S2-E4 – The HOW Part 2 – How Did I Lose 40 Pounds in 16 Weeks?

To me, good health is more than just exercise and diet.
It’s really a point of view and a mental attitude you have about yourself.
-Albert Schweitzer


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This is the continuation of Season 2 Episode 3. We were discussing “How did I lose 40 pounds in 16 weeks?”

This is a great quote as we discuss the second part of our episode on How did I lose 40 pounds in 16 weeks? Good health is more than just diet and exercise. To really have good health we should also be mentally healthy. As Albert Schweitzer says, good health is a point of view. It’s really dependent on the mental attitude you have about yourself. There are many physically healthy people that are mental negativity that keeps them from being in good health. The mind itself can take these mental thoughts and even with you in good physical health, make you sick. There are many people that have nothing physically wrong with them. However, their mental beliefs and attitudes about themselves prevent them from living a healthy life.

While you are striving for your #WorkOnWellness goal, keep you mental attitude sharp, and strong. Exercise that brain muscle with good, positive thoughts. Remember what I’ve said before. “Thoughts become things. Choose the good ones.” That’s one of my favorite thoughts from Tut.com.


How many calories do you burn per day?

I didn’t exercise at all. I got up in the morning. I got dressed. I went to work. I sat in a desk, went to meetings and lead a pretty sedentary lifestyle. The most exercise I had during that time was walking from the rental car to the gate at the airport, carrying a 20 pound computer bag and rolling a carry on.

If I burned 2000 calories in a day, I was lucky.

I had a severe calorie overage.

How do I lose weight?

Losing weight is a simple equation. Eat Less + Exercise More = Weight Loss

It takes 3500 calories to burn ONE POUND OF FAT.

If I want to lose one pound, I have to burn 3500 more calories than I consume.

40 Pounds times 3500 calories is 140,000 Calories

If I want to lose 40 pounds in 16 weeks I have to burn 8750 Calories more than I eat in 16 weeks.

The recommended daily caloric intake for men my age was 1800 calories or 12,600 per week or a total of 201,600 in 16 weeks.

Do you see the recommended weekly amount? 12,600 calories in a week. I was eating close to that in a day.

To lose the weight I wanted to lose in the 16 weeks, I would have to burn 210,350 calories or 13, 147 calories per week. That is 1878 calories PER DAY.

Depending on your daily activity, you can naturally burn some calories. If your extent of movement in a given day is limited, You will HAVE TO CHANGE IT.

Just to give you an idea; an hour on the elliptical at level 1 will burn close to 900 calories according to My Fitness Pal. According to the LifeFitness Elliptical machine, it’s much less, from my experience.  I would estimate 600 calories per hour.  If you use that number, you would need to spend just over 3 hours on the elliptical, 7 days per week.

Do you have 3 hours per day to spend on the elliptical every day?

I didn’t.

I spoke to my doctor and I insist you do so with yours before you start a #WorkOnWellness program. I had to modify my caloric requirements to be able to accomplish my goal.

My doctor put me on a 1200 Calorie per day eating plan. The 1200 calories per day was broken into this:

300 Calories for Breakfast

400 Calories for Lunch

300 Calories for Dinner

200 Calories for Snacks

12oo Calories per day for 16 weeks was 134,400 calories. I would have to burn 143,150 calories during that 16 week period.

To make it simple; with a 1200 calorie per day intake I had to burn 1250 calories per day.  If I was burning about 600 calories per hour on the elliptical I would need to spend 2 hours per day on the elliptical 7 days a week.

This is what I would HAVE to Do in order to lose the weight I wanted to lose in the time frame I set. 40 Pounds in 16 Weeks.

Let’s get real. Can I really do that? What if I don’t have the time to spend 2 hours per day, 7 days a week to burn the calories I need to lose the weight in 16 weeks? Your goal is unrealistic. It isn’t attainable.

But, If you have the ability to set that time on the elliptical or a way to burn the same amount of calories in a shorter time, then your goal is one you should set.

I decided to do what I needed to do to get the goal I set, Lose 40 Pounds in 16 Weeks.

Using the Goal Setting and Goal Maintenance Worksheets

Take your Goal Setting Worksheet out and let us look at what Action Steps we need to take to achieve my What.

  1. I must eat a healthy 12oo calories per day. I need to come as close as possible to this. We need to ensure we eat enough calories to be healthy. This should contain the correct amounts of protein, carbs and other nutrients. Limit the amount of carbohydrates as recommended by your doctor or nutritionist.
  2. I must burn more than 1250 calories per day. If you can burn more, that’s better. How you burn them isn’t important.
  3. I will workout a minimum of 6 days per week. It can be at the gym, or I can burn the calories any other way. I could run outside, I could do cross-fit exercises, I could ride a bike. Whatever you need to do to burn the total calories required is the workout.
  4. I will Stretch each morning. Stretching will burn calories, but it is more important to improve your flexibility before you begin your exercises and during them. It is a good time to do some meditation and visualization exercises during this time.
  5. Eat fruit or vegetables instead of sweets when hungry.

Write down all of the main action steps you need to think about that will be required to achieve your goal.

