1m1w EOPVersion

In June 2010, when I made the decision that I needed to lose 100+ pounds, I really didn’t have much of a plan, but I did know one thing. As a 41-year-old fat guy, I had tried and failed to lose the weight multiple times over the course of my life. The way I had approached getting fit in the past hadn’t worked, so I need to make a fundamental change. As I thought about it, I kept thinking back about my past failures. It usually went something like this:

  1. Sit up late at night for no reason.
  2. See Tony Horton selling P90X (or some variation thereof).
  3. Get disgusted with my current condition and decide “it’s time to do something about it”!
  4. Day 1 of my new lifestyle: Make drastic changes to my eating habits and activity level.
  5. Day 2 of my new lifestyle: Discard all changes and continue life as before.
  6. (The reality is that half the time I never got past step 3.)

So what’s different this time? What’s sustained the change in my life? It’s really a simple, fundamental shift of thinking. I started to think that I didn’t need to try to lose 150 lbs. I needed to lose just one…one pound…and then do it over and over.

From that, I decided to break it down even further…all the way down to a single meal and a single workout. All I needed to worry about was eating as healthy as I could, making the best choice I could, at my next meal. I didn’t have to train for a marathon or try to get six-pack abs, but just concern myself with getting to my next workout.

Sounds too easy, right? Not necessarily EASY, but very SIMPLE. That simple change did a few things:

  • It made the task do-able. It was something I could wrap my mind around. Anybody can eat good one day, right? Anyone can put in one good workout.
  • When I failed, it eliminated the guilt and condemnation. I hadn’t “blown it”. There was no diet I had failed. Instead, I just needed to do better at the next meal, or put more effort into the next workout.
  • Procrastination was taken off the table. No more “I’ll start over after the holidays”, or “on Monday”, “or next month”, or “next week”. Start now!

That’s how I did it. That’s what worked for me. I put a string of healthier meals and more active days together. One meal at a time, one workout at a time.