Healthy Living – Let’s Do This!

Starting Weight: 225lbs

Goal Weight: 195lbs

If you have read my previous post (7 Goals for 2012) you know that I want to lose 30lbs by my 29th birthday (March 31, 2012). Over the next 12-13 weeks I will update my blog with a weekly weigh-in and some tips that have been helpful to me as I walk through this journey. Hopefully, these tips will be helpful as you seek to live a healthy lifestyle, regardless of whether you need to lose weight or not.

Starting Tips:

1. Learn from failure. You will fail at some point during this journey. You will overeat, miss a workout, and fail to hit a goal that you set for yourself. The question is not whether or not you will fail but how you respond to that failure. In the past, I have allowed one failure to stack on another and before long I had completely lost the motivation to persevere. I must respond to failure differently. I must learn from it and not let failures stack on each other. If I miss a workout, I must hit the next one. If I blow past my daily caloric intake, I must hit it the next day and workout harder. Failure does not have to be final; learn from it and keep moving forward.

2. Start slow. If you have ever been to a gym right after the New Year begins you will know exactly what I am talking about. People migrate to gyms in massive numbers and attempt a workout regimen that would cause Olympic athletes to blush. I must admit that I struggle with this tip more than any other. Naturally, I am wired to start strong and really go after whatever it is I want to accomplish. If you do this when you first begin a work out regimen you will become discouraged and, worse yet, hurt yourself in the process. Start slow, build some momentum, and then go full speed.

3. Plan Ahead. The old adage holds true, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Planning ahead is one of the most important things you can do when starting an exercise regimen and trying to eat healthy. If you want to work out early in the morning, you need to plan ahead and go to bed early. If you are going out to eat, you need to plan ahead and identify some healthy options on the menu. Many failures can be avoided if we plan ahead and this is something I must be certain to do throughout this journey.

4. Set mini goals. One thing that can be extremely helpful when seeking to accomplish a goal is to set several mini goals that will carry you to your overall goal. Every time you accomplish a mini goal you begin to build momentum that pushes you to accomplish your overall goal. Figure out how you are going to reward yourself when you accomplish a mini goal (unhealthy food and days off from exercising are not good rewards). For example, I love reading and I will likely reward myself with a new book. Make sure your mini goals are in proportion with your overall goal. I want to lose 30lbs and will reward myself for every 10lbs that I lose. It would not make much sense to reward myself for every pound lost nor would it make sense to do nothing until I had lost all 30lbs. Everyone’s mini goals will be different but make sure you set them and reward yourself when you accomplish them.

5. Find Proper Motivation. There are a number of good reasons to want to be healthy but there are also a lot of bad reasons. We all need motivation to help us stay on track through the journey but don’t buy into the lie that you need to look good so that people will pay attention to you (or be jealous of you). Let things that truly matter motivate you – being around for a long life of fruitful kingdom-focused ministry, seeing your grandkids get married one day, being able to run in the yard with your kids, etc. Let’s be honest, I don’t think you will care when you are 80 that you had a six-pack when you were 30. You will care, though, that you are still around and in good health.

* If you want to join me on this journey leave a comment with (1) your starting weight and (2) your goal weight. Check back in each week (Monday), update your progress, and share any tips that were helpful over the past week – Let’s do this!