For example, people that live a very active lifestyle reveal completely different behaviors than those that live a very sedentary life. Regardless of what type of lifestyle one lives, most people have some type of behavior that they would like to change. These negative behaviors are usually to blame for inhibiting many people from accomplishing their goals and living up to their optimum potential.
In order to accomplish your goals, a behavioral change must be made. This does not mean you must drop what you are doing and make a sudden, drastic, life-altering change overnight ... it takes time, focus, and planning and that is why it is important to make small, subtle changes over time. While it may be hard in the short run, the longer you are able to persevere with the positive changes you choose the easier it will be to incorporate them into a completely new lifestyle.
I am writing this article because I want to share my success story with the millions of people out there who struggle with achieving their goals and dreams, whether it is weight loss, monetary issues, or anything else that requires one to consciously make an attempt to change their ways. I'm sure by now you are thinking, "Well, what did Jon accomplish ... what did he succeed in that would make him want to help me?"
First of all, I targeted my bad behavior, which was a combination of a lack of knowledge, exercise and a "see food" diet that always haunted me, leaving me overweight for the majority of my childhood. Once I realized what I was doing wrong and why, I decided that it was time for a change. I would like to share my story about losing a considerable amount of weight in a relatively short amount of time.
In addition to weight loss I would like to describe the psychological aspects of the entire process and how it changed everything about me. Not only do I physically look like a new person, but I have become a new person psychologically. Hopefully my story will help to inspire you to go out and accomplish your goals and help you to get a better understanding of just how powerful willpower really is!
I want to share my weight loss story with all of you because I know how difficult losing weight can be and how stressful it gets when you just cannot get the scale to budge. A lot of people think of weight loss as just a physical thing, not understanding that there is so much more to it.
Losing weight has just as much, if not more of a mental aspect to it than many would think, not to mention the attitude changes, views on life in general, as well as the amazing "high" you get every time someone compliments you and tells you how good you look.
All of my life I was overweight, but not until my senior year of high school did I really begin to pack on the pounds. I started going out more, drinking, and eating even more fast food, not to mention that I don't think I ever made a conscious attempt to go to the gym in my entire life. I played ice hockey all my life, but I was so big that skating around slowly had a minimal impact upon my health, not to mention that I never busted my ass at practice.
I just liked to play the game and was happy with that. Because I was always overweight, I never really cared to try and lose weight ... I kind of felt like I was doomed to be fat and that was that. Being overweight was miserable, people occasionally called me names and I do not think any girls ever even looked at me. The one thing I did have going for me was my great personality ... which made up for my appearance because I always had great friends who I had lots of fun with.
Having great friends kept my mind off of being overweight, unfortunately leaving me not worrying about my growing weight problem. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and did not even think twice about it.
After high school in 2001, I was 18-years old, 6-foot-0 and weighing a whopping 311 pounds, but still I did not worry about my weight problem. Over the summer I began my first semester of college at the University of Missouri ... quot; Columbia, which was also the first time I had ever been out on my own. The first semester was disastrous, at least from a health standpoint.
I had a great time, went out, drank 4 nights per week and ate junk food like there was no tomorrow. After a fun semester, I went home for Christmas break ... weighing 335 with a 52-inch waist. I gained 24 pounds (give or take a few) in that first semester alone! While I was at home I went Christmas shopping with my family (none of which are overweight) and I was devastated when I had to go to the Big and Tall store just to find a pair of pants to wear.
I started to get depressed and felt as though I was going to be fat for the rest of my life. I also went and had my annual physical during this time. My doctor told me that I needed to go see a cardiologist because my cholesterol was creeping up. In addition to high cholesterol I had developed rosatia (redness of the face, also known as "adult acne") and I was constantly hot and sweating.
By now I knew that I had to do something about my weight. But it was not until I spoke with my friend who told me that his dad recently lost 100 pounds following the Atkins Nutritional Approach that I decided to make a change. I decided to try it, I mean hell, what did I have to lose (except for a lot of weight!)? After the first week on the diet, which consisted of the induction portion of the Atkins Nutritional Approach (20 net carbs per day), I managed to drop 9 pounds... going from 335-to-326.
I know that most of that was water weight, but I did not care because that was the first time I ever lost some noticeable weight (as far as the scale was concerned) and that was the fuel that motivated me to keep going. I could not believe how fast it happened ... it made me feel so good inside and that is exactly what I needed. Suddenly I developed the willpower to succeed ... for the first time in my life!
With the help of my friends, I quickly began an exercise regimen, which was not much at first but it still made me feel a lot better about myself. I began weight training 4 days per week and jogging/walking about a mile after each weight lifting session. As my endurance and cardiovascular health built up I slowly increased the distance of my jogs.
After being home for a month for Christmas break I managed to lose about 20 pounds. I did not cheat on my diet at all and kept strict to my exercise program. I was amazed at how fast I was losing weight and that is what motivated me and gave me the willpower to stay on track.
