Starting Your Weightloss Journey A Beginners Guide (sort of)



When I started my journey the first thing I began doing was cutting back in my consumption. Before I ate breakfast, lunch dinner and many in between, and my portions were massive.  I ate until I felt sick, often that meant going back for seconds, thirds, fourths, even fifths and sixths. Meals that should have last multiple days stood no chance. I knew this was the first thing that had to change, I had to cut back on on how much I was eating.

Identifying your habits

I figured out early on that I was an emotional, binge eater. I ate when I was happy, sad, excited, even just bored and wanted time to go by faster. One thing I did to combat this was to stop eating in my room, the fact that I already identified it made  it easier to prevent, but the comfort eating in my room really seemed to amplify both the enjoyment of food and whatever emotion I was using and made binging that much more intense. Once I limited eating to only in the kitchen (initially) it helped me build a lot of self-control, food only remained in one area of the house.

Doing what you can

I started slow with cutting back, I didn't make drastic changes to my diet over night it was a progression. I didn't  just start going to the gym and working out an hour a day it was a progression. I started with  indoor 15minute videos, and worked my way up. I eventually began walking at my local park, and much (much, much, much) further down the line joined a gym. Just doing what I could I lost a lot of weight. The key is try to be a little active if your body can allow for it, it doesn't mean go out and try the latest hardcore workout DVD with the guy with the rippling abs telling you this could be you in 90 days ( as if), no it means doing what you can so you can actually get results.

You do not need a gym to lose weight

See everything above. I was well into my weight loss journey before I finally got into a gym, and I had already lost a great deal of weight. In the past I always felt like I was failing myself by not being at a gym right away, but the truth is I never needed one. Now I'm at the place where I can utilize one to all its advantages but a gym can be overwhelming and I know if I had attempted going to a gym in the beginning of this weight loss journey it might have ruined everything and I might not have lost anything. Why? Because of the false (or perhaps overestimated) sense of accomplishment the gym can bring and my own lack of understanding in the beginning. There can be this idea "oh well, I've gone to the gym, I can eat whatever now" or "I'm going to the gym, l'll just burn this off" and then it doesn't quite happen that way and you keep in that completely counterproductive cycle and go nowhere. I avoided this with the step above and the steps below.

Nutrition, remember nutrition is key

This is the most important part. I mentioned in the beginning cutting back, if you're highly overweight like I was cutting back is where to begin because a sudden radical change to your diet likely won't stick, it's about progression. Eventually though the food you eat will start to matter more and more, and cutting back alone won't be enough, but one thing to remember is what you eat will always be more important than how much you move (this actually isn't true, it's just harder to remove what's been eaten, once it's ate). Three hours at the gym can easily be undone by a sugary seemingly harmless snack treat. This doesn't mean throw away sweets and never indulge but be aware of what you're eating. Veggies, fruits, grains, white-meat these will be wonders in any diet, of course it's always okay to mix it up. Again I didn't start off this way, but I will say transitioning into baked foods and steering away from fried foods will make the process easier. What you eat is the most important part of weightloss, start looking at the calories of what you eat, and know how much you should be consuming in a day.

Be consistent

Results may very, the exact results you want, well that may take a few years even in the midst of losing hundreds of lbs, I'm using myself as a reference. If you read this blog from the beginning until Nov of last year you'd say I'm never satisfied, it wasn't until late December that I started seeing things differently. Right now in 2017 I'm liking what's going on with my face, I've been blogging since Jan 2015 and this is the first time I've ever liked my face, it's also the first time I've acknowledged liking an aspect of my weightloss that deals with my appearance. Over the years I felt like nothing was happening, I just couldn't see what what other people were saying they could see. Sometimes that's the result of being heavy for so long, you have a view of yourself that is always distorted, even now I sometimes have a slip and wonder if a picture I just took really looks like that, but they do. Interestingly over the years I never stopped, I call it blind-perseverance I couldn't see results at times, the scale was going down but I looked the same, at least I felt like I looked the same (and it drove me crazy). I didn't even know what I was working for at times, but I kept going.

Rationality

This one isn't going to be easy and certainly isn't one I've mastered, I came into this weightloss with absolutely insane ambition, so much so that even when I had incredibly long streaks of loss when I did gain weight, regardless of how small I took it devastatingly hard because I only expected to move down. This isn't exactly a resolved issue for me (though I did change weigh-in frequency this year), but I started things off a bit wrong in this aspect and I recommend anyone starting off to expect the occasional gain from time to time, and the weeks where the scale simply does not move. If you come in a bit more level headed in this regard your mental health will be better off.

Research

As you move along in your journey it's important to do research, research foods and your own body figuring out what your big trigger-foods are. I knew immediately mine was pizza, but I learned later that I preferred savory foods over sweets thinking once I cut back on them both that it was going to be harder to adjust to losing my sugary delights, wrong! Identifying things like this will be hugely beneficial. Pizza is my kryptonite and over indulging in it typically is something  that was just  automatic in the past. It had to be dramatically cut from my diet, it has since made rare appearances, some bad, some good.

Water

Drink plenty of it, it's my main stay, besides my soy milk (which I only have at breakfast), I virtually NEVER give calories to liquids, I realize how rare this is and I don't expect anyone to take this on too nor do you need to, however if you're not getting adequate water you're going to be in for a very bumpy and inconsistent ride.

There are going to be a lot of curveballs, I've experienced almost every end of a weightloss journey one can experience from the radical highs to the extreme lows. I've made poor decisions along the way, I've been frustrated along the way, but along the way I went. I feel like the above is good for anyone starting out on their weightloss journey, having a bit of a guidance helps.

Here is a link to the tools I used for success on my journey link.

2011 vs 2017 just before I cut that beard

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