Cut the B.S.- Weight loss is a process not a product.
I’ve been reading several weight loss blogs recently and I’m disappointed to say the least. I’m not the kind of guy that has to be “right”, but there are so many people going after weight loss the wrong way. You can’t buy your way to weight loss. There is no magic pill or program that will make you fit or healthy in 30 days.
I’ve seen several people complaining about “only” losing a pound this week. IF you’re disappointed in “only” losing a pound, forget about it. You didn’t put all the weight on in a day and it isn’t going to come off in a day. This will be my most straightforward (and probably cruel) post I’ve ever written, but I’ve had enough with the games being played with people’s health. All you need, is to make the decision to change your life and have a burning desire to do whatever it takes to make healthy decisions. It is going to take time, hard work, sacrifice, disappointment, pain, pleasure, and telling yourself the truth about how things are going to be. If you’re not willing to put in the work, don’t expect positive results.
Here is all you need to do to lose weight and become healthier. It’s simple and doesn’t involve buying an expensive program but it takes time, a lot of time, to see the results. Don’t let a temporary defeat derail you.
Eat less- Simple, but not easy. I ate out of a 4oz salsa bowl for 6 months. It didn’t matter what it was, it had to go in the bowl before I could have it. I knew my #1 problem was overeating. I didn’t fight any other habits or problems, I only focused on breaking this one habit. This reduced my snacking, reduced the amount of candy & ice cream and gave me a chance at success.
As I started eating less, I noticed I had more energy and craved better food. We stopped eating out because it was hard for us to control our portions. We (my wife and I) started walking for a couple reasons. One, I left the kitchen and didn’t have to fight my urge to keep eating. Two, we had more energy to walk and the fresh air felt great! Three, we couldn’t run and we were too embarrassed to be seen working out in public. Walking was a great start to get us moving and has led to many other fitness advancements over the past 3 years.
Keep going- You are going to run into days that you eat too much, don’t exercise, don’t drink enough water, step on the scale and weigh more than you have all month. Don’t quit! I was obsessed with the scale and my weight. I weighed myself 3-5 times a day, I was disappointed with my weight all the time. But I always looked at the next number I wanted to hit and didn’t stop until I got there. When I finally “hit” the number, I would look forward to my next goal and keep moving forward. If I would have given up at every sign of disappointment, I would have quit a thousand times…
Eating “right”- To me, eating has become pretty simple. I eat as much natural food as possible, fruits, veggies, non-processed meat and fish. I was able to cut out added sugar and I stay away from processed foods. We also don’t eat out at restaurants. I know this sounds like a boring plan, but it works wonders. I can eat more now than I ever have and I’m fueled for extensive exercise and my body feels better than it ever has. (And it IS NOT more expensive to buy quality food!!! We’ve done the math for years now.)
Move- It all started with walking. It took me a year and a half to try to “run”. I didn’t step in a gym for the same time period. I was embarrassed, worried about what other people would say, didn’t know what to do when I got there… If we wouldn’t have started walking, I would have never had the courage to try anything else. Don’t underestimate the power of a short walk and where it can lead if done with persistence and done consistently over time.
Don’t give up- I can’t stress this enough. Most people give up because of the time it takes to accomplish their goals. Know the time is going to pass anyway and if you keep moving forward (even if it is slow) you will eventually accomplish your goals. Weight loss is a roller coaster, not a straight line. Stick to your plan, and focus on reaching your eating and exercise goals every day. If you miss, shrug it off and start over again tomorrow. You’ll have days when you eat perfect and see no signs of losing weight. You’ll have days when you eat awful and lose 2 pounds. Don’t give up on your plan and stay focused on the big picture.
Let time take its course- Time is/was the hardest part. There were some weeks when I would lose 10 pounds and some when I would gain 10 pounds. I would go for weeks without seeing positive OR negative results. Working toward a weight loss goal doesn’t make a good movie because there isn’t a lot of big moves. There aren’t any secrets except work your plan and let time take its course. It’s more like watching grass grow. Remember though, you may not see your grass grow but it sure needs cut a lot! J
In case you don’t believe me, let me tell you a little about myself. I have always been a big guy. I never thought twice about eating, not exercising, I was unhealthy, grumpy, and swore I would never change the way I lived. My wife and I had both failed miserably at losing weight several times. We were on the “hope” system. We hoped we would lose weight but never really had a good plan to move forward. Then one day I stepped on the scale and I was just short of 400 pounds. This scared me. It made me sick to my stomach. I was disappointed in myself. I wondered how I could let myself get so far out of control. I was on a one way track to a massive heart attack by 35. I decided right then and there I was done. I would never ever step on the scale and feel like I did right then. I walked out of the bathroom and told Nikki something had to change right now. Not tomorrow, not later today, right now.
She must have seen the fire in my eyes because we were on the same page. Every disappointment and failure was due to us working against each other. We no longer had that obstacle. From that moment forward we set some ground rules to do anything it took to help one another accomplish our goals. It’s been three years and we have not let each other down. Together we’ve lost just under 300 pounds. We are healthier than we’ve ever been. We have the energy to spend time with our kids. We have also made our way into the running community. I have run several marathons and Nikki has run several half marathons. It has taken a constant and consistent team effort over the past three years. We have had our fair share of failures and successes, but we always move forward as a team.
I hope you take our advice and apply it right now. Don’t go out and buy another “magic” fitness product because they promise immediate results. You don’t need a fancy gym membership to get started, just take a walk. If you are reading this and are overweight, remember the people who know you care about you and wish they could tell you, you need to make a change. Please listen to them with an open heart and know the reason they are saying something is because they care. They can’t do it for you- believe me, they would if they could. But YOU are the only person that can make the decision and take the actions necessary to live a healthy lifestyle. Please know it is going to be hard and will take time, but it is worth it in the end. Know the people around you want you to succeed. Good luck and I wish you only the best in your journey.
Best Day Yet,