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Weight loss is work

We have all seen the ads. The weight loss ads where this diet or that exercise machine is being advertised as that mechanism that will cause you to become the hard bodied person that you should want to be. Have you ever noticed that there are no fat people in those advertisements and that almost everyone appears to be in perfect health and shape?

Different diets and different forms of exercise will work for different people. God made us all different and because of that not every diet or specific exercise will work for us. I would also like to say that if your goal is to look like the hard bodied people that you see in all of the TV or magazine ads then you are setting yourself up for failure.

Weight loss is a lot of work. Let me say this again for those of you that are hoping I really did not say it. Weight loss is a lot of work. There are no magical diets that are going to melt away the pounds and keep them off for a life time. Yes, there are weight loss diets out there that will take the weight off. The million dollar question for you is will you be willing to stay on that particular diet for the rest of your life? If you are not willing to do that then the unwanted pounds will come back to haunt you just as soon as you fall off the diet bandwagon.

Your desire to lose weight needs to be something deeper than just how you look. Sure, we all want to look good and have people admire us. If the truth were to be known we also probably want to feel good about ourselves and be healthy. Whatever the reasons for our desire to lose weight it has to come from within and you might as well quit waiting on someone else to hold you accountable. You have to want to change your life and do it yourself for your own reasons. Some of us need more motivation and accountability than others but the majority of the motivation will have to be in your heart and mind and soul.

Weight loss is work both mentally, physically and spiritually. Weight loss encompasses every single fiber of your being. I say that because weight loss affects every part of your life. Weight loss has to be a life change. One day you look in the mirror and you say to yourself, I want to look different and I want to feel different. My motivation for losing weight is to become healthier and to live longer so I can enjoy more years of life with my wife and children. I want to feel healthy and be able to have increased mobility and physical ability. I used to play basketball as a sport when I was younger and loved it. I have had to give up that sport in the last 20 years thanks to obesity.

I have had to make some very tough choices. I have had to determine in my heart that I am going to do whatever it takes to lose weight. That means that I eat less food and I am learning how to eat healthier. I am also relearning the importance of regular exercise. At this time I am working out every other day. I started at the end of June 2010 and I joined Planet Fitness at Citadel Mall. My goal is to eat better, eat less and get enough exercise to lose one pound per week. Thus far I have met or exceeded that goal and I am seeing a difference in how I feel and how my clothes are fitting. It is nice to talk to people and have them mention to me that I am losing weight and that they can tell. More importantly I feel so much better. My blood pressure is under control and I have much more energy than I have had in a long time. My mobility has started to increase to where I can do things physically that I have not been able to do in a long time.

Yes, I have seen some success but the battle is not over. Every day is a new day and I have to remind myself that while I have had some small victories over obesity in my life I still have 100 lbs to lose. I am determined to face this battle head on every single day until I reach my goal. When I first started going to the gym I counted the days. At the outset that was important for me to count the days so that I could give myself the encouragement to keep on doing it. I would say to myself, ok, I have been to the gym and this is day 6 so if I can go six times then surely I can go to day 7 and so on and so forth. I have quit counting days and I am now just trying to live one day at a time and I am slowly but surely making healthy eating and exercise a regular part of my life. Thus far it is working and I am happy about that.

One of the things that I have seen that has really kick started my metabolism and helped me to start shedding some pounds and keep it off is aerobic exercise. Planet Fitness is a “judgement free zone” which means that it is not a typical gym where all the jocks hang out and all the fat people are afraid to show themselves in there for the fear of being ridiculed. You will find different people of all different shapes and sizes and varying degrees of fitness or obesity as in my case.

The important thing is that we are there doing something to make a change in how we look and feel. We are there to exercise and leave our fat cells behind. I get sort of tickled when I see the folks who come in there with their make up on and jewelry and get on the treadmill for 15 minutes and never break a sweat. If you are not going to the gym to “work” that body and break a good sweat then you are not getting an aerobic work out and therefore you are wasting your time.

