Choosing to Lose Weight
By the time I left university, I was overweight. Height – 5 Foot 10 Inches. Weight – 195 lbs. Body mass index – 28. Overweight, if not obese.
So instead of following the latest fashionable diet, I decided to use the power of habit to alter my life and lose weight. Using information that I found online I set about building a series of fitness and nutritional habits into my life. Every month I installed a new habit. And the result?
After two years my weight eased down to 154 lbs. That’s a body mass index of 22.1, the lower side of the 20-25 normal range. And, as an added bonus, I discovered that my new lifestyle didn’t cost as much.
So here are three of the most important changes that I made to my life and the habits that glued them in place.
First, I sorted out my hydration. This arose from my research into productivity. Turns out that it’s much easier to manage your physical and mental energy when your body is properly hydrated.
That meant an end to soft drinks and alcohol. These days all I drink is water (1.5 liters a day) and occasionally fruit juice or green tea. In addition to feeling much better, I’ve also saved a lot of money on alcohol. My hydration habits include drinking half a liter of water when I wake up in the morning, sipping water throughout the day and avoiding both alcohol and soft drinks.
The next step was to improve my eating habits, so I began by cutting junk food from my diet. Prior to that, I had been eating fast food at least twice a week. This removed fries, deep fried food and much saturated fat from my diet.
I also learnt how to cook. Oh yes, I can cook. So I developed the habit of cooking a healthy, nutritious meal every evening.
As a result, I now eat a much healthier diet for about a third of the cost of takeaway food.
The final piece of the puzzle involved adding exercise to my daily activity. But rather than joining a gym, which (a) involves monthly expense and (b) is often not used, I developed my own exercise regime and then made it habitual.
Thanks to a combination of old dumbbells, pushups and squats, my general strength and stamina have improved considerably. In recent days I’ve also accepted the 100 pushups challenge which I’ll mention in a future post.
ANNUAL SPENDING AVOIDED:
At Least £360
In total, I reckon these simple changes have saved me at least £100 per month and improved both my health and fitness.
However, one final habit that I developed was to avoid stepping onto the scales every day. Instead, I weighed myself every 6 months. This was done on purpose to remove the focus from my weight. My main aim was to enjoy my new, sustainable lifestyle.
Ten years on, I still maintain the same habits and my weight remains in the 154-160 lbs range.
Three cheers for the power of habit.
Woot, woot, hooray!