My Final Weight Loss Competition Recap

This past Sunday marks the official end to the weight loss challenge I joined in May and I thought it appropriate to give a recap of the competition and share a few things that I learned along the way.

The winners of the competition have yet to be announced but so far we are holding in 5th place. Even though it doesn’t look like we will be taking home the $10,000 in cash prize, the competition was an overall success. Each member of my team (Baker@ManvsDebt, Brad@EnemyofDebt (and EnemyofFat), Paul@FiscalGeek, and Darren) did an amazing job and lost more weight in the past three months than I would estimate the average American does in an entire year, all without the use of any weight loss drugs or crash diets.

Personally, I am really happy with my progress. I went from a pudgy 227lbs to a much healthier 197lbs (although at the Doctor used for the competition ranking, the scale read 200lbs). I went on a fairly strict diet and exercise program and as a result lost close to 30lbs, and over 15 inches from my body!!

The diet consisted of eating much more protein, less fat and more frequently than I typically have eaten in the past. I eat lots of lean meats and veggies. The only thing I really cut from my diet was processed sugar. I continued to eat breads, fruit and just tried to balance the types of foods I eat. I drank about 64oz of water each day.

As for exercise, the mental aspect of activity was a huge thing for me. I just tried to get as much exercise as I could in my day by doing the little things like parking at the far end of the parking lot, walking out to get the mail, and not hesitating to leave my desk when the chance arose.

I also focused much of my energy on sports as I felt those were more of a total body workout including some strength building compared to just running on a treadmill. I played Basketball, Volleyball and Tennis against my very athletic brother-in-law, which proved to be quite the challenge. There wasn’t a day during this competition that I wasn’t sore in some way or another, and I had no trouble getting to sleep at night.

Here are a couple of action shots for ya! I have always been self conscious of taking pictures ( surprise surprise), but these I am proud of because I know what they are a result of and what doing those activities has helped me gain!

Here are a couple things I learned during this competition.

The little things matter

I tried really hard to focus on the little improvements I could do in my daily routine. I parked farther away from buildings, stopped using elevators completely, and never turned down my daughter when she asked me to play outside. Even though none of these things really made me sweat or sore, I know they contributed hugely to my activity level and total weight loss. All abnormal pain from my body like back aches and leg pain from sitting too long went away, and I felt much younger and healthier just by doing these things.

As for nutrition, I was very strict. I knew that if I broke stride here or there and saw no ill affects on my weight loss, I would be more open to breaking back into my old habits of eating too much and at wrong times. I never eat after 8pm, no matter what. I tried very hard to stay within my caloric guidelines each and every day and I stuck to my meal times religiously. After a couple weeks, my body adjusted to how often and how much I was eating and I could actually feel when I was late on eating, or feel when my body needed more water.

You can’t plan everything

During the challenge, each member of the team had a semi-major problem that realistically should have thrown them each off course, myself included. My problem was that I came down with Shingles. If you haven’t heard of Shingles before, it is the resurfacing of the Chicken Pox gene and it essentially exposes your nerves and hurts like nothing I have ever felt before. For the last month of the competition, I really couldn’t exercise like I was before nor could I go in the sun for more than a few minutes without being in extreme pain.

Despite all of the setbacks we had, each and every member pushed through them and continued doing everything they could to keep the momentum we started moving forward.

Winning isn’t always whats important

After starting this competition, each of us realized that our health was the most important thing regardless of the money or if we won it. Each of us tried to change our lifestyles and create sustainable healthy habits that would carry us forward into the rest of our lives. That’s what this was all about, and I want to congratulate all of them for doing just that. Lifestyle change is incredibly difficult, and each of these guys were able to change their habits for the better.

I learned a thousand more things, but I’ll leave it at that for now. This weight loss challenge really changed my life for the better and I plan on maintaining what I did and learned onward into the rest of my life.

I want to give a huge thanks to my team of awesome guys ( I know without them, I would still be sitting on the couch eating bon bons 🙂 ), the people at HealthyWage.com for creating this competition and Marc@BuiltLean for creating the diet and exercise plan I used in the competition. THANK YOU!

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25 People have left comments on this post



» Brad ChaffeeNo Gravatar said: { Sep 1, 2010 - 09:09:31 }

Dude, you rocked it Jessie, and those are some great photos man! You kept us going and never let us forget that we needed to see it out to the finish. As you know, I screwed up about 4 weeks of the challenge by having a binge eating foul up, and then I struggled to get back on the healthy eating wagon. All in all though, I still lost 15 pounds and it only goes to show the potential within all of us. I'm rocking P90X now and I have to say, as I sit here sore—not from typing—it is kicking my butt. I am in week two of the program and have been sore every single day since we started. Today I do the beast of all the workouts, plyometrics, but this time around I am pumped to see how I have progressed since last week. Yesterdays workout was awesome, as I was able to do more push ups and pull ups than last week.

Great job bro, and thanks for the inspiration man! You kept me going! I hope you would consider taking Team Beefcake back to the next matchup challenge!! Keep rocking it my friend!!
My recent post Perfect Example As To Why You Must Have An Emergency Fund

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Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Thanks man! You rocked too and without you motivating me in the beginning, it never would have happened!

