Without the Why, you can’t start to work out the How and When for What. If you don’t know the How and When ornot certain about What, then you need Who.
Your body is going to feel the changes you make. I started to feel a little tired and run down when I first started because my body wasn’t used to it. Stay committed.
No body is perfect. I chose a long term outcome, which means I can have a soft drink/beer or a meal of steak and chips with gravy or a slice of pizza. I just have it once a month or so. I don’t jog every morning, but I try to be consistent and go each morning that I can. I was aware that come Christmas, I would eat more than I should and eat things I shouldn’t. But I will make sure I will go back to my improved eating habit afterwards.
Use your doctor; dietitian; expert regularly to help track your outcomes if you have special eating or exercise needs. They are one of your experts to support you through this.
I only looked at the scales once a month to track my weight loss. I would go crazy looking at it every day or week, as I was going for long term outcomes. I was only losing 3kg per month any way so it would only move gradually.
My clothes and looking at myself in the mirror were also an indicator to me. I started to notice clothes that were a snug fit starting to be loose. I started to notice my stomach was not as bulging and changes in my body shape. I started to feel tighter muscles in areas I was working out on.
Take a Before Photo. Including with only your underwear on. I didn’t and as a result I only have some old photo’s to compare. You will be able to see the difference yourself from where people comment on how you have changed. Also take some measurements. My measurements are from when I went to buy clothes.
You’re going to feel better. From exercising and improving my eating habits I feel far better!
Don’t under estimate the benefits of Water!
Outcomes From Doing This
I have found now that with exercising, eating better and drinking water I feel better. The exercise creates the endorphin for the pleasure feeling. The water is cleansing to the system and refreshing after exercising. Eating lighter and healthier meals I don’t feel as heavy in the stomach after eating, especially after dinner when I am not as active.
There Is No Perfect Body Shape
Don’t obsess the body beautiful. We are all different, we all have our own unique body shape. So don’t become focused on having the perfect body. The real beauty is not in the body, but in a persons heart and soul!
My goal was to lose weight so I put in place how I was going to do it using why as the reason and the help of who. Now I have reached 75kg the why and how is going to change slightly as I move from weight loss to muscle toning and defining.
When I started to lose weight I didn’t say anything to anyone as it was a personal goal. When I had lost 12kg after 4 months it became noticeable and I was asked if I was losing weight or if I was ill. I told people that I had lost weight. People wanted to know how. So this is why I am writing this article. I am writing it not because I want everyone to know I have lost it, but to let people know how I did it, beginning with Why, so it can help them achieve their goal.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
A way to gauge if you are the right weight for your height is using the Body Mass Index. This is only a gauge as different body shapes will have different characteristics that will affect the outcome. For example, a short muscular person will show as overweight. So use it to help you work out what you need to do.
Changing My Physical Lifestyle and Enjoying Exercise
Before I begin, this is the story of how I lost weight. Remember that everybody is different and you should educate yourself on what is right for you, not what was right for me. Speak to your doctor or personal trainer or others as your mentors/experts/role models who can give advice on what physical activity you can do. Remember, you eat an elephant one mouthful at a time. Make changes gradually and make changes to things you will still enjoy. If you are over weight or have physical impairments, I am not one to give medical advice! But the question is are you going to make it the excuse to not change, or make it the reason to change?! Again, I recommend you listen to Tony Robbins “Awaken The Giant Within”. The Youtube audio clip is below.
The first thing I had to do was to work out a training regime that suited me. I had gym memberships and for the first 6 weeks I would go hard. I would get sick or not be able to make a work out session a few days in a row and I suddenly lost all momentum/motivation to go back. Gym memberships for me were a complete waste of money! But what I did learn from going was the right exercises I needed to do to achieve the right outcomes I wanted. For this reason, if you don’t know what you need to do to lose weight from exercise then find somebody who does. Get a personal trainer or a friend who can take you to the gym or work out with you to teach you what exercises will achieve what you want to do. A personal trainer should also take into consideration any medical concerns and what level you need to start at and aim for as part of your work out regime.
