When I first embarked on my weight loss journey, I went to the web and read every blog possible to see what advice I could get from people that were already on the journey. I quickly found that weight loss blogs are in one of two categories: either people are trying to lose weight and are struggling or only losing a little bit of weight, or people are very successfully and losing a ton of weight while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. After making this observation, I chose to focus on the blogs of people that were successful to see exactly what they were doing so I could use that information and not re-invent the wheel.
After hours and hours of reading blogs, taking notes and figuring out what they were doing to successfully lose weight, I came away with a short list of things they were doing in common. This list included things such as: calories in vs. calories out, exercise, eating several meals a day, and a few others. However, the most glaring thing they all had in common is that they all drank water throughout the day. Even more, they all drank about a gallon of water a day.
Because of this, my wife and I are starting a challenge today. From now (September 30th) to Halloween, we are going to try and drink a gallon of water a day. Whoever drinks a gallon a day for the most day wins! We haven’t quite figured out the wager, but believe me, there will be a wager.
Water intake is paramount when it comes to weight loss. If you do a Google search for “benefits of drinking water” you will find thousands and thousands of articles and studies showing why its important. Because of this, we have the “Gallon-a-Day Challenge.” I will update my site often (in the right sidebar) with my progress.
I challenge you to join me in this challenge. You can only benefit from this challenge!
Thanks to Jack Sh*t, Gettin’ Fit and his 5k Challenge, I will be participating in a 5K on November 14th. I say participating and not running because I’m sure it will be a hybrid run-walk for me.
I don’t run for exercise. I am more of a elliptical and weightlifting guy. When people ask me if I run, I usually tell them “run only when chased”. But Jack set forth a challenge, and for me, being challenged it what it takes to get motivated. In fact, I don’t think I would go to the gym every morning if I didn’t challenge myself to get better every day. I need a challenge, and that is why I think I got overweight in the first place.
I never challenged myself in the past when it came to physical fitness. I always thought that I could do it later. But then it hit me that later is now and I set forth a challenge to myself…Lose 54 pounds by the end of 2010. I need a challenge, I want a challenge, without it I get lazy.
I’ve realized that accepting challenges goes way beyond running a 5k or going to the gym. Accepting challenges impacts almost every facet of my life. Step up and be great is what I hear in my head when I hear a challenge being thrown my way. Now that I have accepted the weight loss challenge that I gave myself and am successfully conquering it, I know that I can accept any challenge in any facet of my life and conquer it. This is why I have accepted Jack’s 5K challenge without really being a runner. I know I can do it…I will do it!
Pushing yourself and challenging yourself everyday is a vital component to succeeding. This is probably true in many regards, but especially true when trying to lose weight. Could I have lifted 10 more pounds, could I have done one more rep, could I not have eaten that small bowl of ice cream. These are all challenges that I give myself everyday to try and conquer the next day. This is what it takes for me to stay on my weight loss journey.
Pushing yourself to be the best everyday is the only challenge you need to loss weight and be healthy. I can do it…you can do it!
At some point in your weight loss journey, you will face a plateau. Heck, you might even face several in your journey. They happen to everyone. I am currently in the midst of a plateau. I have been stuck at the same weight for about a week now. No one really knows why these happen or how to break through the plateau. There are several theories out there how to break through. Doing a quick search of “weight loss plateau” will return results of many blogs offering their advice. Here is a quick list of ideas that I have compiled from various blogs:
- Intermittent Fasting
- Switch Up Your Workouts
- Zig-Zag Caloric Intake
- Change Meal Frequency
- Add Weight Training To Your Exercise Routine
- Increase Protein Intake
- Eat More
- Eat Less
You see, there are a several ideas out there, some of them conflicting. I am of the opinion that you gotta stick to your plan and keep at it. Its a frustrating feeling to workout and eat right and not see the number on the scale decrease. Hard work and consistent execution of your plan is what will break the plateau.
It might help to take a look at your food journal, just to make sure your eating is on target. If it is, the plateau might just be your body adapting to the rigors of your plan. I think this is a good thing. This is your body assimilating to what you want it to do. Once it understands what you are trying to achieve, it will work for you. This is why I think its important to stick to your plan on a consistent basis.
Keep on, keepin’ on….you will break through!
Weight loss is a tough thing to conquer. If it was easy, none of these fly-by-night products would have infomercials. The term “magic pill” wouldn’t be used. Everyone would be at the weight they want to be at. Why is it so tough?
