What would it take for you to start?

At this size, I thought I was healthy. I was fooling myself.

I remember reading about or hearing about friends or family members who started a new fitness regimen or eating lifestyle and I would nominally consider doing the same but invariably passed. Then, weeks or months later, as these people would start posting or talking about their successes and progress, I would think to myself, “Well, here I am, and the same amount of time has passed for both of us, yet they have improved their life while I’m no better than where I was.” The point was that had I also started something, anything at all, I would have been better off as well.

Today, I was talking to someone who mentioned that they couldn’t believe how much weight I’d lost in so short of a time period. I told them that it didn’t feel like it was so fast to me as I went through it. I didn’t really notice a difference in how I looked until I had lost 80 lbs; that change seemed to me to happen overnight. Before or since, I don’t see much difference nor do I feel much difference. However, the point of it was that they happened to say to me, “Wow. If I’d have started something when you did, I’d probably weigh a lot less than I do now.” Hearing that reminded me of that voice I used to hear in my head every time I came across someone I knew who was in a similar situation as I was health or weight-wise and then they experienced a transformation while I did nothing and stayed the same.

The reasons for eating better are myriad (another favorite word of mine; I like that I had an opportunity to use it here) and can be quite personal. I have mentioned my own reasons, and I received messages from people who said that they were in the same boat. I also received numerous messages from others who told me that their reasons were very different, but in the end, they ended up in the same place I did: lost a bunch of weight and got healthier.

Rock the boat

The easiest thing to do is nothing at all. If you are overweight or suffering from weight-related maladies and you do nothing, you’re going to keep having those problems until one of two things happen: you decide to do something about it, or you die. Our health doesn’t magically improve on its own. Medicine will keep symptoms at bay, but if you’re heavy and unhealthy, you will stay unhealthy as long as you’re heavy.

The more difficult thing to do is to take action. However, there are varying degrees of action you can take, and my experience involved very little in the way of physical work. Of course, it did mean a lot of mental discipline, motivation, and dedication toward a goal, but in my experience, it’s the easier way to go. Coupled with the fact that weight loss is 90% diet and only 10% exercise, it only made sense for me to concentrate on the 90% first.

The best thing to do is to take action through diet, exercise, and a good sleep pattern. Of course, people who are unfit due to being overweight will have a tougher time with the exercise, but believe it or not, just walking when you’re overweight expends a lot of calories. Getting any exercise at your heaviest is better than sitting on the couch. I tried to at least get in 7500 steps a day from 290 lbs to 190 lbs. Now, I do kettle bell swings and try to get in some walking and light jogging when I can.

Find it within yourself

I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect anyone to adopt a strict lifestyle if they’re not ready. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect anyone to make any change at all if they don’t believe in their heart they are ready for it. You have to be ready to commit fully to reaching your goals otherwise you will only waste your time and be disappointed in your lackluster results. If you aren’t ready to go all-in, wait a bit. Make a plan, think about your reasons, and when you are ready to fully commit, do it with all your heart.

Whatever it takes, get there. Find the motivation and dedicate yourself to it. Life is worth living when you’re healthy and able to do anything you can think of. I can’t imagine nor would I accept gaining back the weight I carried before. I don’t ever want to feel that limited ever again in my life.

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