Friday, January 1, 2021

How I Lost 40 Pounds in 2020

It sounds funny but I realized the other day that a Target gift-card I got for Christmas in 2019 changed my life. One year ago - January 1st 2020 - I drove down to Target, actually went in the store (this is before C-19) and decided to use that gift card to get a new scale. I weighed myself when I got home and made note of the weight. I was alarmed by the number and acted immediately that very day by beginning an exercise regimen which I am still actively engaged in. Today - January 1st 2021, exactly one year later - I weighed myself on that same scale and my weight was 41.9 pounds less than it was a year ago today. I had lost over 20% of my bodyweight in one year. 

How did I do it? The secret isn't a secret - diet and exercise (and discipline). Here are some tips and suggestions.

Number 1) Get this book and follow its principles as closely as you can: The Cruise Control Diet by Jorge Cruz. The author has done the research and it's effective; not just some disposable fad. You will start to see results immediately. You need to do more than diet though. Changing the way you eat will help but it's not a miracle cure. (If you are vegan I mention a couple vegan friendly books near the end of this post).

Number 2) Do a 20 minute strength-training/cardio workout nearly every day, preferably in the morning. Be creative with it. Not only does this improve your physical health but it also improves your mental well being, feeling of self-worth, and so on. I suggest using either kettlebells, steel mace, club bells, or dumbbells. Find what's right for you. From a martial arts angle, I've also been doing a 20-minute Tai Chi (Bowling) Ball form as taught by Dr. Jay Dunbar of Magic Tortoise in North Carolina - a complete full body workout in and of itself. For more of a bodyweight calisthenics angle you could try these Equalizer Bars from Lebert Fitness. They are awesome!

TACFIT offers downloadable training materials on Kettlebells 101, Steel Mace 101 or Clubbell 101 which I recommend for whatever option of those you choose. For dumbbells and more, Jorge Cruz's 2001 book Eight Minutes in the Morning never goes out of style. That is the book I pulled off the shelf and turned to on 1/1/2020 when I needed to get things going again.

3) Get out and walk regularly. If you're already doing the strength-training mentioned above then less pressure will be put on walking as your primary source of exercise. Instead you can look at it as a fun ramble or stroll. Go for 2 to 4 mile walks 3 or 4 times per week if not more. Get out in nature and hike! Don't let the threat of bad weather - too cold, too hot, chance of rain - be an excuse not to get out and take your walk. Leave the phone behind, headphones behind if you can do it and just walk unencumbered.

4) If you have this option, set up either a virtual online or in-person one-on-one session or consultation with a good fitness trainer. I highly recommend Will Parker of Girya Garage/Power By Parker. I also like Mark Robson and team at Me First Fitness.

Other Thoughts:

Stop drinking beer. It's passé anyway so why bother LOL?! I had a 4-pack of Guinness (my all-time favorite) leftover from 2019 in my fridge allllllllllll year long. If I could resist that temptation then anything is possible! If you need to consume alcohol, try vodka mixed with seltzer water or find a nice sipping rum and stay hangover free by never having more than one or two shots worth in a given day.

Order groceries online and do the curbside pickup thing. A) it'll save you time and B) it'll keep you on track. Granted, whatever app or site you use for ordering is going to try and upsell you but I feel like you're more likely to stick to your guns when ordering this way vs. in the store. When you actually go in the store you're more likely to make bad decisions.  

If you're reading this and you feel like you need to lose a few pounds, chances are good that you've been ordering too much takeout and/or eating restaurant food too often. Most restaurant food does not have your best interests in mind and there's all kinds of ingredients and cooking methods used that will rack up the pounds. The more you can control your food intake the better, and you do that by taking Jorge Cruz's dietary advice and sticking to it. If you eat most of your meals at home and curate the groceries you allow into the house then you're less likely to cheat or binge. 

If you're vegan here are two great cookbooks I recommend!: Vegan Keto by Liz MacDowell and Happy Herbivore Light and Lean by Lindsay S. Nixon. Please note Lindsay's recipes are not low carb keto-friendly but they are low calorie. There are also some great workouts in the back of the book. In my case I've found that my body responds best when on a keto, low-carb, paleo style diet.

Bottom line - you don't need fancy equipment or fancy technology. Eat simply and exercise regularly. If you can get into a Sylvester Stallone Rocky IV train in Russia mindset, even better! Good luck.

No comments:

Post a Comment