Eating The Elephant So I Enjoyed Exercise
So my work out aim was to burn fat and to tone. I had a pair of joggers as all the equipment I needed (I also wore a hooded jumper and track pants being winter. The hood kept the heat in and my core temperature up). I needed to make training enjoyable so I wanted to do it more. Not start and then stop because I went too hard too fast or had no motivation.
Firstly, learn how to stretch. I started jogging without stretching and developed shin splints, or soreness of the shins. I had to stop jogging for a few days and iced them as soon as they started to hurt. After they healed, I started my jog by stretching. Jogging on the spot and raising the knees for a few minutes to warm up. I then went through the stretches to ensure I didn’t get shin splints again.
I was unfit so I needed to start simple. Jogging helps to burn fat by getting my cardio (heart rate) up. I live on a quiet country road with little or no traffic and it’s about 3km as a round circuit. So I started the first day the most basic way I could. I walked the 3km’s of road. I did a high pace walk to get my heart rate up but a walk none the less. I could have started with a jog, but I started with a walk. It took me 40 minutes to walk.
The next day I jogged to the first telegraph pole. Reaching it I then walked for the rest of the circuit.
The next day, I jogged to the first telegraph pole, walked to the next telegraph pole, then jogged to the next telegraph pole, then walked the rest of the circuit.
I continued this routine, building each day how far I jogged. Always staggered. Finally one day I was jogging one, walking one until I returned home. I had went from walking all the way to jogging half of the distance in a couple of weeks. The next after that I jogged to the second telegraph pole, walked one, then jogged one, then walked and so on. So now I was doing the exact same thing, except I was jogging two, walking one. I continued to build on this each day one at a time. Going further until I was jogging two and walking one until I returned home. Then I started to jog three and walk one, jog two and walk one. I built this up to jogging three and walking one until I was home. Now I jog this in about 20-25 minutes. I will build this up until I am jogging the whole way around
Simply, I started basic. I was jogging and as I went further I found myself actually wanting to jog further then I had set. But I had to hold myself back to only jog to where I had set. I was enjoying what I was doing and wanted to do more. When I was returning home I felt good and enjoyed sipping my water!
Now jogging bores me! I find it monotonous. I prefer playing sport and running then just jogging. So I started taking my MP3 player to listen to audio tapes ( I listen to business/self help books as to music! Such as Tony Robbins). I found this worked to take my mind off the jogging. I also sometimes take my dog for a jog, killing three birds with one stone!
Work Out Exercises
Again, have a trainer show you how to stretch. I stretch both before and after a work out. Because I have done my jog, I have already warmed up. If you are only doing exercises, then you will need to do a warm up before you start stretching.
I started by working out what exercises I could do that didn’t require any equipment. So I came up with the following below.
Push Ups; Sit-ups; Side Plank; Leg and Ab raise; Bench Dips; Calf Raise; and Squats.
Then I started very simple. The number you do is known as the repetitions or rep’s for short. I started with 5 push ups; 10 sit ups; 30 seconds side planks either side; 30 seconds leg and ab raise; 10 bench dips using a coffee table; 15 calf raises on the steps (I originally stopped these but started back up when I started developing shin splints when jogging); and I later added 10 squats.
I started this at 2 sets (or doing them each twice in circuit) and then slowly started adding another set to make it 3 sets. I have increased these to now be
17 push ups; 33 sit ups; 50 seconds side planks either side; 50 seconds leg and ab raise; 20 bench dips using a coffee table; 13 single leg calf raises on each leg ; and 17 squats.
As my jogging time reduced I increased the rep’s and sets, increasing the time I spent on work out exercises. Try to keep up the intensity of your workout so you are keeping your heart rate up as well as burning fat and muscle toning. So I did this within 1hr- 1hr 20 min including warm ups and stretches.
You lose hydration through your jogging and workout. As I said in my eating habits, I would go for my jog and return to sip a room temperature glass of water. I sipped as didn’t want it all hitting my stomach at the one time and it gave me my break time before starting into the work out exercises. After the work out exercises I would have another 2 room temperature glasses of water. Shower, have another glass of water, my breakfast, then another glass of water. That is about a litre of water in an hour and a half. This helped to cleanse my system such as kidney’s and liver. Talk to your trainer about having protein and electro lyte drinks.
