Deciding to live a healthy lifestyle and to “get fit” is a great decision to be sure. However, turning that decision into a reality is about much more than that. It’s about making the right decision hundreds of times throughout the week when presented with the choice between the easy way and the right way. Should I be disciplined when the alarm goes off at 5:30 AM when I don’t feel like it… Or will I hit the snooze button and regret the decision later? Should I get the waffle fries or the fruit? Soda or water? Keep running or stop now? These decisions are everywhere, and the culmination of our choices will determine our success or failure as we pursue a healthier lifestyle. But make no mistake about it, there is a price to pay every time we decide one way or the other. The price of discipline or the price of regret.
I made the decision to choose discipline just over 6 years ago and haven’t looked back since. After staying in good shape while playing high school and college sports I had let go of my disciplined ways and drifted into the worst shape of my life. I suddenly found myself at 260 pounds… about 80 pounds overweight! It was time to start making some changes.
The first thing I needed to do was LOSE WEIGHT. My goal was to lose 80 Lbs. I did some research and found a very helpful app called the “Lose It” App. There are many like it but this one was perfect for me. By entering a weight loss target in terms of time and pounds, it calculated the approximate number of calories I should take in each day to reach my goal. The app asks that you track all your meals and exercise to show you where you are in relation to your daily, weekly and monthly goals. It not only helped tracked my progress, but it also taught me a ton about how unhealthy a lot of my favorite foods were, the power of exercise, and what portion control truly looks like. By following the plan and making the right choices daily, I lost 80 pounds in 5 months!
Once the weight was gone I turned my attention to lifting weights and building muscle. The goal and the plan changed completely but the ingredients for success remained the same. I needed to know what I was chasing, I needed a plan, and discipline was the key ingredient. These days eating right and working out has gone from something I “had” to do to something I LOVE to do! I hit the gym 5 times a week, meal prep at Clean Eatz Savannah and lead a “Bigger, Faster, Stronger” workout program for middle school athletes on the weekends. I take pride in being someone that my friends and co-workers come to for fitness advice and love it when my story or advice makes a positive impact on someone else’s life.
If you have recently decided to live a healthier lifestyle here are a few tips that I have picked up along the way:
- Have a clearly defined goal. My goal was to lose 80 pounds, but everyone’s goal is different. Some of us have a certain body fat percentage in mind while others may want to run a marathon someday. Some want to feel healthy and keep up with their kids while others aspire to be a bodybuilder. Whatever it is for you, a goal is vital. It will give you vision as you hit the peaks and valleys along your journey.
- Have a clearly defined goal. As we all know there is an app for everything. Do your research and find something that works well for you and your goals.
- Be patient, real results take time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your goals will not be achieved overnight. Keep your expectations realistic as to not be easily discouraged.
- WHEN you fall get right back up. Show yourself some grace when you “cheat” or get off track for a few days. Nobody goes through their journey without a slip up or two. It’s OK! One great meal won’t make you and one bad meal won’t break you. Shake it off and get back on track!
- Make small changes first. Overhauling everything about your lifestyle is overwhelming and unrealistic. If you are hoping to lose a lot of weight, start by cutting out soda or cutting down on snacking. If your goal is to run a marathon you may need to start by walking a mile. As you make small changes little by little you will start to see big results before you know it!
At the end of the day it’s up to you. So, what’s it going to be…. Discipline or Regret?