It’s hard for me to look at those pictures of me when I was for lack of better words “Fat”. I had grown to accept that I was going to be fat for the rest of my life. I had given up on myself. It’s been a year since I started this blog and I started with me basically coming clean with where I started and what got me going. It’s been 5 years since I started my weight loss journey. When I wrote that first blog entry found here I didn’t know if I would be writing it still or that I would become a 70.3 Ironman. I didn’t even know if I was going to be able to keep the weight off. It’s been a true lifestyle change and that part I do know. So how did I do it? Did I go on some special diet? Did I go on some brand new exercise diet that the experts hailed as the next best this?
How I did it?
Diet and exercise right, isn’t that what everyone says? First thing I did was quit drinking. This was a crutch that I was using to make me feel better about myself. Then I started eating more cleanly. While I quit drinking cold turkey I didn’t quit eating crap cold turkey. It took about 2 months to get completely clean of all the crap. Now I still have my day a month now where I’ll have a whole medium sized bag of Peanut Butter M&M’s. I have also noticed that I really have no desire to drink booze. I can have a beer or glass of whine, and even a cocktail without feeling the “Need” to drink to get drunk. I also started going to the gym and doing more strength training with very little cardio except for that 20 minutes of walking on the treadmill that progressed into jogging. The single most important thing though is the mindset of needing to do whatever it takes. I needed to do whatever it takes to get to where I need to be.
Did I go on some special diet?
Yes, it’s called eating! The one thing I heard and still hear is people saying don’t eat more than this many calories and it was typically under 1800 calories. This is disastrous to your metabolism and only makes weight loss harder. I started eating lots of fruits as snacks and found that I eat all day long. I also can go out and have just 1 glass of wine or a cocktail and not want to keep drinking till I blackout. Eating is fueling your body for whatever function you need it to do. It’s not some glorious experience that’s going to change your life forever so stop treating it like one. Eat to perform and be your best.
Did I go on some new fad exercise program?
No, I did it through strength training and aerobic cardiovascular exercise. I’d wake up and go to the gym in the morning… every morning. The goal was to go before work so that I can’t use the excuse of too tired. Then I noticed I had a lot more confidence through the day and less stress. I also ran in the evenings a few times a week.
The one thing that I can say that makes some people successful at weight loss and keeping it off has been keeping the mindset that I will do whatever it takes for me to reach my goals. So many people think it’s going to be easy and they don’t realize that you’re going to have to make some life choices. We’ve spent years gaining weight and living an unhealthy lifestyle. To think that it’s going to be easy to change that is just naïve and ignorant. Some people chose to to compete in a body building or physique competition to show off their new found fitness. I went the endurance athlete path and I can honestly say that I’ve found out more about me than I even thought I would. Set your goals and achieve them. Don’t expect it to be easy and prepare to suffer at times. It’s that suffering and struggle that builds the pride within yourself.