Making Fitness a Lifestyle Change

Hello Internet and Future Self

For the first time in a while, I can finally say that I have confidence in myself. I’m currently at 225 pounds (30 pound loss), lost three pant sizes (38-40 inch waist), and have received the validation/recognition from others around me regarding my weight loss. For the longest time, I have always had the feeling of being a heavy person. Weight has always been a struggle for me even when it shouldn’t have been. So what changed? What made me want to suddenly make a change in my life? I knew I was tired of being heavy, unconfident, and approaching 30 years old with a terrible outlook of myself.

For me, my problem was the motivation. When most people are encouraged to lose weight, it comes from external motivation. People or events (such as new year resolutions) encourage that person to go on a weight loss journey. This strategy works for awhile, but its only temporary. The only motivation that will help you get to your fitness goals is your own internal motivation; motivation that comes from yourself.

I had lost weight in the past because people around me encouraged me to lose weight. It worked for several months, but then I boomeranged back to my own weight and went back to my old habits. To make it worse, the person who tried to keep me accountable also had the same effect, he boomeranged back and went back to his old habits. In terms for a workout routine and diet, I knew what was good for me and what was bad. I knew how to get to my goal; the problem was with how I felt about myself.

Setting Expectations

I knew that getting fit required “work and effort”, and as a human being, I am lazy. I want to put in the least amount of work while still producing the same output. Unfortunately, your body does not work this way. I had to realize a couple of things:

  1. It took a long time for your body to gain all the weight in its present state. Remember that you were once at a normal weight at least once in your lifetime. As long as you are able, you can get back to that healthy weight, but it takes time. It took time to gain the weight; it will take time to lose the weight.
  2. Losing weight is a process. If someone was able to create an FDA-approved pill that allowed you to instantaneously lose the weight, everyone would be doing it. Unfortunately, we have not reached that point in time yet. You need to learn to be patient and trust the process. You will notice a difference, but it will be awhile before you see any physical results.
  3. Think of going to the gym like work or school. You are required to go because you know of its benefits that it will produce later. Work is a necessity because you need to earn money to live a comfortable life. School is a necessity because it gives you the skills needed to be successful in your career and in life. As much as you might hate doing these things, you do it anyway. Remember, that both work and school does not have to be boring and dull; it can be fun if you will it to be.

Finding Motivation

So the next problem was finding that internal motivation. What reason or reasons do I have to get fit and stay fit? These reasons should only have meaning to you, because you are the only person who can maintain that motivation and keep the promise to yourself. Remember, there are no bad reasons for getting fit. The only person who is going to stop you from attaining your goals is yourself. For me, I had a whole slurry of reasons to get fit:

  1. Look good. Losing weight means your body changes. You fit into your clothes better.
  2. Feel good. Internally, you will feel like you have more energy. When people start to take notice, that validation builds confidence and provides external motivation.
  3. Stay healthy. I don’t want to encounter health issues when I get older. The best way to do that is to start and maintain your fitness journey today.
  4. Self-love. Realize that you are not in a good place but that you can get there. Give your body what it needs.

I also wrote down the things I knew about myself that could potentially get in the way of me accomplishing my goal:

  1. Requires effort and I am inherently lazy. Working out means you’ll be sore and tired.
  2. You need discipline to keep attending the gym.
  3. Timing may not be convenient in relation to life events.
  4. I love food, drinks, and alcohol.
  5. Easily intimidated by other good looking people at the gym; subconsciously think people are looking at me.

The Diet

One of the easiest ways to fail is the food you consume on a daily basis. I personally love food: appetizers, meats, desserts, alcohol, you name it. But I also know what type of food is good for me and bad for me. There are plenty of diets out there (ketogenic, pescatarian, etc) which can cause confusion amongst people who are just trying to understand how to diet properly. In most cases, you only have to follow these rules when it comes to dieting:

  1. You must create a deficit in calorie usage. When I first started, I went to a gym and they assessed how many calories I burn assuming I don’t do anything else in my day (including working out). By default, my body burned around 1700 calories a day assuming a very sedentary lifestyle. In order for me to lose weight, I would need to eat less than 1700 calories if I didn’t change anything. If you go to the gym and workout, then the number of calories you burn increases. So if you went on the treadmill and the machine says you have burned 300 calories, that means you have a total of 2000 calories to work with in regards to your diet.
  2. When it comes to the amount of food or portions you eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, follow the King, Queen, Prince rule. You can eat like a King for breakfast, eat like a Queen for lunch, and eat like a Prince during dinner. If you don’t understand the metaphor, your largest or heaviest meal portions will be at the beginning of the day during breakfast. Lunch should be an average portion or not heavy to consume. Dinner should be your lightest meal, when you are done eating, you should never have that “full” feeling.
  3. The best types of foods to eat are the ones that are not post-processed and naturally come from the land. That means minimally or staying away from foods like pasta, cheese, fried dishes, etc. Stick to foods like chicken, fish, nuts, fruits, etc. without or minimally adding additives such as sauces, butter, etc.

The Workout

So here is the “school or work” part of my analogy. When I started working out, I hated it. I was so sore the first day that I wanted to quit and just go back to being lazy. I’m here to tell you don’t quit. That soreness that you’ll feel on your first day, is the ONLY time you will ever feel that way. After a week, your body starts getting used to whatever you’re doing at the gym and allows you to expel even more calories, contributing to your weight loss. In the future, you just get tired instead of sore.

Working out does not have to be boring. If you end up running on the treadmill every day, it will be boring and you’ll never look forward to heading to the gym. You have to change up what you are doing and find something that seems challenging and fun at the same time. Gyms have a variety of hardware that will help you with getting a cardio workout going. If none of the cardio machines excite you, try joining a group training class and make friends with others who have similar goals as you. You can also try plyometric workouts (workouts that only involve your body) and see if that is more of your groove.

Workouts are not meant to be stagnant. Once your body gets used to doing something, you have to trick it in order to keep progressing. There are four things you need to do in order to keep progressing in your routine (think Daft Punk’s song to remember it):

  1. Harder: For example, if its getting easier to squat, add dumbbells to your workout. As soon as it gets easy again, add heavier dumbbells.
  2. Better: For example, if you have been doing a modified push-up (on your knees), try doing a regular push-up.
  3. Faster: Are you running at 4.0 mph, try running at 5.0 or 6.0 mph instead. Is it a time-based workout? Try to do the same workout quicker and with more intensity.
  4. Stronger: If you’re lifting weights, the only way to get stronger is to add more weight to the machine.


If you have finished reading everything above and are ready to make a commitment to yourself, then you’ve got homework. Here are some things I did to make sure I stayed on track:

  1. Find your true internal motivation. This is the basis of your fitness journey.
  2. Go to the gym and workout as often as possible; daily if you can.
  3. Think about the foods you will be eating going forward. I personally used a calorie tracking app to track my intake. Pick healthier choices with food that grows from the land.
  4. Weigh yourself every morning after going to the bathroom and with the least amount of clothes. These numbers won’t lie and will help you track your progress.
  5. Change your workout routine as soon as you start getting used to it. Remember Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger and do workouts with intensity.
  6. Remember that your goal is attainable. There have been many before you who have been overweight and were able to make the changes needed to stay fit. Other people have been successful, which means you can be successful too.

There is still much for me to do. I’m only half way to my end goal. When I do get there, I will post another update. You can do this, trust the process, and stay motivated.

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