How I Lost Weight Successfully in 2010

Guest Post by: Jason Zimmerman (@jason_z)

I wanted to offer up a guest post as a way to further encourage readers of The Chubby Couple blog and show that hitting our weight loss goal is very attainable, and something we can all achieve. I think Jason and Jenny are doing a fantastic job and I hope that my contribution here will also inspire those of you out there reading this.

I entered 2010 as a 33 year old obese male. I had high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high cholesterol, and had increased risks for some major health problems. I finally decided that it was time for me to make some major changes.

Today I’m 65 lbs lighter and no longer obese, but “normal” on the BMI chart. For me to hit this goal I had to make mental and behavioral changes and I’m going to share with you what worked for me.

Below are the things that I focused on and how I applied them to my weight loss.

I didn’t go on a diet
I realized that going on a diet meant that I could also come off the diet. Since coming off of a diet meant that there was the potential for me to revert back to my old habits, I decided to change how I perceived eating and dieting.

So what I did instead was that I changed my diet. I looked at the types of foods I ate, which made up my current diet, and decided to revamp what I ate in a way that I could sustain those eating habits permanently.

You can’t deprive yourself of things because then you start having cravings, but you need to look at what you eat and modify it for healthier options. For my personal diet I try to eat only real, natural foods, and nothing that is boxed, already prepared, frozen, etc.

I began to treat calories like currency
How I treated calories is actually what kick-started my weight loss. I know that people hate counting calories. But for me, once I started my day with a number of calories to spend, and each time I ate I subtracted from that amount, I made myself aware just how much I was eating.

If you don’t know how much you are spending, or in this case eating, you go into debt very fast. And going into debt means becoming unhealthy and obese.

If you are able to regiment your eating habits so that you eat the same things for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday for your workday it makes counting calories easier because you don’t have to spend time figuring it out.

I found that keeping track of calories also helps eliminate mindless eating. You know when you just grab a cookie here and there and don’t even realize it? You can add a few hundred calories to your daily intake without even remembering eating it.

I took the emotion out of eating
Emotional eating for me was not just eating when I was unhappy or upset or stressed. For me the taste of some really unhealthy, high calorie foods made me feel good. Food gave me a euphoric feeling and getting that uplifting feeling can be addicting. You keep eating more and more unhealthy foods because the taste makes you happy.

So I had to realize that I can be happy in other ways and I didn’t need to attach emotion to food. I can still eat food that tastes really good, but I had to remove emotion from the equation.

When you have emotion for food you start to miss it. I told myself that I didn’t miss eating those unhealthy foods because I spent the last thirty years of my life eating them all they were doing was killing me.

I maintained a positive outlook
Being obese for so long had caused me to have negative thoughts about myself, my image of myself, and my chances for ever losing weight.

When I finally decided to make a change I also made the choice to focus my energy on positives and keep negatives from entering my mind.

Every time I looked in the mirror I said things like, “You did it, you hit your goal”, “You have done a fantastic job losing weight”, “You are finally healthy and happy”.

By telling myself that I was successful and reinforcing these thoughts it kept me from doubting myself because I knew that I could do it.

Another trick, which some people consider corny, is that I cut out a picture of someone with a healthy body and put my face on the picture. Then I looked at that picture often to visualize myself losing weight and when I looked in the mirror instead of seeing the overweight version of me, I saw the healthy version of me.

Changing my mindset and how I thought of myself and weight loss mentally was a big step for me.

I scheduled exercise into my daily life
For most of us, finding time to exercise is hard because we have busy lives. Scheduling it in and making it a priority was the only way that I was personally able to make sure that I fit it into my daily life. I’m not a fan of exercising and the exhaustion and pain that can come with it, but when I was finished I felt proud of myself for doing it.

Your exercise routine doesn’t have to be long and you don’t even have to go to a gym if you don’t want to. I did the Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred DVD’s for months and got really good results. I did the level 1 program for a long time, all you need are hand weights, and you can burn a lot of calories in only 25 minutes. This workout is tough when you are first getting started, and there were times I was gasping for air, but before you know it you can do the whole thing without stopping.

Final Thoughts
I believe that if you can focus on changing your mindset and changing your habits you can be very successful. It’s tough and it basically requires that you forget everything that you have known and done up until now and start over fresh. Forget how good certain unhealthy foods tasted and forget the emotional attachment you had to those foods. Start over as a new person and before you know it you will be the healthy and happy person you are striving to be.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Disciplinary Action
    Nov 01, 2010 @ 10:02:31

    Awesome, inspirational story, Jason (the Second)! Thanks for sharing 🙂


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