2008/07/23 at 8:40 am | Posted in Commentary, Discipline, Exercise, Food, Health, Inspiration, Life, lifestyle change, Motivation, Today's Tip, weight loss, weight watchers | 4 Comments
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My last version of “Today’s Tip” dealt with the importance of physical activity and exercise which are absolutely essential when it comes to weight loss.

Today I’d like to touch upon another important aspect: sacrifice.

Losing weight the proper way—no surgeries or pills—absolutely demands sacrificing something. Well, you shouldn’t really look at it as being a sacrifice but more of a trade-off since the results will definitely be worth the effort.

What have I sacrificed, cut back on or given up altogether? Let’s see.

Milk: I’m not going to go on my tangent about my lactose intolerant self but it’s important to know that I really enjoyed milk up until the point I gave it up [cold turkey] in exchange for rice- or almond-based alternatives. Those alternatives to milk are not only delicious but they are also enriched with as much calcium and vitamins as milk so I’m not missing out on much, including flavor. In fact, I’ve gotten so used to these drinks that the times I’ve tried to drink a cup of regular milk, it didn’t even taste the way I remembered it so I doubt I’ll ever go back.

Diet sodas: Perhaps the biggest moment of my lifestyle change was when I turned to Ann and said, “I’m going to stop drinking sodas.” She laughed hysterically for what seemed like an eternity. But when I realized I was literally looking for a “fix” when it came to sodas, I knew I had to stop and I did it cold turkey. That’s coming from a guy that used to drink at least six cans a day—seriously, I did. (I was also known to fill my 64-oz. tankard with diet soda from the local convenience store and enjoy it with a bag of Funyuns when I got to work–after eating breakfast at home.) So that night I dumped what I had left and began drinking bottled water and green tea (or bottled water with green tea mixes) the next day. While I still enjoy an occasional soda now and then while dining out, I no longer buy it.

Red meat: Simply put, I began to eat less red meat when I started to change my eating habits. There isn’t a whole lot that you can’t do with chicken that can’t be done with red meat, so that’s more or less a trade-off as well. But if you eat at fast food places serving chicken, be sure to get grilled not crispy chicken which is breaded and much, much more fattening. And replace the (fattening) mayo in your chicken sandwich with (zero fat) mustard and ketchup. I know it sounds weird but I’d rather have two no-fat condiments than one fat-laden glop.

Chinese food: Like the whole diet soda thing, I gave up going to our favorite Chinese restaurant. I went there at least twice a week and get “the usual”: a two-item combo with mandarin chicken, barbecued pork, chow mein, and a side of deep fried cream cheese won tons. Twice a week, people. And they piled it high, too. Today we might go to Panda Express where I’ll get a chicken dish ala carte but it’s nowhere near what I used to get. For dinner these days, a 6″ Veggie Delite from Subway does me fine.

Time: It’s not easy working, being a father and husband, writing for two blogs, finding time to exercise, etc. I knew all of this going into my plan. But thankfully, I have managed to handle all tasks by creating a routine. I work, go home and spend time with the family, then quiet time with Ann, then exercise in the evening, then whatever else. I get to bed late most of the time but because I’m a night owl, it’s okay. It’s worth noting that Ann is in full support of my program and allows me to do these things, to which I thank her from the bottom of my heart. She knows I’m committed to my cause and that I am not only doing it for me, but for her and Anthony as well.

Remember, folks, that none of this was easy and can be a struggle on some days, but I remain committed to reaching my goal and then some.

Also take into consideration that I was nearly 300 lbs. when I decided to make most if not all all of these sacrifices. At my current weight of about 214 lbs., it’s safe to say that the results have definitely paid off in spades 🙂

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  1. Since the end of February, I have only had one serving of soda – a homemade orange cream concoction at the Collingswood Mayfair.

    That was the toughest thing ever. I was a hard core Mountain Dew Drinker, taking 2-3 cans per day at least. I knew it was bad for me, not only calorie wise, but caffeine-wise AND digestive-wise. Luckily, I didn’t like Diet Dew. So I just gave up all sodas in favor of water and Arizona Diet Green Tea.* Without going into unladylike detail, digestively I’m a much healthier person. But every now and again, I still REALLY want Mountain Dew.

    I’m currently working on the fast food intake. I’ve stopped getting combo meals for myself – why waste the cola? So if I crave fries, I will get myself a small fry only. If I want a sandwich, I will get a sandwich only, no fries.

    You’re doing great!

    *Which isn’t all that great either, but it has no calories or bubbles in it. I tried brewing my own, but it was too bitter and/or strong.

  2. Almost no soda since February? I tip my proverbial hat to you. That’s fantastic! Tell WM to buy you something nice 🙂

    You can still have fast food but in moderation and by substituting items as mentioned. There’s no real magic in that; it’s just about making the right choices and you’re doing it.

    I’ve tried Arizona Green Tea and thought it was a bit pungent even in diet form. So let me turn you on to Lipton Diet Green Teas. There are a few varieties. I’ve tried them all and have not been disappointed yet. Check ’em out, and congrats on your progress! I’m proud of you–seriously. That takes determination and you’ve got it!

  3. I’ll have to try the Lipton teas.

    And it was April that I gave up the Dew, not February – I just check the archives (much more reliable than my brain) and it was April. So still great but not as. 🙂

  4. Buy a bottle of regular and diet of the same variety. The regular, much like regular soda, was too sweet for me.

    Even being soda-free since April is worth noting and nothing to be ashamed of. You’ve bested the former self-proclaimed King of Diet Sodas!

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