Losing weight was something I had wanted since I was very young, and something I struggled with for most of my life.
For the longest time, I didn’t even know how to do it, but even when I learned that eating a healthier diet was the key to losing weight, I failed to make the changes that I needed to succeed over and over again.
There were even a few times that I had experienced some success in the past, but it never lasted long because of the pressure I put on myself to change so quickly. I would lose a little weight every so often… then again even more after giving up.
My diet was filled with junk from the second I woke up, until the moment I went to bed.
This cycle went on and on through my twenties until I had gained 80 pounds since graduating high school. I weighed 245 pounds and was starting to see the negative impact that my poor habits were having on my body and my quality of life.
Simple things like doing yard work or going upstairs were way more exhausting than they should have been, and I felt like I was missing out on life because I was always trying to hide my fat.
1. Finally Making A Change
I knew that I needed to improve my eating habits if I wanted to finally lose weight, but there were so many times that I tried to change overnight and failed shortly after.
It’s so common to start a diet by making a dramatic change, but this can often make it hard to stick with your efforts long enough to reach your goals or to maintain your weight after you do.
Many of the weight loss success stories you hear about are people just like me, who didn’t just wake up one day and all of the sudden were clean eaters and regular exercisers… On the contrary, for many of us, it’s a gradual journey taken one step at a time, at a pace we are comfortable with.
Allowing myself the time to build a healthy lifestyle one day at a time rather than overnight, was how I was finally able to lose the 80 pounds I had gained, leaving me at 165 pounds and in the best shape I had ever been in.
2. One Healthy Meal At A Time
Starting with one healthy meal per day was how I finally started losing weight. Eating a healthy meal with whole and nutritious food every day, didn’t just help me burn fat because of the added healthy meal, but also because that meal took the place of junk food and allowed me to easily reduce my sugar consumption.
So, making just a small but consistent change started helping me lose weight right away. I realized that I didn’t have to be perfect to get in shape, and that ultimately that I could lose weight without being hungry by simply eating clean.
Rather than eating fast food or a packaged meal for lunch, I ate a big plate of brown rice with shredded chicken, and then I started bringing an apple and peanuts to working as a snack to replace things like chips and cookies.
Eventually, I started eating two healthy meals per day, and in time almost everything I ate was healthy. As I became comfortable with my diet changes, I started to enjoy my diet rather than thinking of it as a burden.
It was a profound realization to be able to eat more, to lose more.
3. Gradually Giving Up Junk
In the same way that I began to add healthy food into my diet gradually, I also reduced the unhealthy food I was eating one step at a time.
I went to fast-food restaurants gradually less, and when I did go, I stopped buying milkshakes, soda, and fries.
I wasn’t able to give up drinking soda overnight, but when I drank less and less over time, I was able to successfully give it up altogether. From drinking at least 3 of them per day to one per day to only every once in a while… I finally kicked it for good.
The same went for lots of other junk foods that I eventually wanted to cut out of my diet, I continually had less and less of them until giving them up completely simply wasn’t hard anymore.
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4. Adding Exercise Into The Mix
From day one I knew that exercise would be a very important part of my routine, but as with every other aspect of my transformation, I didn’t put the pressure on myself to “be perfect,” and make a huge change that I was not able to sustain.
I started with light exercise and worked my way into heavier workouts over time. It didn’t matter whether I exercised for 10 minutes or an hour, or whether I rode a bike or just did pushups, the important thing was that it rarely felt like a task, like something I would fail if I didn’t do…
This calm way of going about it made it easy to be more consistent because I was actually enjoying what I was doing and not viewing it as a burden.
Eventually, jogging felt better on my lungs and knees, and so I started to go for runs more and more as I got in better shape.
5. Small Changes Add Up To Big Results
Making changes in steps doesn’t mean reaching your goals slowly. When you give yourself time to get used to your diet it’s easy to be consistent, and when you are consistent, the results just keep piling on as you step up your routine day by day, week by week, and so on.
Before you know it and without even thinking about it, you are eating lots of healthy food every day, eating way less junk, drinking way more water and much less soda, and burning fat super fast without struggling with hunger or a routine that you can’t stand.
6. Taking The Time To Build A Healthy Lifestyle
It’s normal to want to change as fast as possible, but when you realize that your weight is directly linked to the way you live the rest of your life, you may realize that you need some time to figure out what works for you personally.
It’s okay to take the time to discover the kinds of healthy food you like, the types of exercise you enjoy, and the pace at which you are comfortable reaching your goals.
After all, does it really matter whether it takes 3 months or 6 months to reach your goals when the true reward isn’t just reaching your goal, but spending the rest of your life enjoying the rewards?
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Taking the time to build a healthy diet, workout routine, and ultimately a healthy lifestyle, will not only make reaching for your weight loss goals much more enjoyable, but it will also assure that you don’t struggle to maintain your newfound health afterward.
It makes it easy to enjoy the rewards, without the worry of ever having to go through it again.
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