I still think your potential is just waiting to break out, and once you hit stride, you will drop 100lbs like nothing, I'm sure P90x will help you do that.

I'd be happy to lead the team back into the next challenge. It will be difficult but I'm game!!

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Brad ChaffeeNo Gravatar Reply:

Yeah I agree Jesse (sorry about the misspelling earlier!), I just have to get a grip on the eating part and my progress will be golden. I have done it before but that's not to say it wasn't hard then. Anyone that can lose 150 pounds in 9 months from eating right and exercising 5 days a week, CAN DO IT AGAIN! I just have to keep doing what I am doing, make steady but forward progress, and focus on the eating side of things.

Yeah you probably don't have much weight to lose a second time around but it would still be nice having you around. 😀
My recent post This Weeks Roundup- Tip’d Rockstars- Mentions- and My Health

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Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

🙂 no worries

and I completely agree, it's doable especially for someone that's been there before.

Like I said, the weight will come off less quickly, but I'm willing to work at it. I'll let you know once I hear about the next competition 🙂 even if I don't join the team, I would be happy to be involved and help you guys succeed.

» JeffNo Gravatar said: { Sep 1, 2010 - 09:09:46 }

Congrats on the lost weight! Good luck to you in the competition, but true victory will come 1 year from now, and depends on whether or not you still have the habits you worked so hard to create this summer. Good luck!

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Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Thanks Jeff. I agree, we will see how I feel a year from now, but I am very serious about keeping the weight off long term. I'm loving the way I feel now, and although it's been hard work, I have really been enjoying all the time outside and exercise! Even the diet was enjoyable. I got to eat all sorts of variety, and I plan on sticking to it for years to come! I'll be sure to set a reminding and update this next year 🙂

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» Kevin@InvestItWiselyNo Gravatar said: { Sep 1, 2010 - 10:09:12 }

Nice Job, Jesse! Did you recover completely from the Shingles? I have heard that it can get bad… hope everything's fine, and great job on the challenge!
My recent post Consumer Ethics and Animals- Where Do You Draw the Line

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Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Thanks Kevin! I did sort of fully recover from the Shingles meaning they don't hurt anymore, but I still have the bumps and some numb nerves in the general area (my neck). Mine were nothing like the pictures you find on Google though (don't Google them on a full stomach..)

thanks again man! It was a great challenge.

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» SamuraiNo Gravatar said: { Sep 1, 2010 - 07:09:52 }

Congrats team beefcake! That's a great team challenge you guys accomplished!
My recent post How To Get Girls If You Live At Home With Mom &amp Dad

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Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Thanks Sam! It was well worth every minute. I can’t tell you how good I feel lately.

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» Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar said: { Sep 3, 2010 - 12:09:00 }

Ya, I have never committed to reducing fat/sugar before and it really did the trick. HealthyWage.com​ has competitions that run year round. You can join on their site. This specific competition was the first of apparently many team competitions, with bigger cash rewards.

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» Rusty MillerNo Gravatar said: { Sep 3, 2010 - 06:09:00 }

Congrats. Tell me more. How much did you

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» Rusty MillerNo Gravatar said: { Sep 3, 2010 - 06:09:00 }

Never mind I read your article. FYI, reducing fat and cutting sugars is really useful. I think you did awesome. How did you join this

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» Rusty MillerNo Gravatar said: { Sep 3, 2010 - 07:09:00 }

Never mind I read your article. FYI, reducing fat and cutting sugars is really useful. I think you did awesome. How did you join this thing?

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» Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar said: { Sep 3, 2010 - 08:09:00 }

Ya, I have never committed to reducing fat/sugar before and it really did the trick. HealthyWage.com has competitions that run year round. You can join on their site. This specific competition was the first of apparently many team competitions, with bigger cash re

[Reply]

» Rusty MillerNo Gravatar said: { Sep 3, 2010 - 07:09:42 }

Congrats. Tell me more. How much did you lose?

[Reply]

» Rusty MillerNo Gravatar said: { Sep 3, 2010 - 08:09:31 }

Never mind I read your article. FYI, reducing fat and cutting sugars is really useful. I think you did awesome. How did you join this thing?

[Reply]

» Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar said: { Sep 3, 2010 - 09:09:56 }

Ya, I have never committed to reducing fat/sugar before and it really did the trick. HealthyWage.com has competitions that run year round. You can join on their site. This specific competition was the first of apparently many team competitions, with bigger cash rewards.

[Reply]

» EvanNo Gravatar said: { Sep 7, 2010 - 01:09:17 }

That is F'in Fantastic dude. That kind of cash would 1000% motivate me WOW
My recent post Running Your Personal Finances like Congress is Supposed To

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Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Thanks Evan! The cash really got the ball rolling, but it was the continuous change in the way I was feeling that kept me motivated and is helping me keep the change permanent!

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» Rusty MillerNo Gravatar said: { Sep 13, 2010 - 02:09:28 }

Congrats. Tell me more. How much did you lose?

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» Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar said: { Sep 13, 2010 - 02:09:28 }

Ya, I have never committed to reducing fat/sugar before and it really did the trick. HealthyWage.com has competitions that run year round. You can join on their site. This specific competition was the first of apparently many team competitions, with bigger cash rewards.

[Reply]



 
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