Exercise and Feeling Good
When you exercise you feel good as a result from the body’s release of endorphins. Initially I felt tired as my body was becoming used to eating better and exercise. But this soon passed and from the exercise and drinking water I felt better in the mornings with more energy and alertness.
Hints and Tips
Educate yourself- if you don’t know how to exercise to get the results and outcomes you are wanting, you need to learn from someone who does.
Having the right eating and exercise habits working together- Naturally, you need to have the right eating habit with your exercise. One doesn’t work without the other.
I found jogging and working out in the mornings better for me. I have done gym sessions after work, but I was too tired and hungry from the day. Talk to your personal trainer when the best times to exercise are and for what purpose and ultimately what fits into your schedule. Some gyms are now open 24 hours so you can avoid the 5 o’clock traffic jam at work out stations.
I find working out on my own lets me do my thing. When you’re jogging with someone else and you have different run rates it makes it difficult. But working out with a partner also allows you to have company and motivation/inspiration. Decide what works for you.
Exercise isn’t just running and work out’s. Playing sports or doing other activities as hiking or bike riding can be equally as rewarding for your health, socialising, meeting new people and spending quality time with family. Work out what works for you!
If you start to feel yourself sliding on the intensity of your increases, don’t keep increasing. Stick to the set or reps you are on until you are ready to move up. Each work out exercise is different so you may increase some and leave others the same depending.
Before I begin, this is the story of how I lost weight. Remember that everybody is different and you should educate yourself on what is right for you, not what was right for me. Speak to your doctor or nutritionist/dietitian or others as your mentors/experts/role models who can give advice on what you can eat. Remember, you eat an elephant one mouthful at a time. Make changes gradually and make changes to things you will still enjoy. If you have children, I am not one to give parenting advice! But the question is are you going to make them the excuse to not change, or make them the reason to change?! Again, I recommend you listen to Tony Robbins “Awaken The Giant Within”. The Youtube audio clip is below.
My first decision was to become more AWARE of what I was eating. I had to change my eating to one where I enjoyed what I was eating. I didn’t want to become a ‘calorie counter’ so to speak, where every meal I needed a calculator. But I did need to make decisions on what I would choose to eat. For example, if I went out to lunch, I would choose something like a Caesar Salad over a battered fish and chips. I like Caesar Salad, so I merely made the choice to eat what was healthier. Also, instead of having a coke, I just had a water. When you have as many business meetings at a cafe as I do it feels cheap when your colleague orders a cappuccino and you only drink the water from the complimentary cravat! But that is part of the change. I have a friend who is a former body builder and martial arts competitor. I remember him telling me when he was competing in his early 20’s he would go to clubs and drink water, not alcohol, because he was in training.
Secondly, I had to cut back on the amount of food I ate. As discussed, I would fill my plate with food for dinner and then go back for seconds. Usually for no other reason then I it was there and I could. I chose to eat lighter meals and less. For example, where I could eat 2 or 3 sandwiches for lunch, I had just one but filled it with salad to make it filling. Dinner, I would still have meat with vegetables, but no gravy and only a small piece of meat (I was told the size of your palm was a good indicator) and vegetables I tried to have little in potatoes and stick more to greens and carrots etc. Another rule of thumb I used is I should be able to fit the meal inside the plate indent, not outside of it, except for say a leaf of lettuce and I didn’t heap the food.
Thirdly, as discussed I had to change what I ate. I needed to change to having meals that I enjoyed but were also healthy. I also had to change when I had my meals. I started having breakfast around 7am as I would sometimes skip it. I would have a piece of fruit for morning tea. I had lunch at around 12pm, which by this time I was starting to feel hungry so I had to eat. Sometimes I could hold off if I had meetings but due to my change in eating I had to eat consistently. I would have another piece of fruit and then around 6pm I would have dinner. For my dessert and as my treat, I had two squares of chocolate (or a chocolate biscuit etc) which I nibbled on slowly to savour. Before I could eat two rows of chocolate in a few bites and not feel as pleasured by the treat because I didn’t enjoy the treat by savouring and taking my time.
