Making the “New You” the “Forever You”
The following is a guest post from one of our clients, Tim Murphy. Since he began training with Kyle at our Zionsville location in 2014, Tim has lost over 70 pounds, reduced his waist size from 40 to 28 and reduced his suit size from 48 portly to 38 slim, among improvements to other key health metrics. To hear more about how 20 Minutes A Week has benefited Tim, check out his Client Spotlight.
By Timothy J Murphy, CAE
The number of articles, speeches, blogs, and even books and infomercials that have been written about weight loss – as well as weight maintenance after the loss – likely measure in the hundreds of thousands, if not the millions. Excess weight is a health and aesthetic problem that has plagued Americans for generations, so of course there’s great interest in the topic. You likely know several who have engaged various diet modifications and exercise programs, and have lost excess weight.
Then comes the problem. Losing the initial weight was the easy part. And for many, in 2, 3, or 5 years, all that lost weight seems to have found its way back home! I can’t speak for all those people, but I can tell you my story; and at the same time, offer up the strategies that have worked for me. There’s a good chance they’ll work for you, too.
My initial goal when I met with my coach was weight loss. At 5’10”, I weighed in at 235. I had a 40-inch waist; I was always sluggish, tired, and overheated easily. I wasn’t happy; hence my call to Exercise, Inc. Fast forward more than three years, and the 72 pounds that I initially shed are still gone. Those 12 inches off my waist are a distant memory. Following are the strategies and attitudes that helped me (and are still helping me) as I keep it off…permanently!
1. Stick with what got you there in the first place. After reaching your goal, don’t reach for the fries. Remember, the Paleo lifestyle and your weight training regimen will help keep your body healthy and stronger, as well as lighter.
2. Protein takes you further than anything else. Carbs burn quickly, and you’re hungry again in no time. Vegetables don’t have the sustaining power to keep you full and energized for long periods. But plain, unprocessed protein like turkey, chicken, or your lean meat of choice will make you feel satisfied longer, and your body will take more time converting it to energy. (As an emergency snack, keep a few tuna pouches in your desk drawer. Those can get you through a tough afternoon.)
3. Timing is everything. I have found that by taking in the majority of the daily calories earlier in the day helps keep the weight off. Hence, a nice protein-packed breakfast, well-balanced lunch, and then light snacks later in the day have been my success strategy. I always avoid big, late dinners, as there’s less time to burn that calorie and fat intake (unless it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or another family favorite holiday. Hey, we’re maintaining healthy weight, not being unreasonable fanatics!)
4. Don’t keep a set of “fat clothes” in your closet. Those jeans that are 4” bigger in the waist than you are now are merely a mental safety net for future need; i.e., keeping them is an admission that you intend to gain your weight back. Give them away, put them on E-Bay, donate them – but get them out of your house. If you gain it back, there’s going to be an expense; this, then, becomes a financial motivation for staying healthy and trim.
5. Keep moving. One of my favorite physical activities is simply walking. My wife and I do it together (and we’re both Exercise, Inc. clients to boot), as we enjoy exploring neighborhoods in our area that one can’t really appreciate as much from inside the car. For going out on weekends, we’ll walk 45 minutes or more to go to one of our favorite spots; as we strive for a minimum of 10,000 steps per day (about 5 miles, or 8 kilometers). That’s good for a burn of about 500 calories. Plus, we just feel better after a long walk. (And if the weather turns foul, don’t sweat it; just call Uber or Lyft!)
6. Keep a “fat you” and a “now you” photo on your smart phone. Look at it before ordering your meal, or pulling together ingredients to cook. That’s good motivation for “I’m not going back there!”
7. Stop obsessing on the scale. It’s good to keep tabs on your fluctuations in weight, but put them in perspective. For example, my weight increases with some regularity the more I work out, but my body fat percentage is steadily decreasing. Simple math here – muscle weighs a lot more than fat!
8. “Diet” is not a 4-letter word. (Okay, it is, but you know where I’m going with this.) “Diet” simply refers to our routine, habitual norm of nourishment. It does NOT refer to a form of punishment, or a restriction of all the things we crave; rather, it outlines what we require to maintain healthy habits and a healthier life. Focus on what you DO eat, rather than upon that which you can’t or won’t.
9. And finally, your coach is there for you – always. If you’re an Exercise, Inc. client, be brutally honest with your coach about your challenges and frustrations. He/she will help you with proven, real-time strategies for keeping you moving forward in the attainment of your goals. If you’re not yet a client, do yourself a favor and make your life-changing decision today to call or go online for an initial (FREE) consultation.
Keeping weight off for the long-term is a challenge for many who have lost weight initially. It’s probably due to slipping back into older habits that we abandoned when we were still goal-driven, or said, “I did this, and now I can splurge a little.” Then it got out of hand, and you’re back to the beginning. Adopt an attitude of “There are always NEW goals after my initial goal is attained, and my healthier body – and the happier me – is a marathon, not a sprint.