When I went back to college after a month off, all of my friends quickly noticed my weight loss, which encouraged me to bust my ass even harder! I wanted the same response out of my family the next time that I went home from school, and that is exactly what I got! Each time I went home (approximately every 3-5 weeks) my family could see a huge difference in me.
The most motivating thing that I experienced was the fact that people noticed my changes each time that I saw them. Not only did the compliments fuel my desire to lose weight but so did the loosening of my clothes, which were literally falling off of my body - I had to start cutting holes in my belt in order to make it tighter!
I had my blood checked every 6 months and my cholesterol and blood pressure dropped dramatically while my good cholesterol (HDL) increased and my bad cholesterol (LDL) went down. Not only did my cholesterol go down, my rosatia went away and I did not find myself sweating as much.
Fortunately, I never really experienced any plateaus throughout the weight loss process, which really surprised me. I never cheated on my diet ... occasionally I would drink but I would stick to either low carbohydrate beers (only one was Miller Lite at the time) or vodka in diet sodas.
Whenever I was hungry, I would eat, just as the Atkins approach advocates. I did not count calories and I followed the induction regimen to a "T" until I dropped all of the weight. Whenever my waist reached a size 38 and I weighed 205 pounds, I decided to go out and buy some new clothes.
Being able to walk into any store in the mall and purchase clothes is one of the greatest feelings in the world... a feeling that is irreplaceable! In a little under a year and half I completely changed my physique, going from 335 pounds to 180 pounds, a loss of 155 pounds!
Currently, I have gotten into bodybuilding and I now use the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet for my cutting phases. I can jog about 4 miles in 30 minutes and do so about twice per week to stay in shape. I love weight training (it has become my passion) and train 4-5 days per week.
When I am trying to put on some muscle I usually eat a very well balanced diet, usually consisting of high protein, moderate carbs, and moderate fats, all in the forms of whole foods (excluding my post workout shake). I have kept the weight off for almost 2 years now and that is due to my determination to be the best that I can be as well as from all of the knowledge I have learned over the past year and half.
Like I said earlier, the longer that you do something, the easier it is to continue and that is why I have had no problems keeping the weight off. Sure I eat junk food occasionally, but I do it once in a while and do not make a habit of it.
The weight loss journey may be over but my journey of life has only begun. I am constantly learning new things and trying to improve my quality of life. I think of my life as a giant experiment, always looking for new solutions.
Changing my ways was a huge transition, but it was all worth it ... sacrificing the junk food, busting my ass in the gym, and dedicating myself to fulfilling my weight loss goals and living my dream of being thin and more attractive.
While my appearance significantly changed, it is my new mentality that I am the most grateful for. Psychologically I am a completely new person and that, to me, is the most important change that I made. No longer do I have a lazy, unassertive attitude and it really makes my life so much more worth living. Due to consistently and conscientiously paying attention to my new healthy lifestyle I have grown into a much more responsible person.
I think about my actions before I do them, I ration out all of the consequences associated with everything in my life, whether they are good or bad, and make my decisions based upon my best interests. I eat very healthy now and usually write down my meals in a food diary (just out of habit). I usually eat a small meal every 2-3 hours in order to keep my metabolism stoked and my blood sugar levels stable.
My diet usually consists of lots of low carbohydrate foods including some low glycemic fruits and grains. I have become so interested in the health and exercise fields that I decided to change my major to Kinesiology (exercise and wellness) with plans on obtaining a minor in the nutritional sciences ... quot; two very important fields that shaped who I am today.
I have become very health conscience and I am very grateful for all of the support I received from friends and family that helped me along the way. Without some type of support, many people will never be able to live up to their dreams, and that is why I would just like to thank every single person who complimented me along the way ... they were the ones that fueled my desire to become the best that I could be.
The main purpose of this article is to help support and provide inspiration to anyone that needs it ... just like all of the people that complimented and supported me, as well as the success story that I was told about my friend's dad losing weight. I want to help inspire you to develop the willpower to succeed in your own life. Trust me, I know ... no one can change you; you have to be ready to make that change.
Like I said, whether it is a weight loss goal, bodybuilding goal, or some other desire, I just want you to know that YOU CAN DO IT! Willpower is an amazing tool and nothing is stronger. You have the power to change your life ... and no one can ever take that from you. You can do anything that you put your mind to and that is why it is important to follow your heart and do what you know must be done in order to succeed in any and everything.
Trust me, if I can lose 155 pounds, changing myself from a lazy, worthless, sedentary individual into a responsible, assertive, lively young man then you can do anything that you put your mind to. Good luck!
Always remember that willpower, desire and knowledge are the keys. Winston Churchill once said, "Never, Never, Never, Never give up," and I never did! NOW GO ACCOMPLISH YOUR GOALS AND LIVE YOUR DREAM!
About The Author
Through hard work and determination Jon has lost over 155 pounds!