Back in the “Low” Life Again

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If you are prone to weight gain, it’s important to live your life lower (but not too low) than higher. And, it’s amazing how weight gain can get away from you. You work hard, you love how you look and feel, and then bingo, you’re back on the roller coaster ride of weight gain. The key I guess is to keep it a small hill since it’s much easier to get down. I personally put on about 6 pounds over the last 3 weeks and I’m trying not to make it permanent and a prelude to more.

How did it happen? I took the vacation mentality too far. My mother in law was in town for a few weeks and she can cook. Very, very well, in fact. And, she cooks in a traditional Italian way: generally healthy (I don’t eat meat which helps), but also caloric and lots of added flavor. For example, I put about a cup of cheese on a whole pizza. She put almost a cup per slice (or so it seemed). As much as I loved it, the pounds started creeping on. And, since she was visiting, I didn’t make it to the gym as much. In short, my control slipped away.

My plan is to lose it over the next few weeks now that she is gone. I’m going to miss her for a variety of reasons including her cooking. I should’ve adjusted and actually used moderation and control. This is how I typically gained weight in the past: I “go off” and never really get back on until it’s too late. Not this time, though. I’m back in the low life again, which, as those who have been overweight and lost it know, the “low” life of healthy weight is actually the high life in terms of health and confidence.

Image by Jonathan Bennett. To order prints or download high resolution images, click here.

Introducing Workout Tips

Previously, I posted my series on twenty changes that I made that made me healthier and led to my weight loss. I’ve decided that, with summer coming up, I would start to focus specifically on my workout tips. Let me give you some background.

I was a very active child, but with the advent of the Nintendo Entertainment System that all stopped. I went from active to sedentary very quickly. However, in high school I decided that being fat and slothful wasn’t the way to popularity, so I started lifting weights and joined the football team. Football and training for it kept me in good shape, but I didn’t exactly love football. So, after high school, I lost a lot of my motivation for working out.

In college I was only a short walk away from a gorgeous state of the art workout facility. Yet, I rarely used it. Classwork and other stuff kept me busy and one of my biggest regrets is being near my heaviest weights during my college years. It seems to be fairly common since the freshman 15 (pounds) is a stereotype. I had the freshman 15, the sophomore 20, etc. My senior year, I finally got motivated and lost a lot of weight and got fit and was thin throughout most of graduate school. Still, after I got into the “real world” I let myself go again and was back on the yo yo train. It’s not a pleasant ride!

In  2005, I started at my current job as a high school teacher. Although teenagers are gaining weight at dangerous levels, by and large they are thinner and fitter than the average population. You gotta love youth! This was a constant reminder of my own fitness shortcomings and also how far I’d fallen (I had been in great shape in high school and grad school). On August 6th 2007, I decided I had had enough. I was done with the yo yo dieting and tired of being the overweight guy. A switch went off in my head and I started eating healthily and working out. And, I haven’t looked back nearly two years later.

That time has been successful, but also filled with hits and misses, especially with fitness. It took a lot of trial and error to figure out what worked for me. For the next couple of weeks, I am going to share my fitness tips on this blog to help others follow in my path. I went from a soft 169 pounds to 150 pounds of almost solid muscle. I’m not saying this to brag, just to let you know that I do have some wisdom to share. Don’t look back in five years and regret that you wasted a large chunk of your life by being fat and unhealthy. Start getting fit today. Check back here to get practical tips.

Eat Fast and Get Fat

People who eat quickly until feeling full are three times more likely to be overweight according to a recent study. It has long been believed that eating quickly contributes to weight gain, because your brain needs time to feel full. The study authors recommend eating more slowly, in a  calm environment. In other words, try to avoid eating fast food while standing up.