On Facebook, a friend asked for my suggestions and I thought I'd share them with you as well:
I remember a few years ago when I tipped the scales at over 300lbs and thought to myself, "Enough!" It was like a switch was thrown and less than a year later, 100lbs had melted off of me.
My secret is to keep it easy, simple, and logical... I trusted my intuition and followed what my body "suggested." Sometimes it's just all about listening to yourself.
- I cut back on sweets extensively, including no more soda and sweet tea. If you have serious sugar cravings, look for natural alternatives. For example, grapes make a great snack.
- Start eating better, use your common sense and intuition. No more fast food, no junk food, etc. This was actually the easiest part because it involved the most common sense and once my body got the taste of eating all natural, healthy food, it thrived and *loved* it. If you listen to your body, it will tell you this and guide you.
- This is optional -- in order to keep my metabolism burning through the day I don't just eat three meals daily. I spread it out with healthy snacks every few hours. If possible, I do make sure I don't eat anything three hours before bedtime so it doesn't sit in my body overnight while I'm sleeping.
- Start drinking lots of water. Especially drink a glass first thing in the morning before your coffee - it's actually good for your body and heart to do this. After awhile you will start to love and yearn for the taste of cool water. Put lemons or limes in it to give it some taste if you want, and it's good stuff.
- Find a form of exercise that's easy for you to keep doing on a consistent basis *and* see if you can find something you actually enjoy doing. For me, I started walking the hills in my neighborhood at least 4-5 days a week at around 30 minutes each. Hill walking is a great interval workout that really gets you going when walking at a good pace uphill and is low resistance on your body. This was pretty much all I did to burn the weight off, other than hiking on the weekends which wasn't as rigorous as the hill walking unless I took really long hikes. Walking is also very good for you psychologically as it is shown to balance your brain.
- Most importantly, start loving yourself. You may look at yourself in the mirror and see how "fat" etc (whatever words you use) you are, but realize that it's *you* in there somewhere. It's *your* body and it's not your body's fault that it got to where it is. Stop bombarding it with negative emotions or thoughts. Embrace your body, love it, and tell your body you both are going to make a commitment to get it back to where it needs to be in good health. Your body loves and needs *you* to love it and that means loving *yourself*.
- Discipline is only as hard as you make it. Stick to a routine that works and do it so that it becomes a habit. In other words, don't fight it, don't groan over it, just do it.
(This is why I suggest finding something enjoyable that is also exercise. Like kayaking or bike riding, even, when you're able to do that).
- If you can trust your discipline and you've reached a point where you're in a good consistent flow, it's okay to reward yourself now and then. Gotta enjoy.
Like others have said, the hardest part is keeping it off. It shouldn't be a problem if you've stuck to a routine and made it a lifelong habit as with any other habit you may have. And if you do slip, don't browbeat yourself over it, "just do it" and get back into the flow.
Major lifestyle changes can throw a wrench if you have to change things up. For me, divorcing and moving way out in the boonies was a radical change for me because I no longer had hills to walk and I had to figure out how to "reprogram" my program. The initial divorce stuff was very stressful as well so it didn't help either so while trying to figure things out and forgetting what worked for me, I gained about 40 or so pounds. Fortunately I was able to get back into a rhythm that worked for me (kayaking, bike riding, and hiking) and it actually worked out better for me because now I'm putting muscle on and my body is starting to get toned, which wasn't really possible with walking. Don't get me wrong, it's not necessary to be toned, etc. it just came naturally from what I'm doing and I'm enjoying it.
All the best to you. Start loving yourself and start walking forward into your new life. Keep it simple... Baby steps... Don't set yourself up for failure right at the start like others pointed out. Love ya, bro.