The final weigh-in!
||Lean Body Mass (LBM) (pounds)
||Weight to Goal
Total inches lost: 28.5
And this week’s photo: 6Months Photos
So here it is. The end of the six month ‘experiment’. 26 weeks of progress in the books and all to answer a fairly simple question.
But first, I do want to say “Thank you” to everyone that gave me encouragement and support during this. Some posted comments here, some came up to me in person and told me how they thought what I was doing was great. Those comments really helped me stay motivated throughout this process just to find an answer.
Because that’s all it was meant to be when this whole thing started: to answer a question. I wanted to know if it was possible to get healthy and in shape, even with all of the excuses we all come up with as to why we can’t. It was inspired by Drew Manning’s Fit2Fat2Fit experiment, but I wanted to see what a regular person (i.e. middle-age, not a personal trainer and someone’s that been out of shape most of their life) could do. Could I get in shape with all of the things going on in my life – family, work and social commitments – without joining a gym or spending hours everyday exercising?
The answer, obviously, is YES!
We make all kinds of excuses – no time, can’t afford it, too out of shape – to talk ourselves out of actually doing the things needed to get healthy. I just proved that it can be done, even with all of those excuses.
Up until about six weeks ago, I spent about 20 – 30 minutes a day exercising. In the beginning, it wasn’t even weight lifting; it was stretching and cardio. Sure, it took time to make it a habit, but I did get there eventually.
As far as eating, I didn’t go on a diet. All I did was start cutting back on the portions of the junk food I was already eating and slowly made changes to incorporate healthy alternatives. It’s now reached the point where I actually crave the healthier foods!
I didn’t spend a fortune to do it, either. No gym membership, no ‘named’ diet (Atkins, Weight Watchers, etc), no expensive equipment. Okay, granted, I did spend money on a new weight bar and weights, but that’s only because over the weeks and months my goals and mindset shifted to something far more long-term than just this 6Months2. I didn’t have to get those things; the weight set I already had would have sufficed until the end of this.
Yes, it’s been hard and there have been days and weeks where I struggled. There were times when I thought about giving up because progress was sooooo slow. However, I kept at it because I knew that the changes would happen. I knew that it was worth it.
And here I am now, almost 36 pounds lighter and feeling better than I have in a long time. And this was just six months. Imagine what could be done in a year, especially with what I know now.
Okay, so I didn’t make my goal. That’s my fault. However, I learned a lot from this process and here’s just a couple of pointers:
1) Be patient
Whenever a person decides to get healthy or go on a diet or what-have-you, they often get frustrated at the lack of progress. It’s something I experienced more than once and, as I said, I thought about giving up. But sticking with it, even when it seems like nothing is happening, will eventually yield visible results. While we would probably love to see instant results, chances are it’ll take some time.
2) Make a plan and stick with it
I had drawn up a plan, complete with workout routines, for the whole 26 weeks. I didn’t really stick with it beyond the third week. Part of it was because I wasn’t being patient and wanted to try anything I could find that might help get rid of the fat faster. Even though changing a routine now and then is a good thing, changing it every week isn’t. So sit down, write out a plan and then follow through with it, even when you’re tempted to try something else.
Those are probably the two biggest things I learned. Granted, I learned a lot of other things, like macro-nutrient ratios and the importance of micro-nutrients and too many others to list or even get into.
The bottom line is this: even with a busy life and limited funds, you can lose weight, get in shape and feel much better. The excuses are just a way to convince yourself that you can’t possibly get healthy and in shape, even though you really want to.
So stop talking yourself out of it and get to it!
Thanks for reading!