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Michael's Insights on Exercise & Weight Loss
For those of you who don't know, I have been working out like crazy the last 5 weeks. I had a few nagging injuries I wanted to heal up, specifically my left achilles (couldn't run) and both knees felt like they had stress fractures, so I took most of June off and then started hitting it hard again in early July.
When you guys see the before and after pictures, I know there are going to be some questions. Here are some things I have learned (and applied recently) that I wanted to share with you guys. As with any exercise program, if you don't know what you are doing, get help from professionals, but this is what I have personally learned recently:
- I have come to the conclusion that working out for 30-40 minutes, 3 times a week does almost nothing to help an individual lose weight. With the right types of exercises and intensity, that might be enough to maintain but I think people are mostly kidding themselves into thinking that the 90 minutes total each week are enough to lose any serious amount of weight over a certain time. Even if it is working the progress will be so slow that there is a much greater chance the individual won't be able to see it and will give up.
- There have been many gyms I have gone to for long stretches of time, where I would see the same people doing the same exercises and really not getting any results, and they would just keep on doing it. Really thats maddening. If something isn't working….CHANGE IT!!
- It also seems just absolutely wrong that we can pop something in our mouths, eat it, and it would take an hour or more to exercise off what we just ate, but this is truth of the matter, especially as we get older. What is crazy to think of though, is that by eating without caution can make us a slave in so many ways. Physically, mentally, emotionally. There is much to be said from practicing discipline.
- That Discipline carries over to every aspect of your life. It is almost like a hard workout gives you more mental strength for non-workout activities. It is almost as if workouts are more beneficial for the mental effects alone...not just the physical ones!
- If you want to lose weight, it needs to become an obsession and you have to act daily on it. The mindset is more important than anything else, you want to take advantage of every opportunity to get better, not just do the minimal amount.
- The diet is more important that the exercise, it takes tremendous discipline to not "out eat" what you are doing.
- 2 hours of cardio in the am and an hour of weight lifting in the pm, 5.5 days a week is absolutely working for me. I am trying to get out to play more. Run on the beach, hike, swim when I can.
- It kinda feels nice to have to buy new clothes because your old ones don't fit anymore. Yes, a bit of a hassle, but also a nice way to reward yourself. Ive gone from a 38 waist to 36 in these 5 weeks, and its looking like I might need to start thinking about 34's. I haven't worn 34's since just after high school.
- Ive learned I can do this new workout without sacrificing too much of my day simply by going to bed 2 hours earlier than normal. Im sleeping now 10pm-6am, going to the gym, and then starting my day.
- Im finding 8 hours of sleep feels better when I get to bed earlier.
- I have also learned that you have to listen to your body and know when to do something not as intense to avoid injury. Spinning class has been my default exercise.
- Take pictures of your progress once a week (I have and will show you guys sometime soon). The reason pictures are so important is because it allows you to track your progress. Weight is not as important as how you feel about yourself and you won't be able to see it from one week to the next, but you will definitely see it from start to finish after about 3 weeks.
- The first 2 weeks are the hardest, but it gets much easier after that.
- Change up the workout. Our bodies are spectacular at adapting to what we do over and over. Finding creative ways to trick your body (different types of workouts) will keep it fresh and give variety.
- The best exercise is disguised as play. (This doesn't mean all play is exercise). But if you can find something you love to do; ultimate frisbee, basketball, jogging, surfing, etc it won't feel nearly as hard and you will have a good time doing it.
- Force yourself to have a cheat meal at least once a week. You won't want to, but if you force yourself to do it, you will feel better physically. Trust me on this one. We have "reward centers" that need to be pushed every so often and if you don't, you will start to feel sick. Pushing the reward center seems to reset everything.
- It feels amazing to look in the mirror and feel good about your hard work. I don't think there is any food I would be willing to eat to sacrifice this feeling of progress and accomplishment. I love pizza, but I have absolutely no desire to eat any right now because I freaking LOVE the way I am looking right now. Thats much more rewarding that 10 minutes of pizza!
Stay tuned on this, more to come….