From a physical standpoint, I’ve really evolved back and forth ever since I was fourteen years old (5’7″ and 210+ pounds) and dropped 80 pounds in 8 months. To get rid of all that weight, I focused strictly on cardio, I didn’t even know what a “gym” was at that point; my parents have never owned a gym membership, and I was clueless. When you weigh that much, it’s really not that difficult to start losing the weight. My advice to those trying to lose weight – just start.
It truly doesn’t matter “how” you start, it’s just a matter of moving more and eating less. I know it’s cliche, but it’s the truth – it’s simple math. Don’t waste your time planning “ahead” a month. Saying, “Well…I always eat a lot over spring break so I’ll wait until the end of March”, is just an excuse to not do it. How do you start? Here are just a few ideas.
- On your 10 minute work breaks, take a walk around the building instead of browsing ESPN.
- Rather than eating out with your co-workers at McDonald’s or Chiptotle, go to the gym. If you’re not comfortable enough in your own skin yet (totally understandable) to exercise in a gym, then go for a long walk/jog. If there is no shower at your work, try something like these body wipes (yes, affiliate link – they’re good – my dad and I have used them for years).
- Know your weaknesses – if you get tired, and therefore bored (bored people = eating), around 3pm, have a way to counteract the boredom. Rather than the Oreos as a boredom snack, have a couple hard boiled eggs.
- Don’t think you have to have a perfect diet and workout plan. It just doesn’t work like that, you have to start somewhere.
Now, the above is tailored to adults who are currently working in an office environment. I understand that my weight loss path at just fourteen years old was significantly easier than it would be now that I work in a corporate office. The reasons are plentiful: I sit all day, people constantly bring crap food in to share (my managers bring donuts every Friday, for fuck’s sake), and it drains all your energy for post-work workouts. With that being said, I do want to go ahead and share my own experience as to how I lost the weight, so you know I’m not blowing smoke up your ass.
How I Lost 80 Pounds In 8 Months
Here is where I really had it easy, my schedule. How I’d kill to have this much free time again.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: Leave for school at about 7am. Get out of school and home by 3pm.
Tuesday, Thursday: Leave for internship at 9am, get home by 2-2:30pm.
Pretty easy stuff, huh? I made it even easier – because I ate the exact same thing for lunch every damn day.
Lunch: One turkey sandwich, one banana. The same thing, every day.
Dinner was a little bit different. I was fortunate enough to have a mom who stayed home the majority of my childhood, and we had fresh, home-cooked meals nearly every night of the week. Granted, as a kid I wanted to eat pizza every night, and didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have. I didn’t ask my mom to ever change her meal planning, I simply ate less. Rather than two huge bowls of pasta and three pieces of garlic bread, I’d eat one and just nibble on one piece of bread. Another trick I used was to gulp down a huge glass of water before every meal so I’d fill up faster.
A turkey sandwich (from home, not a sandwich shop) and a banana isn’t more than 500 calories, and that’s generous. So even if I ate three slices of pizza at 300 calories each, I’d still only be at 1400 calories for the day.
For exercise, I played basketball for a minimum of an hour a day. Growing up, there was a park right next to my house. Every afternoon, I’d jog down with my basketball and shoot hoops. If there was no one else, I’d just shoot by myself. The trick was the intensity. I’d run full court sprint layups for five minutes straight. I’d chase after every loose ball. I made myself sweat balls every time I stepped on to the court. A few times, I even pushed myself so hard that I nearly fainted (I learned the hard way that I couldn’t skip an entire meal and exercise that hard). As I lost weight, I began to start running 2-3 miles a few days a week.
Small Habits Make The Difference
As you can see from my routine above, I didn’t do anything extremely drastic in my life. Granted, being in high school helped with the sheer volume of time I had, but these are all habits that your average adult can implement and see success with – even if it’s not as quickly.
- Eat the same thing for lunch, every day. You can even pack sandwiches at the beginning of the week in preparation.
- One helping of food for dinner
- I don’t expect people to suddenly exercise two hours a day. But adding a 30 minute walk or jog should be obtainable for most people. Just wake up a little earlier.
Does any of that sound so bad? No, on the other hand, it’s totally doable. No, it’s not fun – but it’s results we’re after. It’s certainly more instantly gratifying to shove yourself full of greasy pizza and burgers. Once you start shedding the pounds though, it’s a feeling that simply can’t be replicated with instant gratification from eating junk food.
One Last Tip…
This might be the most important part of this post. My last tip: don’t tell anyone what you’re doing. Let your actions speak louder than your words. Chances are, if you’re fat…your friends and family might be fat, too. They will not want to see your successful weight loss while they continue blowing up. Putting your weight loss out in the open (especially bragging about it) will result in more people trying to bring you down. They’ll practically shove donuts down your throat at the office meetings. They’ll talk you out of going on lunch run and to the local burger joint instead.
Ultimately, nobody likes to see anyone succeed unless it’s themselves. At a certain point in life, people reach a point where they are happy for their friends and families success. You must understand: fat people are not that point. Most people who are fat are insecure about it, and therefore unable to appreciate other people’s fitness success. They would rather you wallow in grease pit with them.
Just don’t waste your breathe talking to those who don’t have the self restraint to say no to a donut. Instead, keep your mouth shut and keep on working. The view from the top is great.