Losing Weight & Getting Back In Shape

Over the last month or so, you’ve been losing weight. In fact, you’re down to exactly the place you wanted to be. Thinner, to be sure. Svelte, perhaps. Pants you purchased several years ago and had since grown out of now fit again. They’re loose, even. You’re feeling better all-around, and you did it without starving yourself to death or working yourself to exaustion.

Now, it wasn’t that you were fat. You’ve never really been overweight, at least not from a medical standpoint. You had simply gained a bit of weight, probably about 10 pounds. A bit less maybe. Nobody but you noticed it, so it was easy to ignore.

But you didn’t look or feel as good as you did in college. You’d tell yourself it was about getting older, being thirty. But you were kidding yourself. It was about eating poorly and being less diligent with regular exercise.

You were in a similar state a number of years ago, and you changed things through an intense exercise program and an extreme low-calorie diet. It was horrible. Hungry all the time. Cranky all the time. Miserable.

It took, and the results lasted for many years, until you went to work at the dot-com. Long hours and a demanding schedule meant poor eating and less exercise. And that mean weight gain.

This time around, rather than develop a weight-loss-plan per se, you wanted to change your style of food consumption and re-focus on a regular exercise routine. This meant creating a regimen for yourself, and sticking to it. Making changes that would last for the long-term.

The Three Part Plan

You developed a three part plan that involved a change in diet, a change in excercise (or lack thereof), and a reward:

  1. More Protein, Less Carbs: You’d heard about the Atkins Diet of course, but didn’t want to cut out vegetables. But a diet higher in protein and (much) lower in carbohydrates was the key. It was your overindulgence in foods high in carbohydrates, bread mainly, starchy foods, that had put you where you now were. So you’d eat lots of protein (turkey burgers, eggs, hot dogs, bacon, burgers without the bun, turkey sausages …) and cut out as many carbohydrates as you could. But unlike the Atkins diet, you’d still eat vegetables and fruit from time to time. Instead of starving yourself, you’d eat smarter.
  2. Regular, Moderate Exercise: This meant jogging, mainly. Thirty to forty minutes at a time, three days on, one day off. And on the day off, you’d usually wind up taking a walk in the unpleasant, humid, Florida evenings.
  3. Cigars: Honduran belicoso’s, mainly. Sometimes a dominican if you’d had a lighter lunch. Every solid effort deserves a reward, even a small one, and cigars were yours. Hit the road really hard and eat a can of tuna for lunch? You deserve a nice maduro. Sweat through 5 kilometers under the ruthless, skin-blistering Florida sun? Sounds like you need a nice ligero.

And it worked.

It’s been a couple of months, and after resuming a more normal diet (albeit much lower in carbohydrates than before) and backing your exercise routine down to normal levels, things have stayed just where you want them.

Your pants are still loose, you’re at once both calmer and more energetic, and you’re in better shape than you’ve been in several years. And you even managed to try some new cigars in the process.

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