Lauren and I have been sharing our weight loss updates with you each week and you have seen our successes and what works for us. There are a lot of ways to lose weight out there, and something different works for each person. We wanted to profile this in a new series called How I Lost IT ! This is the first installment of the series for a friend of ours who has lost over 100lbs!! Here’s Michael Dawson’s story of his journey on the road to fit!
I have some really great advice for anyone trying to lose weight. As always, allow me to preface by saying that before you start any kind of weight loss program, consult your doctor. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for hurting anyone when I’m trying to help!
I’m one of the people who has had great success and equally as great failure in staying fit. When I was a kid, I didn’t have to think twice about a thing I ate. By middle school, I had gained a lot of weight. I lost that weight in highschool using everyone’s favorite fad diet: Atkins. It was in highschool though that I first realized my potential for how I could look thin in my adult body at 180lbs.
Now, without telling my entire life story, I’ve varied between a weight of 180lbs and 345lbs as an adult. That’s a range of 165lbs, or the weight of a reasonably sized adult. My main problem is that whenever I wanted to lose weight, I would diet. Dieting gives you strict rules that yield fast results but they are temporary. Once you’ve achieved your goal, you slowly regain your old habits. Eating a burger and fries here, a regular soda there, desserts after meals become less of an occasion and more of a commonplace.
My breakthrough was when I realized that I was stuck in a cycle. I’d realize I was fat, go on a diet, get to my target weight, awaken my inner fat kid and put all the weight back on. This system is obviously flawed. Diets do not work. In order to lose weight and keep it off, one must commit to a lifestyle change.
I decided that I needed to make a commitment to myself. I would never refer to what I was doing as a diet ever again. If anyone asked me during my weightloss if I was on a diet, I’d respond “no”. When I get an obviously confused look I tell them “it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change”. Just hearing myself say this gives me great strength.
During my lifestyle change, I’ve reduced my weight from a staggering 345lbs down to 215lbs. The weightloss was slow, but consistent. My body has accepted my slimmer figure because I lost the weight slowly. My skin is firm and I will not need any sort of surgery to fix loose skin. This has been over the course of 3 years.
Now with all that being said, I’m sure someone reading this is curious as to what I’m doing to lose this weight. Well, here’s your chance to learn.
1.) Drink Water. Seems pretty obvious right? It’s really important to drink water. Sodas, beer and concentrated juices are full of chemicals. Spin that bottle around and try to make sense of what’s on the label. If there’s a word you can’t understand without Google, don’t drink it. Think – the first people to walk the earth drank… Oh right, water! The human body wasn’t designed to consume and digest Aspartame or Acesulfame Potassium or any of the other chemicals you’ll find in a soda. Water is key.
2.) Eat Real Food. Think about this under the same principle as water. Vegetables, fruits and rice are your best friends. Your body was not designed to digest Cheetos, Pringles, Fried Chicken or Pizza. Sorry! If you want to lose weight you’re going to have to eat the stuff your body was designed to eat. I mostly eat salads without meats or cheeses with a natural balsamic vinegrette dressing. When I’m craving something hot I eat a vegetable soup. When I go out to eat, it’s usually greek salad or vegetable Pho.
3.) Be Smart at Bars. Beer is probably the most delicious thing on the planet, but do not drink it. Alcohol in general slows weight loss, but beer is the double edged sword containing many empty calories. When I go out for a drink, it’s usually vodka with a splash of diet coke. That’s it. I can’t give up alcohol, I like it too much. But if you are going to drink, use your brain.
4.) Only Eat When You’re Hungry. Anytime you consume something and you’re not hungry your body will store it for later. This is also by design. Think again of the first people on earth. You had to hunt and kill your food or gather it. Whenever there was food, you would eat it even if you didn’t need it as a survival mechanism. In the modern world there is no such scarcity for food. You must make it scarce if you don’t want your body to store it all as fat. Only eat when you need to eat.
5.) Have a positive attitude. The weight loss is quick – for the first two weeks. After that, it slows down to about a pound or two a week. If you get discouraged, you’ll come off the tracks during the first month. Remember – you want to lose the weight slowly. If it all comes off in a short period of time you’ll have tons of loose skin and you won’t look any better. Yes, losing weight for health concerns is great – but for most of us the reason we do it is to look better physically. Compliment yourself often and become zealously committed to your goal. Nothing tastes better than feeling thin.
Presently I’m still on the path of this new lifestyle. I will never go back to eating burgers and fries. I feel so much happier with myself when I look in the mirror, that the taste of bad food doesn’t even sound appealing anymore. If you’ve read this far, I know you’ve been through a lot of the same battles that I have been through and the best advice I can give is to make this your war. If you’re committed to success you can never commit to failure. Thanks to Kenin and Lauren for asking me to write this for their blog! It’s been really fun to actually to share this with all of you.
If you have your own ” How I Lost It ” journey that you would like to share with us and our readers Send us an email we’d love to hear it. If you want more inspirational weight loss stories you can also subscribe to our newsletter or connect with us via social media on Facebook, twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram.