It’s one thing to diet. Keeping the weight off is something else.
Like so many other determined, hopeful men, I’ve made numerous resolutions, promises and proclamations to myself about shedding a pile of unwanted pounds. And I’m usually successful. But this isn't, “Yay me”—there’s a rub. After shedding the weight, how can guys prevent those pounds from insidiously creeping back onto our manly frames? It’s a problem a lot of guys have, so let’s tackle this bloated issue together.
This year I made yet another New Year’s resolution. My goal was dropping twenty-five pounds over the course of 2014. Almost two months in, my plan is off to a good start. As mentioned in an earlier post, I began my journey by organic juicing the first week of January. I’m not a big fan of leafy green vegetables like collard greens, the omnipresent kale, Swiss chard or the bitter bite of dandelion greens. Granted, when juiced you can hold your breath while chugging the murky liquid and remind yourself that this is act of detoxification is also one of self-love. So I kept at it and dropped almost a dozen pounds in the first week. The new challenge was taking the process to the next phase. Now I’m not saying I have all the answers, but I can share what has worked for me. It’s important for guys to take stock in their food and beverage intake as they age. It’s for your health and it becomes more and more difficult to lose that gut. Which brings me to my Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Managing Your Weight.
Foods to avoid
Truth be told, I gave eating beef, lamb and pork six years ago. Last year I eliminated poultry and this year I’m trying a vegetarian lifestyle. This is a day-to-day challenge. Fortunately, over the past six years I’ve discovered that you can unlearn old habits and that change is possible. Even so, after a week of juicing, I was ready to chow down. But keeping the larger goal in mind and knowing the pain of starting over if I started gorging myself, I fought the desire and made a mental list of foods that would remain off limits. Drum roll please…. No ice cream, cake, pie, candy, pizza, pasta. alcohol (sigh), white bread, processed foods while also limiting carbs and gluten. That has made a big difference. The toughest thing to give up was caffeine. That said, eschewing caffeine has provided me with deep, satisfying sleep without missing a beat in terms of mental alertness.
It’s a cold, icy, dismal winter in the Northeast so I’ve put my running gear aside until the temps break freezing and hunkered down on the elliptical machine on a regular basis. After each session I add an exercise like crunches, curls, push downs, or jumping rope.
The power of choice
When you think about it, everything you eat is a matter of choice. The sour cream or the Greek yogurt, the diet soda or the glass of water, the veggie burger or the turkey burger, the beer or the club soda with lime. It’s a never-ending series of decisions. I’m like a lot of dudes who pull up a chair and wolf down whatever is put in front of me. But it’s not necessary to eat everything in one sitting. So I make another choice to eating slower and more mindfully. I take my time and enjoy each bite of just one satisfying portion. Then I push away from the table and wrap up what’s leftover for another meal. Good decision.
I start each day with a large glass of water with half an organic lemon squeezed in. This helps your alkaline and PH balance while also keeping me hydrated. I’ve also limited my food intake to between 8am and 8pm. No more late night snacking or sips of chilled vodka (sigh).
Consistency and perspective
Dieting needs to be viewed as something good for you, not as punishment for a life of gluttony. I remind myself of my goals every day to make as many better choices as I can. That’s really all anyone can do. And it’s okay to “cheat” once in awhile. But if you are like me, once in awhile can turn into every day so I’m really careful these days.
The results to date are promising. I’ve lost eighteen pounds and I feel fantastic. I have more energy, I look better, my clothes fit comfortably and I sleep like a baby. What’s not to like? I’ve got a long way to go to reach and maintain my goal, but my early success is encouraging. This is how Guy’s Guys roll, so come on fellas, take stock of yourselves and get healthy. And I promise you that you’ll look and feel a heck of a lot better once you get rolling. It’ all about taking that first step and making the right choices. You can do it, amigo! You’re a Guy’s Guy!
Are you another casualty of yo-yo dieting, or do you set your course and make it happen?
This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is New York Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia, who over the course of two years has lost forty pounds.