I have started my weight-loss journey. Again. For the fourth time.
My experience with weight loss has been like a roller-coaster. I get pumped to lose weight, I make the commitment, I start exercising and eating well, and I start to see progress. I keep it up for about a month or two. I feel good about my progress, so I decide to eat a slice of pizza. And a hamburger. And donuts. Every day. And there goes my progress.
That’s a problem.
I have discovered that my problem lies in my attitude towards health and weight loss. I decide I want to lose weight, so I change my habits in order to do so. But when I reach my goal weight, or get close, I go right back to what I was doing before: gaining weight. And I often over-compensate, eating way too much unhealthy crap to make up for the months I missed it.
And after a few months, I weigh more than I did when I wanted to lose weight.
That happened to me this summer. Just like I have done three other times, I spent a couple months eating healthy food and hitting the gym five or six days a week. I lost 19 pounds. Then I went to New York City for an internship, ate like I would never see food again (because it was so good, and often paid for by the kind folks I was living with), avoided any exercise and put on 25 pounds. Ugh.
Right now I am about two or three pounds shy of being the heaviest I have ever been.
(Quick note: people have different ideas of “fat.” I guess according to current health science, I am not “fat,” but I am definitely overweight. But more importantly, at least to me, I am not as healthy as I have been before, and I would really like to see my six pack come back one day – I know it’s hiding in there somewhere, just pleading to make another appearance.)
Over the past couple weeks, I found a solution to my problem. And interestingly, it doesn’t have anything to do with any particular product. Instead, I realized my problem lies in my attitude.
In order to be successful at losing weight, gaining muscle and maintaining both once I’ve reached my goal, I need to make a complete lifestyle change.
What I’ve discovered about lifestyle changes is they aren’t as scary as we sometimes think. We may think a lifestyle change means giving up everything we love for things we hate, or strongly dislike. But that just isn’t the case. It means finding a proper balance.
For me, that means eating healthy food 95% of the time, and enjoying crappy, unhealthy food 5% of the time. It also means giving up soda and drinking lots of water.
Now the good part: I have tried making changes in my eating habits – going from pizza to salad, but let’s be honest, that is hard! Especially if you’re like me and you like pizza way more than salad. But this past week, my wife took me to an event where I discovered another way, a tasty way, to get the raw, healthy foods I need, and actually enjoy taking them in.
Yep, that’s right. My wife asked me to attend a Green Smoothie Girl event, and because I love my wife, I went. But I went with the intention of spending my time there actually doing something productive: getting to and beating the final level of Angry Birds.
But while I was there, I was intrigued by Robyn (the Green Smoothie Girl), and began to listen. I was inspired by her story and research. I decided to try her green smoothies (which are made up of mostly greens like kale and spinach, and a little bit of berries and such), and to my utter amazement, they were good. And each smoothie contains something like 10-15 servings of vegetables! It’s all raw and void of man-made crap.
I was hooked.
So this week I begin my transformation. And this blog is my way of sharing with the world what I discover along this journey of health. At first I thought it would just be a blog about losing weight, but I see now that I am not just losing weight. I am making a lifestyle change. A change to health.
I will share what I learn from my experiences and research (and by research, I mean the things I learn from other blogs and from whatever books or magazines I read on health), so feel free to leave comments, ask questions or pay me money (I don’t really have a good reason for you to pay me money, but I most likely won’t turn it away if you just want to give it to me…).
And hopefully, just maybe, you may be inspired by my experience to make lifestyle changes of your own.