It was July 11, 2021. This is the day my “health journey” began. I have redefined my relationship with food and exercise. I had to start eating less and moving more. I realized this when I faced the tangible consequences of my lifestyle choices. The photo in question became a mirror that reflected not only my physical size, but also the severity of my health problems.
A realistic goal was enough
The gym became my sanctuary. I walked on the treadmill for the first two months to lay the foundation, which allowed me to lose the first few pounds. The third month meant switching to resistance training with a personal trainer who taught me the basics of weightlifting.
The gym was not just a place to work out, it was a haven for my transformation. Walking and hitting a basketball began to be associated with everyday life. However, the real breakthrough was the introduction of resistance training.
Previous attempts to lose weight were characterized by lofty goals that ended in frustration. This time I chose a different path – I set myself small, achievable goals. I was thinking of losing 1.5 kg.
This shift in thinking was profound. Every small victory adds up to make a bigger difference. I rejected the idea of losing weight quickly. A slight change in my attitude has freed me from the burden of unrealistic expectations.
Weekly workouts became the norm – she combined cardio, walking, basketball and resistance exercises. August 2023 marked a turning point with the introduction of intermittent fasting. A disciplined 11am-7pm schedule has provided me with structure that has helped me set and maintain a healthy weight.
Go for a marathon, not a sprint
Three gems of wisdom emerged from this: creating small goals, prioritizing sleep, and being flexible. I realized that this trip was a marathon, not a sprint. Good sleep has become a cornerstone of my daily routine. It is a kind of blessing on yourself during struggles and become a powerful ally in the struggle for well-being.
The physical change was undeniable. The centimeters were disappearing, but the real transformation went beyond the physical transformation. Peace, kindness and increased concentration become the norm of daily life.
For people thinking about losing weight, I offer a simple truth: It all starts with food and exercise. In the past, I deprived myself of certain foods and ingredients such as carbohydrates, sweets, etc. This time I got rid of the habit of depriving myself of food. I don't have cheat days or reward myself with food. If I want to eat something, I just reach for it. However, I eat in moderation, and not mindlessly.
Many of us complicate the process of getting fit, when everything is relatively simple. You need to add strength training, improve your fitness, proper nutrition, sleep, and focus on repetition.
Eat normally, don't cheat and repeat
Repetition is the hardest thing. Change your eating habits, commit to regular physical activity, and understand that this journey is a commitment to improving your physical and mental health, day after day.
The path to well-being is not about making radical changes, but about making consistent, purposeful choices. Food and movement are key to becoming a better version of yourself.
I found inspiration in the loneliness I felt while training. I looked at the gym not only as an expense, but as an investment in my overall well-being. I have a list of core beliefs that guide me: “Eat less, move more”, “There are no absolutes”, “1.5kg”, “Baby steps”, “Start now” and “Sleep”. Each of these thoughts contains a lesson learned, a choice made, and a step taken toward a healthier, happier life.
Today I weigh 100 kg, so I lost 40 kg. My next goal is to lose another 15kg and really help men and women on their health journey.
Mark Slaughter is a teacher in Dallas, Texas and a father of three. He trains at Life Time Gym. All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.
The text was published in the American edition of Newsweek magazine. Title, introduction and abbreviations from the Newsweek Polska editorial office.
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