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How I Lost 31 Pounds and Counting - Part One

Jul 8, 2008
Let me preface this article series by saying I am not a dietitian, health care professional, or personal trainer. I am simply a writer and businessman who decided I had to do something about my weight. I was not obese, but certainly was overweight and heading for clogged arteries and probably a heart attack before I hit 50. What follows is what worked for me, and what I honestly believe will work for anyone willing to commit mentally. The key is commitment, and that is the hardest part.

There is no miracle diet, no big secret, and it didn't cost me a dime. There are no pills, no monthly fees, no fancy diet books, and no gym membership involved. All you need to do is change your thinking, set a goal, make a plan for how you will accomplish that goal, and commit 100 percent.

You must accept that losing weight is not like winning the lottery. You don't wake up the next day 30 pounds lighter. There is work involved, but not so much it will wear you down. If you treat weight loss like the lottery your chances of success are about the same. Slim to none, and slim just left town.

I am down 31 pounds, and three waist sizes (almost 4) in just over four months. Or, to put it another way I have lost the equivalent of four gallons of milk. Try carrying four gallons of milk around all day. It gets heavy fast. Those four months seemed like a long haul, but looking back it's quite remarkable that I accomplished, and far exceeded, my original goal. As much as I like to think so, I'm not special. Anyone can do this, even you.

When I was a kid I was a skinny twig. When I was 17-18 years old I would eat two double cheeseburgers, six chicken nuggets, large fries, and a regular Coke for lunch. Every day. I never gained weight.

When I hit 23 years old my metabolism slowed down. I also met the girl of my dreams who is an amazing cook. Fast forward ten years and I had gained 71 pounds! Actually, it only took about four years to put on that 71 pounds. I didn't do anything about it for another six years.

In February of this year I got that nasty flu that was going around all over the country. I couldn't shake it, so I went to see a doctor. They weigh you on the way in on an accurate medical scale. I couldn't believe I weighed 206 pounds. For a man of 5'10" that's not bad if you're solid muscle and play running back for the Cleveland Browns. But, for a guy who is flabby and out of shape that's overweight.

I realized that the reason I got winded going up the stairs quickly, and the reason for sore knees was not age. It was weight. Something finally clicked in my mind, and I decided right then that I would lose weight. I just didn't know how.

My wife and I had just booked a trip to Las Vegas for our anniversary in May. My goal was to lose 15 pounds before we left. I had three months to do it. Honestly, I didn't think I could lose the weight. By the time we left I was down 22 pounds! In the last month since we returned I have dropped another 9 pounds. I had to buy all new pants because I dropped 3 waist sizes.

I have a new goal to take off 10 more to get to 165 pounds. Now that I know how, I'll meet that goal.

So, the big question is how did I do it, right? Co-workers have asked me if I went on Weight Watchers or Nutri-System. They asked if I was on a low carb diet, a vegan diet, etc. The answer is I simply changed my thinking, and decided to do what it took to lose the weight. I had a goal, and I committed to meeting that goal.

I call it maverick thinking, but it's not all that radical. Common sense tells you that eating junk is bad, eating foods that are better for you will be, well, better for you. As the saying goes, you are what you eat. I preach maverick thinking in business all the time. Changing the paradigm, etc. It dawned on me that I needed to apply my maverick ideas to my own health.

The first step was to decide on a start date for eating better. You can't just decide you will eat better without a plan and a solid goal. About a week in advance I decided I would start eating better on February 18th, and I would lose 15 pounds by May 19th. I then wrote the goal down, and marked the calendar. I figured with about 12 weeks if I lost just about a pound or two every week I'd meet my goal. I chose Thursday morning as my weigh-in day each week. My rule was I would only step on the scale on Thursday morning. I would chart my progress weekly, and hopefully stay on track.

During the next week I looked at the plate or wrapper I ate from when I was done eating. The grease left on the plate is really gross. When you really look at it that slime it is pretty nasty. Would you lick that plate? Of course not, it's disgusting. Then, I considered what I just ate was FULL of that crap. Game over. I couldn't put that into my body any longer.

From that point on I had embedded in my mind that many of the foods I ate were simply garbage, and the equivalent to eating from a dirty trash can. That's what it took. I had to change the way I thought about food. It was no longer about how yummy doughnuts are, or how much I liked to taste a greasy cheeseburger. I actually became angry toward those kinds of foods. I began to think how absolutely foolish it is to eat such junk. I didn't preach to others or say it out loud, but when a co-worker grabbed a doughnut or four at the office I would think to myself, "what a weakling." That was my motivation to not be tempted to cheat or fall off the wagon. Call it self-righteous if you want, but I'm down 31 pounds, my friend.Whatever it takes.

So, set your goal and motivation. If you want to lose 20 pounds in a week you're going to be disappointed because it won't happen. That's an unrealistic goal. Make it a reasonable time period, even if you think it's too long. It's better to shoot for the sky and reach the stars than the other way around. Grab a calendar and write down your goal weight date. Then, chart out how often you'll weigh in, and set reasonable benchmarks. Keep in mind you will likely lose weight slow at first, then you'll drop faster, then progress might slow down again before picking up again. Just like your goal, don't set benchmarks you have no chance of reaching. You'll only get discouraged, and want to quit. Never quit, never ever quit.
About the Author
Ted Hebert is a writer and Maverick Thinker who works with business of all sizes to grow their business. Contact Ted at ted@atunga.com or visit www.Atunga.com.
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