5 months…..

Well, 5 months have passed in 2018 and for me 38.6 pounds have gone with it. I had a goal of losing 8 pounds a month this year and I fell a bit short in the month of May. I hit that wall and just could not seem to break through this time. In fact, I fluctuated all month from 221 to 217 up until the last day where somehow, 2 pounds dropped off. Mind you, I am not complaining in the least. I have lost almost 40 pounds this year, I feel better than I have in 3 years, my clothes fit much better and I am just a happier person overall. I have developed a bit of an obsession with that damn scale though and I have decided to make a change this month, a drastic one at that.

I am not sure you will find this method in anywhere but, for the month of June, I am going to be “Scale Free” I weighed in on June 3 and 215 pounds and I will not step on that scale again until July 3. I became to concerned about what that scale read and it would ruin my entire mind set when it just wasn’t moving. Never mind that I am putting on more muscle due to the fact I am working our 5-6 times a week. Clothes fitting better, so what?? Scale says I am not working hard enough! I was letting the scale get in my head and it had really gotten bad. So bad that I was weighing myself multiple times a day. If the scale wasn’t moving, I was eating too much, right?? WRONG!! That just slowed my metabolism down even more. I had forgotten everything I had learned and already shared with you about the healthy lifestyle. I had become more concerned with the number on the scale that what I was feeling and what my clothes, wife and friends were telling me. All the “you look great” compliments fell on deaf ears because the scale was the only thing that I was measuring myself on. I can be a bit OCD at times, especially when I focus my attention on a big time goal, like becoming a healthier version of me. I have to make a drastic change to break this vicious cycle so, I am banning myself from the scale. My wife agreed with me, she told me I am now in the habit of eating right and going to the gym has now become part of my daily routine. All that scale is doing is messing with your mind. So begone scale!!!!

As I promised when I started this, we did take a picture at month end and added it to our journal. I don’t show this to brag but, to hold myself accountable to anyone that may find motivation from this blog. I hope it shows you that if you are determined and stay focused on your goal, you can achieve anything. Not much if a change from April to May other than maybe a little more muscle!

Go out and be the best YOU, you can be!!!!20180603_183809_1528069101749

Is it really worth it?

This has been one helluva month for me as far as weight loss goes. I started the month off at 221 and as of today, 24 days past, I am down to a whopping 217. Granted we had a mini vacation last week to visit family in Texas so that may have put the brakes on a bit but DAMN!! Getting up at 4:30 every morning to go exercise, counting every calorie to make sure I an within my limits and being strong when offered all kinds of goodies gets me a 4 pound reduction. It is times like this when I question whether all this effort is worth it. All the sacrifice, will power and consistency, is it worth doing all of that just to lose fat??? The answer, as it always should be, is a resounding YES!!

Getting healthy is much more that what the scale says. Don’t let that little piece of machinery deter you from the ultimate goal, becoming a healthier version of you. Am I frustrated for hitting a wall in my weight loss? Of course I am but, should I be? Do my clothes fit better? Do I have more energy? Do I have more stamina? Do I sleep better than before? Is my confidence at a healthy level? The answer to all of these questions is yes. I am way better over all than I was 5 months ago. I can see the changes in my body and others can too. Does it really have to mean failure if I don’t lose the weight I have told myself I should lose? No, it doesn’t. It is ok to be frustrated and you can use that as a motivational tool to make you push harder but, don’t ever use that frustration as an excuse to quit. You will always regret the decision to quit much more than the decision to keep moving forward.

So, I will continue to get up at 4:30, continue to exercise just as hard, if not harder than before. I will continue to eat the right foods but not jump off a cliff if I slip up. Most importantly, I will not quit trying to become the healthiest version of myself that I can be. They great things about goals is, they are always changing. Never be satisfied for average. You were made to be spectacular!!

Go be the best YOU, you can be  today!

I cheated and my wife knows….

Yes, I admit it, I have cheated. I just could not help myself, the temptation was just too strong and I gave in to my primal urges. Sad thing is, my wife witnessed the entire thing and smiled at me the entire time. I had a fully loaded, fajita taco salad!!

I have been stuck at or around 220 pounds for the past 11 days. I just can’t seem to break the threshold. I hit a plateau earlier and finally got thru it so maybe this is round two of that. The body can be stubborn and once it get adjusted to what you are doing, it will make the necessary changes to hold you steady. I read that sometimes, a cheat meal will jump-start your metabolism again so, last night I cheated and OMG was it good!!! I did not hit the fried bowl it cam in but I did have plenty of chips and salsa!! Afterwards, I felt guilty for doing such a thing but, my wife reminded me that it is ok to cheat sometimes, as long as you don’t make it a habit.

I woke up this morning fully expecting to be up in weight, at least 2 maybe even 3 pounds. So, I cautiously stepped on the scale and waited…….220! Dang it!!! Oh well, at least I got to have a taco salad!!

Go out and be the best YOU, you can be today!!

