I know it’s that time of year when many of us are thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Some of you may be thinking about eating healthier or losing weight. Even if you’re not a resolution kind of guy, let’s face it, we all think about getting healthier.
Three years ago I was at my all time heaviest. It impacted almost everything I did. I was on medication to control my blood pressure. I had a couple of bouts with pneumonia that landed me in the hospital. My mental attitude was down. I was self conscious with the way I looked. I lacked energy and stamina, and I was sick and tired of being sick in tired.
That’s when I did something about it. I got healthy. I started exercising and eating a healthy diet. I ultimately lost 50 pounds, and over 3 years later I’ve kept it off. Now that a new year is rolling around I’m setting new goals related to my health. This year I plan to lose another 15 pounds by focusing on nutrition and diet. I currently exercise 5-6 times a week focusing on strength training, cardio, and core routines. Sometimes I catch myself working out to eat. I’m taking nutrition to a whole new level in 2014.
What about you? Maybe you are where I was 3 years ago. Here’s what I’d say to you. If I can do it, you can do it. Here’s a few of the things I’ve learned along the way.
Go All In
I couldn’t just ease into it. I hired a trainer, paying him $4000.00 up front for 6 months of training. Now I know everyone doesn’t have 4 grand lying around, but I want you to know it was the best investment I’ve ever made. It literally changed my life. Whatever going “all in” looks like for you, just do it.
Become A Disciple of Fitness
That’s right, start following others who have been successful at fitness. You probably know a lot less about heath than you think. I try to spend several hours a week looking for new workouts, reading about the right kind of supplements, and expanding my knowledge of nutrition. At fifty-four, recovery is a big deal so I can use all the help I can get.
Discover Your Own Rhythm
I have to build my own routine. I know some people like to work out early in the morning. I’m a writer, consultant, and coach. My mornings are key times for me to connect with God and begin developing my thoughts for a book or a client. I guard my mornings for these activities. In the evening I’m spent. In the afternoon I like to connect with people. I know the best time for me is to schedule my workout late mornings, between my transition from preparation and writing to meeting and connecting.
As a Lead Navigator (Consultant) with Auxano (www.auxano.com), I travel a lot. Some days it’s impossible to establish any kind of pattern. When this happens my rhythm goes out the door. I may rise long before the sun does, travel across the country, and do a full day of consulting just in time to head to the hotel at the end of the evening. On days like this I still find time to work out. I choose hotels that have good fitness facilities and I’ll run 2-3 miles on the treadmill. On a typical, non travel, day I will do that plus about 45 to 60 minutes of strength training and 15 minutes of core. Either way, I’m going to get some type of workout 5-6 days a week.
I weigh daily (if I’m near a scale). I know where I need to be. When my weight drifts upward I immediately make adjustments. The great thing about monitoring your weight when you workout regularly is that you can bring your weight down rapidly. It’s easy to drift upward 3-5 pounds in a single weekend. I can also bring it back down in about 48 hours. Once you wake up your metabolism you discover that losing weight can be that easy.
Plan for the Holidays
I know there are times when I’m going to eat a festive meal. On holidays I usually get up early in the morning and go for a long run. A long run for me might be 6-10 miles. For every six miles I run I will burn about 1000 calories, not to mention I crank up the ole metabolism. It’s awesome starting your holidays 1000 calories in the hole.
Change the Way You Eat
I’ve completely changed the way I eat. I think I eat more now than ever. The secret is that I eat differently. I try to eat a high protein/low carb diet 5-6 times a day. I supplement with a protein shake at least 2 of those meals. That’s right, every two to three hours I’m eating something. This requires planning ahead. I do all the grocery shopping at my house and I have a general rule, you shop around the perimeter of the store. That’s where you find the healthy stuff. I’m including a 45-minute video I did for Entertain with Jane where I reviewed the way I eat.
Here’s what I know. I was fat and now I’m not. If I can do it you can do it! Why not get started now?