>Being overweight, obese or even just unfit is not a nice feeling. Many people know this and I myself have struggled with ups and downs and health problems for some time. I used to smoke VERY heavily, eat nothing but greasy foods and the only exercise I ever got was when I was out dancing at a bar ;p It took me so many tries to change my lifestyle. I would try for a day or two to not eat or would follow some gimmicky diet but would always revert back to my old ways because I just couldn’t keep it up. I remember one night getting so disgusted with myself after looking in the mirror that after I cried my face off, I left my apartment and just started “jogging”. I didn’t know what else to do but I did know how to run (oh but yes now I even see that I was doing that wrong too lol). I was actually smoking a cigarette while I was attempting to jog! Being surrounded by people who had the same horrible lifestyle I had didn’t help at all either. I quite literally had to take myself away from my friends, lock them out of my life to make my changes. This is a bit more dramatic than you probably need but that was all that I had and they were just not at all supportive and I was very serious about getting healthy. I had to gain some momentum and strength first by seeing and feeling some of the benefits before I could let them back in and it was few and far between that we kept hanging out.
I began with what I knew and that was that I had to do something active, so I began to just walk and ride a bike. I also knew that grease was not good and that fruits and veggies were. I didn’t really have any food in my apartment because I ate fast food all the time so I didn’t have to chuck out a ton of things. I went to the library and found the first book I could on being healthy. I didn’t know what was good or bad but I knew that ANYTHING would have been better than what I was doing. I found a book called “Eat to Win” by Dr. Robert Haas and I dove right in. It was the book that started it and I while I have since learned a ton, I still have this book from over 12 years ago! I threw myself into any and everything I could get my hands on to read about food, fitness and health and just kept going. I was already a heavy smoker for about 6 years or so but my hunger to feel better was just stronger and I quite cold turkey. Sure I had relapses with everything but I just got back to it and kept going. I still have small relapses (with food, but this is mostly planned in now), I think most people do who have struggled with these things but the important thing so I guess it is more like a cheat than a relapse)is that you just face it head on, and get back on track and keep going. Always remember how poorly you felt when you smoked, ate nothing but grease and sugar and didn’t exercise, it is very motivating to never permanently turn back.The other thing that many people miss too is that you need to fake it til you make it. Don’t walk around like a slob even if you feel like one. this will only project and attract to you exactly what you are trying to change. You will attract healthier people who take care of themselves if you too look like you do and this in turn, will create a better supportive environment.
It is tough when you don’t have any idea what to do for YOU and even more difficult when these diet books or fitness gimmicks wouldn’t help with any of the other MULTIFACTORIAL aspects of adopting a healthy lifestyle. You not only need to have the proper fitness and nutritional guidance but you need to have an all around environment that supports your projected health and fitness goals. Are your friends and family supportive? Do they go for walks with you and eat healthy foods around you? Is your house filled with nutrient dense lean meats, healthy fats, fruits and veggies or are your cupboards and fridge filled with boxed cereals, fatty and sugary condiments, juices, white foods? Is your environment one that helps you be a better you or is it dirty and unorganized? Do your roommates or family members respect the importance of getting a good night’s sleep on your health goals or do they stay up all night making noise? Does the environment you’re in and the people you are around push you and support you to be a better person? That is probably the tell tale sign of needing changes.
Every small step counts. Start by loading up your mp3 player and just start walking every day if you don’t have a walking partner, even if it is just 10 minutes at a time. Park further away, take the stairs not the elevator. Swap your white foods for natural ones that have a minimum of 4 grams of fiber per serving until you reach a point of eliminating any packaged foods. Eliminate hundreds of calories just by exchanging water for your fruit juices, pops etc. Use lower fat versions of your favourite foods, get a healthy cook book like Gourmet Nutrition from the Precision Nutrition website. Start small and tackle one thing at a time and before you know it, you will be that much closer to your goal. Join a gym and surround yourself with people you look up to or post up pictures around your home and work. The one extreme I would say here is this, once you start on your path, do not even have one of those poisonous cookies or burgers. These foods are drugs, yes, drugs and are addictive and even once will set your body into a tailspin that is hard to break. Until you have many years under your belt, even one is not okay. It is very easy to get discouraged but know that healthy and long term fat loss and health comes with consistent hard work and dedication that takes time but is absolutely possible no matter where you come from and hope to go. Reach out and just keep going!