Ninety days ago, I was very close to being in the worst shape of my life. I was forty pounds overweight, I had back and knee pain constantly, and no endurance for anything more stressful than climbing one flight of stairs. (Even that was becoming a stretch.)
I felt like my weight and lifestyle were inevitable and irreversible – it was too much weigh to lose, and too difficult to get it off. I didn’t have time, energy or expertise enough to turn my life around to that extent.
I looked forward to eating.
I loved food, and it was slowly killing me.
Then I looked in the mirror one morning and thought – You, sir, are a disgusting pig.
I had reached the point where something had to change – and I finally didn’t care how hard it was. I looked at my potential future and saw a variety of distasteful health problems, not to mention a shortened lifespan due to my inability to control my eating.
I saw my wife as an early widow, and my kids growing up without me around – and the picture was more than I could stand.
Then I noticed that a friend at work had been losing a lot of weight. He was farther gone than I was – yet he was accomplishing much more. At that point, he had lost more than 100 pounds, and looked like a different person.
I figured, if it works for him – why can’t it work for me?
So I asked him what he was doing.
He turned me on to My Fitness Pal – a free app that allows you to simply keep track of your daily calorie intake. It also records exercise and calculates how many calories you burn, based on your weight, age, gender and activity level. Then it tells you how many calories you need each day to survive while losing a reasonable amount of weight.
It is NOT a diet. It is NOT an instant weight loss pill.
But it is wonderfully effective.
The simple math of weight loss doesn’t lie: If you burn more calories than you take in, you WILL lose weight.
You don’t need fancy exercise programs, supplements, surgeries or diets. Just take in fewer calories than you burn.
Today is my ninetieth day using My Fitness Pal.
I have not done a single push-up or sit-up.
I have not run.
I have not cycled.
I have not jumped rope, rowed or lifted weights.
I also have not limited myself to eating nothing but carrot smoothies for three months.
All I’ve done has been to eat more fresh and less processed food – and to eat fewer calories each day than I used to.
Today I am 33 pounds lighter than I was when I started.
My back and knees no longer hurt.
I have energy that wasn’t there before.
I’ve dropped more than seven inches off my gut, and I’m wearing pants that are two full sizes smaller.
I gave away dozens of pants and shirts in the last few weeks, because they no longer fit – and I’m determined that they never will again.
I went on vacation last week with my family – and I still lost weight – without avoiding good food.
I just avoided eating too much of it.
Knowledge is king, and knowing what food costs you in terms of calories is priceless, because it allows you to decide where you want to spend your daily calorie budget.
My Fitness Pal simply gives you the information you need to be able to make better choices in your eating, and that gives you the ability to tackle weight loss that may seem insurmountable.
I still have more weight to lose – my original goal of forty pounds will probably be extended to fifty, and I’ll ultimately level off somewhere in between. The point is that both goals are now in sight – and it only took minimal effort, some basic planning – and 90 days of my time.
What goal are you not chasing because you think it’s too hard?
What’s stopping you?