Many arrive at mid-life wondering, "what happened and how did I get here?". The cumulative effect of our circumstances, our responses or reaction to them and our choices have gotten us to where we are. This article will describe the steps of how to transform your body if you are overweight.
Step 1: A New Way of Thinking
Your thoughts will manifest the thing on which you think. The first step in any transformation process is to change your thoughts. Wayne Dyer, a popular author has a book and cd set called "No Excuses!". No matter the choices you've made up to this point, you have to accept the responsibility for your decisions and decide to move forward. Beating yourself up for bad choices will NOT bring about the change you want.
Commit to better choices for yourself, because you are worth it. Teddy Roosevelt said "Start where you are, with what you got and do the best you can". Therefore, be positive, focus on what you want to become. Start with short-term attainable goals.
Step 2: It's What You Eat
The second aspect of transforming your body is changing what you eat. Reducing processed food, and fatty foods is essential. Replace those things with complex carbohydrates, vegetables, fruit and nuts and lean meats. Be suspicious of food that has been "enriched" or preserved for shelf life. The Smithsonian has a 15-year-old Twinkie in its wrapper that looks as fresh as the day it left the factory. That is scary. The phrase "shop around the outside of the store" makes sense because most of the artificially flavored and multi-ingredient foods are in the middle aisles. Fresh foods are found along the outside walls of the store. Buy and eat things with 1 ingredient is tough but worth it. Carbonated beverages, sugary drinks with high fructose corn syrup and artificially sweetened drinks are NOT healthy, drink plenty of water.
Complex carbohydrates take more energy and more time to digest. Simple carbohydrates like enriched flour pasta convert to sugar more quickly and typically will get stored as fat if energy is not needed right away. Most people should eat 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Protein takes the most energy to digest. As in the Atkins diet, eating lots of meat or protein does not generally result in weight gain.
To lose weight, you must create a calorie deficit to convert fat stores into usable energy. The important thing is to avoid feeling deprived or sorry for all your sacrifices. Eating a small portion of that favorite food is better than over indulgence, just do it sparingly. A food journal or weighing your food can open your eyes. Most people underestimate their consumption. If you deviate from your plan, admit the mistake and restart your program then.
Step 3: Activity
The third step is to get moving. Start by doing something you are not already doing or doing more than you already do. This could include walking briskly, working out with light weights, swimming, biking, etc. Pick something you enjoy and mix it up, variety is the spice of life. Consult your doctor before starting any exercise plan. Consistency is the key, so start slow. The important thing is to stick with it; work hard and don't burn-out. The goal is establishing new and hopefully permanent life changes.
As you become comfortable with your current level of activity, decide to challenge yourself to do a little more. Exercise performed is almost never a regret AND it boosts self-confidence and feeling good about yourself (endorphins, etc.). Looking good or better on the outside translates to feeling good on the inside and it's a perpetual cycle.
Transformation is a process that starts in the mind and with your thoughts. There is no room for excuses. Find an inspirational story of someone like yourself to motivate you, transformation stories abound online. Change takes time, it took time to get where you are now. What you eat affects how you feel. If you are eating junk or garbage, you will feel weak, run-down, etc. Exercise is key to transformation, because that is what burns available and stored calories (fat). Weight training builds muscle and muscle burns calories, so the more you have the more you burn. Any extra activity is better than what you aren't already doing.
Transformation is possible for those who do the work and are consistent. Start today, you will be glad you did!