I've been living like a vampire lately--preferring the dark and avoiding mirrors at all costs because I know it would just kill me to see how far I've let myself go!
OK, so vampires supposedly have no reflection at all. What I see in the mirror is a poor reflection on me and my excess weight.
When I am not writing for a living, I earn a few extra bucks umpiring girls softball games and the occasional boys Little League game. This past Saturday, while dressing in my protective gear at the ball field I caught a quick glimpse of myself in my car window.
Man, let me tell you, I almost cried foul and threw myself out of the game!
I got fat... real fat, I'm ashamed to say. I know I shouldn't feel this way. Instead, I should get my head on straight, develop a plan of action for diet and fitness and start taking it one day at a time.
It seems that lately I've developed an appetite for destruction. In fact, I just gobbled the three remaining slices of a supreme-style pan pizza – and it's only 10 a.m. on a Tuesday!
I tell myself it's OK to eat heavy so early because I rise at 5 a.m. and don't eat breakfast. From 5:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. I fuel up on coffee while I write non-stop for a client.
By then, I am starving, of course. And when you're "starving" you tend to make poor food choices – well, at least I do!
So what is Mr. Bad Food gonna do? I have battled weight for much of my adult life, but I've never been this heavy before.
I mean, it's so bad that I walk into my bathroom and do my best to not gaze into the mirror. Oh, I will look at my face while brushing teeth or shaving. But I simply cannot bear to catch a full-body glimpse before or after a shower.
It's time to own up to my situation – and to take the steps I know have worked for me in the past. Perhaps you care to join me. If so...
Step 1: Make a commitment!
This may sound silly but the best way to get started (after putting down the knife and fork) is to grab a pen and a piece of paper and start writing a new healthy lifestyle manifesto.
You don't need to go crazy here and write a book. A few straightforward lines about making a commitment and sticking with it will do. Then sign it and post it where you can see it often – the fridge door, the pantry door, your bathroom mirror.
Step 2: Take inventory of the fridge, pantry and cupboards!
After 12 years of writing about health and nutrition, I know what foods should be readily available – and what foods need to get the old heave-ho. If you can't bear to toss out perfectly good food, donate it to your local food pantry.
Now, go shopping and stock up on the good stuff – fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc.
Step 3: Make time for exercise!
Eating well is a great first step for feeling better, looking better and lowering your risk of a number of nasty health issues. But it really is important to find time for daily exercise. This doesn't have to mean spending hours at the gym.
You can find plenty of fun ways to burn calories and tone up. So you think you can dance? Well, get dancing! Got a bike? Get pedaling! A few games of basketball will heat up your metabolism while you have a ball. A brisk walk around the park or neighborhood will work, too – especially for those of us who've been pretty sedentary for quite some time.
There are plenty of fast and effective at-home workouts. (10 minutes is all you need to start!) I've found the best time for me to work out is first thing in the morning. There's far less chance I'll blow it off if I do it right after crawling out of bed.
Step 4: Pick a number... any number!
What I mean here is to simply a pick a number for the weight you feel comfortable carrying – the weight that your doctor will commend you for reaching. Don't become a daily scale watcher, but do weigh yourself once a week or so. When you see your ideal weight creeping in the wrong direction, get moving. (Or Measure Progress Without the Scale)
Also, know that slip happens. An occasional slip won't wreck your diet and make you gain weight, so shake them off and don't beat yourself up afterward.
They say it takes two weeks for something to become a habit. So, let's spend the next two weeks developing healthy habits.
I feel a need to confess that I will not be starting my plan today or tomorrow. I am the sort of guy who needs to start on a healthier lifestyle on a Monday morning.
So, come Monday, I'll be off and running (or maybe walking on my garage treadmill is more like it).
Until we eat again, stay healthy my friends!
Do you believe that Mr. Bad Food can do it? Will he commit this time? What is he doing right (and wrong) this time?
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