One of the big changes to what I ate was bread! I could have breakfast with 4 slices of toast, lunch 2-3 sandwiches so another 4-6 slices of bread. Then for dinner a slice or two of bread. That is close to half a loaf of bread! I loved my bread. I didn’t stop eating it, I just cut back and had it for lunch only.
Finally WATER!!!! If there was soft drink in the fridge I would drink it. I rarely drink alcohol and generally only in a social setting so this was not a big thing for me, but is something friends have started to change in their eating habits. I now drink pretty much only water. If I am at dinner or in a social setting I might have a soft drink, but it depends on the occasion. With my exercise in the morning I can drink about a litre of water within the first hour and a half of my day. Considering that we are meant to drink between 2-3 litres per day, this is a great a start to my day!
How and When I Did This
Below is a rough plan of what I would normally eat in my day. It is just a guide. As I said, my goal for eating was to become more AWARE of what and how much I was eating. Ultimately to continue with my eating habit to make it part of my lifestyle, I have to enjoy the food that I eat or it has to make me feel good.
6:30 am Sip a glass of room temperature water after a jog.
7:00 am Drink two glasses of room temperature water after sit ups; push ups etc. Shower.
7:30 am Drink a glass of water; have two weet-bix with half a tablespoon of sugar and milk for breakfast; drink another glass of water.
10:00 am Piece of fruit and water.
12:00 pm Lunch being a sandwich with a slice of sandwich meat with salad-tomato, cucumber, lettuce, cheese. No margarine (If you want to make a change that you won’t notice, stop putting margarine on your sandwiches!). 2 glasses of water.
3:00 pm Piece of fruit and water.
6:00 pm Dinner with a piece of steak or chicken the size of the palm of your hand. Salad of tomato, cucumber, lettuce, cheese OR vegetables of beans or peas, carrot, broccoli and half a potato. This should all fit in the base of the plate. If you have big plates, use a sandwich plate! Several glasses of water. Dessert two squares of chocolate or a chocolate biscuit.
Hints and Tips
The word ‘Diet’ these days is often used to describe a short term fad eating trend, as people have referred to what I have done as a “Water Diet”. Water is important, but only one part of the equation. So I avoid using this word and prefer to use the terms “eating habit”, “improved eating” or ‘lifestyle improvement’. It is the connotation of the word that can mislead you and the people you talk to as to what you are trying to do and achieve. Watch the below TED Talk by Sandra Aamodt: “Why dieting doesn’t usually work”.
Have two glasses of water before your meal to help fill your stomach so you don’t feel so hungry.
Eat to the point where there is still a little hunger but you are not hungry ie you can still fit a few more mouthfuls in. A sign of over eating is feeling full or bloated! You will soon find the point where you will feel satisfied in the amount you have eaten. This is what I had to do because I was eating too much and my point of satisfaction was over eating until I was bloated.
I was raised to have a ‘clean plate’. That is you ate everything that was on your plate because you shouldn’t waste it, there were starving children in countries less fortunate then you! I had to get that out of my head. I also only bought and prepared enough food that I would eat, as salad is easy to do this with. You should see a change in your food bill as a result.
Drink water throughout the day. Have a water bottle on hand at work. Staying hydrated reduces loss of concentration.
As 2013 draws to a close, I have drawn on the inspiration of a friend of mine, Luke, to reflect on what has happened in the year and what 2014 has laying ahead for me.
My biggest success was losing 18 kilos. I feel a lot better about myself both physically; emotionally and mentally. I did this by making lifestyle changes that I knew I would continue with, meaning no fad diets! To learn how I did this, read “How I Lost 18Kg By Eating An Elephant”.
I have continued with my community work, sitting on several not for profit organisation’s. Unfortunately at the end of 2012 I had to cease being a mentor to the Flagstone Junior Chamber of Commerce at Flagstone State Community College due to my work commitments this year. I remained the Treasurer of the South East Queensland Indigenous Chamber of Commerce (SEQICC) and President of the Indigenous Construction Group Australia (ICGA). The SEQICC has under gone some major changes this year which I am proud to be a part of, including securing office premises and taking on a full time CEO. The ICGA is undergoing its own review after some set backs, but I am positive about its role and contributions it will make to the sector.
I started an event management business, Murritsi Events, with 2 partners at the end of 2012. In October of this year the other partners decided to pull out of the business. I decided to continue with it. I learnt you really need to have business partners who are as committed and as hungry as you are to make the business succeed by doing the hard yards. Otherwise they will lose interest, slow down and drop off.
For my bookkeeping and consulting business, Foley Business Management, I completed the units I need to obtain my BAS Agent Registration. I have also submitted a proposal to a potential client and I’m looking at office space near the city.
I am in the process of having a provisional patent lodged for a phone app concept I’ve had for some time now. This will allow me to start discussing the idea with developer’s and other’s who can provide valuable input and feedback on the concept.
I recently posted on my Facebook page how I have been so focused on my work this year, I have become a recluse to my friends. It took the wisdom and life experience of 3 mentors to tell me to enjoy myself, as life is a journey and not a destination.
I have started to reconnect with old friends. More so at the end of this year as I started to reflect on how busy I have been. I caught up with an old school friend who works not far from where I live. It was great to meet up with the guys I did a Tafe course with a few years ago and find out what they are doing. Needless to say, arvo drinks turned into dinner that then turned into more drinks.
I took on a comment a friend made while we were at dinner. He described me as ‘conservative’. Its true, and as a result I thought I needed to revamp my appearance. So I have new glasses, changed my hairstyle, grew facial stubble (on weekends!) and updating my wardrobe also due to the weight I have lost.
I have also taken on the comment from Sass of being a ‘Judgie McJudge’. That is in my personal life I am quick to make judgement of people. So I am going to make a concerted effort to be less critical of people in my personal life. This has started by getting to know Sass better!
So what does 2014 have in store
I hope to start taking on clients for Foley Business Management early in the year, building on my existing relationships and identifying new ones, namely in the Not For Profit sector. A goal of my business life is to leave the legacy of “creating a better world for our children’s children”.
Murritsi Events will be second, with Foley Business Management taking priority. But it will find its place I am sure with the right approach early in the year.
The Phone App will begin to come together as I start to put together a rough business plan after talking with the right people. There are no definite times for this as IT start ups are a new area to my skill sets. So I will be looking for the right people to make it happen!
I will be looking to move closer to Brisbane in the first half of the year. An office in near the city will be the incentive I need to move in there to save myself the 1 hour travel to work each morning at peak hour. With the office I will also try to separate my work/personal life better. A home office means you’re at work when you should be at home and at home when you should be at work!
I’ll continue with my health and fitness, by looking to return to study/train in martial arts.
I’ll continue with my community work by providing my services on a voluntary basis for organisations I feel are worthy to the community. This for now includes the SEQICC and ICGA. I will limit myself to being involved with no more than two organisations in a voluntary position, as I have done in 2013.
To enjoy myself more and be more social, planning my weekends as much I do for my work days. I will look to join some social groups to get out and mingle with people outside of my professional network, be it cooking classes, photography etc.
TAKE A HOLIDAY that isn’t a stop over on a business trip or a few hours between meetings!!!!
In June 2013 I weighed 92 kg’s, was a size 36″ waist and 43cm neck. Today writing this I weigh 74 kg’s with a 34″ waist and 40cm neck. I lost about 3kg’s per month to November 2013. Many people have asked me “how did you lose so much weight?” I haven’t been able to give them the full story because I didn’t have the time, nor is it easy to explain. But I did it by first deciding I was going to lose weight and make myself the promise I will keep it off. This is the hard part, making the decision. I am not talking about the decision many people are doing at this time of year by making a “New Years Resolution”, where on the 1st January they start eating rabbit food, starting fad diets and going to the gym for 3 hours each day. Only to stop after 3 weeks because they have lost the motivation to continue. I am talking about the real decision of whether you want to lose weight and keep it off. And the decision begins by asking the question “Why do I want to lose weight?”
Why I Wanted To Lose Weight
My story begins with a general check up with my doctor. One of the general questions he asked was “are you short of breathe when walking up steps or doing normal activity?” my response was “Yes, but that is because I’m just unfit and I am carrying a few extra kilo’s. Yes, I know I should do some exercise and eat better.”