Some people think that the mental part of losing weight is the tough. Telling yourself to go workout or to not eat that candy bar. For me, the mental side is easy. I know that I should be exercising and should be eating right. The toughest aspect of losing weight is the physical aspect. Listening to what my body is telling me and take the appropriate actions. This is the toughest thing to do because there is no manual for your body. You are the manual. The magazines and books tell you one thing and your body tells you another.
You need to be one with your body. Listen to it and take the appropriate actions. Understand cause and effect. I’ve done that and it works. For example, I was drinking a protein shake before my workouts and then not eating anything until my mid-morning snack. I was getting kinda sluggish after my workouts and realized that my body needed more fuel immediately following exercise. So I listened and changed it up. I now eat an apple before my workout and drink a protein shake right after working out. I have much more energy and my body has responded.
Your body is talking to you, are you listening?
This post was inspired by a post written by Mish. Its an amazing post and I highly recommend you read it: “Dear Body”
Everyday, I get asked how I am losing weight. Everyday. I love it when I am asked because I get to talk about the programs that are working for me. I eat according to LoseIt! and I workout according to New Rules of Lifting. I love talking about these programs. But I make a point to tell each person that, as great as these programs are, the programs alone won’t lose the weight for you. There are two traits that you must posses or are willing to procure:
- Dedication – to really lose weight and make a lifestyle change, dedication is a must. I need to me dedicated to what I am trying to achieve and follow through. I have dedicated myself to eating right and exercising. Dedication is an easy word to toss around in the first few weeks. However, the truly dedicated are the ones that stick with it for the long haul.
- Being Militant – some people call this dedication, but I think being militant is being dedicated times 10. Being militant means not eating that cookie cause you have extra calories for the day. Being militant means going to the gym at 6am even though I only got 6 1/2 hours of sleep. Being militant means that you want this and you will do anything to get it.
I am rather passionate about needing these two things to be successful at losing weight. I think I might scare off a few people during the conversation, but this is the truth. There are no pills or magic fruit juicer or other infomercial products that will melt off the fat. You must be dedicated and militant about that dedication to succeed.
The thing is, we all have that inside us. We all currently or have wanted so bad that we did what ever it took to get it. Maybe you saved up for three years for that trip to Italy or maybe you rode your bike to work to save for that new truck. That same dedication is what is needed to lose weight. Its not about the program that you are following, its about YOU!
We all know that exercising is an important factor to losing weight and maintaining health. Yet, so many of us fail to be consistent in going to the gym and sticking with an exercise program. I am one of those people that decided to get into the gym, just to see myself not stick with it.
I look back at why I didn’t stick with it and how I can get better and being more consistent in my visits to the gym. I really wanted to find out why I can’t seem to dedicate an hour or so a day to my health.
After examining possible reasons, I have concluded that the primary (there are a few but this is the most common) reason is that I have been going to the gym during the time of day that is not conducive to me and my life.
I would go to work (where I sit in a cube), go home, grab my gym stuff and head to the gym. The first problem is that I went home after work. Too many distractions, to-do lists, and other things that derail my path to the gym.
I tried taking my gym stuff to work and heading to the gym right after work. This seemed to work ok until it got to the point where I was just burned out after work and had no motivation to be at the gym. When you have no desire to be in the gym, your workout has no enthusiasm and suffers.
I then tried going to the gym during my lunch hour. This was short lived cause I hated that I only had an hour, which wasn’t enough time to get to the gym, get a good workout in, shower and get back to work.
So I sucked it up and forced myself to start going to the gym at 6am. WOW!!!
Here are the benefits I have found by working out early:
- I love going to the gym early. There are a lot less people in the gym early than there are after work. I can use any machine and any piece of equipment without worrying if someone else will be using what I want to use. This sounds trivial, but its nice to workout to the schedule I created and not have to change my workouts around during the workout.
- I feel amazing for the rest of the day. I know my workout is done and I have more energy throughout the day. This has been the biggest benefit and the one that keeps me going back at 6am.
- As stupid as this sounds, my water bill is a little lower cause I shower at the gym 5 days a week instead of at home. I still hate the traditional locker room setup, which for the record, is not fun for overweight people. It might be one of the reasons why overweight people don’t go to the gym that much. Everyone is packed in there, its hard to move around and god forbid anyone see me partially naked. The shower situation is old school. If you know of a gym in the Denver area that has semi-private showers and lockers, please let me know!
- It frees up my evenings to get things done at home or just to relax with my family…which is always time well spent.
Anyway, the first few weeks was tough to rise early. However, I think I have formed a new habit and I truly enjoy going to the gym early in the morning.
If you are struggling sticking to a consistent gym schedule, try out different times of the day to see if it makes better sense for your life and for your dedication!