At my heaviest, I weighed 660 pounds. I always loved going to the gun range with my buddies, but in Jan. 2019, when I got to my house, I remember thinking that I would never go again because of all the pain I was in.
My first step and most helpful step, was purchasing a food scale. I didn’t have any idea what a portion was or looked like. I ate everything and anything, and whatever I put on my plate was a portion to me. For breakfast, I would have either a real sugary coffee mocha or chocolate milk and donuts with a breakfast burrito or two. Now days I drink a protein shake after work outs and then two hours later, I have a 6-ounce meal with some protein and low carbs.
My first month of changing my diet was really hard on me. My cravings were terrible, and I was always in a bad mood. But I kept on eating the foods that I knew were healthy for me, lots of vegetables along with chicken and turkey. I ate baby carrots with dinners and lunches for the first three months, they taste great, and they fill you up. I also started eating low fat Greek yogurt to replace the sweets I was eating every morning.
By counting macros, measuring foods, and lowering my calories to 2,000 each day and eventually down to 1,200, I shed a total of 160 pounds in just a few months right before having gastric sleeve surgery.
Surgery can be some of the solution, but it can’t be the whole solution
A lot of people go into surgery thinking it will solve their problems. But all their eating problems will still be there. I believe that changing what I ate ahead of surgery made things a lot easier for me; I had developed discipline and all the stress about not being able to eat my favorite type of foods and having bad cravings was behind me in the past for the most part.
I started working out for a few minutes every two days before I had surgery; now I exercise six days a week. I walk the local track on Saturday — I would go to the gym on Saturdays except it is a 20-mile drive for me to get there. That is the closest gym in my small rural town. My cardio to weight training split is balanced. I start on the elliptical machine doing a 15-minute warm-up, then I move to the weights and then walk on the treadmill and do a 30-min session.
The art of being disciplined
Discipline is crucial. Motivation will hit a wall for all of us at some point. I developed my own discipline just by not wanting to go back to the old me from before my weight loss. I was not really living before my weight loss journey, just existing, waiting for the ending. When I started to work out, I thought, I have to work out, now it is I get to work out. On days I do not want to exercise or track macros, I try to tell myself, “Do not let your inner bitch win the battle. Get up. Do the work.”