Back To The Basics: So you want to lose the weight. Now what?

Losing a significant amount of weight is a huge task so if you’re deciding to take on the battle, congrats to you. We woke up one day and just decided to lose the weight, but I don’t think we were very smart about the process. This is your chance to learn from our mistakes.

You know the commercials always say “consult with a doctor before engaging in any physical activity or diet plan?” You should definitely do that because we did NOT and it opened up a huge can of worms for us. It took a lot for me to go to the doctor and I definitely wasn’t going in for my yearly check up when I was overweight. Did I really need someone telling me that I needed to lose the weight? I really didn’t want to hear it and avoided the doctor like the plague which is ironic because my dad is a doctor! But when I lost the weight, I wanted to go to the doctor for some strange reason. I just wanted to know that I was OK, but this is where the problems started. There was absolutely no base line on me so there was no way to track my improvement and growth. The doctors didn’t know where I came from and couldn’t really grasp the idea of what I had done.

And then there was the basic stuff we should have been guided on because we were obese such as how much exercise we should take part in every day and the important daily calorie intake. We started blindly and luckily we hadn’t been diagnosed with any serious health problems before we started. We may not have gone to seek out medical help before starting but we did take the time to educate ourselves. It was a huge learning process because we ended up having to learn the fundamentals of nutrition and diet. Calories, fat, sodium, sugars, good fats, bad fats are all the new words in our daily vocabulary. Checking with medical profession would have been very helpful in our situation, but we went about it the hard way.

If you do seek the help of a medical professional, please tell them you are trying to lose a healthy amount of weight by using diet AND exercise. I have heard many people put on a super calorie restricted diet that doesn’t really support physical activity. If your doctor puts you on 1,000 calories/per day and you’re burning major calories you aren’t doing anything but hurting your body. I know several people who have been presented this diet and I really think that’s wrong. That’s starvation!

When it comes to starting your exercise plan, the best advice I can give you is to start out slow when building your workout plan and make sure it works for you. Many people get excited about the idea of losing weight and very aggressive with their plan. This can cause problems like burn out or not being able to maintain that amped up workout schedule. When you’re first starting out (especially if you’re extremely overweight) the idea is to just get moving. Willie started his weight loss journey by walking 30 mins/day on the treadmill. Each week he added more speed and more time. Every little bit counts and nothing is insignificant.

Working out doesn’t always mean you need a gym membership either. We joined the gym because we could, but everyone can’t afford to join a gym or commit to a contract. If you can’t afford a gym membership, that only means you have to get creative with your workouts. Research exercise you can do around the house and definitely hit the streets for a good fast paced walk. Always remember you can’t get change without making a change, so as you progress on your journey, change up your workout routine to challenge yourself.

Getting started is the easy part, sticking with the plan is the hard part. It takes 5 weeks to develop a habit, so you really have to push yourself to stay with your diet and exercise plan. The longer you do it the easier it will become and it will become second nature to you. Good luck on your journey and share your experiences with us!