In a little over 15 months, I have managed to lose over 160 pounds. When people find out that I have lost that much weight, it is often assumed that I used some fad diet or worse, some questionable drugs/methods.
I am proud to say a resounding NO!
Not only was there no surgery (as covered in FAQ 1), I have not used any sort of fly by night fad diets are risky drug therapies. My loss has been the result of a complete lifestyle change that included:
- A well balanced diet as managed via Weight Watchers
- Increased exercise and activity
- Change of mindset.
Some would call it, “the good old fashion way,” and I am fine with that. The problem with fad diets and different drugs/medications is that generally they are temporary. That is, they only work as long as you’re actively participating in that program and once you stop, you will see the weight start to creep back up. When you are completing a “lifestyle” change like I have undertaken, you are changing your eating habits, using “everyday” foods, as well as your habits, outlook and perception and simply speaking “what you do”.
My lifestyle change now incorporates:
- Healthy eating habits that focus around intake versus required/usage. If I know I’m going to be working out hard or doing yardwork or something, it is okay to have that ham and cheese sandwich. The key is to consume what you need, to the point you’re starting to feel full, and not just eat because it is there. Stick to foods that are wholesome and do not leave you consuming thousands more calories a day than you are using. Portion control is a *big* part of this, especially for those that use Weight Watchers #Freestyle program–remember 0SP foods still have calories!
- A normal exercise and activity regiment that incorporates cardio, light weight training and most importantly _just getting up and moving_. Too often, especially for desk workers like myself, we are too sedentary and don’t keep our bodies in motion. This is bad long term, effects our muscles and joints and can even hurt the effectiveness of our metabolism. Right now, I incorporate some sort of activity, even if it is just steps.walking, at least 15 minutes every day. On top of this trips to the gym, or hiking, biking or some other sport are undertaken at least three times a week. When working, I make sure I get up, even just for a two minute walk, every hour.
- Finally, a change of mindset is key to your lifestyle change. I look at food as a requirement, a need, not a want. Of course, do I want a piece of cake or cookie? YES! Do I control my portion and frequency, most definitely. I try to keep my water intake high as well as hydration is important and can help to feel satiated. I look at activity, especially with my family, as a great way to strengthen our relationship and lean on each other to help drive ourselves to fitness.
Throughout all, it is important to stay positive and enjoy the journey. Small steps are okay. Giant leaps are okay. The occasional step backward is even okay. Quitting should not be an option.