In January 2014 I was at 244 lbs, 40″ waist, and with a fatty liver (so my blood labs told me)…. I was overweight …. no no, I was fat! How the **** did I get here?! Below my story on how I was able to lose 20 pounds!
I always thought I was a healthy normal guy.
But after my yearly checkup, my doctor slapped me with the news … “you’re overweight and you have a fatty liver and need to lose 20 pounds”.
Fatty liver? I didn’t even know that was possible.
I’m writing and sharing this in the hopes it motivates my friends and family, and anyone reading, to be healthy and to help them realize how EASY it is to be healthy before they get a fatty liver.
I’m not doing a fancy diet, removing carbohydrates, or paying ridiculous gym memberships.
So what’s the “secret”? Small changes to your lifestyle.
I eat and drink what I want (most of the time) and … the kicker … exercise.
The most difficult part of being healthy (if you don’t lead a healthy lifestyle) is making small changes.
Here are the 3 things you need to do:
1. Find a physical activity you love to do (don’t have one? try them all and find one that sticks)
The first thing I did is looked for the physical activity I love the most, soccer, and try to play more … who am I kidding, just play! I wasn’t playing at all!
I looked online for pickup games, soccer leagues, and friends to play with … but unfortunately I found nothing. I could have easily given up and continued with a fatty liver, but that would have been weak.
I decided to take the plunge and commit to myself that I wanted to be healthier and exercise. I promoted a pickup game with my friends and LAM, but no one wanted to come to the peninsula, everyone is either in SF, East Bay, or SJ.
I then searched online for ideas and decided to create a soccer pickup meetup group on Meetup.com, an extremely powerful platform for any hobby you have!
Six months later, the group has 300+ members and we play 3 times a week!
So what can you do?
Go for a 30 min walk, play tennis or any racket sport, zumba, aerobics class, spinning class, yoga, swimming, running, skiing, weight lifting, etc.
And if you can’t find anything to do, create a group. =)
2. Start making small changes with the food you eat
My doc suggested I keep track of what I eat using a journal and see if I could make any changes. She even suggested an app called My Fitness Pal, a free online and mobile app food and exercise journal.
Apparently, medical studies show that keeping a food journal DOUBLES your weight loss!
Guess what? It worked. As I started keeping track of what I was eating, I was making smarter eating decisions. If I wanted to spoil myself with a beer or nice fatty burger, I would either exercise more that day or not stuff myself for dinner. In a way I was counting calories but it was a fun game. After 30 days of using the app religiously, I stopped using it but the habit of making smart food decisions stuck and little by little – I was able to lose 20 pounds!
3. Accountability and support
I’ve been vocal with my friends and family about my goal to be healthier. I am not going to lie, it was easy, but it wasn’t difficult either. Having a support system and friends/family to keep you accountable is important and something you should look for.
What helped me the most was being responsible for a pickup soccer group of 300+ members. I MUST show up 3 times a week, these folks depend on me (or on Matt, the event co-organizer) … but now I realized how much I depend on them and they probably don’t even know it!
My intention was never to lose 20 pounds – I just wanted to be healthier.
I challenge you to follow these 3 easy steps if you’re struggling to be healthy and invite you to add me as a friend in My Fitness Pal or join me in the soccer field!