In those two sentences I realised I had a problem I knew the solution to, yet I had done nothing about it. Any reasons I had for not exercising or not eating healthier were not reason’s, but excuses I used as reasons! I now had no excuses, I only had myself to admit it to. I needed to lose weight to improve my health. Also to improve my self esteem and later it helped to improve my work.
The WHY is more important than how and when. WHY will determine how and when.
I have listened to various business speakers on success and how to achieve goals. And the first thing you must do for any goal is to create a strong enough reason why you must do it. Tony Robbins and Robert Kiyosaki are two speakers that come to mind on this. I recommend you listen to Tony Robbins “Awaken The Giant Within” Youtube audio clip below. So now I had my WHY.
What Needed To Change.
Simply put, if I was going to lose this weight I knew I would have to change what I was doing.
Firstly, I had to eat better
I had to stop eating so much food. When I served up my plate, I would put more than I needed on it. And if there were left overs, because they were there I went back for seconds. So first I had to make the decision to cut back on how much I would eat. With the convenience of having food when ever we need it, we eat constantly and I must admit sometimes when we don’t need it but we eat it anyway. For example I am a boredom eater! I eat as something to do.
I had to eat better. I needed to eat better foods. I didn’t eat junk food all the time, but I ate a lot of things I shouldn’t have eaten a lot of, such as bread. I needed to eat more salad and vegetables.
Finally WATER!!!!!! If there was soft drink in the fridge, I would drink it. Water was far better.
So I had to do this in a way that I would continue to eat better. I had to start an eating habit that I would continue to do, not because I had to but because I enjoyed it! This was about a lifestyle change. Not a diet I would start and either get sick of and stop; or making my goal weight and then go back to my bad eating habits. I had to continue this because I enjoyed eating these foods.
Secondly, I had to exercise
Again, I had every excuse why I couldn’t or didn’t want to exercise. Not enough time; its boring; I can’t afford the gym or personal trainer- RUBBISH! I had a pair of joggers and a quiet 3 km’s of road. I also had enough knowledge of training work out’s that I could use to achieve my fitness goals without needing any equipment. All I needed was the right mind set and WHY to start.
Losing Weight By Eating The Elephant
Question: How do you eat an Elephant?
Answer: One mouthful at a time!
That was how I was going to change my lifestyle from not eating correctly to eating right; from not exercising to exercising and wanting to do more exercise! By making changes I would enjoy and making those changes incrementally, but still making a change!
My first goal was about changing my mindset, my way of thinking. If I couldn’t change this, then no matter how much exercise and dieting I did, I would eventually return to my old bad habits.
I had to find what would motivate and inspire me to do these things. I also had to educate myself or find people who would mentor me to learn them.
For example, I had to start waking up an hour earlier to go for a jog. The first thing I did was start going to bed earlier so I would get my 8 hours sleep. Easy done! Secondly, I started to set my alarm to wake me up 15 minutes earlier then I normally would wake up. I did this for one week then set it to 30 minutes earlier then I would normally wake up. Then a week later 45 minutes earlier until 3 weeks later it was 1 hour earlier. Why didn’t I set the alarm an hour earlier in the first week? I did, I turned it off and went back to bed until it was the time I would normally wake up! So, eating the elephant one mouthful at a time, I did this over a period of time until I was in the habit of waking up earlier.
But what was my motivation to get out of bed earlier? Well, every week I had a friend who when I met them I would ask “How are you?”. Their reply was “Great, I had Boot Camp this morning at 6am!” So when my alarm went off and I thought to myself “I don’t want to get out bed yet”, a voice inside my head would say “I did Boot Camp at 6am!” That was my inspiration and motivation to get out of bed when I could have turned the alarm off! They became my role model/mentor!
So look for people who will inspire you, motivate you and mentor/educate you to achieve your goals. Or do your own research to educate yourself no matter how big or small it is! To do my jog and exercise before work it was critical for me to get out of bed early.
What is your WHY to losing weight?
WHAT do you need to change?
HOW and WHEN are you going to make those changes? Remember, you eat an elephant one mouthful at a time!
WHO is going to inspire and motivate you, mentor and educate you to do this?