Before I take you on this epic voyage with me, I just want to be clear, my health journey is far from over. I’ve still got a long way to go but, last year, I decided it was time to end my yoyo weight battle that has been raging for the better part 20 years.
I made a clear and powerful choice that I was no longer going to be a slave to food. I didn’t want to repeat the constant failed promises to myself that things would change with regards to my weight, only to then self-sabotage myself.
I’m 38 and I’ve realised now is the time; that it’s now or never.
(Just so you know I’ve recorded a little video which is below to go along with this post)
I’m doing much better now with my weight and food habits than I have done at anytime in my life. It’s not been easy; it’s still a challenge and continues to be.
I’ve been totally focussed on changing my diet and lifestyle and so far, since Novemer, I’ve dropped almost 30lbs in fat. I’m down to 270lbs and my current goal is to get to 250lbs by the end of June.
I posted up on facebook some snapshots of my weight loss and it has got people intrigued and want to know what I’ve been doing; they want to know how I lost 30lbs and keep it off.
Before I reveal that, here’s a quick breakdown of the progress so far.
At the end of October 2014 I was at 298lbs.
At the end of January 2015 I was 283lbs.
At the end of February 2015 I was at 277lbs
I am currently at 271lbs.
At this point, I want to emphaise that I’m not into ‘fad’ dieting but, I do like to experiement and try different things.
I’m doing a number of things right now, experimenting with various methods, and I’ve devised a good forumla that works for me. I didn’t dive in head first; I began slowly and built up to the combination of methods I use. Therein lies an important point; it doesn’t just have to be one method you choose, it could be a combination. My prime rule is simple: IT HAS TO BE A DIET OR PLAN THAT IS SUSTAINABLE FOR LIFE. If not – I won’t do it.
So here’s what I’ve been doing…
Intermittent Fasting or the 5:2 Diet
My first step began in November when I began doing Intermittent Fasting or what’s also popularly called the 5:2 diet. Most people I know that have been doing the 5:2 diet or, intermittent fasting, have lost weight and the research is relatively conclusive about the health benefits. (Although I did see a totally contradictory article but try it and make up your own mind.)
It’s simple and easy to follow. Basically for two days out of the seven, you reduce your food intake to 600 calories for men, and 500 calories for women. I stick as closely to that as I can and on the other days I just try to eat as sensibly as possible. In the early days, I did binge somewhat on my non fasting days however, I have that more under control now. Over the course of 3 months I lost around 15lbs.
Cutting Out Sugar
In February I did my 28 day no sugar challenge. I didn’t cut all sugars, just mainly the refined stuff which included sugary drinks, chocolate, crisps, and snacks. I did continue to eat fruit, breads and pasta. It was tough but aslo equally uplifting. In February along I lost an additional 7lbs.
A Binge Day
Following on from that I decided I knew I would struggle to stay completely off sugar so I decided to allow myself a single binge day a week where I induldge in anything I want. I don’t drink alcohol or eat meat so it usually only consists of having some snacks and junk food if I feel like it so that it no longer plagues my thoughts. I have whatever I want, don’t chastise myself about it and move on; it’s that simple.
In addition to the dietary changes, I knew I would need to do slightly more exericse to make sure I kept myself physically fit and healthy. I find that being tired can also cause weight gain so I didn’t want to over do it. I decided to keep it exceptionally simple and make sure I hit 10,000 steps every day, which for someone of my size is about 500 calories burned and about 8km worth of walking.
I use my pedometer on my phone to make sure I hit my target but, I don’t just do it for the sake of it, I actually really enjoy my daily walks and so that keeps me going.
I play badminton frequently but I decided to cut down a little as it can be a full on sport when played at a higher level. So, I play in shorter bursts but I also decided to start playing singles again to up my overall fitness.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
I’ve also incorporated some HIIT in my regime and my exercise of choice is skipping. I’m still building up to it as skipping can be quite intense. I’m accomplished at skipping so that isn’t a problem for me, but it’s building up to the highest level of intensity which can take a little bit of time. For more information on HIIT go here – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17177251.
That last thing which I have yet to do is add some weight training into my routine. I will start gently but build slowly with the primary goal of building strength. I feel as though, a sedentary lifestyle has made me incredibly weak.
That basically sums up everything I’ve been doing up until now. I feel like the biggest change came from cutting out as much sugar as possible. Although I do still have some sugar now, I keep it to an absolute minimum.
As an increasing amount of time has passed, most of what I do now has become almost a habit, e.g., walking and using the stairs as much as possible. I had to consciously think about it in the beginning, but now I pretty much do all these things without even thinking about it; including saying no to junk food. When someone offers me a something I would class as junk, I respond first without even thinking about it. That implies that it has become a good habit now and doesn’t require the mental stamina to consciously make theose choices all the time.
Althought I’ve shared with you all the methods I’ve been using thus far, I may still make changes and try different things.
If you make the choice that you want to drop some weight and improve your health, start slowly. Don’t just join a gym and never go. Really find a method that brings you enjoyment and take baby steps to build up to it. So many people I know are under the impression that you need to spend hours in the gym to lose weight and get healthy. Absolutely not. If you’re just starting out you can spend a few hours in the gym and burn yourself out within a week.
What’s the rush? Just take your time with it and enjoy the process.
My final piece of advice to you would be to make that public declaration. I did so on Facebook and now people are going to hold me accountable. The thought of letting them down as well as myself really keeps me on track.
I still make mistakes and try different things, some of which do not work, but I pay attention to the feedback and try other things.
Good luck on your own journey. Feel free to leave me any feedback or questions in the comments section below and I will answer back as quickly as possible.
(Watch the video and feel free to share.)