Anyone who suggests that I absolve people of personal responsibility in losing weight hasn’t been reading my site long enough.
Look, I know it’s possible to lose weight without a lot of money. I know you could theoretically live on whole grain rice and bean sprouts that you grew in your garden on the weekends after spending your work week walking in the door at 6pm and preparing an entire meal from scratch after which you’ll walk around the block one hundred times to avoid the cost of expensive running shoes only to come back home to prepare your lunch for the next day because you don’t have enough time to commute home on your break to prepare lunch from scratch too so you do it the night before and fuck breakfast because skipping one meal won’t kill you and besides that’s your only time to grocery shop since you garden on the weekends and now you have just enough time to do a fuck load of dishes before you collapse into bed but at least you’re thin.
I know it’s possible to do it that way.
But that sounds pretty fucking miserable to me and I don’t advocate anyone doing something that makes them miserable. If living a healthy lifestyle makes you unhappy, live fat and free, my whale of a friend. Life is too fucking short.
Also, I have one thing to say to all the sanctimonious assholes who suggested their brilliant ‘Quit eating, duh!’ weight loss regime: Enjoy your 20’s. Because by the time you’re in your mid 30’s, your metabolism is going to slow to a fucking crawl. Which means you’ll have to cut your calories back more and more to take off a couple of pounds. At that point, we’ll all throw you a ‘Welcome to Anorexia’ party, OK?
Ideally, you need six meals a day to keep your metabolism running like a well oiled machine. Cut your calorie intake back too far and you’ll only succeed in training your starving body to eat its own muscle mass.
I have a confession to make. When I graduated from high school, I weighed in at a very svelte 88lbs. However, during my freshman year of college my diet consisted of pop tarts and pizza, so I gained quite a bit of weight. Now I never crossed the line into morbid obesity, but I was a size or two away from being a plus sized girl. So, having been on both sides of the spectrum, I have a unique perspective.
I wrote that article yesterday not to give people an excuse to be overweight, but only to offer them a different perspective on how they got that way in the first place. It’s easy to accuse someone of laziness or insist that they lack willpower, but what I learned about weight loss is that willpower can be bought. But ultimately, an individual controls what he spends his money on just as much as what he puts in his mouth. My intent was to suggest that a healthy lifestyle is an investment worth more than the latest electronic gadget or brand name purse. I did not intend to doom poor people to a life of uncontrollable obesity. No one is a victim here. They’re just fat people with different priorities.
Anyway, I never made it back down to 88lbs, but that’s a good thing because I was too fucking skinny in the first place. I did, however, hit the 120lb mark which is the weight where I currently feel the most comfortable.
I did not live on brown rice and bean sprouts. I suspect that if that was my only option, I’d still be one fat fuck today. However, I do invest daily in my body. Here are some of the things that I did:
1. Run your diet past your doctor before you begin
This sounds like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at how many people start all cabbage soup diets without first consulting a professional. If your diet idea is bunk, all it a takes is a $20 co-pay to save you a lot of wasted time and effort.
2. Ignore magazine covers that claim to teach you how to lose 10lbs in 7 days
They’re always filled with cutesy suggestions like ‘always park towards the back of the parking lot so you have to walk more!’ As if walking an extra 15 steps a week is going to change your fucking life.
3. Cut the cable
Have you ever noticed that the fattest people are also the ones who follow the most television programs? If you’re always rushing home early to watch ‘Survivor’ or ‘Wife Swap,’ then it’s likely that you lead a pretty sedentary lifestyle. End your TV addiction. Not only will your brains stop leaking out of your ears like radioactive sludge, but you’ll have an extra $40 a month to put towards your body.
