Systems engineer Kim Woodward analyzed all sorts of diets before coming to the conclusion that Diet-to-Go served up the best way for him to lower his weight and improve his health.
Several months into his meal delivery program, Kim is down a fantastic 41 pounds and – like any good engineer worth his software – he's even charting his progress online.
Kim, 58, tipped the scales at 284 when he began his journey to wellness. With his weight now hovering around the 243 mark, Kim knows he still has another 28 pounds to go before he reaches his goal of 215. But he also knows he can get there with a little help from Diet-to-Go.
“I have set a goal for myself of 215 pounds,” he says. “That goal is mostly because I have not weighed that much since college and it gives me a nice round number to shoot for. Seventy pounds is not easy, but at the same time it's not impossible.
“For my height (6'1") this will put me in lower overweight BMI category. When I started I was in the Obese Class II BMI category and now I am in the Obese Class I BMI category. So I am making progress.”
We told you that Kim is an engineer. We totally welcome a science-minded approach to our delicious meal plans.
Kim, who says his weight started to be a problem when he hit his mid-30s, turned to Diet-to-Go because he figured it was time that he achieved a balance in life.
Here are some of Kim's answers to our questions:
DTG: What made you decide it was time for a diet … and specifically for Diet-to-Go?
KW: I have been on diets of one kind or another for the last 25 years. I have also gone to the gym on a fairly regular basis for many of those years, getting really serious over the last four years. However, in the summer of 2008 I found myself at 289 pounds. This is the classic BMI greater than 35, waistline greater than 40 inches, which puts you in dangerous territory for health-related risks.
I wanted to lose weight and to get off of my blood pressure medicine pretty bad. My wife and I work for the same company and she introduced me to a temp employee in the finance department. He was doing something that I found really intriguing. He was losing weight and purposefully not exercising at the same time. At the end of January, Craig had lost 70 pounds over 10 months without once having gone to the gym.
That was way better than I had done in all the times that I had been to Weight Watchers and tried the Lean Cuisine dinners. So we had a little heart-to-heart discussion one day and I found out that he was on Diet-to-Go using fresh food, not frozen, of a very high quality and he was predicting his weight loss based on BMR calculations.
Okay, the math angle got me going. Since Craig was on a portion-controlled diet with less calories than what his body required, he was losing weight naturally. That was a eureka moment for me. Something I already knew but hadn’t really grasped for myself.
I also found out that he was on the vegetarian meal plan. I am a meat eater and will always be a meat eater but I had never really tried vegetarian fare before. I had also heard that getting on a vegetarian diet has the effect of cleaning out your system. So after a consultation with my wife, I decided to try the DTG vegetarian 1,600 calorie plan.
DTG: What do you like about Diet-to-Go – and how does it differ from other diets you’ve followed?
KW: I have to say that the Diet-to-Go food is wonderful. A lot of the problem that I have had in past diets was that I was eating foods that were not really to my liking – generally low fat (tasteless) and high salt content (bad for the blood pressure and water weight gain). I had also heard horror stories about freeze-dried and cardboard-tasting products from some other pre-packaged diets that are out there. So I went with DTG and I am very happy with the decision.
I find the food delicious. I have been on diets where you can’t eat certain foods. I have been on diets where you make the food behave. I have been on a diet where your first order of business was to remove half the food on your plate for a while then use smaller plates later on as a psychological crutch. All of those had a short period of time in which I was involved before I grew tired and "fell off the wagon."
I have trouble with portion sizes. DTG gives me the ability to "train" in portion sizes. I will be weaning myself from the plan over the next 4 to 6 months and introducing regular meals, at the right portion size. DTG allows me to do that because of the different ways that you can order the meals. I might even switch to traditional or low carb as I go, I haven't figured this out that far yet. I still have about 6 months to get to the final goal weight.
DTG: What are some of your favorite meals?
KW: Probably my favorite is the “Kelly” (tomato, Swiss, pesto, red pepper and cream cheese on French toast). It is absolutely yummy and the brownie is a nice touch. I like the lentil loaf and I am also a fan of the Mirkin Burger, which I happen to be eating as I type this. Claire's Quinoa Salad took some getting used to when I first started but I find myself looking forward to it now. Last up is Johnny's Veggie Pizza which is two rather large pizzas and broccoli on the side... outstanding flavor.
DTG: Do you get your food delivered or do you use a local pick-up location?
KW: I started DTG last November. I live in Springfield, Virginia near Annandale on the inside of the Capital Beltway that surrounds Washington, DC. One of the reasons that I started with DTG was that I could get my food fresh and without preservatives. I pick it up at a local Sport and Health gym a couple of miles from my house on Tuesdays and Fridays.
DTG: So what kind of differences do you feel?
KW: Well, achieving the 10% weight loss point is always a milestone. You feel much better, and the real benefits to weight loss start kicking in. When I get to my goal weight I will be considered just overweight at a BMI of 28.6, but I will actually be lighter than when I started having weight issues.
The trips to the gym have been more productive because my body is getting used to the lack of calories when I exercise (it also helps that I do a lot of vitamins and mineral supplements). My range of motion is better and I am able to be more intense in the workouts without getting fatigued.
DTG: Got any advice for men and women wanting to lose weight but not knowing how to go about it?
KW: First and foremost, losing weight is a head game. Don’t start unless you have decided that enough is enough and you need to lose weight. All through the “weight loss struggle” you will have to rely on that decision. The decision should not be made because someone is berating you or because people are making fun of you. You need to decide based upon what you want for yourself. In my case, I wanted to be off of blood pressure medicine and its side effects, so that those side effects no longer interfere with my lifestyle.
You always need to review where you are in your effort in light of gains you have made. It’s easy to fall “off the wagon” when you see your weight bounce up and down; it tends to discourage you. But your body changes, you go through plateaus during weight loss, your body rebels, food goes through your system at different rates and affects what you see on the scale. If you look back at where you were when you started, then the upwards of two pound increases (followed soon by weight decreases) that you experience will not seem so bad. If the general trend of your weight is down it’s a good thing right? See what I mean by a head game? In the last three months that I have been losing weight, I have hit six short plateaus (my weight bouncing around an average value) the longest lasting for about 9 days.
Don't make it hard to do, enjoy yourself. You are going to go through a life change. You should enjoy the food. That is why the DTG plan will work for you – the food is very good. Don’t try to do a diet with food that you despise. The changes that you will undergo will actually get your taste back. Food will taste better to you. Instead of craving more and more food for the sake of eating and shoveling it into your mouth as fast as you can, you have the luxury of slowing down to really taste the food.
Finally, eat breakfast, write down what you eat, and exercise.
Diet-to-Go chief editor John McGran has been a writer/editor for about as long as he's been battling his weight. During his 25 year-career, John has written for several newspapers, tabloids and Web sites. You may recognize his name and style from the seven years he spent writing a Worst of the Worst Foods column as Mr. Bad Food. If you have a success story you'd like John to write, please him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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