Recently, over the past 6 months, I’ve lost about 30 pounds. I’ve never lost a substantial amount of weight at one time. It’s always been a slow growth over the years due to a sedentary lifestyle. This, as you can imagine was incredibly discouraging. I’m sure some of you can relate. I’ve compiled some of the tips that have been been the most helpful for me over this transition–coming from someone who’s not a fitness nut, someone who loves food and hates working out. Capish?
Get a deadline.
My best friend got married over New Years. I was tired of having deadlines and thinking, Ok maybe by my birthday I’ll lose weight… birthday would come, I’d be even bigger. This cycle has been going for years and it was wearing on me. So I thought, I’m going to be so pissed at myself if I look back on those pictures and see myself at the heaviest I’ve ever been. So that’s what did it for me. Having a deadline helps you with discipline. It helped me forego bad foods when I really wanted it- it forced me to the gym when I kinda didn’t want to go. Get a deadline. Stick with it.
Do something EVERY DAY
My doctor gave me this tip and it’s been awesome. If you don’t get to the gym every day, so what, don’t beat yourself up. We’re all busy. Lay down on the ground and do 50 crunches. Heck, do 25 if you can’t do 50. I started with 50 a day and worked my way up to 200 a day. Sometimes I’d be lying in bed thinking, Crap I forgot to do anything today, and lie there in bed doing crunches before I fell asleep! Or you can take a walk or some arm weights. Just do something every single day.
Put On Your Big Girl/Boy Panties and Force Yourself
It’s called force! Sometimes, we’ve just got to force ourselves to do something we don’t want to do. Force yourself over and over and over. Eventually, our hearts and bodies will follow. I don’t WANT to read, work out, clean, do selfless things for people, be responsible, etc. because we’re born to be rebellious and it’s easier to be lazy. But when you literally force yourself to do something, even if you don’t want to, your mind and body will eventually catch up with your actions… and one day, you might actually like doing it.
Slow and Steady
Have a slow and steady change in general diet. It’s taken at least a year for eating healthy to feel completely normal and not like I’m depriving myself. If you’re going to make a drastic change in your diet, don’t freak out if you cheat once in a while. Feeling like you’re “on a diet” makes you feel deprived and it won’t last.
Slowly but surely make changes and do what you can. I’m no dietitian, ok, so if someone smarter than me tells you to quit unhealthy food cold turkey and deal with it, follow their advice. Otherwise, I think I’m right.
Don’t Linger Around the Grocery Store
When I go in the grocery store I go to the right to the fruits/veggies, then around the back to the meats, then dairy, then I leave! No middle isles with the bad food. Don’t even go there unless you know exactly what you need- like canned black beans or broth or something. Otherwise you’ll see some sweet lovely food you’ll want and you’ll buy it.
Always Keep Snacks With You
Always keep a snack with you. I prefer clementines, apples and bananas. Don’t feel guilty for eating fruit, either, and I don’t think you should listen to people who tell you to feel bad for eating those kinds of “carbs”! Your body knows how to digest fruit- we’ve been eating fruit since literally the beginning of time.
Never let yourself get so hungry that you have the “I need something to eat and I don’t care how bad it is” mentality. That’s when I crash and hit up Taco Hell or a candy bar. You’ve gotta keep yourself eating small meals a day so you’re not eating out of desperation.
Forget Fake Food
Do all you can to eliminate preservatives and fake food. I call it the hunter/gatherer diet. If it can be hunted or gathered then you can eat it. There aren’t macaroni and cheese trees, so try to stay away from stuff like that.
Find Activities You Actually Like
I hate “working out” with a passion. Or at least, I’ve always thought I did, until I found something I liked. I discovered squash, which is sorta like racquetball. I still didn’t force myself to play when I didn’t want to. I went to the gym when I felt like it- maybe once a week- and I wouldn’t make myself feel guilty for it either. Then, I worked my way up a little more. I started checking out the sauna just for fun… then the elliptical machine just for fun… now, I’ll go kill a few hours there a few times a week and I love it.
The only possible way I can get through 45-60 minutes of cardio is by watching a show on Netflix on my iPhone. I recommend finding a TV episode about the length that you’d like to work out- usually about 22 minutes or 45 minutes (30 or 60 minute show on TV).
Have any other tips that worked for you? Let’s hear ‘em!