It’s been nearly 18 months since I made the healthy decision to lose weight. I am down nearly 60 pounds and have been able to stay within five to ten pounds of my goal weight since reaching it back in July 2013. By no means am I a health expert, but as I am often asked “how I did it” I thought I would provide insight into my weight loss attitude.
The first thing is losing weight is about being healthy so you have to find what motivates you to get healthy. For me it was about beating diabetes and not letting it control my life. Fighting it will be a lifetime war. Right now I am winning the battles and plan to win a majority of them while I am alive. For other people I think the motivation will be much different, but make sure it’s something meaningful.
Diet and Exercise
If you are overweight to obese, the reason you are at this point is because your diet is likely terrible and exercise is limited to nonexistent. You can’t lose weight without a good diet and exercise. It’s very simple really, if you don’t burn more calories than you intake you will not lose weight. Starving yourself to lose weight goes against the reason you wanted to lose weight, which is to be healthier. The same is true about exercise. Also, don’t think being at the gym for two hours will take care of the fast food diet you had that day.
During my weight loss trek I would typically eat a sensible 1,500 calories daily and exercise to a burn rate of 2,500. I never felt hungry or weak. I was tired due to working out six times a week, but that would have been true had I been eating the 3,500 a day I had previously. Also make sure the calorie burn is efficient. In any given day I walk 10,000 steps, which is about 2,500 calorie burn. Most of that can be tied up into mowing the lawn and walking to work. Had I done the same on the elliptical I would have been more productive.
I lost about a pound and a half a week over the course of 9 months. If you think weight loss should be like those on the Biggest Loser TV show, please rest assured it is not. In my first month I lost a total of five pounds. During that period I cut my calorie intake from 3,500 a day to 1,500 and was going to the gym 6 times a day for 60 minutes. I was eating a healthy 1,500 calories, but the weight just didn’t come off. Don’t give up and stay motivated, it’s a hard road to hoe.
Cheat with Caution
I know what you are thinking if I eat X it will put five pounds on me. I thought the same for the first month. I went on the South Beach Diet and didn’t touch bad carbs for that time. I found out later on that it’s okay to have a few slices of pizza or a nice juicy cheese burger. Guess what? It’s okay, so long as it’s no more than once a week. Don’t stress it; don’t beat yourself up over it. Cheating with food doesn’t mean you lost, it simply means for that day you didn’t win the battle, but for the next six you worked the elliptical so hard it broke.
When you do start to lose weight, you will get compliments. Tell people thank you for noticing. Even if your personality doesn’t take compliments well, just do it, own it, because if you are losing weight you are example for everyone around you. If you aren’t humble enough to appreciate a compliment you’re not setting a good example for others that were where you were.
I have done a great deal of things I would have never done when I was bigger. I bought my first two suits this past year. I joined a softball league, walked all around San Francisco to the tune of 50,000 steps in three days. I keep up and at times outpace my 11-year old daughter, for who during the first nine years of her life wore me out.
I am not sure the above is the key to weight lost, but it is how I did it. Nothing fancy, no weight watchers, no special pills, no Bob Harper or Jillian Michaels, and certainly no medical procedure. By the way people ask me all the time what procedure did I have. I call it the hard work and dedication procedure.
As I said before it’s about getting healthier and you can’t go wrong with that.