Losing weight. It’s a goal many of us have. I have struggled with my weight for a long time, but was unable to do anything about it where I was at that point in my life; Bad habits and bad attitudes thrived, and for 15 years I was a mere shadow of my former self. A very large, round shadow.
But I wasn’t happy. I hadn’t been for a long time. I used to do things like practice martial arts, ride bicycles and skateboards, and walk for miles everyday. But one day I woke up to realize healthy habits had been replaced by hours of sitting in front of the TV playing video games, or chatting on the computer, eating junk food by the handful. I could no longer recognize myself.
I weighed over 330 lbs. Ordinary bathroom scales would no longer weigh me. I decided to make a change.
Changing My Life
I had to do something, but what? I needed to make big changes to get back to my true self, back to my true personality. I had lived too long as someone else and needed to find my real self again.
So, on January 28, I moved to Colorado. The change of scenery has done wonders for my outlook, attitude, and my eagerness to wake up in the morning. It has also given me the opportunity to completely revamp the way I eat, and change my lifestyle habits.
Changing How I Eat
The first step in taking control of my health back was eliminating soft drinks from my daily food intake. I began drinking water instead, with a little fruit juice every now and then. Within days I began feeling better, and had more energy.
I also limited my salt intake. Now, don’t get me wrong, plenty of foods are prepared with seasoning; I just stopped grabbing the salt shaker and powdering my plate at every meal. This might be the hardest thing I’ve eliminated. I love salt. But too much is bad for your heart and will cause you to retain water. By the time the first week of February was over, I had lost nearly 10 pounds.
I also stopped eating unhealthy snacks. I was no longer eating chips and candy on a regular basis. Instead, I began eating fruits and nuts if I wanted a snack, and even then, I limited the amounts I was eating.
I also limited my intake of fatty foods and meats, instead having chicken or pork and vegetables. Beans and rice and soups have also become staples of mealtime.
By the end of the second week of February, I had lost nearly 15 pounds.
Changing My Lifestyle
Once in Colorado, I was captivated by the inherent beauty of the area and the great attitudes and kindness of the locals. I could really get out and enjoy this place. Instead of watching TV for hours, I began to visit local parks to walk around in nature, or visit some of the local shops, exploring the town on foot.
I began to exercise almost immediately after getting to Colorado Springs. I took it easy at first, mostly stretching and walking, but after a few weeks, I began doing things like sit ups, squats, and push ups in addition to walking around.
The change in my lifestyle, along with making better food decisions, was beginning to have real health benefits. By the beginning of March I had lost about 30 pounds. Bathroom scales began showing my weight again.
I was feeling great, and looking much better.
Sticking With It
Of course, the hardest thing about making the decision to improve your health is sticking with it.
It’s too easy for people (myself included) to fall back into bad habits. I often find myself thinking “I could just pop into this handy fast food restaurant for a burger and a shake, it won’t hurt.” And, that’s probably true. I could probably have one burger, or one shake and be fine. But my problem is I can’t stop at just one. I’d end up there three or four times a week, and before you know it all my progress will be replaced with all my bad habits taking over again.
Besides, I’ve made my new lifestyle fun. That does wonders for keeping me motivated in the right direction. I greatly enjoy the fresh, tasty and healthy foods I’m eating now. I also love to exercise; I’ll pop out of bed these days, turn on my favorite music and by the time I finish my meager morning workout (about an hours worth) I’m invigorated and ready to get the day started.
Now, as March is ending, I’m at 280 pounds. I’m still quite a way from my goal of 230 pounds, but I am very happy with the results I’ve gotten so far. I move better. I breathe better. I look and feel better. I’m successfully reinventing myself.
And I now know that nothing is out of my reach, as long as I’m willing to work toward it.
One of my teachers used to say: “Remember to move and do, it’s lots of fun and good for you!”
Looking back, I can only agree.