Now that you have outlined the main action steps, take out your Weekly Goal Measurement Worksheet.

This worksheet will be filled out every day. It includes the ability to track a weeks worth of successful action steps.

In the Date Range Box, we enter the starting and ending date for the week.

Under the Major Steps section, we enter the top 3 Major Action Steps. – For my goal to Lose 40 pounds in 16 Weeks, I had these Major Steps:

  1. Eat 1200 Healthy Calories per Day
  2. Workout 6 Days Per Week
  3. Burn 1250 Calories per day

Enter your top 3 Major Steps.

Under The Action Steps Column we start to break down each of the specific action steps we need to do to accomplish this goal. For my goal to Lose 40 Pounds in 16 Weeks, I entered these action steps:

  • Eat 300 calorie breakfast
  • Eat 400 calorie lunch
  • Eat 300 calorie dinner
  • Eat 200 calories in snacks
  • Eat No Sweets Today
  • Go to the Gym
  • Use the elliptical
  • Stretch
  • Visualize myself at my goal weight.
  • Perform Body Weight Exercises (sit ups, push ups, burpees)

Enter the specific action steps you are committing to do to achieve your goal.

After entering the steps, Set up the Goal for each in the Goal column. If your goal is to go to the gym 5 days per week, you would enter 5 in the Goals column.

For the Use the Elliptical action step, put the amount of hours or calories burned in the Goal Column. I used Hours. My goal was 2 hours.

This is just ideas for Goals for each step. Set your goals for each step.

The Measure column is used to define a measurement for achievement. When I was in school to be a loan officer, we used this worksheet with a Top Gun Theme. We used mileage to track our success. We set each action measurable by an amount of flight miles. We would track our mileage each week to get to a total number of miles as a goal each week. You can use whatever you want to that motivates you more.

I use money. I pay myself an amount for action step. This is because I use money in the Mental Bank Program to reward myself for performing action steps or Value Events as we call them there. These action steps will be taken over to the Mental Bank Program when you are ready to use it.

This is a motivational tool to help us keep our motivation going while we work on this goal.

There is a column for each day of the week. You will enter the measure amount for each day that you are tracking. If I said I would do a step 5 X per week, then I would enter the amount into each day that I performed the action step.

For example, if I had an action step to Go To The Gym and my measure was $500 for each completed action, I would enter $500 in each day column that I went to the gym.

At the end of the week, you will total each row of Action Steps and enter that amount into Totals column.

The Minimum Target column is used to set a minimum target value. If my target goal for going to the gym was 5 days per week and my measure value was $500 per action completed, the Minimum Target would be $2500.  This is the lowest amount I am working to earn each week for this action step.

At the bottom of the Weekly Goal Maintenance Worksheet, is the Actual Totals for Day/Week row. You will be totaling down for each day of the week. Total your values from each day for each Action Step all the way across the week. Do this for each column, including the Totals and the Minimum Total columns.

At the bottom of the sheet you will Sign and Date each weeks sheet. You will total the total measures on each sheet and enter in the Total Measures space. Enter the week number (i.e. If it is week #3, enter 3).

The last thing to enter on the sheet each week is the average Weekly Measure. That will give you an idea if you are meeting the goals you are supposed to be hitting to Get The Goal You Set.

This is how you set up and track your goal using the Goal Setting and the Weekly Goal Measurement Worksheets.

Did I Win The Competition?

I went to the gym right after work. It was a short walk. I spent 2 hours on the elliptical. I built up my endurance and levels as I went on. This allowed me to burn more calories as it got harder. I was burning over 1450 calories on the elliptical each day after work. On Weekends I would do the same plan. 2 hours on the elliptical on the weekends or walk up to ten miles a day.

I did not honestly do 7 days a week. Some weeks I only did 5 or 6 days a week. What that meant was I had to work a little harder on the short weeks. That is why I did extra on those days I did go to the gym.

I was dedicated to complete this. I was way ahead of everyone going into the last week. I did a little trash talk with my closest competitor. She is more competitive than I am. Her last week she went to Hot Yoga classes each night and reduced her calorie intake to 300 calories and ended up winning the competition by a couple tenths of a percent more loss than me and won the competition.

However, I did win. I won second place in the competition but I achieved my goal at the end of the 16th week.

I weighed in at home that morning at 210 pounds. I lost 40 pounds in 16 weeks.  I was successful. I would have loved to have won the competition, but I had no control over what the other competitors did. I had to compete with myself.

I Lost 40 Pounds in 16 weeks.

You can too.

What is your goal you are going to work on?  What are the Action Steps you are going to have to take to Get The Goals You Set?

Once you set The What and The How, you can now start working on The Why.  We will talk about The Why in the next episode. This is where we will get into the Meat of the Motivation for what we do.

Listen to the next Episode as we discuss The Why – Why are you wanting to achieve this goal you set?


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About the author, Tony

I am the founder and host of Goal Getting™ Podcast. GGP was launched February 25, 2015.
I live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am a professional speaker and you can find out more about what I speak about and hire me to speak to your organization by visiting www.TonyWoodall.com

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