Losing a third of me: Making a commitment to change

None of the workouts or diet tips and tricks that I’ve previously discussed could have been effective until I was willing to commit to the schedule changes and lifestyle changes necessary to support them.

When I first started to think about losing weight two or three years ago, I added myself to my wife’s gym membership, but didn’t really take it seriously, going a few times a month and poking at the weight machines. I wasn’t mentally ready to make the lifestyle changes necessary to effectively lose weight, so I didn’t. After pushing away from the blogging table in 2009, I tried to go the gym more often, maybe 2-3 times a week, usually in the morning before work. But when it’s not part of strict routine, it’s still pretty easy to say, “not today, I’ll go tomorrow.” Friday would come around and I’d been to the club once that week, or not at all. Eventually I realized that if I wanted to change, it needed to be drastic and it needed to be hard core.

So, beginning in early 2010, I began going to the club almost daily. At first, I had no idea what I was doing, but I was there and at least working up a modest sweat on a daily basis. At about the same time, my wife began working with a former personal trainer as a client (she’s a career development coach) and he agreed to meet with me as part of a work barter. We had a great meeting and I walked away with sheet full of actionable tips and tricks. It turns out that those tangible directions were what I needed to keep me focused on my daily goals. And daily means daily: every weekday, Monday through Friday, I was at the club before work. It became as much a part of my day as waking up, eating or going to work.

Fortunately, I had two things working in my favor: first, I am naturally a morning person and going to club every day simply meant that instead of parking myself in front of the computer for a few hours before work, I instead get up and go to the club. For those curious, I normally get up around 4am and make a cup of coffee, read some headlines or my Bible, then get to the club when it opens at 5am. I’m usually at the club until 7am, then get to the bus station and am in my office by 8am. That’s a four-hour commitment, but it works for me!

The second thing in my favor is that I have been blessed with a wife who has been willing to get our boys going in the morning and see them off to school before getting started on her own work. It would have been almost impossible to keep to this consistent schedule if I were also responsible for helping out with the morning house activities – or at least I would be getting to work much later in the morning and having to work later in the evening, which would take away from being home for dinner with the boys. Family dinner is an important cornerstone to our day and we’re very fortunate to be able to work our schedules around it!

I realize that my early-morning schedule doesn’t work for everyone — the point is to find a schedule that does work and commit to it. There are several people in my office who take their lunch hour to go to a nearby club and work out. That’s commitment too.

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One Comment

  1. Posted July 25, 2011 at 5:53 PM | Permalink

    First, I want to say thanks for linking to your weight loss archives in the comments on my blog. It’s always nice to hear others’ stories.

    This post really hit home with me because it was part of my initial struggle. What many people don’t realize is that wanting to change and making a commitment to change are two extremely different things. Making a commitment means that you have to fully integrate your fitness and nutrition goals into your life. You have to set clear goals and make room in your regular schedule on a daily basis. It’s a tough road, but it’s always rewarding.