Do you want to make changes to the way you look? Are you fed up with being overweight and deep down inside worried about people might be thinking about you? (Even though they may not be thinking anything at all but, in your mind, they are.) Are you fed up with getting to the top of the stairs and being exhausted? Are you tired of not feeling attractive to the opposite sex?
A while back I mentioned that I wanted to start posting a series based on weight loss, fitness training, and exercise for overweight people. People who weren’t sure how to begin the process of changing their physical state and for anyone else who wanted to begin a new chapter with their health.
My Journey So Far
When I began my journey just over three years ago I was in terrible shape, which is putting it mildly, and yet I know that there are people in much worse shape than I was. Starting a new regime is easy. Sticking to it is the real challenge! Initially the weight loss will be fast and easy but then that will start to slow and eventually plateau. Then there will be motivation issues and other temptations to contend with.
Those Good Intentions And Other Challenges
Everyone, once in a while, feels the surge of energy to act and make changes. That doesn’t last long if preparations aren’t made to maintain the enthusiasm for undertaking a new personal project. There are ways to combat this and I’ll share more of those a little later on. Then there things that pop up out of the blue that may hinder your progress. You might get injured which can, at times be, soul destroying if up to that point you’ve made some amazing progress. In fact, it is often at those times that injuries occur; almost as a test to your resolve.
There are many methods of weight loss. I have friends who’ve tried varied weight loss systems including the kind that involve eating bars and shakes for breakfast lunch and dinner. Some have had great success. Some have had temporary success and some have had no success with them at all. That’s because those programs require enormous amounts of will power and resistance.
I’m offering you my suggestions and principles in an attempt to make slimming down fun, easy, and gradual. If you expect massive losses consistently; you’re kidding yourself! This process can take months and sometimes even years. However, time will become irrelevant because you’ll be enjoying what you’re doing! It won’t just be an arduous task that you have to do! It will become part of your overall longterm lifestyle rather than just something you do for a few months and then eventually give up.
The keys here are variety, enjoyment, sustainability and pleasure. If you incorporate these four keys then slimming down becomes a breeze! It’ll become something that you don’t have to even think about and something that doesn’t make you feel guilty just because you happen to miss a day!
To begin with:
1. Most people would say start by creating a goal. I say forget that for now and just make a start! The more specific goal setting can come later but for now just make your goal to start exercising whilst having some fun.
2. Find something energetic that you ENJOY doing! It can be a sport, going to the gym, walking, swimming, running etc., or pretty much anything you like that you like. Start doing it on a regular basis. Finding a club or group of some kind is also a good way to go. You’ll meet new people and create new social circles through which you’ll keep each other going.
3. Here is something that is extremely important and it’s a mistake most people make when undertaking a new program like this. Many people exercise until they get tired and end up having that achy feeling for the next few days. When that happens they feel reluctant to continue exercising because they’ve anchored that feeling into their body. It doesn’t last but if that happens for the first few sessions it’s what beginners remember the most and it’s that feeling which then puts them off maintaining that program.
Here’s the key: Exercise to the point where you are enjoying the exercise and stop well before the point of feeling tired! Do this for the first few months! Yes, you heard me right, the first few months especially if right now you’re classed as being ‘overweight’. This has a few objectives: i) It anchors the feeling of enjoying exercise. ii) It gives your body the time to get used to the exercise; especially for your joints. iii) You won’t be put off the exercise because you won’t have the exhausted feeling that can come from vigorous exercise.
I can’t stress enough, how important it is, for you to find something you enjoy doing! Enjoyment is the best motivation tool there is. It doesn’t matter what else you try and use as leverage on yourself. Whether that be money, becoming more desirable to the opposite sex, or just to look good. Nothing will beat sheer enjoyment!
Let me explain what I’m talking about. When it comes to sports; badminton is my passion! If my body could allow me to play more then I would probably play 24 hours a day 7 days a week. If I had the choice between a hot date and badminton, badminton would win hands down every time! 😆
Why It’s Not Good To Join A Gym Straight Away
That brings me onto my final point. Plenty of people come up to me and tell me: “Amit, I need to lose weight for the summer so I’m going to join the gym!” At this point, I debate about whether to roll around on the floor laughing for the next 15 minutes or whether to explain to them direct. The former never goes down that well so let me go ahead and explain the latter.
As I mentioned earlier the greatest motivational force is pure enjoyment. When you enjoy something you never have to even think about getting up to do it. You just do it! With a gym it’s likely that you’ll be paying some sort of monthly subscription. I’ve heard people say that they think this will motivate them into the gym! If so you’re completely deluding yourself! Here’s the rub: Get into the habit of exercising now without a gym. If you can do that for 3 months, then fine, go ahead and join the gym! Go use the variety of equipment and join in with some classes. Until you’ve firmly established your good habits first don’t decide on longer term commitments until much later. If you absolutely feel the need to join the gym; ask them if they do a trial membership for a month or so. At least you can see how it goes before they tie you into long contracts leaving you out of pocket and an increased mid section!
These are the first few steps to take. Make a start now and do what I said. You’ll find that you enjoy the process of exercising and losing weight rather than feeling like it is a chore of necessity.