Whether you want to stop being out of breath after a couple of steps or live long enough to see your grandchildren get married, always keep your healthy living motivations in sight.
Submitted by Jayzar “Jay” Recinto
I’m a 35-year-old husband and dad. I’m currently at 185 lbs and I consider myself healthy, but that wasn’t the case before.
3 years ago, at 32 years old, I was a whopping 310 lbs. I was obese.
I loved my life even when I was obese. I counted my blessings. I had a loving family, a wife, and was blessed with a beautiful daughter. I had a business. I had friends. I knew how to look at everything with a positive vibe.
I thought back then that I was going to die at a young age, but I didn’t really care. I was living a full life. I was okay with that. Again, I loved my life.
This all changed when I woke up in the middle of the night with intense chest pains. I thought I was having a heart attack. Fortunately, it was just a bad case of heart burns, but it opened my eyes to what could have been.
Being 310 lbs and living the lifestyle that I was living, I knew that it could have easily been a heart attack. My wife and daughter would have woken up to see me dead on the floor. That was what it took for me make the switch, and start living healthy. It wasn’t pressure from other people. It wasn’t the desire to look better. It was my family.
I’m a huge advocate of letting people live their life as long as they’re happy, the same way I appreciated how people around me accepted me for who I was because they knew I was happy. If you’re thin, fat, fit, athletic or whatever, go on and live the life that you chose provided that you’re happy. You’re in the driver seat of your own life. You decide where you’re going.
But if you think that you and the people around you will be happier if you go through a lifestyle change, give the healthy lifestyle a chance. You might love it as much as I do. Be ready to put in a lot of work, though. There’s no shortcut.
10 Healthy Living Tips
These are some of the tips that I’m following in my journey to a healthy lifestyle:
1. Find an inspiration.
It can be something as simple as wanting to fit into more fashionable clothes, or something more dramatic like mine which is to live long enough to intimidate my daughter’s future suitors.
You can also use other people as inspiration. Look for people who have done what you’re trying to do. If they can do it, so can you.
2. Establish a main goal which is to live a healthy lifestyle.
I’ve tried losing weight dozens of times before. In those cases, I had very specific goals, like lose anywhere from 20 to 50 lbs. A lot of times, I did, only to relapse and gain the weight back with a vengeance. It’s like my mind switched back to an unhealthy lifestyle because I already reached my goal.
If your main goal is to live a healthy lifestyle, then that’s a lifelong goal right there.
3. Establish secondary and short-term goals.
These goals will keep you going. It can be something like gain 10 lbs of muscle, run faster, lose 10 lbs. of body fat and the like. Continue challenging yourself. Move from one short-term goal to the next once you reach them.
4. Start with baby steps.
Don’t overwhelm yourself by working out for 3 hours a day for 7 days a week. Start small. In my case, I started by giving up junk food and sugary drinks, and just walking around. Make your way up to more challenging exercises from there.
5. Avoid empty calories.
Empty calories usually come in the form of sodas and sugar-laden sweets. You have no use for these calories. They’re not going to nourish you and in most cases, they’re not going to fill you up either.
6. Find an exercise that you’ll love doing.
This is the easiest way to maintain a regular workout schedule. It doesn’t really matter what exercise it is if your main goal is to live healthy. It can be lifting weights at the gym or joining a Zumba class. If you love it, then you’ll look forward to it.
In my case, I tried everything – walking, running, boxing, circuit training, etc. – before eventually falling in love with lifting weights at the gym.
Eventually, you will have to choose a workout program that matches your specific fitness goal. For example, all I did was walk and run when I was just starting because my specific goal back then was to lose as much weight as I can. I lost 140 lbs, but eventually decided that it would be better to put on some muscles. This is why I decided to lift weights.
7. Establish a regular workout schedule and stick to it no matter what.
Let’s say that you establish a workout schedule of Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 6PM. You have to do everything that you can to stick to this schedule. Work your other commitments around this. Learn to say, “I can’t go. I have to go to the gym.”
8. Find a workout partner.
Having a workout buddy can help you stick to your goals. It’s also more fun to work out with someone.
9. Count your calories.
This is to make sure that you’re eating enough to meet your goals. This also can help you avoid eating too much or too little. In addition to counting your calories, make sure to count your macros – carbohydrates, protein and fat – as well. There are apps to make this easy.
10. Schedule a cheat meal.
This will keep you sane. In addition, it can actually help your metabolism.
Of course, enjoy!
Have your own weight loss story? Send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org with at least 2 before and after photos, and 10 of your weight loss tips!