Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Heart of the Matter - Lose to Win!

My road back to health and fitness is a personal journey filled with many steps and bites taken each day.  It took many years for my health to be damaged and will take many more for that to be completely undone.  However, I have experienced what many would call an amazing transformation in just six months.  My challenges were certainly not the same degree that some people will face.  But have no doubt, I struggled daily with choosing to eat healthy, exercise and stop making excuses!  It's all in your mindset.  Sure I made some mistakes along the way too.  I hope you can learn from my personal experience and take away from it what you need to succeed in your own personal journey. 

 Every man is free to rise as far as he's able or willing, but the degree to which he thinks determines the degree to which he'll rise.  - Ayn Rand

I am often asked now, “What did you do to lose weight and improve your health?”  There are several factors that can be identified in the success of people who lose weight.  But first, by identifying the things that led to my packing on the weight, I can offer some tips for a weight loss plan that will work when you decide and commit to doing them, as it has done for me. 

I love food!  Before I began my weight loss routine, I would eat more or less whatever I desired.  I could stuff myself to the point where shortly afterward I would hurt.  I would eat and drink whatever I could get my hands on.  I had no idea how many calories I was consuming.   I also had no idea what my body needed calorie wise.  I liked to stay up late, snacking on a huge bowl of mixed nuts, chips and other junk food in one hand and a drink in the other.  There were days where I was so tired upon waking up that I would snooze in bed till the very last minute, with just enough time to spare to get to work on time.  That meant that many breakfasts were skipped.  For lunch and dinner there was rarely a time where I wouldn’t fill up on meat with very little vegetables on the plate.  Fruit was not part of my regular diet.  My diet consisted of very little fish and other lean proteins.  I love bread and would daily down a peanut butter and honey sandwich on white bread.  I ate lots of white flour foods, pasta, a ton of white rice and many other processed and canned foods.  My meals were spontaneous.  I’d come home, look in the fridge to see what was there and grab whatever I could to fill my stomach.  At work, lunch often consisted of KFC, A&W and other fast foods including the fries and pop!  I loved to drink slurpee’s, down energy drinks, knock back a few beers daily and the list of high calorie beverages goes on and on.  Water was not high on my list of things to drink.  I rarely exercised.  Sure I’d go to the swimming pool now and then or go for a walk from time to time.  I cut the lawn when it had to be done and shoveled the sidewalks in the winter.  But generally, my time was spent on the couch watching television, on the computer playing games and more or less being a slouch on my butt.  So imagine that’s your kind of lifestyle and what years of these bad habits will do to your health.  My before pictures are evidence of what happened. 

So now that I’ve identified the actions that damaged my health, let’s take a look at a plan that works to heal yourself through proper nutrition and exercise.  This plan is called Decide, Commit, Succeed!  IT IS HARD WORK!  Do not underestimate how tough it’s going to be and how committed you’ll need to be to get the results you want.  Amazing effort brings amazing results when you make a promise to yourself and follow through with your plan!

Figure out where you are.  How many calories does your body need and how many to burn off.  Besides the kinds of food you eat, you need to burn more than you take in to lose weight.  There are some free food journaling websites that you can use to track what you eat.  Do it!  You won’t know where you need to be until you know where you currently are.  One of the most important meals of the day is breakfast.  Don’t skip it!  Matter of fact, besides three small portion meals each day, I recommend two or three snacks throughout the day between meals.  Your diet must include fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, including fish, white poultry and legumes. Toss the white bread and all other white foods in the trash!  There’s zero nutrition in them and the refined simple carbohydrates play havoc with your blood sugar levels and pack on fat.  Instead, eat whole grains in all their varieties.  Don’t wing it!  Spontaneity is good in the bedroom, but for meals it’s best to plan ahead.  Write down what you’re going to eat and when you’re going to exercise.  What you drink is critical.  Soda pop, alcohol, energy drinks, etc contain empty calories, meaning no nutrition.  So eliminate these and eat the nutritional calories your body needs.  Drink plenty of water.  Nutritional food is 80 percent of the formula for success in your weight loss plan.  The other 20 percent is vigorous exercise 5 to 6 times a week!  Make sure you plan for it and make it a priority.  It’s an investment in your health, so don’t let anything distract from you committing to this daily regimen.  Schedule yourself an appointment on your calender!

You don’t need a gym or club membership.  You don’t need to be a star on a television show.  All you need to succeed is listed in the simple weight loss tips above that worked for me and have worked for thousands upon thousands of people who decided to take control of their health and stop making excuses.  Don't reinvent the wheel.  No fancy gadgets.  No gimmicks.  Just good old fashioned eat healthy and exercise.  Just show up and keep pushing play! It’s your choice! 

I hope that by reading through my blog archive that you'll be truly inspired and feel motivated to get off your butt.  I’d be happy to read what you have to say about my blog posts and answer any questions you may have. Let me know how you're progressing in your own personal journey.  We strengthen each other in the sharing of our stories, and I'd enjoy hearing from you.  So tell me what's worked for you, what hasn't, what you're challenges are, what your successes are and more. 

It's never too late to start changing bad habits, habits that can shave years off your life and impact the quality of your life. So, if you want the straight dope on fueling your body with nutritious food and what to avoid, I'm here to help and it won't cost you a penny for the free advice based on my own experience and what has worked for me. I hope you'll follow my blog and provide me with some feedback on my posts. I'll be catering good choices that include both dietary and lifestyle changes. So if you could use a boost to your engine, buckle up for the ride of your life and let's get started! 

No comments:

Post a Comment