At first I wasn’t confident enough to work out. Especially not in a gym. It took me a while to work up to that. I tried Bally, L.A. Fitness and P.F. Gyms as well as the semi-private one in my apartment complex. They were all great [give or take the sweaty ball smell in the sauna], but I was overwhelmed by all the hotties to my left and to my right. I would get distracted and disappointed that my gym clothes were not hot. I would end up back at home chowing down on salsa con queso dip and tortilla chips wondering what to do.
Start with your strengths
I did research [reading weight loss and health magazines and websites] back in Orlando and there seemed to be a lot of articles entreating people to stop drinking soda. Soda can be a source of “empty” calories, but loads of people drink, for example, Coke for its caffeine and still maintain overall health. Caffeine may have a bad rep, but it’s actually on point for regulating blood flow and, you know, alertness. These articles made soda out to be the devil in a blue dress and I thought humph. Good thing I don’t like soda. It’s not that I don’t like it, I mean it doesn’t [usually] offend my palette, but it’s not the beverage I go for on the regular. Actually, I’d have a Pepsi once or twice a year accompanied by either a hamburger [which was a rarity] or a hot dog [ever rarer, like precious metals]. I dodged a bullet there and it made my fitness goals that much more attainable. I have a friend who drank almost two-two-liters of Mountain Dew every day since his teenage years. That’s crazy! [He just quit six days ago! Congrats!] In the same vein I suggest you find something amazing that you already do and celebrate it. Happen to love steamed veggies? There you go! Serve yourself one more scoop of steamed veggies and one less of dessert. Just one less dollop. I call it the great exchange.
Prepare for change
So you’ve mastered the great exchange, next you’ll want to bring those portion sizes down while still maintaining the ratio of one more veggie than dessert. This is when I started really reading food labels. I told myself I would use one of the online food diaries but I quickly found that I don’t have the patience for those. [Nutrition 101 forced me to stick with it to get an average on my intake versus what is recommended for my body. Turns out, even with a multivitamin I’m close to malnourished! Rude awakening for a grade, I say.] That’s okay, what’s most important is not just taking a food label at face value. What’s imperative is visualizing what the packaging calls a serving versus what you put on your plate. At first I mistakenly carried minishame if I had more than the 17 allotted chips in a serving. Knowing that the company’s motives behind their serving sizes is mostly marketing tactics means I should have no shame. If I typically eat 34 chips, then I just have to get used to seeing the information facts thusly. In the beginning I would actually write the new totals over the old ones on the box. That may not be necessary for everybody. What I’m saying is do whatever it takes for you. Find ways to make it easy. I like easy because I’m a lazybutt.
If you typically rush out the door in the morning and end up skipping breakfast and eating out everyday for lunch, switch it up. Get a banana and put it next to the door. Fastest food there is. When you start the day with a banana you’re better prepared to make good lunch decisions. Setting yourself up for success makes weight loss lazybuttable.
Boldly Go Where No Diet Has Gone Before
Instead of adhering to restrictive diets that limit this thing or that thing [then tries to reward you with some cheap facsimile of a treat], try more creative benchmarks like adding one healthy meal into your regular repertoire. Adding, not subtracting. A personal example would be me and yogurt. See, I heard about yogurt’s healthful properties. Rumor had it, the protein was high, the fat was low and the live cultures? Fuggitaboutit! I didn’t know what I was in for. There’s like a million yogurts! And they’re not all created equal. I tried maybe three and settled on yogurt just not working for me. Wasn’t my thing. Until I found Tillamook’s French Vanilla Bean. This yogurt, plus fresh organic raspberries is better than cheesecake. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. A friend of mine doesn’t believe me. Homeboy insists that if I think this way there must be a massive deficit in the amount of credible cheesecake in my life. I say nay, friend. I weighed 215 pounds, dude! I know all about cheesecake. [haha! But for real.]
My Raspberry Vanilla Bean concoction is better than cheesecake because of how it makes you feel.
Cheesecake tastes great, but it [often] is overloaded with sugar without providing the protein, the fiber, et cetera–nutrients that would make it a legitimate meal. It leaves me hyped and tired at the same time. Raspberry Vanilla Bean offers me a tangible fullness but it tastes like cheesecake. The yogurt wins. But I never told myself no cheesecake. I still eat cheesecake! Whenever I want! I just don’t want it as much because I ate better foods earlier in the day.
Then you can add that to your strengths from before and keep repeating the cycle of strength-transition-addition. Totally works. I lost twenty pounds doing this alone. It didn’t pull me out of obesity range, but it did create visible changes–changes that made the people around me ooh and ahh which made me feel like a badass and motivated me to find the next step.
Part Three Up Next! But right now I’m gonna soak up of some of this…