Hi all, I’m Mike. I have struggled with my weight pretty much since elementary school. Now in my mid-thirties I decided to make some changes for good to have a more active, enjoyable life! Over the past year I have been on a journey to create a healthier, more mindful, version of myself. Using the lessons that I have learned over the past several years from Barb, I have lost over 100 pounds, completed a 10k race, and I am training for a 10-mile race and a half marathon! While I’ve been on this journey, several people have asked me “What’s the trick?” or “What’s your secret?” To me the “secret” is no secret at all; it’s doing several small things that add up to making a difference in your overall health.
For me the four key pieces of advice that I would pass on to anyone who wanted to make a change are:
- YOU have to want it. Over the years I have tried fad diets. You know “drink this everyday and magically the weight will fall off” or “do this workout for three months and you’re cured…” which for a temporary fix they were successful, but didn’t change any of the bad habits that I had. And why did I try these crazy schemes? Because this person, or that person told me that I should, not because I wanted to. It took me wanting to make the change for it to truly stick and be effective!
- Take control! Be the one who controls your food choices. Obviously, the best way to do this is to prepare your own meals. However, it’s pretty unrealistic to do this for every meal! How I have combated this issue to plan, plan, and plan some more for these situations. If I know I am going to be eating a meal at a restaurant, I will go online and decide what I’m going to order ahead of time so I’m not tempted to make a less optimal choice on the fly when I get there. I’ve also learned to ask for exactly what I want and make substitutions all the time. Don’t be scared to do this! Not once, has a server told me that they couldn’t do what I had asked. If I am going to a friend or relatives for lunch or dinner I will ask what’s on the menu so I can plan the rest of my day around that and also suggest a dish that I could bring that I know fits into my plan for the day.
- MOVE! Get out there and exercise. When I started all this last year I wasn’t running six miles right away, I started small. Walking a mile a day, then gradually increasing the distance and intensity as my fitness level increased.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. You will make mistakes, or make choices that you may regret. It’s okay!!! Learn from the situation, let it go, and get back on track immediately (not tomorrow, or next Monday).