Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

10 Lbs. Down - Day 1

Posted May 20, 2009
Updated May 21, 2009

We begin our Ten Pounds Down Challenge today. Over the next ten weeks we will make a positive push toward better health as we shed ten pounds. You all sound determined and I am confident this is going to be a great ride.

Okay. Wednesday is weigh day. I tipped the scales at 184 pounds this morning before my shower and breakfast. That means I will weigh 174 lbs. by July 29. 174 lbs. is an ideal weight for someone my size. The last time I was in the mid 170’s I felt and looked better and my blood chemistry was excellent. Thanks for joining me in this new push. Losing weight can be difficult. It sure helps to have a team and a specific goal.

Registered dietitian and trainer Tara Wind of Life Time Fitness in Cary will help cheer us on and guide us toward better health and diet. I asked her to comment on the bullet points of our Ten Pounds Down plan.

Exercise portion control:

For someone active trying to lose weight monitor and measure out portions of starch (breads, rice, pasta, potatoes, peas, corn) and proteins (meats). For starches at breakfast, lunch and dinner try to limit yourself to 1 - 1.5 cups cooked. For proteins at lunch and dinner try to limit yourself to 4-6 ounces of a lean cut.

Cut down on fried foods:

Great idea - easy easy way to cut a bunch of those calories and fat! Try sauteing in 1 tbsp olive oil and finish baking it off in the oven.

Keep food diary:

Just by keeping a food journal people automatically change their eating habits for the better. Accountability is a huge factor in weight loss - whether it is you holding yourself accountable or someone else (like me) holding you accountable. Journals also help to highlight patterns of erratic eating, missing meals or eating the wrong combination of foods all which can lead to sticking your hands in the candy bowl later on.

Regular exercise including aerobic and weight lifting:

Weight loss is so much more effective and lasting if done with a combination of nutrition and exercise. Aim for 5 days per week of exercise but be active in your daily life as well - those little calories from walking up stairs and parking far away can really add up! Also weight lifting doesn't have to include weights - strength training may be a better word :)

Cut down on sugar laden foods:

Don't drink soda! If you are drinking fruit juice limit yourself to 6 ounces daily.

Add more fruits and vegetables:

Don't have a diet that is all tan. Have color every meal and snack. Start with having fruit at breakfast, mid am and mid pm snacks. Have 2-3 cups of vegetables at lunch and dinner.

Limiting red meat:

6 ounces a week - lean cuts ending in loin, or 90% lean ground beef. Red meat contains good things too - zinc, B vitamins, iron, protein.

Avoid processed food:

Anything that comes in a box or the frozen aisle is going to have more salt, fat, calories that it's made at home counterpart. Cooking does not have to be fancy or hard! I love Cooking Light - it inspired me to make cooking my hobby (which my husband to be is of course happy about haha)

More salads:

Have one per day - about 3 cups worth of greens with a drizzle of olive oil and vinegar. Experiment with salads - my current favorite green is "Herb Mixed Salad" - spinach, baby lettuces, arugula, cilantro, dill and parsley.

Weigh just before shower:

Same time every day and same day or days every week.

Drink a glass of water before eating:

Have 2-3 liters of water per day for an active person.

Tomorrow, Tara Wind will offer healthy lunch ideas, offer advice to diabetics, tell us what we should eat after working out and educate us on the value of strength training.  Let me know what you think so far.


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  • birdlady May 20, 2009

    I'm ready, let's do it.

  • tlarabee May 20, 2009

    Hey Bill,

    Count me in, I've been trying to stop smoking, and since then gained about 12 lbs, so I'm up to about 182, so I could handle losing what I put on. I just have to figure out a way to make myself go to the work out room where I live (LOL) that is what is hard for me, motivation.

  • NC USMC MoM May 20, 2009

    Count me in.....I need the extra help as well. I walk 7 days a week 1/2 hour in the am and 1/2 at night (walk my dogs) but I feel I need more. I just can't get motivated though. Weigh in is 128

  • thefensk May 20, 2009

    Of course there are uncertain pitfalls to dieting. When we started a few months ago, I decided to buy a fancy new scale that could track our weight loss. My darling bride decided she didn't want a scale that could track our weight loss because, well, she didn't want me to know her weight. I guess I can buy that. So I took that one back and got a more traditional scale.

  • Seeminglyopposed May 20, 2009

    I have a really really bad back, and working 2 jobs trying to graduate my last son from high school I have lost 30 lbs already over the last past months, now weighing in at 212 and need to get back at my normal weight of 156, so I will take the challenge as well.

  • Roach May 20, 2009

    Okay. It is a great day to start. I had my yearly physical this morning and weighed in at 175. The Dr. asked me what my goal weigh is and I told her 160. One pound a week is healthy and very doable. I started on this lifestyle change journey in March 07' and reached my first goal in January 08'. As of today I have lost total 47 pounds. It's doable. It just takes time, patience, discipline, and perseverance but it is well worth it.I look forward to reading all of the success stories.

  • luvtoshag May 20, 2009

    We did this at work. Our incentive is that we all pay $5.00 at the beginning of the month, weigh every Monday at work, and have meetings on Mondays to go over goals, struggles, what works for who, a recipe and just moral support. Hope you do well Bill and all the others participating, remember stay focused. Good Luck!

  • bleslie May 20, 2009

    firewife and momof5 - welcome! If you have specific questions for Tara, our dietitian/trainer please let me know and I will get answers.


  • momof5 May 20, 2009

    hesitantly, I'm in. My weight this morning was 199. yuck!!!!! My knee injury is not going to help me in the exercise area, but I will try my best!

  • firewife May 20, 2009

    ok -- i'm in. Let's lose 10 pounds!




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Bill Leslie