"Never be afraid to fall apart because it is an opportunity to rebuild yourself the way you wish you had been all along." - Rae Smith
Approximately 10 months ago, I stepped on the scale. I weighed in at 307 lbs. At the time, I was preparing for a trip to Ireland and Spain with four dear friends. I knew there was no way I was going to follow a diet plan while in Europe, so I didn't even want to bother starting one before the trip.
While traveling, I ate and drank like a glutton. Irish bacon, speck, cheese, stew, countless pints of Guinness, seemingly endless sangria, paella, lobster, mussels, chorizo. On top of all of that, I'm sure I had an entire bakery worth of bread during those ten days.
Upon my return home, I was sure that I would have gained weight. I hadn't done nearly as much walking on this trip as I had on previous trips to Europe. I stepped onto the scale thinking I would consider myself lucky if I had managed to maintain my weight during the trip. I was shocked to see that I had somehow managed to lose a little under five pounds.
I had to think about how that weight loss was possible. I definitely did not get in a lot of exercise, some walking around the towns we were in, but not a significant amount. The only factors I could attribute the weight loss to was that I ate less processed foods, no fast-food, and I did have a nominal increase in my daily activity levels.
I was inspired to continue the weight loss.
At that time, I sat on my butt for well over eight hours each day, at a job that I really wasn't satisfied with. I liked my coworkers, the paycheck, and the benefits, but I really didn't like the job itself. Every day I got fast-food for lunch. After work I would venture down to my favorite pub to try to erase the stress of the day with many pints of beer.
My initial changes were the most obvious:
1. Drastically cut back on fast-food.
2. Increase activity level.
3. Cut back on added sugars and fats.
All pretty basic, common sense, solutions, right?
Why hadn't I been doing them all along?
My first change was to cut back on the amount of coffee I drank. Since I use the flavored coffee creamers, and drank at least five cups of coffee each day, that added up to A LOT of extra sugar and fat. I limited myself to one cup each morning. After that, I switched to green tea with Splenda - black tea if I was still feeling sluggish.
For lunches, I would previously get fast food every single day. I still went through the drive-through but would get a salad.
I stopped searching for the closest possible parking spot at the store - walking an extra 50 feet is not an imposition.
These initial changes resulted in a very slow and gradual weight loss - 24 lbs in about five months. That was where I stagnated. I knew that if I was going to continue to lose weight and get in better health, I was going to have to join a gym and/or cut back on the beer.
In early June I walked into Crunch and signed up. And then I didn't go. Then in mid-June, I lost my job. About a week later, I finally went to the gym. Then a week later, I actually went again. Then I signed up for personal training sessions.
That was one of the best decisions I could have made. By paying someone to go through a work out routine with me, I was being held accountable. I couldn't stay at home on the couch watching old episodes of Frasier on Netflix if I had an appointment with my "Personal Torturer."
It has paid off well. In less than two months with my personal trainer, I have lost another 20 lbs, and about 4.5% body fat.