Health and fitness are important parts of my life and I’m often asked for my best weight loss tips. When my dad got sick, I spent a lot of late nights at the hospital, which meant skipping the gym and eating food that was convenient (read: processed and unhealthy).
After losing him and reprioritizing my life, I’m back on track and have a lifestyle that is active, healthy, and (according to my friends) inspiring. My goals are no longer superficial and good health is my focus.
Instead of reading “10 tips for a summer body” in Cosmo, I read books like Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, Big Magic, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, How Not to Die and The China Study to continue learning and stay motivated.
Weight Loss Tips
Happiness is the journey, not the destination. I may not be at my ideal weight and I may not be entirely comfortable with my body, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy my life, spend quality time with my family, and focus on the progress I’m making every day.
I’m not a fitness guru (I’ll leave that to Jillian Michaels), but I am a real person who is right there with you on this bumpy road towards more exercise, better health, and increased longevity. Ready? Let’s do it!
Find what drives you
I’m often been asked, “what is the best exercise to do? When is the best time to do it?” My answer is always the same: the best exercise is the one that you will do at the time that you can do it. Since I have a 9-5 job that requires sitting and a side gig as an author that also keeps me on my butt, I sneak in movement whenever I can (pacing on conference calls and walking Buster at lunch for example).
To set myself up for the most success, I rotate different workout styles I enjoy so that I’m more likely to do them (many are free on YouTube). I’m also always trying new things and challenging myself. That way, I avoid boredom and the dreaded plateau.
Maybe you will never look like a supermodel and that’s okay. As Theodore Roosevelt reminds us, comparison is the thief of joy. Focus on what your personal best is, continue to push yourself, and remember that you don’t have to look like a
photoshopped model to be beautiful or healthy. We don’t all have the luxury of making physical fitness a part of our day jobs, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look and feel great anyway.
Track your progress
You didn’t gain 50 pounds overnight and you won’t lose it overnight either. Take pictures of yourself each month so you can see the differences in your body. How your clothes fit is also an excellent indicator of progress that doesn’t require obsessing over numbers on the scale. Seeing results always keeps me motivated!
Plan and prepare.
If I don’t prepare in advance, I am setting myself up for failure and doing what is convenient (read: not eating healthy and skipping workouts). I plan my meals each week and prepare everything I can in advance. That way, I can’t make any “I’m tired” excuses later in the week. Even the best intentions can be foiled by poor planning.
Let go of guilt
Some days a donut may be more important to you than your fitness goals. That’s okay. A bad day doesn’t have to mean a bad week. Think of each day (or even each meal) as a fresh start and a new opportunity to surprise yourself with your tenacity. You’ll be amazed by what you can accomplish when you commit, I’m sure of it.
No one is an island and if you are silent about your fitness goals, you are not leveraging the support network that is available to you. Tell your family and friends about your journey so that they can help you stay accountable, write a blog or social media post to garner support from an online community, or find a fitness buddy to help you stay motivated. Note: Buster the boxer is an excellent partner in crime who is always up for some physical activity. If you can’t find a human to take part, recruit your dog!
Make small changes
Set small and achievable goals that allow you to celebrate your progress along the way. Losing 50 pounds might be your long-term goal, but what about all the steps you need to take in order to reach that “big” goal?
Do you want to walk more each day, eliminate processed food from your diet, or stop drinking carbonated beverages? Each time you reach a milestone, celebrate your progress rather than getting discouraged that you still haven’t reached your overall goal.
Live your life
Sometimes, you need to indulge and treat yourself in moderation. If you’re living a life that feels restricted and limited, you will quickly grow resentful and give up. But you should still make smart choices whenever you can. Have a salad over fries, choose a heart healthy glass of wine over a calorie filled martini, or opt for dark chocolate over milk.
Prioritize your health
Working out is at the top of my list every single day. It isn’t something that can be skipped or put on the back burner. Without our health, we have nothing. I consider exercising to be my most important meeting of the day and it’s with myself. It is not worth it to cop out because you’re only cheating yourself.
If you’ve heard of a random and crazy miracle diet, cleanse or quick fix tactic, I’ve probably tried it. Likely, it probably lasted a week (or less) and was completely unsustainable for the long-term. Possibly, it even made me sick.
There are no shortcuts or magic pills out there. If it was easy, everyone would be healthy and fit. To be successful, you need to make real changes because, trust me, yo-yo diets are a very unhealthy rollercoaster that will only cause you frustration, angst, and setbacks.
What are your best weight loss tips?
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