4. Put the entire family on the same program
Some people out there have nerves of steel and can stick to a plan even when they’re surrounded by people eating pizza and ice cream. More power to those people, but I am not one of them. The main reason I don’t get up in the middle of the night and have a couple of cookies is because I don’t keep cookies in my house. My Step-children whine and cry every time they visit because I won’t buy them pop tarts, but that’s just tough shit. For all I know, my husband eats lunch at McDonald’s every single day, but when he sits down at home for a snack he’s eating a bowl of grapes with me. Tyrannical? Maybe. But consider the fact that most of your children are fat fucks just like you. A big part of parenting is leading by example. So toss the dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets and pizza rolls in the garbage. A salad won’t kill them; it’ll likely do them some good.
5. Don’t join a gym more than 5 miles away or one who makes you sign a contract
If your gym is halfway across town, you won’t go. Seriously, you won’t. Might as well burn that money now for all the good it’s going to do you. Also, don’t join if they won’t let you pay month to month. The reason being is that you’re going to get bored at the gym. It’s inevitable. However, if you’re paying by the month, you can simply stop going without wasting any money. Then you can use that money to take up kickboxing instead.
6. When you get bored, mix it up
When I get tired of the gym, my trainer takes me to the stadium so I can run up and down the bleachers for a change of pace. When I’m sick of cycling, I switch to water aerobics. Or karate. Or dance. If your exercise routine gets grueling, you’ll quit doing it after awhile. So keep it interesting and keep it fun. You don’t have to spend every day on the elliptical. Some days, you can simply go hiking.
7. Find a personal trainer that you’re comfortable with
If your trainer is an attractive member of the opposite sex, you might not feel so comfortable working out in front of him. If your trainer is a 19 year old twit with a bubbly personality, thoughts of wringing her little neck might interfere with your concentration. Find someone who makes you feel comfortable and who knows his/her shit. My trainer is fucking awesome. I did sit ups every day for months with absolutely zero results, but she adjusted my form and the next thing I knew I had a six pack. Also, she has a knack for keeping me interested in a conversation so I’m not focusing too much on the pain.
8. Make sure there is plenty of variety in your diet
There are some people who can happily eat the same goddamn thing every day for the rest of their lives. Those people are freaks. I’ve got to have a lot of variety in my diet or I’ll get bored. So yeah, swordfish and spinach might be a little on the pricey side, but it’s better than eating a candy bar for no other reason than you’re sick to death of chicken.
9. If you plateau, kick it up a notch
I know there are people who say that plateau-ing is no big deal and suggest that you tough it out for 6-8 weeks before you panic. More power to those people; I wish I had nerves like that. The only thing I thought to myself when I stepped on the scale and saw the same number I saw last week was, “Fuck this. All that for nothing. I should have had a piece of cheesecake.” I am the type of person that always needs to be making progress. So when I hit a standstill, I kicked it up a notch. I’d add a mile onto my daily jog or I’d pick up an extra cycling class. I never stagnated for two weeks in a row. Even now, I like to be constantly progressing whether I’m shaving seconds off of my mile or I’m gaining a little more definition in my arms. Results keep me inspired.
10. Brainwash yourself
This is the most questionable of my advice. I’ve never heard of anyone else attempting it, let alone having it work, so take it with a grain of salt. But when I first starting working out? I fucking hated it. I loathed it. I dreaded it. However, I refused to let myself believe it. Every time I found myself thinking about how miserable I was, I would stop and chant to myself, ‘I love to work out. I feel so much better when I work out.’ During my work out, I’d say to myself, ‘This feel so good’ even when I was crying inside. After my work out, when I was dead tired, I’d say to myself, ‘Wow, I feel so refreshed and energetic!’ Even if I skipped my work out and spent the day luxuriously relaxing on my couch, I’d think to myself, ‘I feel terrible and tired. If I would have worked out today, I would have felt a lot better.’ After awhile, I didn’t have to force these thoughts anymore. They came naturally. Now, it’s no longer a lie. I really and truly love to exercise and I feel like utter crap when I don’t. I brainwashed myself.
So there you go. That’s how I did it. I’m sure if you add up the cost of all my techniques, you’ll see that I spent a pretty penny to achieve my goals. Swordfish and trainers and cycling classes don’t come cheap, my friends.
But for me? It was worth it and it still is.