I’m currently making my way back home from university. It’s around 8:00pm and I’m contemplating whether I should go to the gym or not. I’ve been working on losing weight for a long time now, and this goal I’ve decided is truly important to me. But…. I’m tired, a little frustrated with life, and if I’m honest I really don’t want to go. I figured to make the decision easier I’ll let a coin decide my fate. Leave it all to chance.
But as I took out my coin I came to an important realisation. If I had a choice, I would not let chance dictate my happiness, or the successes of my life goals. They are simply too important for me to leave it to fate. So why would I let chance decide today?
Yes I admit that one gym session does not seem all that significant, but it all adds up. Success I’ve reasoned does not stem from a few massive life decisions that you make one or two times in your lifetime. It is an accumulation of hundreds of thousands of tiny decisions that you make every single day.
So the short answer is yes. I will go to the gym. Because even though I don’t feel like it now, somewhere, someday, I’ll be glad I had enough foresight to see the bigger picture, and realise that in life, it all adds up…
I originally started this website as an online diary of my thoughts and opinions, and to this day this is still the primary objective of my site. But in the last two weeks I’ve come to realize that WordPress is much more than a simple historian of the thoughts I wish to share. Much more. I now realize that when I signed up, I signed up to more than just a free website, I was signing up to a community.
At a click of a button I had joined one of the largest and most diverse online communities in existence today. Its rather magically when you think about it :P. Everyday, hundreds of thousands of individuals all around the world are posting little snapshots of their life and experiences for the world to see. In essence, helping paint a more complete picture of the world with each new post.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is that although I came for the free website, I stay for the people, and the opportunity to share in their experience as they journey through this wonderful thing we call life.
photo credit: Eric M Martin via photopin cc
I’m going to be honest with you.
If you quit, you’re never going to reach your goal. Success doesn’t happen by accident, it is a series of very intentional actions.
It is OK to fail, to fall over, make mistakes, and even cry… But quitting is not an option. Not if you truly want to achieve your goal. So keep on pushing for what you want, let your heart carry you when your legs no longer will, and wake up every damn morning with the belief that if it’s going to happen it is up to you.
As some of you know, I am a big fan of keeping some kind of personal record of my thoughts and opinions. It is but one of the many reasons why I started this blog. I honestly believe that it is one of the best ways to gauge how much we have developed as individuals over time. And no where else is this more true than with regards to weight loss and health.
So today, I thought I would share with you my first post on a calorie tracking app known as My Fitness Pal (MFP). This was my first serious attempt at trying to make a a long lasting change in my eating habits, and the post gives a little background into how I got into the habit of lifting weights for my health.
I still use MFP to this day, and am not ashamed to admit that I have built up a very close knit group of friends from their community. Long-term weight is a difficult but noble endeavor. Having a network of people trying to improve their health, and willing to share their experiences and offer support can make all the difference. I may only know them by their aliases and profile photos, but they are far from just “random people on internet”. That’s just my opinion anyway.
So, without further a do, lets take a little trip down Memory lane.
First Published on: Aug 19, 2013 @ 7:00 PM
I have been using the mobile version of MFP consistently for about 7 weeks, and as a diet tracker, and calorie counting tool, it has helped me a lot. Sooo, to try and give back to a community which has helped me so much, I have decided to try and start contributing back to the community and share a little bit about how I took my first step to a healthier life.
So here’s my story…… I am 24 years of age, and for the larger part of my adult life, I have been overweight, and I have no one else to blame for it but myself. Looking back at my short time on earth, it has reduced the quality of my life, and have prevented me from pursuing a number of activities, whether it be due to fitness or being too self conscious about my body image. For me, losing the weight is about improving my quality of life, and becoming the best that I can be…
About 1 year ago, one of the supervisors at work asked me to commit to myself, and start taking my health seriously – he wanted me to join him on his 4am gym sessions….. At this stage I had just joined a gym, but went sparingly, and at best I joined so that I had another excuse to eat poorly and drink in excess. After multiple invitations, I finally gave in….. to be honest he didn’t give me much room to back out either, beeping at my door at 3:50am sharp until I came out 😛 I didn’t know it then, but looking back, that was the day where in light of all of the stresses of everyday life, I was starting to put my health first….. My poor diet and drinking habits continued, but I persisted with the gym routine, and although I wasn’t losing any weight, I was getting stronger, and my perception of the gym change from being a drudgery to being a positive, rewarding experience.
I don’t believe that as human beings, big changes can happen overnight. I do believe however, that small progressive changes can manifest into great and wonderful things, and for me, committing to that ridiculously early gym routine was my first step to a healthier life. I won’t lie, there were some days that I was 50 minutes late to a 1 hour training session…. and others where I didn’t show up at all… But overtime, I became more consistent, and I stuck to it.
Fast forward one year, and now I am a gym addict, and taking the next serious step in my health, my diet.
At my heaviest, I was 105kg (227lb) , and for the most part, my weight has fluctuated between 95kg (209lb) and 105kg (231lb). For someone at 174cm, that puts my BMI at 31 and in the obese category… Now I know that BMI can be inaccurate for athletes and the super fit and muscular, but for the majority of the populous it gives us a sound indication of what a healthy weight for us could be. 75kg (165lb) would just put me in the healthy weight range.
