Who's ready for summer?
So its that time of year, everyone in the office is walking in with a gym bag on their shoulder. You run into more people around the water dispenser and it seems like everyone is trying eat a bit healthier. Summer must be around the corner. Are you ready? So some of us carry a little more fluff than others, doesn't mean we don't enjoy the pool parties with friends and family. You know, those hot humid Texas nights when everyone is hanging out on a patio sipping on a cold beer with the grill fired up. Sure we like to wear tank tops too. But are we ready to show off those arms? I mean suns out guns out right guys! Are we ready to kick back on the lazy deck of the pool with our shirts off? If you are anything like I was last summer, there was no way!
But hey guys don't stress out! I have 5 easy steps that will help boost your confidence and surely help you lose some weight. Who knows this might even set you on a healthier path if you haven't already started on one. The 5 steps I am going to lay out are the ones I took back in November 2016. I was very over weight and needed a change. I missed out a lot of events last year because I let my body get in the way of me enjoy some fun in the sun. But not this year, no sir I have taken these 5 steps for the last 4 plus months and have made a huge difference not only in my weight but in my way of thinking and confidence.
Step 1: Plan your meals
We've all heard this right? Plan your meals. I think we've beating this horse to death already. But its probably the best advise I could offer you. Meal planning might seem like it takes a ton of effort but truly it's not. For instant, I like to have 3 main meals a day with 2 snacks somewhere in between those meals. Find some easy healthy meals you like for lunch and dinner and make enough for 3 days at a time. I say 3 days because after that period of time food just doesnt seem to hold its taste and freshness as well as those first few days. (2 of the 5 meals - check). Snacks is a walk in the park too. Try and eat some veggies like cucumbers and carrots which are low in calories. The great thing about that is you can eat a ton of them which will make you feel full and are not going to make your calories for the day skyrocket through the roof. (4 out of 5 meal - check and check) . Lastly for breakfast, if most of you guys are anything like me. My mornings every minute counts. So I have to make breakfast a fast meal. I like to have a protein smoothly made in a blender. Or I will whip of a few scramble eggs and have some wheat toast with them. If I have no time in my kitchen, I pass three subways on my commute to work everyday. I will run into one and grab one of their breakfast sandwiches to go. (5 out of 5 meals - triple check)
Step 2: Exercise 1 hour a day
In November of last year when I decided to make a real change in my life I knew I didn't have a lot of time to spend in the gym. I needed to get a strong workout out in as fast as I could. My schedule these days are so busy that an hour is as much as I could spend. And come to find out an hour is more than what I needed to start to see results in my body and mind. What I found to work best for me was to do my boxing class Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Then I would lift weights on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. And finally on Sunday I would go on a family walk with my family. With finding some high intensity workouts I could burn easily a 1000 calories each work out on average.
Step 3: Sleep
Since my workouts are usually done in the morning before my house wakes up. I will sneak out of my house at 5 am and get my one hour in a day Monday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday my times fluctuated just depending on what our weekend schedule looked like. But for the most part every workout is a morning one. And since I am up so early in the mornings its not hard for me to get a good nights rest. Your body needs time to recover. And sleep is the best time for that to happen. Just like in football, a team doesn't get better during the season. It's the off season when all the effort pays off. Our body works the same way; when we work out we are breaking down muscle fibers. With proper nutrition and vitamins we recover and rebuild during our sleep. So getting a solid 8 hours in ideal but if you have to cut your nights sleep down like me to 5-6 hours just make sure you try your best to make it up later on during the weekend.
Step 4: Write it down
Being a father, college student and full time employee I have found that writing down my daily tasks and goals have a profound effect on me. My schedule is so busy from projects due at work, remember what class reading assignments I need to complete and from keeping up with family or friend gatherings that we have committed to just to name a few examples. When I decided to make a healthier lifestyle change I asked myself what do I want out of being healthier? So I wrote down some goals:
- Be able to play and keep up with my daughter
- Lose weight and feel confident in my own skin
- "WOW" my wife when she sees me
- Feel good in the inside and out
These were some of my goals and they mean the world to me right now. I love my family and want to be an example for my kids. I want them to see you can have a balance lifestyle and it doesn't mean that you have to suffer to be fit.
Step 5: Stick with it
Lastly, I don't know how much I can stress this step but I'll try. Sticking to this plan, a plan you decide to draw up yourself or find online is what ties any fitness plan together. We might start off pumped up ready to put in the sweat equity. The first few days go well but then life happens. Work takes up more time, kids get sick, school assignments take longer than expected to finish up. I know, I've been there and I've given up when it has happened. But not this time! Not giving up when life curve ball's are thrown is when the progress happens. You'll be on another level of self esteem when you do the work outs when you least want to. You'll be proud and see the results when you pass the fast food during the week because you have goals to hit. Stick with your plan and I promise you it will be one of the best choices you've made. When you get out to that pool party and know that you've worked hard to sport that tank top and show off those tone arms and slim that dad bod you work so hard to shape up.