Just get up…

People look at me like I have lost my mind when I tell them I get up at 4:30 AM 5 days a week to go to the gym. “No way I would do that!” or “You Crazy!” or even “Man that is commitment.” For me, it was the only feasible time that I could get to the gym on a daily basis. It was rough at first but, once I got used it, 4:30 isn’t so bad. I get to the gym, can get to the weights I want without delay and I get in a good hour work out in, every morning, 5 days a week.

The hardest part about getting up is leaving my wife in bed. My happy place is lying beside her in bed, sometimes cuddling till we both fall asleep. There is no place I would rather be in this world than right there with her. Yet, I still get up every morning, leaving her side to go work on being a healthier version of myself, I want to be around as long as I can to enjoy every moment with my wife as well as my son.  We aren’t promised anything in this life but, I can do my part to live a healthy productive life while I am here.

So, you can come up with every excuse to why you can’t go to the gym, why you can’t go walk your neighborhood or why you can’t make better food choices. You can blame genetics, hormones or thyroid. Or, you can just GET UP.

Go be the best YOU, you can be today!

Reprogramming yourself….

I am on day 128 of the Healthier Me Tour 2018 and that is a tad over 1/3 of a year. In that time frame I have lost 33 pounds, down two pant size, down two shirt sizes, have more energy, sleep better and just a better me overall. I am making better food choices and working out has now become second nature to me. I firmly believe that once most of us make up our minds we are going to do something, make a plan and commit to that plan, there is nothing we cannot accomplish. When you want change, you have to reprogram yourself to make that happen. It takes 21 days for a behavior to become a habit. You have to commit and follow through.

My father in law has decided he wants to lose some weight. He has seen how much I have changed and he wants that as well. So, we sat down and I explained to him exactly what I was doing. First thing he wanted to know is, what are you eating? I explained to him that since I was in such bad shape and obese, I had to make a drastic change. I cut my calories back to 1400 a day. He had the same response as everyone else, “WHAT??? That is impossible to do and not be starving!” I told him that it was in fact, very easy to do, you just have to eat the right foods. He still did not believe me so I showed him a simple example. I took a package of chicken breast and showed him the nutritional chart on the back. A serving size of boneless, skinless chicken breast is 4 oz and that equates to approximately 187 calories. I then took a can of green beans and showed him that 4 oz of green beans was 35 calories and if you ate the entire can, it was only 70 calories. I explained to him it is all about the food choices and if you eat more of the lower calories foods, such as vegetables and less of the higher calorie foods, you can set yourself at 1400 calories and find that is not only plenty of food, it may be too much! He still did not believe that was all I was eating but he was willing to give it a go.

Saturday night, we went out to eat with my in-laws and Pop still was having a hard time with the diet. “I am starving to death” he said as we walked out the door. I said what have you been eating. “I have done exactly as you told me, but I am doing 1500 calories a day.” Then my mother in law busted him out, “He is not doing what you told him, he is still eating bread in the mornings and he only eats 2 meals a day!!” I said, “No wonder you are starving!! You have to spread those calories out during the day.” He argued that he is still only doing 1500 calories so it was ok. Shaking my head, we walked into the restaurant. As we sat down, he said, “I am going to eat exactly what you do.” I nodded in agreement. Waitress came over and I ordered a salad with grilled chicken and balsamic vinaigrette. He ordered the same. The waitress brought out bread and put it on the table and Pop was the first one to reach for a roll. “What are you doing?” I asked. He said “One won’t hurt me and I love bread!” I just laughed and said, you have to cut that bread out for now until you get some of this weight off. He said’ “Well all we are eating is a salad and that ain’t going to be enough!” I just shook my head and smiled. It dawned on me that just a few short months ago, I was the same way. I had to reprogram my way of thinking about food to make good choices no matter where I was. Making good foo choices is a state of mind. I know what I want to accomplish and I have made the decision to cut back on certain things and eat more of the healthier foods. I don’t feel like I am missing anything, on the contrary, I have detoxed myself from all the bad foods and I don’t really miss them. Do I still eat bread? Of course I do, I just don’t make it a norm. I am at point now that I can eat the “not so good” foods every once in a while and it not throw me off course. I could not do that in January, it would have sabotaged my mission. I told Pop, once you decide you really want to lose that belly, you will! Until then, you are just running in mud, not going anywhere.

Make plan, commit to that plan and follow that plan. You will find yourself making better choices everyday and before you know it, those choices become second nature to you. Whether is a food plan or workout plan, you have to commit to that plan and work it until it becomes a habit. Remember, not all habits are bad!

Go out and be the best YOU, you can be today!

4 months and 32 pounds ago….

