I didn’t want to feel like I was dieting

It’s easy to lose weight if you’re willing to change your eating or your lifestyle. If you hit the gym five days a week you’ll put on muscle and shed some pounds. If you stop eating fast food and switch to steamed skinless chicken thighs you’ll go down a pant size or two.

When I started my weight loss journey, and I mean when I actually started and not my many weak attempts, I wanted a system that I could keep up for the rest of my life. I hate going to the gym because I feel like people are watching and judging me and it smells like a sweaty hospital. Also, I don’t want to spend my free time going to and from a gym. For the most part “healthy” food is tolerable, but I don’t want to be trapped in a kale prison.

#1: What can you get rid of and not hate life 

For me this was soda. I wasn’t a huge soda drinker but every time I’d fill up my car I’d get a 20 oz. This was an easy thing for me to drop because it wasn’t in my addiction zone. Cheese? I’m still addicted.

If you’re at the point where you want to make a change in your diet or lifestyle, think about what unhealthy item you can easily get rid of. You know what’s unhealthy. If you start off easy you’ll work your way up to the big things. Don’t take a nose dive into a lake of leek cleanses before you’re ready.

#2: Add one new work out at a time

When people see me who knew me when I was overweight, they always tend to ask, in a veiled proclamation, “You must work out a lot.” Actually, I don’t. I like to work out, but I’ve strived to make my fitness sustainable. I don’t want to add the gym to my life, because I know I’ll be dedicated for like a month and then stop going altogether after about six months. Sound familiar?

Just like your diet, start small. Don’t beat yourself up with crunches and push ups. You can do that later. Walk. Bike. Move around your house more. Clean more often.  Do things that you like doing, and that you’ll naturally keep in your routine. Any time I have a break teaching I walk around the building a few times and I visit people on multiple floors. It only takes a few minutes and I feel revitalized afterwards.

Once you’re moving more add in some workouts and maybe a fitness tool. I started with an indoor recumbent bike. I liked it at the time because it was weight limited for 300+ pounds, and it was easy on my back. I still use it regularly when the weather won’t let me get outside. Over the last two years I’ve slowly worked up to a road bike, heavy bag, weight bench, exercise ball, and resistance bands.

The temptation to BUY IT ALL when you want to try getting healthy will be strong. Hence the all caps. Start small and start cheap. As you learn more about fitness and your body you’re preferences for working out will change. The $$ exercise bike will soon become a clothing rack if biking isn’t something you enjoy doing.

#3: Make your work out space a place you like…Not your bedroom

What do you do in your bedroom? Sleep. That’s the main role of your bedroom. If you get a bunch of workout equipment find a room in your house other than your bedroom. This is all psychological. You don’t want to make your work out drowsy, and you don’t want to mess with your sleep cycle.

I love to watch TV. I’ve motivated myself to work out by putting a TV right in front of my exercise bike. Instead of plopping down on the couch I put on my shorts and plug into my TV while pedaling away.

#4: Don’t buy into gimmicks and the “get results fast plans” 

You want to lose weight but you want to lose it fast. Trust me. I get it. Losing weight is about developing a new mindset towards food and fitness. It’s a learning process that takes time. Those gimmicks exist because companies know you will do anything to fit into that smaller dress or slimmer pants. You’ll lose weight but you haven’t learned how to live healthy. Chances are you’ll gain the weight back and maybe even put on extra pounds. Be patient. Learn about your body and it’s needs. Read up on nutrition and fitness. Find a fitness method you love and that you’ll continue to use even when you’ve dropped the weight. For me it’s been biking.

Let me know what you think about these tips or send me a question at gettinghealthyongoodfood@gmail.com.

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