I know that sounds judgmental so please forgive me if it sounds that way. The bottom line is this, the weight is not going to come off if you are not willing to work at it. The weight does not get on over night and it will not come off over night. It takes a lot of determination and will power and prayer and sweat to make it come off and stay off. I say this because the work I have been doing has not always been fun or easy. The hardest part of my day is when I throw my body onto the elliptical trainer and start running on it. I am very thankful that there is the ability to listen to my favorite radio station and that when they play the right songs I have a beat to run to. That helps me to tune out my body who is screaming at me to please stop. My flesh would rather that I not get out of bed and would rather stay there sleeping until 8 am if it could. I have to force myself to go to the gym and do this whether my body wants to or not. The good thing is that it is getting easier and easier for me to go. I am starting to get to the point where I look forward to going and that is a good thing.

Weight loss is work but it is work that will reap a lot of short term and long term benefits that will last you a life time. The work that I do today and tomorrow and six months from now at Planet Fitness will help me to increase the quality and quantity of my life in the future. I challenge anyone reading this blog that is struggling to get going to be encouraged and know that you can do it. I know this because if I can do it you can do it. If you have any questions or need encouragement feel free to contact me at chiefpropellerhead@comcast.net.

If you live local to the Charleston SC area and you need someone that can help you be accountable and work out with you then feel free to give me a shout and we can do that. Planet Fitness costs 10.00 per month with no contract. I don’t think you will find anything more economical than that folks.

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Planet Fitness Day 12

I am posting this late but on Wednesday (yesterday) I completed day 12 at Planet Fitness. I ran for 30 min on the elliptical trainer at level 2. I burned 410 calories and ran for 2 miles. I was tired and broke a very good sweat on that session so that was very good. I also spent an hour on the different weight machines and the free weights. Justin went with me and worked out too which is awesome. I am finding that the more I work out and get exercise the better I feel. I feel stronger and more confident and my mobility has increased quite a bit. I can bend and pick objects up off the ground so much easier. I have found that when I get out of the car and walk into the office or across the parking lot at the store that I am not struggling with making that trip. The weight is coming off slowly but surely and for that I am so thankful. My blood pressure is down to about 117/76 which is awesome as well. Once I lose another 10 lbs I will be able to take about 5 pairs of pants to the cleaners and have them taken in 2 inches. Now that is progress folks and even though I have made this progress I have about 100 lbs to go. I can do it and I shall do it. Phillipians 4:13 is my motto when I get on the elliptical trainer. I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength.

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Planet Fitness Day 10

Yesterday was day 10 for me at Planet Fitness. I am still doing the same workout routine which includes 25 minutes on the elliptical trainer which is now at level 2 and running between 4.0 and 5.0 mph. The first ten minutes is warm up and then I start to sweat and get my heart rate up to about 155 bpm. The last 15 minutes is where I believe I am starting to burn some calories. If I were to do that for an hour I would burn 780 calories. I will have a long time before I can run on that thing for an hour and I may never do that. I do want to work myself up to 30 or 45 minutes at some point. The more I can do that the more weight that will come off.

Once I am done with the hard part which is the elliptical trainer then I cool down for a spell and allow my heart rate to lower and then I hit the weight machines. Yesterday I tried out the torso machine for the first time with about 40 lbs. The left side of my abdomen seems a bit sore today which means I worked a muscle set that is not used to getting that kind of exercise. I work my upper and lower body with assorted different machines and then I do the bench press and free weights for the curls.

What are some of the benefits other than the weight coming off? My goal is to lose 1 lb per week and thus far I am losing between 1 lb and 3 lbs per week. One of the benefits is that I have lost 2 inches on my waist and my pants are fitting much loser. I figure when I lose another 5 to 10 lbs I am going to be forced to take all my big pants to the cleaners and have them reduce the waist size by 2 inches. I am looking forward to doing that.

Another benefit of regular exercise and eating right is that I feel so much better. I have more energy, my blood pressure is much lower than it used to be and my mobility has increased. My left knee no longer hurts, I can get up and down out of my recliner at home with much less hassle and I can climb the steps on the boardwalk at work without having to hold on to the side rails as much.

I am noticing that as I focus on getting regular exercise and try to build some muscle and cardiovascular endurance that I no longer want to eat garbage. At lunch I go to the general store next door and get their chef salad which is the only healthy thing they have. They have a lunch line where they sell fried chicken and french fries to all the contractors on the island. They have other fried things that is no longer of interest to me because I know that I know it is not good for me to eat and only leads to adding pounds to the body.

