10.07.2012

The "Secret" to my Success is No Secret

So...yes, I'm back on Facebook.
And yes, every English teacher I ever had just cringed by me starting this post with the word 'So.' But that's not really the issue.

Here's the thing...I started my journey to be healthy (alternately called "no more fat Todd" or "the end to the Lard Ass") back in November of 2011.

Since then I've lost 66 pounds. I'm getting in shape, and would honestly have to say that I'm the healthiest I've been in easily 20 years. People have asked what my 'secret' is. How have I lost I all this weight!?!?!

Well, hang on boys and girls. I'm about to tell you my secret.

First off. It's not just one secret....but many. Stacked on top of each other like a superglued Jenga puzzle that you know just can't fall over no matter how high you stack it.

Secondly....it's not a secret.

I'm not holding any magical mystical key. And regardless of what you may think...this journey hasn't always been as easy as it might seem.  I still struggle. Some weeks it's daily. I walk by the snack machine in the break room and see all of the things I used to eat and not think twice about.

Which leads to "secret" number 1.
Be intentional.
The first thing I had to do when I started on this journey was think. Think about what I was eating. Think about how it would affect my body. Think about everything. I could no longer assume things were healthy just because they packaged it in green. I could no longer eat on autopilot. This really was a huge step for me.

The next key element is a support network.
I had a good friend (who has since become one of my best friends) come to me and tell me that she knew I was in pain and that she knew I didn't want to be 'Fat Todd' any more (those weren't her exact words, but she was brutally honest, as all good friends should be). Without her prod, I doubt I would be where I am today. Not only did she offer me support (which was crucial), but she offered me a system of tools that she had used and that had worked for her to start her on her healthy journey. Which brings me to the next key factor.

Get a set of Tools that works for your ultimate goal.
I have tried Weight Watchers. I have tried the Adkins Diet. Both worked for the short term, but neither was something I could maintain. Both had too many 'diety' elements to them. And it pretty much just turned me off. I couldn't get behind them because it didn't seem like I was actually changing my lifestyle...it seemed too much like I was on a 'diet' and that if I stopped, I'd gain weight again. Which, ironically, is what happened in both cases.  My friend Katie (the one from the previous step) told me about a sports, nutrition, and wellness company called Advocare. She said they had a 24Day Challenge that was designed to help kick start the journey to health and happiness. And it wasn't a diet. It was 24 days of educating your body in to eating the foods it needs in order to be healthy. I decided to give it a try. I lost something like 14lbs in the initial 24 days.

The thing that makes this key...and this is important (or at least it was for me) is the fact that the 24 Day Challenge IS NOT A DIET. Let me give that one a second to sink in. No, it's not a diet. Are there vitamins and supplements to take? Yes. Primarily because they are vitamins and nutrients that aren't in the foods that our society eats on a daily basis.

But it's a lifestyle change. I didn't go on a diet. I'm still not on a diet. I have made a shift in what I eat, how I eat and the activity I do.

You see....that's why I can still have pizza and beers when I want. I'm not on a diet. I'm not cheating on a diet. I'm choosing every now and then to have things that I don't normally eat. I'm not making a habit out of it. But I don't feel guilty about it in the least.

And that's how I know it's the right path. No internal warnings have gone off since I started on the Advocare products.

I've lost 66 pounds so far. Which, when you put the number out like that, it seems like a big number (and overall it is)...but let me break it down for you.
That is, on average, 6 pounds a month.
Which is, on average, 1.5 pounds a week.

1.5 pounds a week is VERY doable for most people.

Don't rush it...listen to your body. It will tell you what you need.

Here is the final secret. This is the thing that I cannot give you or tell you where to buy it.

The reason I'm succeeding and why I know that I will hit my goal of 103lbs lost is
I have no Plan B.

I have made no contingency plan in the event that this doesn't work. There's a great reveal in the movie Gattica that always comes to mind. It's where Ethan Hawke's character (who is supposed to be a physically inferior person..not very athletic) reveals to his brother (the genetically superior, non-asthmatic athletic type) how he was able to beat him when they would race out to the buoys as children. He said ....I was able to beat you because I never held anything back for the swim home.

He had no plan B.

And neither do I. This is going to work. This is working. And in the threads of time somewhere in the elusive (and completely fictional concept of a) "future" I have already hit my goal, and then some.

Hope that helps clear things up.

Peace
-A.T.

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