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From walking to the trash bin in the front yard to doing a few simple pushups, the things I had done a few years earlier with ease had become laborious tasks.
Suffice it to say, I became substantially sedentary during my first years pursuing my Bachelor’s degree, and eating frozen convenience foods and double cheeseburgers didn’t make gaining excess weight a difficult task.
Here’s how I lost 90 pounds, and have kept it off for years now…
I Took Steps Toward Improved Health
At 6 feet tall and not getting any younger, I knew that carrying more than an eighth of a ton around meant I was slowly but steadily heading for major health problems in the coming years — especially with family members on both my mom’s and dad’s sides who have grappled with obesity.
With a new treadmill in the house thanks to my mom’s own efforts to lose weight, I began walking toward better health, both literally and figuratively.
Truth be told, I found it hard to start my walking regimen. Having difficulties walking just 100 feet to toss the trash out by the street gutter, it was not really any easier walking the equivalent of 100 feet on a treadmill.
So, I had to start slow, walking for 5 or 10 minutes at a time at a slow pace. After a month, I had worked up to walking 3 to 4 miles per hour for up to an hour at a time. But walking every day was just the first step toward getting healthier, both literally and figuratively.
I also had to cut back (but didn’t cut out) my intake of sugary and fatty foods, and I increased how much water I drank and the number of fruits and veggies I was eating. (I always aimed for a combined 5 a day.) All of these habits took time to adopt, and small steps were the key to monumental success.
Within 5 years, my persistence had paid off. I had dropped from 265 pounds to 175, and after finally working down to a weight where I felt physically comfortable again, made a vow to myself to never return to the point where my weight would interrupt my life.
How I Kept The Weight Off
While it may seem as if life would be easy after losing weight, keeping it off is the second half of the battle and has become one of my driving goals in life now.
I have pretty much maintained the regimen I followed when I was headlong into my pursuit to lose weight that I have since shed.
Here are the main things I do every day to keep my weight at a healthy level:
- Get up and move around every 30 minutes. Though my day job is currently in an office setting, I still make sure I get up from my chair every half an hour or so to move around and stretch. Not only does this keep my blood circulation strong, it gives me a chance to “sneak” some intermittent exercise into my daily routine.
- Drink 8 or more glasses of water every day. I keep my body hydrated and feel more full (which reduces the cravings for those high-carb munchies) by drinking plenty of water every day.
- Reduce portion sizes. I pretty much cut my food intake overnight early into my weight loss endeavors. Portion control needs vary from person to person, but I found the most success with reducing the size of my meals by about one half, and eating 5 or 6 small meals throughout the day instead of 3 large meals.
- Watch those sugars. I limit my soda intake to around one glass per day, and only eat dessert about once a week (cookies and candy counts as dessert in my book).
- I’ll take a salad with that. When I go for fast food, I normally request a side salad instead of a side of fries; I also opt for other healthy fast food choices, such as grilled and baked items (whenever possible) instead of fried and breaded foods, which are a primary culprit in weight gain.
- Count those fruits and veggies. To help keep my fruit and vegetable count up, I eat raisins, bananas, and salads when I can, and drink orange juice in the morning. I try to avoid GMO foods, personally, so I’ll shop at organic food stores for produce whenever I can.
But a positive, can-do attitude, and an aim for changing lifestyle habits (as opposed to adopting the rigors of the latest fad diet) will help you achieve your weight goals and enjoy long-term health benefits.
Take it from me. I did it, and you can too!
I want everyone to live their best life… for as long as possible. So I often write about the health screenings that we all should be getting — to help catch potential health issues early. (Yes, I get my screenings too.) I also share my knowledge and experience with specific health problems that I am personally familiar with.