I hate the word diet because it reminds me of all the times that I half heartedly tried to “diet” so I am going to use the terminology “eating habits”. I am trying to retrain my mind to realize that if I eat garbage I am going to look like garbage and feel like garbage. Now that I am serious about my regular exercise I no longer feel like garbage and I can feel my body responding to the exercise nicely. When a person feels good it is so much easier to motivate one self to do the harder things such as increasing the work out time etc. My goal is to not eat fried foods and other things such as those foods that are “white” such as mashed potatoes, potatoes in general, rice, pastas etc. I am trying to stick to lean meats and veggies during supper time and at lunch I eat a salad and breakfast which is my worst offender I eat a breakfast burrito. I try to stay away from the biscuit with sausage egg and cheese. I will have one of those per week but that is it.

One other thing that I need to do more of that I am struggling with is to drink more water. I have gotten away from the sugary sodas and now drink either Diet Dr Pepper or Coke Zero Cherry. I need to drink 8 glasses of water per day and I struggle with that. At work I have a 2 quart container in my refrigerator in my office and I have sugar free drink packets that flavor the water so it makes it easier to consume. I guess the mind set is that if the taste is good then I will consume it. I need to get better at drinking that 2 quarts of water each day and only have the canned drink for lunch.

I hope that my blogging about my personal journey as I lose weight will encourage someone else. I weigh 340 lbs so I am no small person. I am six foot tall and big boned so I carry the weight well. At the gym the other day someone guessed me at 280 lbs. I am looking forward to the day that I am 280 lbs and I know that if I keep up the hard work and be consistent then I can get there. I can do it and so can you.

One of the things I love about Planet Fitness is that it is not your typical gym atmosphere where all of the jocks and hard bodies get together and laugh at the fat out of shape people that might wander in. I have seen people that are in shape at Planet Fitness and I have seen people that appear to be in worse shape than I am. The important thing is that we are there trying to make a difference. What is the cost for membership? You pay 10.00 per month and you have access to 90% of what they offer. Full membership is 20.00 per month and neither plan requires a contract. If you need to take time off because of illness or injury you can stop paying and then when you are ready to go back just pick up where you left off.

I know that I have said that one of the benefits of regular exercise and changing my eating habits is that I feel so much better. I feel stronger and more confident. My main goal is weight loss and my motivation for doing this is to increase the quality of my over all health. I have no desire to become Mr Universe even though I did dream last night that I was invited to be a part of that program. I do desire to live a longer and more healthy life so I can be around for my family. One of the wake up calls for me has been to realize that there are not very many old obese people around. The reality of this issue is that if I do not do this now at this point in my life I am a candidate for heart attack and stroke. Both of those events could be life ending or crippling in so many ways. I really do not care to reap those consequences nor do I want my family to witness it or experience the aftermath of those events with me either.

As I say in my accountability forum on Battle Plan Ministries I am starting over every single day. Every day is a new day and I have the ability to chose to eat right and get exercise. It is my choice and I can make the right choice every single day. I invite you to start your own journey and to do the right things. If I can do this any one can do this. The choice is yours.

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Just do it!!!

I realize that sounds like it is straight from the Nike commercial but that is my motto when it comes to more exercise.  I fly a keyboard for a living and during the day I am mostly stuck in an office chair.  My brain and eyes get a large work out while the rest of me turns into gelatin.  That means that I must force myself to find the time to go for a walk and get out of this office chair.  Now that the weather is getting much nicer and it is starting to warm up a bit I am making it a point to eat lunch and then put on my walking shoes and head down the bike path here at Kiawah.  I almost go run over twice today on the bike path by two different bikers.  One of them was a biker that was having a hard time navigating the bike path even though I was all the way to the right of the path to give bikers plenty of room to go around.  The other person we will call speed racer because they almost sucked my light sweater off my body as they zoomed around me doing who knows how many MPH.  I think they must have been training for the olympics or something.  The weather is gorgeous and the walk allowed me to decompress from a morning of programming our phone switch.  Now to get on with the rest of my day and look forward to studying tonight.  Yeah me!!

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