So, where was I?
I highly encourage reading Post 8 for the first part of this literary masterpiece on how I dropped 100 pounds.
I’m fat, but not as fat as I used to be. We left off in grad school down in Gainesville, FL sweating my butt off…literally.
Weight loss can result from a variety of food/exercise plans. Some people focus efforts on the food intake side by either cutting calories or eating higher quality foods. Other people keep the diet the same and focus on working out harder and longer to burn calories. Most people are somewhere in the middle.
It’s a math equation. If you burn more calories than you take in, you will lose weight. Certainly, other factors play a role (i.e. metabolism, hereditary factors, brownie cheat days), but burning calories is at the top of the list in any strategy.
That “burn” can be achieved through numerous activities…zumba, aqua aerobics, olympic weight lifting, chopping wood…and yes, even running. The trick? Find something you enjoy doing. If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t stick to it.
For me, I found two primary methods of cutting the flab. The first method included exercises such as “Power Knees,” “Suicide Jumps,” and those damn “Switch Kicks.” It’s amazing how many new names you can come up with for slight variations of burpees and pushups to make some money.
Insanity is a month-long workout DVD plan that is made up completely of body weight exercises in various interval circuits. Shaun T acts as both the star and evil drill sergeant of the series in a set of five different DVD workouts that focus equally on stengthening core muscle groups and tearing apart my self-confidence based on how many pushups I could do at a time.
For a person motivated by challenges, this workout posed a superior adversary. It is hard, but it is worth it.
And then….there’s the secret booty-shaping weapon…line dancing.
On most Thursdays-Saturdays, after doing Insanity, I would then complete the two-a-day workouts by slipping on the cowboy boots and walking to the local country line dance bar.
A lot of people trying to lose weight will stop or limit the intake of empty calories in things like beer and pop. Seems sensible, huh? If it was that easy, I never would have become fat in the first place.
Line dancing provided an enticing opportunity to offset the intake of empty calories in beer by burning those calories on the dance floor. It took some time, but after a few months of regular attendance, I caught on to some of the steps. Ok, that may be slightly too humble…I was pretty damn good.
After two-three hours of dancing a night, I would leave the bar drenched in sweat and lighter than when I walked in. Line dancing provides a surprisingly well-rounded core and lower-body workout. Just think about all the kicks and high knees involved.
The routine worked.
In one year, I reached my lowest weight mark of 197 pounds (106 pounds under my peak weight). I didn’t eat kale. I didn’t skip lunch. In fact, I ate Chipotle 3-4 times a week, including ordering half chicken/half steak in my burrito to ensure I got a large portion of meat (insider tip).
The key? Finding activities that I enjoyed. I wasn’t “working out.” I was having fun and drinking beer. Can you imagine a better weight loss plan for a fat guy?
Each year, millions of people make the vaunted New Years resolution to lose weight. Fitness center membership goes up and treadmill use increases through about January 8th. And then? The treadmills get less and less busy and most resolution makers fail.
I don’t pretend to be an authority on fitness, health, wellness, and especially not running, but take my advice. If you find yourself in a position where you want to make a change, make sure the process is something you enjoy. If not, you will just be another Shakeweight customer looking for the next new magic solution.