2 months into 2015 and I’m on my third month of keeping my body weight at or under 220 pounds. Pretty sure that means I’m right on track where I need to be to maintain it, and with the weather improving, I expect to get more time on the bike to help reach my next goal.
Sub 210 by June 10th. Because my birthday is as good a goal date as any.
I keep getting questions about “how I did it”. The short version is excercise and watching what I eat, both quality and quantity. Let’s break that down.
To really get things going, I was exercising 7 days a week, most of that spent on my bike for 20-60 minutes. Yes, that’s right, **everyday**. Breaking a sweat, huffing and puffing exercise. Not a stroll around the block when I walk, but powering out a sub 15:00 mile. 5-12 miles on the bike. An hour at the gym. Every. Damn. Day.
This isn’t something you can start off and be awesome with right away. If you haven’t exercised in a while, it’s going to hurt. A lot. And feel awkward or uncomfortable. The real trick with this is that you have to find something that you enjoy doing. If you decide to take up running but can’t stand running, the chances of you sticking with it are pretty slim.
## Food – Qualtiy
This one I actually started in 2010 when I moved to Arizona, and I think it’s one of the most important changes that I did.
That might seem cliche and obvious, but have you actually ever done it? Then, after you do read labels, do you actually place items in your carts with ingredients that you can’t pronounce? Try this next time you go to the market and you will find my next trick.
Only shop the outside edge of the store.
Produce, meat, bakery, dairy. These departments contain nothing but food, usually. No chemicals (bug spray doesn’t count here you damn hippy), just food. Skip the aisles except for the one where you can get beans and rice. Again, read the labels and avoid chemicals.
The final piece to the quality puzzle is skipping fast food, soda and junk food in general. Again, Capt. Obvious to the rescue yet again. Make fun of Subway all you like, but a 6″ turkey sandwich is way better for you than **anything** from a drive-through window.
## Food – Quantity
One of the benefits of exercising is that I get to eat. I can eat all the things all the time if I want, but I try to follow the quality rules pretty closely as often as possible. Regardless, I do try not to over eat. If you feel like you have eaten too much, then you have. Metalize that for next time so you don’t do it again. I never starve. Ever.
Time of day is also important. Eat breakfast. Ok, I know, me neither, but it’s pretty easy to grab an apple on the way out the door. Or a bagel. Or [insert name of easy to grab food here]. Honestly, the drive thru is _almost_ better than skipping, but not really. Your body needs fuel. I can tell when I skip.
## Food – The Boozes
The elephant in the room is always booze. Empty calories that turn to sugar and slow your progress. I’m not a huge drinker, contrary to popular belief or what I share on Facebook. All things in moderation, and for me that is alcohol. I don’t drink every night and if I drink on the weekend it’s usually a big deal for me.
I’m not saying that you have to stop drinking. I’m just saying that if you are a 2 or 3 drink a night person, cutting that to 1 or less will go a long way toward any fitness or weight loss goals you might have.
## Staying on Track
This is the hard part. **You** have to want it. You have to want to exercise. You have to want to be healthier. Want to eat better. Want to be better. There isn’t a pill, a book, a seminar or crazy internet meme that will help you. It is 100% on you to affect change in your own life. Expecting it to come from a bottle or a book is ridiculous and if you think that, please allow me to apologize for wasting your time.
Please don’t call this a diet. Diets are temporary. I have affected positive changes in my life. Diets are crap and don’t work. You have to make changes to see changes. Find your motivation. Want it. Do it.