At five feet, four inches, and 386 pounds, I was not the picture of health or fitness. Sure, I had had four children over eleven years, and gained plenty of weight with each, but that wasn’t my only problem. I also ate way too much, and exercised way too little. Plain and simple. I knew my life was in danger if I didn’t get my weight under control, and get more physically fit. Below, you will find the plan I used to lose 140 pounds over a two-year period.
After you have been in the habit of slothful eating and living for over ten years, it takes a new mindset before you can commit to making necessary changes. I decided what needed to be done, and over the following week, I prepared mentally for what I was about to embark on. I studied nutrition, planned a new way of eating, prepared my kitchen by throwing out the old, and bringing in the new. When I was done, I felt excited about what lay ahead.
After doing some research about fitness and exercise, I agreed that walking would be a good starting point for someone as heavy as I was. At first, I could barely trudge down the street in my neighborhood, but after a week, I was able to walk, if slowly, all the way around the block. This was a huge accomplishment for me!
Eating to Live
I had to get to a place in my life where I could eat to live, and not live to eat. Yes, it’s a cliche we’ve all heard many times, but it is the truth. I had been living each day, planning what I would eat next, choosing what sweets I would save for the end of the day, and eating fast food whenever I wanted. I would now try my best to eat in order to stay alive. Of course I would eat food I enjoyed, but only what my body needed, and no more.
My Personal Food Plan
I think we can all agree that diets don’t work. Most of us have fallen for the fad diet schemes, omitting entire food groups, such as carbs and fats. I wanted a well-rounded diet that would make me healthier, while providing my body with proper nutrition. After some searching, I decided that a Mediterranean-style diet sounded like something I could stick to. My version included a very large amount of veggies and salads. I roasted every vegetable I could find. I ate a moderate amount of fruit, small amounts of lean protein and fish and replaced a lot of my protein with beans, lentils, and other legumes. For snacks, I ate small amounts of nuts, seeds and fat-free Greek yogurt with berries. I began to lose weight immediately.
Expanding the Workout Routine
After about two months, I had lost about thirty pounds. Then, I was able to begin working out at a local gym, using the cardio machines, and lifting some weights. I was starting to firm up in places I couldn’t believe.
My Continuing Journey
I am not done with my journey. I still need to lose another hundred pounds or so. It may sound daunting to others, but to me, it’s just living life in a new way, feeling better and losing weight as a result of that. I know it will happen!