team and a trainer, with monthly weigh-ins. I also had to agree to let my picture and measurements get put anywhere they want to put it.
The initial weigh-in was 302. I actually thought it was going to be higher, but it was plenty high. I STILL think that the body composition measurements - the body fat percentage - was full of crap - it said that I was 22% fat at 302 pounds. A quick calculation meant that I had 235 pounds of lean mass. I suppose that it was possible, but the fact that it never really budged over the 6 months, even after losing a ton of weight, meant that I think that for some reason their machine just couldn't read my correct body fat percentage.
Anyway, the experience was great. I decided from the beginning that I was going to go all in. Anything that the trainer said, I would do. She was great. Everything that she said made complete sense. None of the junk science about "detoxing," no liquid diets, no supplements other than standard vitamins. Lots of exercise to strengthen the core and help with balance, lots of cardio, and a significant change in food.
The first thing was to CUT OUT CARBS. OK - not completely, but all refined carbohydrates. This meant no bread, no potatoes, no white rice, absolutely no sugar. My carbs came from quinoa and fruits/vegetables.
I have to say that I was a little skeptical of this - I don't like low carb diets - but this was just for the first month. After that I was to start adding some things back in.
Well, it was VERY bad for the first few weeks. It is HARD to cut out sugar and as many carbs as I did. But I did it. And you know, after the initial hard part was done, it got easier. Much easier. A lot of my cravings went away. I was able to start saying no to things that I had just eaten in the past.
But after that, it got significantly better. As I ate better, I dropped some weight. Quickly. And as I listened to the trainer and started doing what she asked me to do with my workouts, I got leaner and stronger.
It was to the point that even at scout camp - of all places - I was not eating the desserts, eating tons of salad (though there was plenty of that to go around...lol), eating the best that I could.
At the end of 6 months, I had dropped over 84 pounds, ending up at 217.8. And I felt AMAZING. I ended up winning the competition.
As I may have mentioned before...when I do what I know I should do, this just works.