The Very First Steps

The Very First Steps

I have gotten a few questions & topic suggestions from people, both from my Facebook page and via PM. I used to respond directly, but I think everyone can benefit from these queries. So, let's get some Q's A'd! 

Q: I've lost my way. After years of stress/work/kids/responsibilities,  I'm fat and unhappy about it. What are your tips to get started?

(this came from a few people, so I am generalizing/paraphrasing to encompass everyone.)

A: You are the people I am talking to. You are the ones I want to reach, because I found myself in the same boat not too long ago. My website isn't for fitness know-it-alls or experienced athletes. It's for you guys. So, with that, I am going to give you some solid, ground-zero, advice that starts at desk jockey/couch potato. 

The very first things you need to do are: get a physical, see your dentist and drink more water and less empty calorie-laden beverages. Show yourself you are serious by getting a health tune-up, a baseline readout, and immediately cut hundreds of useless calories out of your diet. You can accomplish this within a few weeks. BOOM. Big step.

In order to lose weight, you need to create a caloric deficit (meaning you consume less calories than what you need to maintain your current weight.) This can be accomplished by one or a combination of things. Either you eat your maintenance calories and work out to create the deficit, Or you subtract 200-500 calories a day from your diet without working out, or.... you do a little bit of both. I recommend working out or doing both, but the middle option will work if you detest physical exertion.  Eating less and moving more is simple, free and common sense. It is, literally, the least you can do. And, with most people, it's all that is necessary to improve their health and mood. 

With that, here are some quick tips:

1. Take the Two-Week Experiment. Then, take the Next Step

2. To burn some extra calories, start riding your bike to work, or if you can't, start carving out a little time and get a walk in once or twice a day. Park in the far lot, take the stairs. You know the drill. It's those minor inconveniences we avoid that actually add up and make a difference. 

3. Get the junk food out of the house, Oreos, chips, half pops, whatever you mindlessly stuff in your mouth. If you drive to the grocery store at 11PM to buy a tub of gelato, you probably need it. But you don't need it every time you pass through the kitchen.

4. Reduce your alcohol consumption. This is one of those things we all try to justify, but it doesn't work. I'm not saying don't drink, but I am saying cut down. If you have three drinks a night, stop at one. If you go all week without and then drink a case of beer on the weekend, make it a six pack instead. You can't cheat this one. 

5. Do a small challenge, like C25K running, 100 push ups, 200 squats and 200 sit ups. These mini exercise programs take very little time and cost no money. I always suggest this first. If you can't do something as simple as take 30 minutes out of your day 3x a week and simply move your body, how are you going to get a gym membership or buy all this exercise equipment and be successful? 

OR You could also take a local fitness class, but make sure you go at least 3x a week. Taking Zumba on a Friday night might be fun, but it doesn't count for much if it's only once a week. You'll need to add more activity to fill in the gap. 

If you do all these things, you will be surprised how much better you feel. This, in turn, will motivate you to do more, perhaps get a gym membership, sign up for a 5k, or start a new adventure. Momentum begets more momentum. 

Look, I know you want me to give you a specific program, or tell you exactly what to eat. You want the magic combination, the secret to motivation, and I could monetize the shit out of this site if I was willing to sell you lies. But I'm not. I got where I am by doing exactly these things first. Before the transformation contest, before the gym rat life, before jiu jitsu, I did push ups, sit ups, bodyweight squats and I jogged as best I could. I cut down my drinking. I started tracking my food. It was only because I put in the initial effort that I was able to really gain some traction and get in shape for real. 

Once you have done this for a 2-3 months, let me know, and I'll give you some tips to take it to the next level!