December 1, 2010, I decided to try an experiment. It seems to me that every December in recent memory I managed to gain five pounds. I decided December 2010 would be the December I lost five pounds. I have a lot more than that to lose, but if I could lose five in addition to not gaining my normal five, I’d be putting myself ahead of the game come January 1, 2011. It worked.
The 2011 lifestyle plan
While I’ve never considered myself much of an athlete, I have remained active my whole life. In high school, I ran a little cross country. In college, I did quite a bit of weight training and continued that well into my 30s. At the same time, I’ve always been interested in nutrition. I am also blessed to have been raised in a home where healthy food choices were always available and portion control was enforced. (She was feeding five kids for goodness sake!)
Exercise. Since April of 2009, I have been doing a body weight only routine three to five times a week. It’s worked. The stretching component has dramatically minimized some of my old age aches and pains (particularly shoulder pain) associated with dragging a computer bag around the world. In 2011, I will continue this routine on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Cardio. I’ve always done a bit of cardio but never really committed to it as part of the workout schedule. In 2011, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, I will go for at least a thirty minute brisk walk; preferably a hike on a trail whenever possible. When the weather allows, I’ll replace some of the walking with bike riding. I just don’t see running as ever being in my future again and that makes me kind of sad. But who knows? Maybe my body will change it’s mind twenty pounds from now.
Diet. By diet, I mean dietary lifestyle and not one that depends upon meals and planning from a third party. Hey, if that works for you, great. I just know if I can’t find the will to change habits internally, it will never work for me. If I had to put a name to my dietary lifestyle, it would closely align with the South Beach Diet I utilized a few years ago to lose twenty five pounds. I actually kept most of the weight off for almost two years. Until – you guessed it – I stopped eating that way. This will be a somewhat modified version of the diet allowing me a little more carb flexibility. My goal is to lose about five pounds a month until I reach my ideal weight. For me, my ideal weight is not based on the scale, but judged by the way my clothes fit and the way I look in the mirror.
That’s my plan. Maybe something in there will help you with your perfect lifestyle quest. Please comment with ideas you have to improve the plan.