“There is no reason why I should be able to hide two people behind me”. This was my first thought when I saw the picture of my wife, our two friends, and myself three years ago. I never really noticed how large my 295 pound body was until that picture caught my eye. I mean sure, I was on the receiving end of a few jokes in high school, but I was relatively popular and didn’t take much to heart. That was before I found out that people liked me because I was the “funny chubby guy”. Why it took me so long to realize my weight is beyond me, but I am glad that one picture opened my eyes. It probably saved my life.
From that day forward I vowed to lose weight. For my health, for my wife (who never complains but I know she deserved better), for my future children, and to get off the nasty path I was headed down. I’ve discovered that there is an entirely different world out there, not because it has changed but because I have! My confidence has gone up, stress level down, and I’m a much happier person. The best part about losing weight is that I can share my experience with other people and try to encourage others to live a healthy lifestyle. I’ll give advice, tips, and personal experience that worked for me and helped me lose 100 pounds.
First and foremost, I want to say that I didn’t try any Internet gimmicks or get tricked by television advertisements. There is no majic pill or 30 day diet. What worked for me, and will also work for you, is old fashioned hard work and healthy eating. It’s not easy, and takes dedication, but it is achievable. It is not a matter of dieting for a certain amount of time, it’s about living a new life. Getting and being healthy is a lifestyle change, one that can save your life and bring about a new confidence in you that was never there before. Stay motivated and retain that focus. Remain driven torwards your goals, and don’t give up on yourself. You can do this! For yourself, your loved ones, and to show others what you’re capable of.
I have been told that diet is 80% of losing weight, and I truly believe this. What you put into your body makes the difference between shedding pounds, keeping fat, or worse, gaining. First, I say stay away from what you know is bad. It sounds obvious, but this is where most tend to stray from their plan. The cakes, cookies, pastries, chips, fast food, and greasy messes should be avoided. Only you know your internal strength and willpower to say when enough is enough, so if it’s not very strong stay away from these entirely. If you can stop at a small amount, it won’t hurt to indulge every now and then. Remember, it’s easy to get out of control. Try to keep your plate filled with veggies, fruits, and lean meats. I preferred chicken and fish, because there is tons of recipes available that makes it hard to get tired of these dishes. Lean cuts of beef are fine too in moderation, just be sure to do your research on meat and protein levels. Just as there are obvious foods to avoid, the same can be said for foods not to avoid. Veggies and fruits bright in color tend to have the most nutritional value. Boiled or steamed is the preferred cooking method for weight loss. When cooking meats, grilled or baked reign supreme. There are countless spices and marinates that can be used so these methods never get old, and the taste stays new. Control your portion sizes, stay away from obvious unhealthy choices, and keep your plate filled with veggies, healthy sides, and lean cuts of meat. Search for new recipes to keep it exciting, and eventually the weight will start to fall off. Before you know it, diet alone will make you lose more pounds than you think! Keep up the good work, and stay focused.
Next up is the part most people dread. The constant sweating, moving, and sometimes even pain. The early mornings or longer nights. The exercise. It doesn’t have to be dreadful, boring, or despised! In my opinion, the best exercise for weight loss is the exercise you will actually do. Whatever gets your heart pumping and body moving. Whatever you will enjoy! This can be anything from walking with the stroller, to running with the dog. Even working in the yard can be considered exercise. Just make sure you are doing something for at least thirty minutes a day, at least five days a week. Once your body gets used to lighter exercise and movements, you can gradually step up to a more difficult, heavier workout plan. Eventually you will find your body screaming for more activity, and doing more will come naturally. Listen to your body, and try to learn the difference between real pain, and “I’ve never done this before” pain. If it hurts bad enough, seek help from a medical professional.
This may not seem like much, but it honestly is the best formula for weight loss. Hard work, healthy eating, and old school determination are key to achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you can stick it out for just one month, you will notice that it all comes natural. It will no longer be a struggle to say no to those cookies, and getting up to exercise will be a favorite past-time. Have your friends and family encourage you, and also have them tell you when your veering off path. Be accountable to someone. This will help in staying on course because you don’t want to let that person down. Don’t focus so much on numbers, focus on the way your body is changing for the better and how much happier and confident you are.
Stay with it! The payoff will be great in the long run, and even in the short. You are fully capable of doing the exact same thing as me. Remember to stay focused, motivated and driven. Nothing will be able to stop the new you!