I went into my current lifestyle journey with the knowledge and expectation that I had to let go of nearly everything I knew about eating and exercise and learn everything from scratch to start over. The lifestyle I had been living left me with Type 2 Diabetes, morbid obesity, fatty liver disease, tingling in my extremities, and poor circulation in my feet, among other things. I could not sustain that lifestyle for much longer before my body was going to fail beneath that load of bad decisions. I had to do something drastic, and that meant changing everything. I had to rebuild my lifestyle from the foundation on up.
I began with getting rid of any notion of diet or nutrition I had learned in the past. I knew that everything I’d been told had to have been wrong, or else I wouldn’t have found myself in such poor shape. I set out to learn everything I could about nutrition and eating right. I settled on Whole30 and the Paleo Diet. They sounded like the most reasonable and logical paths to a new diet, and the science is pretty solid. I not only read as much as I could about them, but I knew people first-hand who had adopted the Paleo Diet and who had done a Whole30, and their experience inspired me.
The next thing I did was to adopt a new mindset of discipline, motivation, and perseverance. I threw out the thought of attaining big changes in small amounts of time. I had to come to terms with the fact that this was going to be a long-term, never-ending process. I had to be okay with that. I had to give up certain foods that I’d been eating all my life, and that had to be something I was okay with. I also had to accept that going back to eating those foods once I reached any kind of weight goal was not something I could do sustainably. Sure, I could indulge every now and then once I hit my target weight, but I could never go back to eating pasta, pizza, and breads on a daily basis long-term.
Finally, the work began. Sherry and I got rid of all the non-Whole30 and non-Paleo foods in the house by donating them to others who could use it. We purchased all new staples and supplies, and we compiled a list of recipes. We began doing food prep on Sundays to prepare for the week’s meals. I began doing push-ups and taking 30 minute walks every other day. I put out of my mind any concept of cheating, as I viewed it (and still do) as sabotage.
In short, I changed my entire lifestyle as it pertains to eating and fitness. I also had to change the way I viewed life itself, and I took control of my life in every aspect. I found that I gained a lot of confidence and discipline in other aspects of my life as a result of changing my eating and fitness routines. I honestly feel like I’m living a different and better life now.
Lifestyle change is all-encompassing. The more you commit to it, the better chance you have of being successful. It takes more than just eating right for the short-term; you need to commit to a lifelong journey of eating better.