A few weeks back, I was having a discussion with a leader at my church about some of his health goals. One question that he asked me, I think is the same question most people with health goals ask first:
“Where do I start?”
Specifically, he asked if he should start dieting first or if he should start exercising first. I explained that it is easier to lose weight through diet than it is exercise, and that exercise gets easier when on a good diet, which will provide energy. In fact, most people on a diet that adheres to The Emoji Diet Guideline will find that they begin to desire exercise.
I told him that and I believe that, that is true in most cases; however, everyone is different and everyone has different goals. Here, I would like to walk you all through what I, personally, have done in the last year – in order to possibly allow all of you to relate and find your own path to better health.
One year ago, I was at least 40lbs overweight, my anxiety and ADHD symptoms were nigh impossible to handle, and I was constantly referring to myself as “broken” – I was in a bit of a slump…. well, in a huge slump I should say (I recently had been suspended from college, experienced the loss of my grandfather, just went through a bad breakup, and I found myself in a good bit of unmanageable debt).
After the last year of focusing on my personal health, I have lost 60lbs, found ways to manage my mental struggles, and got to a place where I am much more emotionally stable.
Almost exactly one year ago, I found myself grabbing lunch in Greenville, SC, meeting some good friends of mine that I haven’t seen for quite some time at that point. As all good friends do, catching up, they asked what my plans were for my future career path. I sat there with a giant mug filled with a marvellous Coke float in one hand and a sandwich in the other, as I replied, “I want to be a nutritionist.”
With a mouthful of delicious carbage (carbohydrate-garbage), we talked a little more about life and whatever, as well as a few health topics (we talked about whether sweet potatos was healthier than regular potatos or not…. they are). I already had the know-how to do better, I just wasn’t doing it, at all.
On the way home (it’s a two-hour drive for me), I began thinking about the time together with these friends (really at this point they were more like my heroes than anything else…. they still are my heroes but you all know what I mean). I thought a lot about this and realized some important things, like how I always said that I would never let myself get a pound over 200, but I sat there in that coffee shop, with Coke float in hand, at 220lbs.
After this personal confrontation, I went home and immediately drank another Coke float, then began my journey towards better health. It started with just trying to go from 6 Cokes a day (not exaggerating) to one Coke a day. Slowly I began to cut pizza, chips, sandwich bread, and etc out of my diet. It took me a few baby steps but within the month I was eating less than 50g of carbs a day (around 5% of my daily diet was carbs, beforehand it was around 75% carbs).
Removing this crap helped a lot, but it wasn’t enough. My anxieties were getting worst. So, I began adding better foods to my diet, instead of just removing bad ones. One of the first things that I’ve tried is bullet-proof tea (like bullet-proof coffee but with hot tea; tea with coconut oil and whole butter in it to get extra fats in, in the mornings). I began eating more spinach and fatty meats and the like. All the knowledge that I already had, I began to put in practice.
Next thing I knew, I was filled with unused energy. My ADHD symptoms were worse than ever! So, I began running in the mornings (this was about two-to-three months after I began this health journey). My brother at the time was trying to “beef up” at the gym and began taking me out with him. So I was weight lifting, running, working other machines at the gym, and drinking protein shakes. I had lost thirty pounds in these three months before this; but, during the summer ,with my brother at the gym, I gained back ten pounds (all muscle 😉).
My brother went back to school and I began refocusing on weight loss and slowed down some on the bench press. The little bit of carbs that I still ate (high sugar fruits and the like) I went ahead and cut out of my diet, as well. But, it wasn’t enough.
I, then, started learning more about the health benefits of fasting. I learned how it can help with both weight loss and emotional stability. So, I started fasting and in the next two weeks I lost another 20lbs, and began to get better with both my anxieties and my ADHD symptoms (my morning runs certainly had been helping), the problems and symptoms still exist but they are at least manageable now.
Come the end of the year (2015), I weighed in at 160lbs. I lost more than I initially intended, but I didn’t want to stop fasting as I saw its benefits on my anxiety management and spiritual life. So, in order to keep up fasting and also not lose any more weight, I added some starch back into my diet (I’m talking red potatoes! I love them!).
No one is going to have the same story as mine, but I hope hearing my story and seeing the steps I took may help others. I hate lists, but here is one that outlines what I’ve done so far sense last year, in case anyone wants to try to mimic what helped me – who knows, maybe it will help you too?
- Learning about good health.
- Confrontation with my bad health.
- Removing of some carbage (in small intervals).
- Adding good nutrient-full foods to my diet.
- Getting exercise and having an accountability partner in that.
- Eliminating the rest of the bad carbs in my diet.
- Began fasting.
- Normalizing my diet to sustain what I want out of my health.
It takes baby-steps – that may be the number one important lesson from all this. Remember, one of my first steps was just to get down to one Coke a day. Maybe, today you can begin your first steps just by educating yourself on good health (there is plenty of sources on The Emoji Diet Guideline page). Maybe you’ve been following this page and you already know a lot about health and maybe this post can help you confront your bad health??
I don’t know where you are personally, but there is always more steps to take. If mimicking me helps, then find where you are in my own steps thus far and do whatever is next on that dumb list up there for you. If you haven’t started your journey yet, then don’t wait or you may never start. Follow these steps (if you like) or follow along with our very own Fanboy Pastor in his journey towards better health. Whatever you do, just do it, and do it now!
It’s like that song from Santa Clause is Coming to Town; we all need to take steps, if we want to reach our goals. We learn to walk, metaphorically, when “We put one foot in front of the other and soon we’ll be walking out the door!”
Next, in my journey, I look to work on getting better and more sleep – I have troubles making myself do so, just a self-disciplinary issue for me. I also plan to gain 20lbs muscel in the next month and a half. Check back on this site for more updates on my progress and how I plan to accomplish these new goals, and take this journey with me!!!!