With a new year under way many of us are looking to make a significant changes in our lives. For some of us, that means shedding a few pounds.
Many people who made New Year’s Resolutions last night are in the same boat. In fact, the number one New Year’s Resolution that people made yesterday was to lose weight. If you’re looking to lose some weight this year, let me share with you a few things I did to drop 35 pounds.
My whole life I could eat anything and everything I wanted, and wouldn’t gain a single pound. You see, I played soccer in college and ran almost every day. On average I would eat over 5,000 calories a day. Yes, you read that right…5,000 CALORIES A DAY! I was an eating machine.
When I graduated from college, and was no longer playing soccer, I continued my typical eating routine. This caught up to me pretty fast. I started neglecting my health and over the next few years I would eventually put on over 35 pounds. I found that I was tired all the time, and had some serious health issues.
There I was, 29 years old, 35 pounds over weight with high blood pressure, suffering from frequent chest pains, abdominal pains and chronic head aches.
My “rock bottom” moment occurred when I couldn’t fit into any of jeans or dress pants. I went to the store to get some bigger pants when I realized the only pants I could fit into were a size 40!?! When I was in shape and taking care of myself I was a size 30 or 32! How did this happen? It was that moment when realized that I was overweight…obese.
It was bad. I knew I needed to make a change and it needed to happen fast. I didn’t buy any pants that day and decided to start making some positive life changes to become healthy again. Since making these changes I no longer have high blood pressure, chest pains, stomach pains, or head aches. Most importantly, I lost 35 pounds. Here are a few things I did to become healthier and lose 35 pounds…
I Started Getting More Sleep
Studies typically recommend we get 7 to 9 hours sleep. Currently, only 59% of U.S. adults get their 7 hours of sleep a night. That means 4 out of 10 Americans get less than the recommended amount of nightly sleep.
At my heaviest/unhealthiest I was only getting around 5 to 6 hours of sleep. I was going to bed around midnight and I would wake up around 5:30 A.M. for work. I was constantly exhausted and always felt too tired to do anything when I would get home.
I now get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Because of this I have more energy, I’m less moody and irritable, and I don’t feel as stressed or anxious. If you’re trying to lose weight you need as much energy as you possibly can, so start getting more shut-eye.
I Started Eating Healthier
I read that every 35 days your skin replaces itself and your body makes new cells from the foods you eat. That means you literally are what you eat…Crazy, huh?
I used to eat very unhealthy. I would eat fast food for lunch almost every day. As soon as I stopped eating fast food for lunch and I started eating healthy I lost close to 20 pounds. If you are trying to lose weight, what you eat will play the biggest part in your weight loss.
I’ve said this before, but I’m not a big fan of people doing diets. The majority of people who go on a diet end up losing weight, but as soon as they stop the diet they put back on all of the weight that they lost. Why do that to yourself?
Rather than going on a diet you need to make the conscious effort to make a lifestyle change and choose to eat healthy for the rest of your life! A diet is temporary, a lifestyle change is permanent. The only way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat right…FOREVER!
I Started Working Out
The thought of running on a treadmill for a half hour makes me sick to stomach. If you’re like me and you don’t care to go to the gym, lifting weights or run there are other activities for you to get your exercise fix.
It’s easier to work out when you enjoy it! Find an activity that you love so that you’ll be more motivated to go and work out. Try out yoga, play basketball, take dance lessons, play hockey, try crossfit, start biking, take boxing lessons or try martial arts. There are so many things you can do to stay in shape…try them all until find something that you love.
I found that training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a perfect fit for me. It’s an extremely intense work out and it is very challenging. Because I love jiu-jitsu, I make time to go to train.
Find an activity that you love and make it a priority to take the time and stick to it. Make it part of your routine and you will have fun while you lose the pounds!
I Started Drinking Water
The average American only drinks 3.9 cups of water a day, which isn’t even close to the amount of water we’re supposed to drink. According to The Institute of Medicine, men should drink about 13 cups of water a day and women should drink about 9 cups a day.
I used to never drink water…I would only drink Diet Coke. Pop and other sugary drinks have so many negative effects on your body.
Drinking the right amount of water everyday boosts your immune system, prevents cramping, flushes out toxins, promotes weight loss, increases energy levels and even relieves headaches. Skip the pop and drink some water.
I Stopped Eating Sugar
The average American consumes over 130 pounds of sugar a year. That’s 3 pounds of sugar a week!!
My wife and I decided to give up sugar almost a year and a half ago. When we stopped eating sugar we had some serious withdraw symptoms. We both had major headaches and it took almost 2 weeks to get completely adjusted to a life without sugar. But it was totally worth it! We now feel better, have more energy and don’t get sick as often.
The best way to cut back on sugar is to simply remove processed foods from your diet isand satisfy your sweet tooth with fruits instead.
I Stopped Drinking Alcohol
It was common for me to come home and have a few beers on a regular basis. What I didn’t account for was all of the extra calories, carbs and sugar I was consuming just from drinking beer. Some of the beers that I used to drink were over 200 calories. A few beers a couple of nights a week really starts to add up. I still have will drink beer from time to time, but only on special occasions.
Since I gave up drinking beer and alcohol I have more energy and I find myself to be in a better mood more often, which makes sense because alcohol is a depressant. Giving up alcohol made the biggest difference in my over all health and weight.
Here’s a before and after photo of me…
The changes I made in my life helped me become healthier and also helped me lose 35 pounds. I hope my story will help you reach your weight loss goals if you are trying to lose weight this year.
I wish you and your family a Happy New Year full of love, laughter, happiness, and health.