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I’ve always struggled with my weight since I was a kid. The food was the answer to coping with my insecurities. If you would like to know what caused me to eat the way I did, click here to read that blog. I was the overweight kid amongst my friends you could imagine how often I was teased. Let’s not talk about how bad I dreaded going to school because my clothes were tight (from constantly gaining weight) so other insecure middle schoolers would joke about my weight throughout the day.
My Mom could throw down in the kitchen, and I couldn’t wait for dinner! I remember her making fried chicken with macaroni and cheese on the side. However, what I didn’t tell her was I had a friend whose Mom would feed me too! Although it wasn’t every day I ate over a friend’s house, it was the highlight of the day to see the different foods my friend’s Mom would cook.
Over time, my weight would skyrocket during my early teen years. Low self-esteem and feeling sorry for myself only dug a deeper hole with my weight gain. All of that would change during my sophomore year of high school. Everyone looked different compared to Junior High! The girls I thought were unattractive in Junior High, blossomed in more ways than one!
Seeing how fast everyone changed (physically) in High School, somewhat encouraged me to make some changes. During my junior year of High School, for Christmas, my Mom got us an exercise bike. At first, we used it for a coat rack. LOL! Then I committed to stay on that bike for thirty minutes, three days a week. On top of that, I walked back and forth to school every day. My school was a two-mile walk, five days a week. Oh! I forgot to tell you I was very active outside with my friends during the weekends.
I lost weight! So much weight that my Mother thought something was wrong with me! I was seventeen going on eighteen and my confidence went through the roof. Even though my eating habits weren’t where I wanted, the weight loss results still came (not to mention how young I was with a high metabolism).
I wanted to share some early stages of my weight loss struggle to let you know, this has been a lifelong journey.
Fast forward to after getting married. Although my weight fluctuated while single, being married in love and eating goes together (laughing)! My Wife could cook, and everything we ate was fried. One day I went to the hospital to have surgery on my knee because my kneecap was chipped from me weighing 270 pounds.
Something had to change because I was miserable. I needed a lifestyle change with my health. I remember going to the library (that’s no typo, I said the library) and reading books on health and weight loss. With the knowledge I acquired, I started to put a plan in action. I tried plenty of times with little or no results. But after much practice and discipline, things started to change.
I had to change my wardrobe because all my clothes and suits were extra-large (sometimes 2x). I went from wearing a size 40 in jeans to wearing a 36. Things won’t change overnight and there will be challenges, but if you remain committed you WILL see results.
Here are some practical steps I’ve taken to lose more than 70 pounds:
• Go to Bed Early: Since I have to be up at 3:30am to go to work, I started to go to bed early. I’m in the bed no later than 8:30pm, so I’m eating dinner around 5:30pm. When you go to bed early you decrease the chances of eating something you shouldn’t. What are you doing if you are staying up late binge watching Netflix? You got it…eating.
• Eat Healthy (90% of the time): Here’s where most people get tripped up because as a society, we LOVE to eat! We don’t eat to live, we live to eat. When I started to lose weight I ate plenty of baked chicken, fish, and green vegetables. Many times I ate salad for lunch with a boiled egg. It’s ok to eat your favorite junk food from time to time.
To this day I still eat ice cream and pizza (I believe they are from the devil because they taste so good)! When I do eat junk food, it isn’t every day; it’s more like a treat. Train your taste buds to eat healthily so you won’t binge on junk foods.
Protein shakes from Isagenix and Advocare really help me keep the weight off and gain muscle definition. Instead of eating something unhealthy for lunch or a late dinner, why not have a protein shake? You cannot lose by using Isagenix and Advocare products.
• Drink Plenty of Water: I gave up soda and drinks loaded with sugar. People don’t believe me, but I haven’t drunk a soda in 8 years! Liquid calories will get you every time because people rarely count the calories they drink. I’ll share a tip with you about water. Drink a cup of water before each meal; it will fill you up faster, causing you to eat less.
• Exercise: Bo and Luke (Dukes of Hazzard), Bert and Ernie (Sesame Street), Ike and Tina, Jay-Z and Beyoncé. Exercising and eating right goes hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. There are two workouts that helped me lose weight and gain definition:
UFC FIT and TapOut XT are my recommendations. These workouts are not for the faint of heart. But if you want to take your health to the next level, I highly recommend investing in these 90-day workout programs.
If these two workouts are too strenuous for you, simply walk! I walk back and forth from work every day and I believe walking contributes to keeping my weight steady at 190. I also have an app that keeps track of how many calories I burn and steps I take throughout the day.
• Be Consistent: The ONLY way to lose weight is if you are consistent with the aforementioned steps. Isn’t it funny how after one workout you looking in the mirror? There will be times you don’t want to eat right or exercise. I’m simply being honest. Recognize this truth and press forward. You might fall off the horse for a week (maybe two weeks). But that doesn’t mean you give up! If you stay consistent, it won’t be hard to finish your journey to weight loss. Not only is it a journey, but a lifestyle.
Listen to my weight loss journey on Practically Healthy Life Show by clicking here
Back in 2003 vs. today