Someone approached me in the gym the other day and said, “Hey! I read your bio and saw that you lost over 50 pounds a while back. Good for you! That’s awesome! How did you do it?”
I thanked her and everything, then I told her what I did to shed those lbs. And honestly, there’s a short version and a very detailed version. I’ll give y’all the short version with all of my weight loss secrets.
- I got a second job to pay for all the workout equipment, supplements, and health food I knew that I would need. We all know it’s WAY more expensive to eat healthy than to eat junk food. And since I didn’t foresee getting a 50% increase in my salary at work, I did the next logical thing and got a second full-time job. This way I could finally eat organic foods, fresh produce, and ditch that ever-filling dollar menu at fast food joints. You might be thinking, “With two jobs, where did you find the time to exercise?” That brings us to number 2…
- I found a 25th hour in the day. It’s WAY too hard to find time to exercise in a normal day. At the time I had two kids, my wife and I both worked, our kids were involved in activities – you could say our schedules were filled. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to find time in a 24 hour day. So I prayed to God for an extra hour each day. Lo and behold, one day I woke up and looked at my clock and there it was: a “13” right where the 12 was supposed to be. Hallelujah! Now that I had that extra hour I was able to use almost all of it for exercise. But with a 13 on the clock, doesn’t that make the day 26 hours long? No. I can’t explain why, it just doesn’t.
- I did the spaceman diet. The caveman diet is so 2011. We all know the caveman (or “Paleo”) diet, right? Cavemen ate nothing but plants and animals (supposedly), but absolutely no beans, grains, or white potatoes, and evolution isn’t a thing, so we should eat that way too. I took the opposite approach. I ate how human beings will be eating a million years into the future. And what foods are those? I think you know.
But actually, it went a little something like this:
- I exercised almost daily. I had to make exercise a habit. I started with 1 hour per day, six days per week. After that I burnt out. When I started again, I tried 10 minutes per day, six days per week – minimum! If I had more time certain days, I would do 30 or 45 or 60 minutes, but I never skipped working out at least 10 minutes per day. Once exercise became a habit, it was no big deal. Suddenly I was able to exercise 30 to 60 minutes (sometimes longer) each day, and the day was still 24 hours long.
- I made better choices with my food. It’s amazing how much money you save when you stop buying soda, beer, ice cream, potato chips, candy bars, energy drinks, and other things you don’t need. Eating healthy appears to be expensive to a lot of people, and I get it. There’s a little bit of a sticker shock thing that can happen: Why is this organic food so much more expensive than the regular stuff? But honestly, with a little planning, a little buying things when they are on sale, and a few less times through the drive-through, I’ve been able to eat healthy for about the same investment I was making in unhealthy choices. No second job required.
- Admittedly, I’ve tried all kinds of diets: Paleo, vegan, intermittent fasting, counting calories, and more. Anymore I just watch what I eat. If I have a goal in mind, I try to eat really clean – no processed food, no sugary snacks and treats, no fast food, etc. For maintenance I apply the 80/20 rule, or what I call my A- approach. I will say that when I lost the most weight, it was from calculating my calorie needs and then following a plan where I ate 5 or 6 meals of a similar calorie content throughout the day. I continually read up on nutrition to see what’s out there, what works, and see what I need to change in my diet, if anything. I’ve also played with supplements and tried this, that, and the other thing. Today I do protein shakes (mine has enough vitamins in it to substitute a multi-vitamin), glucosamine, and sometimes creatine monohydrate.
Bottom line: It doesn’t take a second mortgage and a time machine to lose weight and follow a fitness and diet plan. When I earned a six-figure income while working construction, and my wife was a stay-at-home mom, and I had just one kid – I was fat and out of shape. Now, I don’t quite make six figures, my wife works, I have 3 kids, and somehow I’m fit and in-shape. Go figure.
Losing weight and adopting a healthy lifestyle is not so grueling of a task. It takes some effort, some good choices, some learning, and creating habits – that’s when it becomes a lifestyle. That’s when results come, and that’s when results last.