DISCLAIMER: I'm imparting information that I learned in my own health journey. Consult with a nutritionist, dietitian, and licensed physical trainer for proper information tailored to your needs.
Nine months ago, I weighed 248 pounds – the heaviest I ever been. Today, I weigh on average 170 pounds – the lightest I ever been since my early years of high school!
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had to share my tips nearly every day. And that’s great! I don’t always have the luxury of time to share all my tips, so I decided to make a “Quick Tips” list to post here and share with all those that are interested in their own journey to a healthy lifestyle! I’ve summarized what I feel are the four aspects to focus on in order to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
Those four areas are:
- Habit and Routine (Counts as one. Different sides of the same coin.)
Before laying out my tips, I want to make clear that everyone is different. Results vary. There is no “one size fits all” program out there. That’s why there are so many programs. The tips I layout here are not in relation to diet “fads” or “programs”. Balanced nutrition is crucial; however, the nutrition is also dependent on your health goals and limitations. More on that in the tips section. My tips, in my honest opinion, are applicable to everyone seeking to better their health. These tips are meant to be a guide to help point you in the right direction to get your journey to a healthier you going!
What really inspired me to do this list is the fact that I too felt “lost” when I started. I knew I wanted to lose weight, but “how much” weight to lose wasn’t clear to me. I also didn’t know how to ask the right questions that addressed my mindset. I kept getting pointed to the “Body Mass Index” or “BMI”. Knowing my body type, I knew the BMI was not what I was after. I will elaborate on this later to give you a clearer understanding of what you should be aiming for with your diet and fitness milestones.
Anyway, I just wanted to convey those thoughts as an introduction. Without further ado, here are my tips!
TIP 1: MINDSET
So you need to lose weight and you know it. Where do you begin?
It starts with You.
I’ve been told different things by people trying to work towards a healthy lifestyle. Some want to do extreme diet goals. Others want to jump right into intense exercise. The thoughts are all well and good until you realize they’re not. For example, I was once told by someone that they’re planning to get this program from a YouTuber that offers a meal program and workout routine. Unless you’re mentally prepared and determined to stay dedicated, the plan is Dead On Arrival and money lost.
I’m being rude here, but it’s true. See, the spirit is willing, the body is not.
How do you know if you wouldn’t stay determined? You haven’t started yet, right? Well, here’s my quick litmus test to gauge your ability to “stay with the program”. After reading the following instruction, I encourage you to do this before continuing to read this tip.
Put on a pair of sneakers. Now go run around the block. If you live on a long stretch of blocks, then just run flat out in one direction for a minute and come back. And I mean run. Maintain that speed to and back.
How do you feel?
That was an example of cardiovascular activity. All those workout programs that include or do not include a meal plan require cardio workout to achieve fat burn. The point is to sweat it out. Big time.
Is that something you can handle at least an hour every 4-5 days? That’s the bare minimum to try to achieve weight loss while eating clean. A screw up on either the workout or nutrition will set you back and dishearten you for sure.
It doesn’t matter if your answer to being able to handle this is “yes” or “no”. It all starts with your mind. Know that you need to get healthy for any number of reasons. Accept that it requires sacrifice, dedication, determination, concentration, and additional effort on top of that.
Notice I did not say you need “money” for it. More on this in the next tip.
Check your mind. This is where it all starts. If you’re serious about getting started, then take the first step. Every journey begins with a first step. Don’t be the “I’ll wait until after the holidays” or “I’m going to eat up on all the foods I can’t enjoy anymore” person. That sets you back rather then motivate you to get started. The approach should be the OPPOSITE. You start by cutting down, letting go. Not indulging. The sooner you start changing your mindset, the quicker you’ll get to turning your efforts into a habit and routine.
Don’t get me wrong because I’m being frank here. If you’re someone that is truly making weight loss a “New Year’s Resolution”, then get your mind ready for commitment to it rather than feel burdened to diet. This can lead to overindulgence during the Christmas season. It happens to basically everyone.
The mind is your greatest enemy or support. If you let it dominate you, even when the chips are down, you’ll believe you don’t have a chance. However, if you know you have it in you and that with extra effort you can obtain your goals, then you will give it your all to achieve it! The best, most recent example of perseverance under incredible circumstances with everything against you is summarized by this picture:
This is from Super Bowl 51 where the highly favored New England Patriots were expected to win easy, but instead found themselves down 25 points with only 17 minutes of game time left. Regardless of your understanding of football, just know that any team down 10 points or more with 15 minutes left in the game has ever won the championship – except for one team that did it two years ago: The New England Patriots down 10 points against the Seattle Seahawks. But they were down 10 points two years ago. This time it was double. The media loves to share player meltdowns when they lose their cool. Look up the highlights of this recent Super Bowl. You won’t find any meltdowns. Instead, you’ll find the videos of Patriots players and Coaches believing they still had a chance to win. They were encouraging each other to fight on one play at a time.
This was the final score:
They managed to do this because of strong leadership with the right mindset. There was no tomorrow or “We’ll get them next time”. It was now or never.
That is my first tip. Get your mindset in check. Know what your after will give you more opportunities to enjoy things you already love, and perhaps you’ll even get to enjoy things and activities you otherwise couldn’t do before!
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