Original Post Date: March 9th, 2018
I changed how I think about myself. I lost 45 lbs in about a year. I try not to eat for relief from boredom. I eat when I'm hungry and I know better what that feels like. I try to never eat fast food. I make salads most nights and pair it with fish, chicken, potato salad or something decent. I almost never eat candy and I never drink soda except maybe a mountain dew or sprite on a very rare occasion. I barely ever drink beer or liquor. This article is about how I lost the weight but more importantly, it explains why.
Prior to my weight loss, I lived in a state of perpetual hedonism. I ate what I wanted, I drank what I wanted and I spent my time doing what felt good because in my mind I was going to die anyway, so why not. I felt like life was short and I had a pessimistic look at my own abilities and future. My confidence and self-esteem were shrouded in confusion, regret, avoidance, and denial. I felt pointless but as long as I engaged in freedom of consumption I could get by and what's wrong with that?
A couple of years ago I started listening to some very powerful people, two of which I would like to credit for shaping my thinking in a positive way. Joe Rogan and Stefan Molyneux. Both of these men speak about taking responsibility for your actions, taking control of your life, making a difference in the world, morality, relationships, and both men have a passion for what they are doing. They provided a wonderful model for what being a man could be like and I have been woefully void of great male role models in my life. These men helped me gain a sense of power and challenged my thinking in a fundamental way. And I am still learning from these men and men like them today.
Stefan Molyneux, in particular, helped me challenge the value of my relationships and the truth of my past. I feel like I woke up one day and realized that I didn't know myself or my history very well and this ignorance had led me to a life I didn't want or deserve. After examining my family and childhood I saw the life I led and began to stop accepting my fate. I started holding my parents responsible for the decisions they made and the neglect and abuse they allowed in my life. I started to see that I wasn't the one who deserved to suffer but I deserved to flourish in all that life can offer. I was worth the effort my parents neglected to make so now I had to make the effort for myself. Once I started to hold them responsible for their actions I started to accept responsibility for my own actions. What is true for them is true for me. So I took responsibility.
About a year or two into taking personal responsibility I decided to make a change in my habits. I decided that I would try to read more and work toward being healthier. I was planning on a trip to New York with my long-term girlfriend and my plan was to enjoy the trip and when I get back it would be the start of making real change. I didn't have any specific goals but I knew that I wanted to start a new lifestyle.
I started looking into dieting and exercise. I decided that I would stop eating fast food and replaced it with nightly salads and low-calorie microwave lunches. I stopped eating candy and chocolates, bread and sugary drinks.
Also, I decided to do exercises that were easy to do every day and in my small apartment. I didn't try to go full bore into a specific program but instead started very slowly with body weight exercises. I made sure to do push-ups, sit-ups/crunches, and pull-ups every day. Making sure to push myself without getting frustrated.
Also, I decided to make a monetary commitment by buying a nice hybrid bicycle. This investment in my health prompted me to continue my efforts. If I spent money on it I would feel worse by having it go to waste. Later, I decided to try kettle-bells after hearing the versatility and effectiveness they might offer. I got a 15 lb kettle-bell and followed a workout video a few times a week.
I grew into these activities slowly and saw results very quickly. I started to see noticeable results within a few months and I felt better mentally. My self-esteem and confidence grew as my body started to shrink. I thought I would be good if I got to about 150 lbs which is what I weighed in high school but when I got to 140 after about 9 months I realized that I was a different person than when I started out. I enjoyed eating well and exercising. I became stronger and more attractive. I had done something difficult and knew that I had made a permanent change in my psychology. Many people talk about making a change or getting in shape and I actually did it.
2 Years Later:
It has been almost 2 years since this transformation of lifestyle and I am more passionate about it than ever. I maintain a healthy diet and exercise almost every day. I am continuously looking for better dieting behaviors and exercise options that work for me and my goals. I am learning about the slow carb. diet outlined by Tim Ferris in his book "The Four Hour Body." I have maintained my current weight of about 140 lbs. and just want to lean up a bit. I am still the same person I was before but I am more mindful and optimistic. I am not a gym rat and I don't exercise to the point of exhaustion but I work on it every day and take responsibility for my actions.