My first goal is to get to 85kg (187lb) , and I am currently at 92kg (203lb). Most of this weight loss has been down to diet, coupled with an aggressive exercise regime. Once I hit 85kg, I will reassess whether or not I need to drop a little more…. I am fairly muscular, and lucky in that I can almost put on muscle just looking at barbells 😛
So there you have it, that’s my little spill.
Would love to have some more people to follow 😛 so if ur OK with me stalking your food diary, and vice versa, send me a msg or post below 🙂 I also heavily use fitocracy, so feel free to add me there as ManOnaMission.
All the best.
It’s almost 9am here in Australia, and I’m still in bed. Half contemplating whether I should go for a run or not. For the record, the answer is almost always definitely yes.
So, after this post I’m going to go get some breakfast, put on some clothes, and hit the pavement. Why, cause dammit I know it’s good for me, and I no longer have time for petty excuses.
Have a good day everyone 🙂
A stubborn runner.
There’s a lot of sigma around the morbidly obese these days. Often the first thought that comes to people’s heads is something along the lines of, “OMG, how could you let yourself get so bad.”
Now I don’t blame people for thinking this, it is deeply ingrained in our society that people are fat because of the poor choices they have made, either through lack of effort, education, or both….. As a result, a large amount of our resources, personally and as a society is spent on addressing things such as diet and exercise. I’m not saying that they aren’t important. Quite the contrary, they are critical to any weight loss goal. What I’m suggesting is that perhaps some of that money would be better spent addressing the root causes of our gluttony.
I feel television shows such as the “Biggest Loser” fail to address this issue, and only helps perpetuate unhealthy and unrealistic weight loss goals. This is also why the majority of the contestant gain back a lot of the weight they have lost. The lifestyle they used to lose the weight is simply unsustainable, and without properly addressing the reasons of their initial weight gain, they are almost always doomed to regain it.
So how should we approach weight loss? Well, my suggestion before we embark on any diet and exercise program is to ask ourselves one simple question.
Why do we eat food?
Although it may seem trivia, answering the question as honestly and openly as possible can reveal a lot about the root causes of our unwanted weight gain. To demonstrate this, I will share with you some of my reasons before I started shredding the pounds and addressing these issues.
- I eat because I am hungry
- During times of extreme stress, I eat food for comfort and to alleviate the stress.
- I eat during times of boredom, it gives me something to do and simply helps fills in the time.
As you can see, only one of the reasons is because I was actually hungry. Like many others, I was using food more for comfort than anything else. Over time this establishes an unhealthy relationship with food where we are reliant on it as a coping mechanism. Understanding why we eat, is just as important as the diet and exercise plans. It helps us identify our reasons so that we may address the negative influences, or at least find other methods of coping.
We are all unique, so I cannot tell you exactly what coping method or activity will be most effective for you. You will need to discover this on your own through time and experimentation. What I can offer is what has worked for me. And for me writing these blog post, as well as keeping a diary are two simple methods I use to cope with my stress and boredom. It may sound weird, but I find it somehow comforting to express my thoughts on paper.
Now go find what works for you, and good luck.
It’s the same old fateful story. You’ll just begun your new diet and exercise program, and “this time” you’re going to do it. First week goes well, your full of energy, smashing through your workouts and religiously sticking to your meal plans. Second week comes and go in a similar fashion. But by the time the third week comes around, you start to lose steam, other priorities start battling for your time, and before you know it you have decided to abandon your goal. Not because you don’t want to achieve it, but because right now your time is better spent on other things. At least that is how you rationalize it to yourself.
So what happened? Well for some, it may really be the case that other priorities have taken precedent. But more often that not, it is because the motivation that pushed us to start in the first place is no longer there. Don’t get me wrong, motivational drive is a wonderful thing to have. It helps push you pass your previous limitations and is often critical in initiating change. My problem with it is that it is unreliable. All it takes is a minor setback for that drive to all but evaporate. This is where habit comes into the picture.
A habit is something you do almost autonomously, such that you barely have to think about it. Something like brushing your teeth, saying Hi to your neighbour, or waking up every morning to go to work. Whether or not you are in a bad mood or not is often irrelevant to whether that task will be performed.
But I hear you ask, “how can I establish a good habit when I have very little motivation to do it?”
The simple answer is, start small.
More often than not, the motivation you have at the start of a goal causes you to be overly ambitious and take on more changes than you can handle in the long term. This is why many people fail to follow their weight loss plans longer than a month. It is very difficult to maintain the amount of motivation necessary to sustain such significant change.
Instead, I recommend that people harbor that initial enthusiasm and focus it on establishing one simple habit that will aid them in their weight loss goal. Once you are confident you have established the habit, work on another, and repeat. Although these small changes to your lifestyle may seem trivia, over the course of the year you will find that they accumulate into long term weight loss. And isn’t that what we’re all really aiming for?
photo credit: Alan Cleaver via photopin cc