Open Source Weight Loss Week 4: Always Be TrainingI’m writing this a day before a week-long trip to cover the HP Discover conference, a multi-day technology conference taking place in Las Vegas, NV which helps industry professionals learn about some of the biggest and best products and trends in the computing world. This event means tons of walking, and that’s not something I’d have been looking forward to if it weren’t for my daily exercise routine.

My steps-per-day have been upped to about 6,000 on average. This is more than double the amount of steps I took on an average day just one month ago, and a giant leap forward in what I believed to be my tolerance for physical activity at this weight.

I used to believe that it was my weight that restricted me from getting out and about as often as I would like. In reality, it was my general conditioning that did this. All my weight does is keep me from doing things like fitting in budget theater seats or skydiving. Well, I still don’t think I’ll be skydiving even after this year-long weight loss project is over with. You get the idea though, right?

Week 4 Report
Start — 291.4
Middle — 290.8
End — 289.9
Total Weight Lost (Full Program) — 5.9 Pounds

Celebrate More Than Just Weight Loss

While I may not be anywhere close to my ultimate goal weight, I am quickly reaching my conditioning goals. This means that even at a higher body weight, I’m able to endure activity for a longer period of time than I could when I was at this weight before. I’m more “in shape” than I have been in a very long time.

The reason I mention this is because, when you’re doing any diet or exercise plan, it’s important to look at the results on more levels than just how you feel about what the scale tells you. Yes, it’s important to set a goal and stick to it, but it’s also important to celebrate the small successes along the way. Going to the mall without that tell-tale back pain that indicated too much activity just weeks before is an amazing accomplishment. It doesn’t “hurt” to go out and walk around for an extended period of time anymore. That’s a big win, and one worth celebrating.

Not everyone reaches this point at the same time, either. It’s been a month of increased activity for me. I’ve lost less than two pounds per week, but the weight I have lost has stayed off in the face of a few guilty meals here and there. I feel as though my body is adapting to this activity better with gradual steps in the right direction better than it would have if I had entered into this project attempting to be Arnold Schwarzenegger on day one.

You Never Know What Opportunity is Coming Your Way

I used to diet for special events like weddings and family gatherings, often coming up far short of my goals and trying to find any excuse to get out of these plans once the date drew closer. This is one of those mental pressures heavy folks have to deal with on a daily basis. You don’t want to go out in public because you don’t feel as though you look the way you need to. Every laugh or look you pick up out of the corner of your eye adds to the embarrassment of being out in public. I know it might be difficult for some folks to understand, but being big comes with a heavy mental burden of feeling like the sore thumb that sticks out in every crowd. That translates to stress, which can often lead to even more comfort eating.

By keeping an “always be training” mentality about your workouts, whether you have plans or not, these events won’t sneak up on you when you least expect them. I feel as though, even though I’m not the weight I’d like to be (yet), I’m ready to take on a week of heavy walking and lugging camera equipment around a crowded conference floor. This is a welcome relief from my usual self-image, physical conditioning, and state of mind.

It’s Never as Bad as You Think It Is

While it might be hard to believe, your weight isn’t as big of an issue as you think it might be in public settings. Yes, it sucks to be the big person in the crowded airplane or “that guy” in the movie theater who has to sit on the edge of the row because being between two people is uncomfortable.

Truth be told, the thing that matters most in the long run is that you did go out and experience that event. Your life, big or small, will be better if it’s full of “remember when” and not “I wish I could have.” I’ve spent the past five years worrying about how my size affected the people around me. I didn’t want my friends and/or family to remember or see me as being as big as I have been. This fear kept me from doing some important things I regret not doing today.

Perhaps that’s the biggest secret to weight loss I’ve discovered so far in this project. Simply saying yes to opportunities instead of questioning whether or not you’re up to them will make doing the things you need to do to improve your health and well-being much easier.

Question of the Week

What event would you most like to attend during your life?

You can answer this and all of our previous OSWL questions of the week (as well as ask your own questions) at


Week 0: Will You Join Me?
Week 1: the Rollercoaster
Week 2: the Burn
Week 3: Slow and Steady
Week 4: Always Be Training
Week 5: Hydration is Key
Week 6: Taking Breaks

Traffic Sign by Kondo Yukihiro