20 years of marriage: 16 years of weight gain, 4 years of weight loss

I hopped on the scale this morning … 225 pounds … even. That got me thinking.

  • I’ve been married ~20 years.
  • For the first 16 years, I gained weight.
    • I started at 190 pounds.
    • I was 275 pounds at my heaviest.
    • That’s plus 85 pounds / 16 years.
    • That’s plus 5.3 pounds / year.
    • That’s plus 0.44 pounds / month.
    • That’s plus 0.1 pounds / week.
    • That’s plus 0.015 pounds / day.
    • Assume the weight gain was all fat (likely).
    • Note that there are ~3600 calories / pound of fat. To figure out how many excess calories I was consuming per day, multiple 0.015 pounds / day times 3600 calories / pound = 53 calories.

Do you see how that worked? I consumed, on average, more calories per day than I should have. I did so for 16 years. Talk about the power of habit!

I don’t think it worked exactly like that. More likely, the weight gain was lumpy. For example, I worked the night shift for plus 2 years. I had an extra large Dunkin Donuts coffee with cream and sugar every day. That’s ~500 calories. It was offset partly by the amount of walking I did on that job, but you get the point – Habits matter.

  •  In the last 4 years, I’ve lost weight.
    • I started at 275 pounds.
    • I was 225 pounds this morning.
    • That’s minus 50 pounds / 4 years.
    • That’s minus 12.5 pounds / year.
    • That’s minus 1.04 pounds / month.
    • That’s minus 0.24 pounds / week.
    • That’s minus 0.034 pounds / day.
    • Assume the weight loss was all fat (likely).
    • There are ~3600 calories / pound of fat. To figure out how many less calories I was consuming per day, multiple 0.034 pounds / day times 3600 calories / pound = 123 calories.

Again, the reality is more complex. I’ve lost weight in a lumpy way – drop weight, maintain and repeat. My weight loss is sustainable. Why? I’ve developed new habits. I don’t decide each day to eat well. I have better habits than before.

I will continue my weight loss journey for as long as it takes. I intend to get (and then maintain) ripped abs. For that, I’ll (likely) need to weigh between 170 and 190 pounds. I won’t really know until I get there.

Now back to my marriage. Our 20th anniversary is this month. I think a nice gift would be to give my wife one good habit. One that I’ll maintain for the next 20 years. I need to think about that. It’ll need to be one that will make her day a little better, make her a little happier, etc. Let me know if you have any ideas.

Thanks again for reading!


  1. Adam says:

    This is an awesome article! What a great perspective we can get from time!

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