Seeing that title you may think, “oh lord, another weight loss spiel!”. I don’t want it to come off that way. My goal is to express what I did to lose weight over the past couple months that I had success with. This is not to give you THE BEST tips on how to lose weight, I want this to be for the people who have tried to lose weight and maybe got very little results, but couldn’t keep the weight off. I am in no way, shape or form a professional trainer, but I can tell you what I did to lose weight, and who knows. Maybe it might work for you.
What kicked off my weight loss journey was the Army. For those who don’t know, I am in the National Guard, and have been for just over 3 years. After being in for a little over 2.5 years I got a little lax on my physical fitness standards. There were multiple PT tests that I failed and I never realized that, as dumb as this sounds, that I could not do anything extra without being within the physical fitness and height and weight standards. After completing my prerequisites for what I describe to Meagan as “Sergeant’s School” or BLC as soldiers know it as. I notified my chain of command and said “hey, I’m done with this. Can I go to BLC now so I can get promoted?”. I got shut down immediately. “You need to have a passing PT test, along with being with the Height/Weight standards the Army has set.” That broke me, I wanted to, and still want to get promoted so I can make more money, teach new soldiers coming into the unit, and have more responsibility. That was what really kicked up my most recent stent in getting in shape.
When I first started to take my workouts up a notch, I joined a gym 45 minutes away from my house. This was a GYM. My fellow gym bros know exactly what I’m talking about. Loud music playing, pictures of the greats, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronnie Coleman, and so on. This was what I thought I needed to get into better shape, but nothing changed other than my gas milage and how much I could help at home. I needed to make a change, not only for the sake of my wallet, but also for my wife. I needed to be able to take care of myself, but also be able to be home long enough throughout the day, to share the hard work of having a now 10-month-old. It is hard to take better care of yourself, if you can not get the support of your family at home. Two of my biggest drives now are my beautiful wife Meagan, and my little girl Avery. If I am not able to take care of myself, how am I going to live a long life loving my wife and kid, if I am overweight. Shortly after starting my new job, I joined a much closer gym that is 12 minutes away from our house. I was very skeptical at first. My mind was still thinking I needed to be in a weight throwing, aggressive gym, to see results. This was not the case.
To start on the change, water. Drinking water is one of the easiest things you can do and depending on your body type, you could lose a ton of weight, just by drinking water. Most of the time my drinks include Ghost Energy Drinks, Water, and the occasional beer if I’m out to dinner with the wife. I think for me I was so hellbent on that I could only drink water in order to lose weight. (along with going to the gym, but we will get to that soon) I may make some people mad with this comment, YOU DO NOT NEED TO STRAIN YOURSELF ON MAKING SURE YOUR DIET IS PERFECT. It’s okay to have an occasional beer, it’s okay to if you’re out at dinner and you want a fountain drink, it’s okay to do those things. You just can’t make it a habit. Same thing with food. I am a junkie for junk foods and fast food. It is nothing to me to stop at McDonalds and get 2 double cheese burgers, a large fry, and a coke (yes that’s my exact order).
Everything must be in moderation. Bread to me was one of the biggest things to cut out, but there are simple replacements you can use for that. My favorite? Tortillas. Want to have a burger for dinner at the cookout? Throw a tortilla around that bad boy and boom, you’re cutting out simple carbs and empty calories just by doing that. I’m not going to go into a big speech about how you can eat better and still eat good, Meagan is WAY better at talking about that than myself. So go look at her page 😉.
-Straight from Meg's Section on Food!
So I, just like many guys my age, I like lifting heavy weights, but many people know that if you lift heavy weights you’re just going to gain muscle, and that you’re not burning enough calories. I disagree with that. Now don’t read what I’m not saying. Yes, theoretically if ALL of your workouts contain high weight, low repetition, you will gain muscle, and “bulk” your muscle groups. For me, I used somewhat heavy weight, like for example my 3 repetition max on dumbbell bench press is 80 pounds, I dropped my weight down to 65’s and made sure I got 10 reps each time I started a set. I used this for all of my workouts.
The hardest thing for me to start doing was running. I used to tell people, “if you see me voluntarily running, you should run too”, now don’t get me wrong. I still hate running! But, it has gotten progressively easier after easing myself into it. When I started running I would warmup with a .10 mile walk at a brisk pace, somewhere around 3.0-3.5mph. Then I would run until I hit the quarter mile mark. Then I would bring it back down to that 3.0-3.5mph pace, once I walked another tenth of a mile, I’d start running again. I would repeat that until I hit 1 mile. 1 mile, turned into 1.5 miles, and so on and so forth. Eventually you will find yourself going “holy cow, I’ve ran .35 of a mile and I’m not out of breath yet!”. That is how I felt, and I just kept expanding from there. Although, I always end my workouts with a run, I can’t tell you why I do that. The only reason I can think of is that I don’t want to tire myself by running 1.5-2 miles before working out, I am not cross country running. I am exhausted after running! I would much rather work through my exhaustion to get to that 1.5 mile mark, than get to that mark and not feel like I did anything during my workout.
Again, I am not saying this is going to work for you. I wanted to put this out here so that someone who made feels like they have tried everything to lose weight, can maybe get a second wind to make themselves healthier. The biggest thing I can tell you is this, find something that is a drive for yourself, whether it be your work, family, or even just wanting to get into shape. Declare that to yourself, and prove to yourself that you can do it. Don’t be afraid of the scale, if you see yourself in a plateau, figure out what’s keeping you from pushing through it and fix it. I’m not meaning to sound like the ‘Roid Raged internet showoff that’s telling you to just go to the gym, but set small goals for yourself, reach one? Set a new one and keep moving. It’s okay to have a cheat meal while out to dinner with your significant other. Figure out which of your habits aren’t healthy, and only indulge when you have reached a certain goal.
-Just prior to little Bug coming into the world!
With everything said and done, I started out at my biggest being 254 which was right before Meagan and I had little Avery join our family (pictured above). When I started to workout, drink water, and try my best to watch what I ate, I am now as I'm writing this 216 pounds (pictured below)! Weight loss is possible, find a good motivator for yourself, and push towards that goal. Hopefully this article sparks a fire for you or a family member to start their own workout journey!
p.s.- Yes that is a Bacon Cheese Burger I'm holding in a post about weight loss! lol