My Weight Loss Journey: Earning Every Pound
So far 2018 is going down as the year I truly got off the couch and started working towards accomplishing my goals. For years I’ve sat around and wanted to get back into writing, make changes to my diet, exercise more, enjoy life in general a lot more, etc. These are really great goals, but up until the past few months I have only taken small steps towards these goals. This is especially true when it comes to losing weight. I’ve slowly but surely weened myself off of some unhealthy habits. This is a great approach if you aren’t into making harsh lifestyle changes, but if you truly want to make the changes you have to really want to do it. The reality of receiving test results that showed me I was starting to go down the same path many others in my family have traveled down was enough for me stop taking baby steps and actually do what I’ve been wanting to do for years: develop a healthier lifestyle.
Exercising everyday despite the weather
The first month and a half or so of my journey was amazing and surprising. I managed to lose 20 pounds thanks to changing my diet and taking advantage of some unseasonably nice weather. At the moment, I don’t have the funds to go out and spend a lot of money on a personal trainer or a fitness class so I’ve settled for taking advantage of the nice weather and my beautiful new neighborhood and go for a walk. These walks have turned into half run/half speed walking for about 4-5 miles every day. This includes going out on some bitterly cold and windy days. I’ve even been out during a snow shower! I would never have done all of this running and walking during these conditions at any other point in my past. Taking a walk in 40 degree weather with 30 mph winds? No thank you! However, in 2018, there is something about my mindset that is making this happen. Do I have days when I feel a little tired or would rather not go out in that bone chilling weather? Absolutely! Yet I still find a way to search for the motivation within and get out there and go for it.
Up to this point, mindset and motivation have been the key talking points for me when speaking about what is helping me to put in so much effort to improve my diet and fitness. However, it does take a little extra help to get me out there when it is so bitterly cold and windy. My wife, who often comes up with brilliant suggestions, told me to dig out the thermal gear that we had purchased a few years ago before a middle of winter trip to Pittsburgh. I think it is possible that I would have stayed motivated without the thermal gear, but I must say it has been the difference between me keeping up my normal routine and cutting my routine short.
It should also be noted that I’ve learned something about going out to exercise during the winter months. You may start out feeling cold. The wind might be blowing in your face. It might all be really getting to you. Even with thermal shirt and pants on underneath. However, one thing I have learned, regardless of whether it is a sunny or cloudy day is that you always warm up. It may take 20 minutes, but your body will just adapt and you will actually warm up. I don’t know if I would apply this to days that are well below freezing, but it does apply to the type of weather I’ve one out in this season. These are likely the kind of conditions most people think are too cold to go out in, but it actually isn’t too bad. It can be done if you really want to do it.
The Weight Doesn’t Always Come Off Easily
Since I shared my 20 pound weight loss success a few weeks ago, it has been quite a grind as far as losing more weight. Despite the fact that i’ve remained pretty disciplined about my routines, life does get in the way. You have to continue to live your life and have fun. Having friends and family over to the house usually means that you are going to let your guard down and indulge on foods that are outside of your diet. This is something I’ve done on a few occasions over the past couple weeks. The only difference between the past and today is that I am thinking a lot more about what I am actually doing. If I know we are entertaining later in the day with some food that is outside of my diet, I will adjust my diet during the first part of the day so I don’t overdo it and gain too much weight back. I may choose to have a small salad for lunch instead of a toasted peanut butter sandwich. This still compliments the oatmeal I have in the morning and keeps the calories down in preparation for the bigger (potentially carb filled) meal later in the day. You certainly don’t want to starve yourself, but I do keep the big, calorie filled meal in mind so that I don’t gain a lot of weight back. So far I’ve managed to mostly keep my weight the same after days like this. It slows down your progress, but it hasn’t slowed down my will to pick up with the plan I’ve set for myself and keep going. That is something I am very proud of! Unfortunately social eating has caused my weight to bounce around in the 235-238 range without any other progress.
I would be the first to admit that my weight lost plan is fairly non-traditional. Especially considering how many tools are available to help you nowadays. At this point, I am using what I have available to me since it’s not yet possible for me to consider actual programs such as hiring a personal trainer or dietician in order to help with anything I might be missing. That is something I hope to do down the road. Until then, if you are living on a budget like I am, the routine and diet I’ve picked for myself has been very helpful in getting me to where I am. I know I’ve said this in previous blogs, but the one thing that truly makes your changes a success is motivation and mindset. More than ever, I’ve learned that your mind is a very powerful tool. It is capable of taking you a lot further in life than you can imagine. My mind has been the number one tool I’ve used over the past two months. Regardless of the weather, financial circumstances, the time you have, etc, your goals can be accomplished.