In the middle of 2007, my life was going through some pretty serious turmoil. Jobs, friends, relationships, finances, everything was on really shaky ground, and for me it took something of this magnitude to get moving. I suspect this is the case for most people. I was determined to shore up on part of my life, so I wanted to get started getting fit.
As life continued to throw me curve balls I turned to running for therapy. Short runs at first, probably not more than 20 city blocks at a time with lots of resting/walking periods in between. Running seemed to have a therapeutic effect on me. It lessened the weight of the stress I was dealing with, in addition to my physical weight.
Despite what the experts say, weigh yourself everyday at the same time. This keeps you honest, and when you do slip up and put on a few pounds it’s much easier to cinch up your diet and get back on track.
[pullquote]After two weeks it’s routine. Exercise is no longer something you have to do, it’s part of what you do.[/pullquote]
Getting started may well have been the hardest part of the trip to where I am now and for good reason. When your out of shape you don’t want to move, it’s hard, it hurts, and it’s not fun. It sounds really gimmicky, but if you can give it two weeks, you will have gotten past the hardest part. Within the two weeks you will have made exercise a habit, and more then likely will have already seen some sort of result whether it be physical (on the scale) or mental (you just feel better day to day).
After two weeks it’s routine. Exercise is no longer something you have to do, it’s part of what you do.
Get Started Getting Fit
Time for Me
One of the biggest principles of my weight loss and fitness plan was that this was for me, and me alone. Time was not going to be something that prevented me from hitting my goals. There are a million things that could have gotten in the way of my fitness goals; work, family, kids, household chores, friends, going out, etc etc etc. This was something that I wanted that nothing was going to get in the way of.
It’s easy to push your workout in an effort to make time for something else. That’s fine, however don’t sacrifice your time, your workout for these things. If it’s something you know is going to be a problem modify your workout, or your workout time but don’t cut your workout. It’s your time, don’t sacrifice it for anything.
Kicking off my journey I made three simple rules for myself to act as a guiding light to my fitness and nutritional goals.
Before I get into these three rules, let me just say I am not preaching some magic diet plan, for me losing weight is simple math. Calories in needs to be less than calories out. In other words burn more calories than you eat or take in. It is really that simple, and you won’t starve doing it. In fact you will feel quite full as long as you are eating quality foods that stick to you instead of junk.
So my rules in no particular order are:
No fast food
This is the biggest for me of the two, as this is the primary reason I had gained so much weight. Most days at the office I would run through Taco Bell, Burger King, grab a load of food and go sit at my desk all day. When you order something from a place like this you are eating over half your days calories in one meal. This kind of food doesn’t contain very much nutritional value either, which will leave you hungry again before you really should be eating again.
Not that I drank a lot of it to begin with but these are totally empty calories. Lots of sugar (even in diet) and no value to you whatsoever. So this was actually quite easy to give up. One place this is entirely problematic is restaurants. Order a coke with your meal, and that’s usually 16+ ounces. A can of coke is eight ounces, and is 140 calories. So that times two is 280. Most people drink more then one glass, so now lets say 560 calories just on soda! Now what did you order?
Eat Generally More Healthy
This is really broad, and honestly even know what this meant when I started, but I knew that I wanted to cut down on fatty foods, limit my portion sizes and try to eat more fruits and vegetables. I have since learned that this is not hard to do, and I will provide more information on how in the future.
These have worked for me and generally still work for me. Although I have gotten results and have loosened these rules just a little bit, they are generally still my guiding lights.
Getting started is really about planning, setting expectations, setting aside time for yourself and just doing it. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. You will have ups and downs, you will gain weight and you will lose weight, but the important thing is that you continue pushing. Look towards the finish line no matter how distance, and focus your attention there. It’s a journey, and as long as you continue on the journey you will make it to where you’re going.