Sunday, May 19, 2013

Fifty Pounds or Bust: The Start of a Lifelong Journey

I've finally decided to buckle down and get serious about dieting and eating healthily. I hate to call it a diet because of the negative connotations of the word, so I'll use lifestyle change instead because, simply, it really is a lifestyle change. This will be a permanent practice of my life, erasing old eating habits, but more importantly, changing my mindset and how I feel about living and treating my body. Giving my body the good treatment it deserves so it can treat me well in my later years to come. I don't want to wait til there is a scare or some sort of bad news from the doctor to actually commit to the work of living right. I want to do it now while I'm not forced to. Many of us have desired at one point or another or
even attempted to diet or lose weight. Some were successful and were able to keep it off. For others, it came back. Some never lasted more than a week or two, but whatever your excuse is (and trust me I've used them too), it's never too late... and hopefully my story will empower and/or motivate you to want to make a change.

Shrink yourself

That's the goal, but you need to definitely sit down and have a talk with yourself and ask the difficult questions. What is the excess weight doing for you? What are you getting out of NOT losing weight? In other words, is not losing weight a way to hide some truth, hurt, or underlying issue that you use to make an excuse to not lose weight? Only you can answer those questions. Once you do and get an understanding, then you get the help to destroy those blocks that keep you from your weight goals.

To lose you must be motivated to lose 

I would say I'm an emotional eater. I'm also an emotional person, so what does that mean for me? I'm emotional and will be emotional all my life. I can't use that crutch, but I must deal with it another way. To cope, instead of using food, maybe I can channel that energy into something productive. Before you begin this journey, or any journey, you must wrap your mind around it first and get an understanding of your behaviors and triggers. In a recent Hangout with Malcolm, he shared that the triggers won't ever go away, but I must replace the behaviors with something else so that I'm not emotionally eating.

Assess Your Readiness

How ready are you? Are you fully in and committed to this endeavor? In general, the more ready you are, with fewest distractions or excess stress in other areas of life, the better you will do. Let's face it, there will come temptation, commercials on TV or outings where you will be faced with eating that salad or eating that double-decker cheeseburger with bacon, avocado, and extra mayo. With a side of french fries, of course. Stressful times, or when you're just feeling lazy or depressed will make it happen. You have to be real with yourself, but at the same time, you have to accept whether you're ready to see this through. Success is not a secret, it's a system and you will reach your goal once you develop a system and stick to it, with minimal distractions.

Outside distractions

Next, you need to ask yourself these questions: "Is my financial situation reasonably stable?" "Are my job and my partner's (if you have one) job likely to stay the same for the foreseeable future?" "Do I have the time to devote to weight control?" "Are my other relationships stable?" These are valid questions that will definitely help or become a distraction or excuse later down the road. I always find it interesting when a person gets involved with their lover, partner, or spouse; they usually gain weight, and during break-ups, that's usually when a person does a 360. I like a quote from a well-known bishop here in Atlanta of one of their Mega churches. He said, "Change comes at the entrance or exit of a particular person or persons in your life." Eliminate the stresses or distractions if you can before you begin to do this. This may or may not work for everyone, some people work well under stress, but again you know yourself. That's not to say if life isn't perfect you shouldn't still embark on a weight loss journey, just understand that we're human, and be honest with yourself where you are, while attempting to make a major change in yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually. 

Finding suport 

I know for me, I can get distracted easily. I can't have too much on my plate emotionally and physically when working on a lifestyle change. It's not just dieting, I'm breaking old habits and chains and all of that takes focus and a good atmosphere. It also help to surround yourself with people who will give you positive, constructive criticism and can also be an accountability partner. Being around people who are not on your path will sometimes lead you astray, IF you're not careful.

Consider your Options 

Required daily amount of water

With so many options out there and different programs and strategies, it's easy to become overwhelmed. Before beginning, I would definitely consult with your doctor FIRST if you have a Primary Care Physician. Not everyone's health condition is the same. Some might be able to do 45 mins to an hour of cardio, while some may not be able to. Be careful which drugs you choose to take, as there are side-effects. The best way is the old-fashioned way. You might want to begin by monitoring first, what you eat, when you eat, and how much you eat. Get a feel for how your body reacts to subtracting foods you typically eat and/or adding newer foods.

There is no one and only method. You have to just take one step and then build from there. Get more knowledgeable about power foods that help promote good health. Start by incorporating those into your diet. Most of all, you must exercise. Even though it's not easy to think about 45 mins at a gym or walking, you can do things from home. Break it up into smaller parts. For example, if you have to do 50 push-ups a day, well some can't do that all at one time, so break it up into something easier like 5 sets of 10 (5 x 10) = 50 push-ups, then you're done; of course, if you can do more, you should do more. Start the process and the habit and you'll build up your tolerance. If you just begin, you'll look up and two weeks will have rolled by and you'll see the difference...and then one'll see clothes fit differently, then in two months, your regimen will become YOU.

Making the choice

So don't think for a moment that because another person did it that you have to. You are in control of your destiny. You are in control of yourself. Have fun with this, because you've already got your mind right and committed to the process. Once you've set in your mind a goal, you're already reaping the rewards. Your hard work is behind you once the choice is made. All it takes is you to start and then rebuild from a simple choice. Get on the net and educate yourself and link up with those who have succeeded and ask questions. Develop something that fits your current lifestyle and schedule, but most of all HAVE FUN!!!

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