Friday, April 19, 2013

Fitness - Road Opening, part 1

In my last post, I talked about embarking on a fitness goal. Like many people, this is a goal toward which I've worked multiple times...and fell off the wagon multiple times. When I made my post, I was still putting together my full strategy to give myself the highest possible chance of success. I started by sitting down and getting an overall picture of my health, including where I am now with my weight, where I want to be in the end, and where I want to be in the relatively near future.

I'm not gonna lie, I'm morbidly obese. The number of ways in which this negatively affects my life and happiness FAR outweigh any and all excuses for not losing that weight. In my case, the silver lining is that many of my other health metrics (like blood pressure, cholesterol, heart health, physical stamina, strength) are healthy. This puts me at an advantage for weight loss efforts because I can do most exercise without endangering myself, and I can choose the healthier foods I eat and don't have to take on a special diet (read: Atkins, South Beach, Zone, Primal, etc.) if I don't want to. Additionally, I found a gym with cheap membership rates right around the corner from where I live (and I admit I've been a member since July of last year [and yes, I have gone many times]). On top of all that I've lost weight before, so I'm no stranger to it, I have a clue how it works and can roughly do good nutrition.

So I have a lot stacked in my favor...and yet there have been a lot of obstacles to deal with. This has included the usual suspects like willpower, distractions, time management, and maybe others. Many of these are under individual control, but life itself seems to love throwing curveballs at you when you are trying to make a positive change (even if you aren't crossed). But out of all the possible distractions and sources of "sabotage" in weight loss efforts, there is one I expected the least: friends and family.

See, I'm one of those fat guys who grew up with everyone and their sister telling him that he's not fat (I've literally been told the Southpark line "You're not fat, you're just big-boned"), that he's just a "big guy", that he's not "meant" to be "thin" or, even worse, that he would look weird if he lost weight. Enabling behavior and words from well-meaning people have been far more of an obstacle than I ever imagined it would be. If the voices of any enablers are internalized, combined with a person's own struggle with their own willpower, those other voices can be devastating. By no means am I blaming others for my failure to lose weight; honestly, I carry that burden myself!

But if you're like me, these things can join in the giant cacophony of things that get in your way. At the very least, they don't help with preventing excuses. And let's face it: when pursuing a major goal that changes your life...sometimes, having a good support base can make a huge difference! And I should clarify: what I mean by 'support' can be as simple as not voicing discouragement. Given the nature of my in-person social circles (mentioned in my last post), it's been a struggle getting some folks to give me that support (or lack of discouragement).

So in light of all that, I decided to begin the magical side of my weight loss efforts with a Road Opening spell, which will be detailed in my next post!

NOTE: Admittedly, this is a highly sensitive topic. In fact, I was in a Facebook group where me and another guy got into a pretty nasty exchange after I ranted about the influence of friends and family in relation to this. He actually blocked me because of that exchange. I've come to understand his POV on it, so I would like to say: by no means do I blame my friends and family for my failure to lose weight. In the end, that is on me and I take responsibility for it. I do have my own take on the usual statement spoken to help one feel better, and I have my criticisms of such things. But in the end, it's a path I alone must walk. Supports are like people on the sidelines cheering you on, but nothing more.


  1. I've lost 20 pounds over the last year very slowly, just with making diet changes and running after toddlers. If I can do it, I know you can do it!

    Also, if you want a system, Weight Watchers is probably the best/healthiest. But(t!) I found with all the counting I was always trying to cheat. Eating a salad almost every lunch and not eating out nearly as much has done more for me personally though you'll see results faster with WW.

    1. I've definitely considered WW, and still am. In the meantime, I've been making dietary adjustments to keep within my daily recommended caloric intake, and make my meals healthier and help facilitate weight loss.

      One change I made recently, which falls within the results mentioned in my next post, was to take my cardio routine (which was 30 minutes staying at about 79% of my max heart rate) and change it to HIIT. I did that a week and a half ago, and have dropped 4-5lbs. :)