Getting in shape and eating right was hands down one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life. Last year, at 35 and with two young boys, I realized that my diet and exercise habits had become a problem and were affecting me in ways that hindered my performance as both a husband and a father. I would run around in the backyard with my boys and after about 5 minutes have to sit down and attempt to catch my breath. Afterward I would go inside and eat whatever I felt like and not even think twice.
January 17th 2013 was the date that I made the conscious decision to turn around my lifestyle and get serious about my health. I had little to no knowledge of how to go about doing this but in this day and age information about anything is right at your fingertips. Webmd and NerdFitness were two great resources for me. Those first 2 months of my new lifestyle were incredibly challenging. Exercise was painful and embarrassing. I wanted comfort food so badly it hurt sometimes. Even with the challenges, I stuck to my guns, and I am so proud to say that. Here I am about a year later and my new lifestyle has changed me in so many ways. I have so much more energy and vigor for anything. My wife sees it, my kids see it and my friends see it. I cannot imagine living how I used to. I know this time of year a lot of new years resolutions can start to fall to the wayside. I’m telling you to stick with it. Here are a few tips I picked up from my journey that hopefully can help you stick to your guns.
Fall into a Routine//
They say it takes 21 days to create a habit, well it’s time to find out. To some people, routines may seem mundane; however I feel they are a great way to stay focused. The one habit I believe is the most important is consistent sleep patterns. Going to bed and getting up at the same time will make you so much fresher. You will not believe it. I know it can be near impossible to be asleep at the same time every night, especially if you have children; however, it’s worth making the effort. Your body is smarter than you think, and after a while it will start to pick up on the signals. Another routine I recommend is consistent meal times. Eating at the same time everyday will condition your body when to expect food and what to do with it. Create good habits for yourself and stick to them.
I don’t know about you all but if I’m paying for something I’m going to make sure that I am satisfied. My wife calls me cheap, but I prefer frugal. I decided to apply this tactic to my newfound hobby of working out. It has paid dividends. Instead of going for a monthly membership when I signed up for a gym, I threw down the cash for a year. This way I was sucked in for a year. By not going I would be reminded of the money I was wasting, which for me was unacceptable. You can use this method with food as well. My wife and I decided to subscribe to a monthly fruit basket from Shari’s Berries. It arrives every month and not only is full of healthy snacks, but also serves as a reminder of the commitment we made personally and financially to ourselves.
Share your goals//
Setting goals and accomplishing them is a great feeling. I have enormous respect for people who will say they want to do something and then go do it. I firmly believe in letting your goals be known to your friends and family. There is also a bit of a psychology behind this as well. Once you have told everyone around you that you are attempting to get into shape it becomes that much harder to go back on your word. I know some people are afraid of being over sharers on social media, but I say screw them. If people don’t want to see what you are up to then they do not have to go to your page. I love when I see people posting about personal successes on social media, and it inspires me to go out and achieve my own.
Attempting to completely change your lifestyle can be a bit of a shock since it is a huge task. Remember to take it one day at a time and revel in the small victories. If you exercise and eat clean for an entire day, pat yourself on the back. Last year I was so far out of shape, and my diet was atrocious. With the right motivation and correct information I turned it all around. It’s never too late for a fresh start, take the plunge and change your lifestyle. You will not regret it!
Thank you to Blake for sharing some of your story, which I am always inspired by, and tips for staying committed. If you're interested in contacting Blake, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org