Resolution is fairly ambiguous word, with definitions as varying as terminology referencing music, computer screens, and ophthalmology. Since the new year is easily interpreted as a new start, it’s quite popular to resolve to change in the new year. Resolution often comes in the form of starting or stopping. I think most of us blow at making resolutions. To be completely honest, I dismiss most people when they tell me they’ve made a “New Year’s Resolution”. I’m just convinced that by mid-January whatever their new-found commitment is is going to be pretty much over. For years, I told myself: this year “I’m going to start running again” / “I’m going to get in shape” / “I’m going to lose weight” … And I never did. I suppose I made the same assessment this past year. I failed too, just so you know. By mid-January I was going to the gym one day a week, begrudgingly, and eating cookies three nights a week. I failed at my “resolution”, but something eventually changed. Somewhere in mid- February I slowly started making decisions that changed the way I lived. Here were some of the influences:
I learned from friends who had lost weight. My best friend, Josh, was getting married and lost a lot of weight. I saw the plan that he was using, and it was pretty simple. To learn more about how Josh lost weight check out: medifast1.com. Basically, the plan is all about eating small meals (under 200 calories) every two hours from the time you wake up until you go to bed, with one healthy meal in the evening.
I started tracking what I was eating. I downloaded an app for my iPhone that helped me log what I was eating. Logging my meals forced me to think about what I was eating. I also had to do some research on the meals I ate. When I started I really couldn’t tell you what I at the day before. Now, I am much more aware of what I’m eating and can normally tell you everything I ate in the last two or three days. Also, I learned that some of my “healthy” choices were not so healthy. For example: I learned that Filet Mignon at Outback is over a thousand calories, double the caloric intake of their grilled chicken.
I started working out at pace and in way that I could enjoy. I didn’t grow up working out in a gym. I grew up running. However, when you’re overweight, running is not a good exercise. I work out occasionally with a good friend who’s lifted weights his entire life. I can’t keep up, and that was a little discouraging. Instead of trying to be someone else, I found a routine and pace that fit me, fit where I was physically, and challenged me. I’ve had to monitor the routine and change my approach a few times, but it’s my approach and it works for me.
I found a new way to think about eating. I love to eat, so I had to reframe the way I thought about eating. I found a daily and weekly routine that worked for me. I found out where I could make sacrifices and couldn’t. As I learned about the calories in the food I was eating, I learned about how to make better daily decisions in every category.
I started the year weighing 245 pounds. I followed my plan consistently from February through August. My year low ways 200.5 (which represents a loss of 44.5 lbs). This morning I weighted 210 lbs, which represents a net loss of 35 lbs this year. In September I completed the USMC Mud Run in Sandy Run, SC: 4.2 miles over 30+ obstacles. It was a benchmark moment for me. A year prior, I could not have finished that race. I didn’t exactly do it with style, but I finished. I’ve learned that if you don’t take your goals and add to them, they will become trophies. A trophy sits on a shelf somewhere; trophy goals don’t lead anywhere. Good goals are stops along the journey. This year I’ve got some new goals and some new journeys to take. Mostly, thought, I’m happy to have learned what I’ve learned about myself through this. Honestly, that’s the real reward.
[I might write a future blog to share both my personal methodology to eating and working out]