4 months into this healthy lifestyle journey and I have reached every goal that I have set for myself. I wanted to lose an average of 8 pounds a month and as of yesterday. May 2nd, I have lost 32 lbs and feel better than I have in years. I am down 2 pant sizes, 2 shirt sizes and have to buy new clothes!! This has been the toughest attempt I have ever had in the losing weight department. In my younger days, dropping weight was easy. I could lose 10 pounds at the drop of a hat. Since I turned 50 though, it has been a real struggle to lose this flab. If you have been keeping up with my journey, you know how I have struggled and celebrated any accomplishment just to keep myself motivated. Truth is there were times i just wanted to say TO HELL WITH IT and go get me some ice cream and super sized pizza. That would have been the easy way out and I would not only let myself down but, my wonderful wife as well. She and our son are the real reason why I decided to make the change. I knew that I was heading down a dark path and if I wanted to be around to enjoy life with them for many years, something had to change. So, here is where I stand after 4 months.

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My wife had already started working out before I made the decision for a healthier lifestyle. I found that as I began to follow her lead, it helped motivate her as well. When I started dropping some weight, she was so proud and encouraging that I made me want to keep pushing forward. I also feel with me working as hard as I have been, she has pushed herself a bit harder and it has paid off.  As of this writing, she has around 22 pounds herself.  I made the decision in April to get up early, go to the gym and get my workout in, no more excuses. I think that motivated her to work harder during her workouts. She has really toned up and people are noticing too. She was featured in a video at her gym, proud hubby moment there. We both feel so much better, sleep so much better and have so much more energy than we did before. We may even have to d a little hiking later on this year. But exercise is only part of this equation.

We have been disciplined (for the most part) with our diet as well. We watch what we eat and don’t beat ourselves up if we slip up. This past weekend, it was hard to find good healthy choices while at her company seminar. They fed us deli sandwiches, so, we had to chunk the bread and eat meat and lettuce. We ate salads where we could but, splurged a bit and had a real hamburger with french fries OMG!!! All in all it wasn’t a bad trip and Monday morning, we were back to our routine and we are still moving forward. The two pictures below show you how far we have come in a years time. The first was from a year ago at the same seminar we attended this past weekend. The second is from this year. Can you see a difference?

I hope this helps motivate you to just keep moving forward in your push for a healthier lifestyle. It is a great feeling of accomplishment to have come this far in our journey but, we both know, we have more to go to reach out ultimate goals. Hopefully you will stick around and follow along with us as we hit each and every one of our goals. Bottom line is, if we can do this, you can to. You just have to make up your mind, commit and start moving!

Go be the best YOU, you can be today!!

Hitting the wall (Plateau)….

At the beginning of this month, I weighed in at 229 lbs. My original goal was 225 by the end of April. Feeling I had that in the bag, I set my self a new goal of 220 and pushed forward. By April 8, I was at 225.5 and thought to myself, this is going to be a breeze! Well, I had a bad day, eating wise, on the 8th and BOOM, I was back up to 228.6. Knowing that it was more than likely just water retention, I did not let it phase me and kept “Doin My Thang”! Well, for the month of April I have been stuck between 225-228. No matter what I eat, no matter how hard I exercise, I just can’t seem to break the 225 barrier. I was getting as frustrated as a one-armed paper hanger and then it hit me, I have hit that dreaded wall or “plateau” as the experts call it.

The human body is an amazing piece of work. It can adjust its metabolism at the blink of an eye. During the journey, you make changes to your diet and activity level. At first your body is like “WHOA!!” and the changes in your appearance start off quickly. You are losing weight and inches at a quick pace and you are seeing the results you were hoping for. You get pumped up and your motivation is through the roof. Then your body catches up to what you are doing, “OHHHHH I see what we are doing, I need to slow things down so I don’t starve or burn through fuel quite as fuel quite as fast.” It will adjust to the number of calories you have been taken in and make that the norm. It will grow accustomed to your work out regime, and only burn so many calories to conserve energy. This is what the experts call. “The Plateau”. At this point, most people will just say “This is a low as I can get, no need to keep working this hard if nothing is going to change.” They stop trying and BOOM, the weight and inches come screaming back and then some. Then, they start the cycle all over again. I call this the “See-Saw Approach” This will never work in the end and you will never maintain a healthy weight of lifestyle with this approach. There is a better way!

When you hit that wall, that is when you change things up! What I did this time around was have a couple of cheat days. We had a family adventure this weekend and I ate things I have not been such as, greasy hamburger (no bun, I am not crazy!) taco salad, popcorn and some salted peanuts. Sunday, I had a couple of pancakes and grilled up some hot dogs, pork chops and chicken thighs. Not really bad but, different from what I had been putting in my body. I increased my cardio from 20 minutes to 30 and increased the pace as well. I wear a Garmin device that keeps up with my total steps for the day. I went from roughly 10,00 steps per day up to 14-15 by adding a 10 minute walk in after I eat. I park further away from the building and make myself walk a little more each day. It may not sound like much but, you will be surprised at how even the smallest of changes can make a difference.Yesterday, I busted through that plateau, weighing in a 224.6 and today I am at an even 224.

Don’t give up when you hit that wall, push yourself a little more instead. You can and will hit your goals, you just have to believe you can and let nothing or no one stop you, not even yourself.

Go out and be the best YOU, you can be today!!!