“The Belt Notch Diet”
As a Domestic Square Peg dad, it should come as no surprise I’d like to look just a little more like Tom Cruise, but seem to only get as buff as Tom Arnold. I know I am not alone when I admit staying fit and healthy is something I have to think about each and every day. If I didn’t think about it, I’d be eating BBQ ribs and coconut cream pie for breakfast.
For some, staying at a comfortable size comes naturally, but for the majority— it’s a struggle. Approaching my mid-forties, I’d been lucky to have a strong metabolism so I hadn’t worried too much about my diet or what I ate…
…then the Perfect Storm hit.
I got married and hit the metabolism-halting mid-forties! At the same time my metabolism decided to take an early retirement, I became a stepdad to a 5 and 10-year-old. I love being a parent, but I forgot about the never-ending need to always have— or be making— something to eat for someone at any given time of the day. At first it was not a problem. Make some nuggets for the 5-year-old— those look good, I’ll have a bite if they’re not going to eat them all, right? Oh wait, I also have an older daughter who loves to bake. A new creation! I have to try it, right? It would be rude not to.
I think you can see my problem…
I know I could see my problem— and it was hanging over my belt. Now what? My choices were to buy a new belt and pants or figure out some self-control. I opted to make a life change because I really didn’t like the way I looked or felt. I didn’t have much to lose, but for me it was important to get motivated to make a lifestyle change. Getting older and having lots of food around was not the problem; how I handled the issue was.
I put myself first, and started to workout in the morning when the troops were asleep. Instead of joining a gym, I opted for a routine that worked for me in at the house. I tried running, aerobics, walks, yoga and a few other programs, but a simple aerobics routine on DVD felt good and natural. A a straight forward 10-minute trainer program was a perfect way to get started.
Exercise was only part of the equation, my food intake was the rest. I loaded a free app called “My Fitness Pal” on my iPhone. I just wanted to track what I was eating and see how many calories I really need. It’s a great program and allowed me to see I was really eating too many calories.
Tracking progress is tricky.
I tried to weigh-in everyday— and I was dropping weight, but found something I liked better than the scale. My belt! The first time I took in a notch I was more excited than I was after dropping 5 lbs. The second notch and third were big days too. Now I’m thinking I DO need a new belt, only not bigger, but smaller!
I’ve dropped about 25 pounds and I’m where I was pre “Perfect Storm”. If you’ve gone through this type of life change and had your routine roughed-up a bit, don’t worry— just take it one belt notch at a time.
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