The devil is in the details

Anyone who know me at all knows that I am not a details person. I’m the guy that has always been the “dreamer”, the “wouldn’t it be cool if we could…”, details have never been my strong suit. In most cases I have to force myself to sit down and plan out details if I am taking the teenagers on an out-of-town trip or for a major event. One of the biggest things that I have noticed on this journey is that my weight loss often hinges on how well I am able to do the little things. The longer that I am on this journey the more I am convinced that all of these “little things” add up to major impacts on my weight loss. Here is just a short list of some of the little things that are so important on this journey:

  • Water. I have never had a problem with water, I have just always thought that it was kind of boring. I know that there are people who can’t stand the thought of drinking water “straight up” for me though that is not the reason why I never drank it. For me, my lack of water consumption was due to the fact that I love diet soda so much more. On an average day my diet soda consumption went something like this: breakfast, a 44oz Diet Mountain Dew to start my day off right, mid morning, a can of Diet Coke while at the office, lunch, while at a restaurant for lunch I would order a large drink, refill it at least 3 times plus one for the road, late afternoon, a second 44oz Diet Mountain Dew, Dinner, another meal out, and another large drink refilled many times, late night sonic run, a RT44 Diet Coke for a night-cap. So all told in an average day I would consume about 200+ ounces of Diet Soda and very minimal water. Since beginning my journey that has totally been flipped on its head! Now I drink between 100 and 125 ounces of water every day, just pure, straight up water. Now i won’t sit here and tell you that I have quit all diet soda all together, cause that would be a lie. I will tell you that these days my diet soda consumption is much, much less. I can definitely tell the difference on the scale when I don’t get all my water in. Not only in that way but it helps quench hunger pangs, keeps muscles from getting sore and so many other things. I will tell you for sure that drinking all my water may have looked like a little thing at first, now I know is a huge deal!
  • Eating enough. I know the concept of eating enough was never ever in my vocabulary. In fact there are times now when I forget to eat and have to catch up at the end of the day. The little thing for me here is making sure I have enough calories at the end of every day. On this diet in a typical day, with 5 shakes I take in about 900 calories, not only is that not a lot, but it doesn’t leave me much room for working out. A typical gym day for me sees me burning around 855 calories, that only leaves with a net gain of 45 calories for the day. So to prevent my body from shutting down I know that I have to eat more. I know from early weeks in the diet that if I don’t eat enough every day, I will stop losing weight like I want to. So every day, as the day winds down, I do my calorie math and then plan my last shake accordingly. Some days its a huge meal and some it is just a little, but with out that little bit of planning I would not be able to maintain my momemtum!
  • Staying ahead of my hunger. This may be one of the biggest lessons that I have learned so far, it is not some major pillar of the diet, but it is a small thing that pays huge dividends. I have to eat something every 3-4 hours, and if I feel myself starting to get a little hungry I have to grab a quick shake. If my hunger breaks through that is when cravings happen, cheating happens, and lost momenteum happens.
  • Do something every day. This was something that my educator told me on the first day of class and it has just kind of stuck with me. It goes back to the habbit mentality,  and the routine of life. There are days that I don’t feel like going to the gym to do a 45 min swim, elliptical session, or lifting weights, in fact there are some days when I have to will myself to get off the couch or drive to the gym. I know that if I let myself talk me out of working out for just one day, that can easily turn in to two days, three days and so on. Even if I just walk for 30 minutes I at least have done something.
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