Phil Reese

Why I want to be smaller

Filed By Phil Reese | July 01, 2010 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: body issues, Illinois, losing weight, nutrition, ShapeUP, weight loss

We are sometimes a community of size queens, but believe it or not, I want to be smaller. No, I know what you're thinking, and I'm not talking about that, 4OTBF00Z.jpgI'm talking about my gut.

Before I was blogging at Bilerico, I was working hard at trying to keep my weight down. I had lost 70 pounds using the fad diet of eating healthy and exercising. I know. Crazy. I was blogging on a website for weight-loss, and leading a group of gays and lesbians on that site trying to lose weight.

Then I learned I was losing my job. Well, learned that I was going to have to resign. I came out swinging, got into grad school, and I decided that I'd had enough pseudo-anonymous commenting on LGBT politics on my blog--I wanted to jump into the national conversation. Before I had even finished teaching, I began blogging at Bilerico and podcasting at Lundon calling. At the same time, I jumped in head first to the LGBT community here in Champaign, helping to launch both a Pride Festival committee and an LGBT community center initiative.

I had a lot on my plate--both literally and figuratively--and the gym went to the wayside.

That 70 pounds I had lost was soon 20 pounds less. I was heading back to my original weight.

That stops today.

Today the Uniting Pride Center of Champaign County--of which I am a founder and a board member of--is launching "ShapeUP" a fitness and wellness program for the local LGBT community, and as part of ShapeUP, I'm pledging to lose 35 pounds and get myself down to my goal weight once and for all. This time I'll have friends. I won't be stuck behind a computer screen to get the queer-encouragement I'll need. I'll have my local LGBT community.

I'll also have you. Right now, and for the rest of July, drop by my Facebook page (hopefully we're friends already) and leave some encouraging messages on my wall. It will really mean a lot to me. Tips, advice--whatever you got.

I'm not doing this just to look better. I want to be healthier. I have chronic back-pain problems, fatigue, joint pain, and other issues, and I'm only 27. You see, I've been big my whole life, and its time I got my weight where it needs to be to live a healthy life. I don't want to be a 27" waist--that's not healthy. I want to look and feel fit, however.

So, drop by, say hi, and help me get to my goal of 145!

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FWIW, Phil:

I've been a gym bunny off and on for decades... mostly off, TTTT. But as I advance closer and closer to a certain age, I also know that I do NOT want to look like the picture of my father when he was hitting this number. So the workouts have gotten a little more intense every time I go -- I add a few pounds to this weightset or I up the reps on that one... and the cumulative effect has been pretty astonishing. My bench press is currently wandering around 285 to 310. My weight has dropped from 210 down to 185, with another ten to go before I'm satisfied. My waist has shrunk from a not-real-good 38 to a much better 33.

It's worth it, bud. True, I'll never look 30 again, but that's not the issue. I've made the conscious decision to challenge myself, no one else. And I can be damn ruthless on myself.

Biggest diet tip I can give you is this: limit yourself, even on workout days, to 2000 calories. No more. If you cheat and have a double mocha latte with shaved almonds, which totes in at about 500 calories, accept that that's part of the day's intake and learn from the error. For a long time, I kept a bunch of 3x5 cards in my gym bag, and I would write out what I ate and how much calories it seemed to be. If I screwed up because I had a big lunch that meant no dinner, I went to bed hungry: trust me, you dont make that kind of mistake often once you see it in writing in front of you.

Second biggest tip: it's not the sugar you intake. It's the fat content. Learn to read those labels, and you'll be shocked and surprised how much fat you take in every day. That's what packs it on.

Good luck!

You get to choose this. Go, buddy!

Good for you. Get a copy of "The New Rules of Lifting." (NROL) The book makes weight lifting more natural - like we were intended to do - and, coupled with some daily walking, will enable you to reach your goal.

I'm glad you've chosen to be "healthy." Notice how much better you feel each day and it will keep you motivated.

Good luck, Phil! Let me know how I can help. Want to come walk Lucky and Reese with me in the evenings? :)

Bil, I'm going to be carless soon! I might have to walk all the way to Indy!

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | July 3, 2010 11:17 PM

Way to go Phil!

I just hired a trainer to help me get in shape. I'm not trying to lose weight. I'm working on building muscle. It's expensive, but worth it.

We should text each other supportive messages during the day.

My trainer works for an outfit called Semper Fit training marines and his mantra over and over is that it's about fitness. I tend to want to argue that for me it's about looking intensely good but that usually gets a nasty response and causes me extra pain...:-)

FIT looks "intensely good."

I gained about 15 pounds during the Prop 8 campaign and subsequent depression. I've lost about 2/3 of it, and it is NOT easy at my age and slow metabolism to lose. So good for you to do it while you are young.

My sister is five feet tall, and was dozens (maybe scores) of pounds heavier than I. She finally lost it and besides lots of hard work (she practically spends hours at the gym), I realized what is UNDERNEATH her success when I worked out with her. I arrived at the gym almost an hour after her, and when I got there, she was on the treadmill surrounded by about 4 friends. Mind you, they were not ON treadmills, they were around her, talking and laughing and having a good time. They all support each other, all have become great friends, and I really believe that THAT is what drives her to succeed. They are walking the journey with each other and it was really inspiring to watch.

Best of everything to you Phil!

Thanks, John, and for the record, I don't think you need to lose a pound, you look awesome! Not to mention arm musk-uls the size of my HEAD! :-)

Can we have a one-month Update, please?