GETTING IT OFF AND KEEPING IT OFF
10 STEP PRINCIPLES TO HELP IN 2022
By Gilbert Quinones
A little about me.
I was fortunate enough to shed 100lbs over a decade ago. I have a naturally slow metabolism. The photo above on the right was taken in November of 2021 but I’m not going to pretend that I don’t go through off-seasons. I’m far from perfect and it was just earlier this year that I was 20lbs heavier and only recently shed my quarantine weight off.
Luckily I have been very fortunate to keep the majority of the weight off for over fourteen years. I was able to do this through discipline and mental strength. I’ve also written a book that goes into detail about this topic but as time has progressed I have realized it’s not just about getting it off but more so about keeping it off.
I work full time primarily in the software industry as a business owner and technology manager, however, I too (like many) occasionally fall off the wagon and have to hop back on.
Sometimes we all need a little help (pats the space beside me) to get back on the wagon. If you are reading this and have already mastered your fitness goals then congratulations. I encourage you to read the following principles below so that you can reiterate what you may already know as well as gain the clarity to help others get back on their wagon.
If you are struggling, just remember. You are not alone. Take a deep breath and empower yourself with the knowledge and mental strength so that you can begin your weight loss journey and not only get the weight off but keep it off.
1) Understand you are not alone.
If you are struggling with your weight, it’s okay. There is nothing wrong with you and you are not alone. Billions of people on this earth are dealing with the subliminal messaging and pressures of society. It is okay to feel isolated but just know that you are not alone and you have what it takes to make a change.
2) It’s Possible
Whether you are trying to lose ten, fifty, or a few hundred pounds it’s important to understand that “it is possible”.
If you have never managed to lose weight or just were never able to keep it off, just know it is possible to get it off and keep it off. Tell yourself this often because when you put in the effort the science will not lie. If you are willing to make lifestyle changes, it is possible to “get it off and keep it off.”
3) Go Home and Fix You Something To Eat
I can’t speak on your behalf as to what your biggest challenges are, however, what I can do is explain the obstacles that I go through in hopes that you can relate in some way. One of my biggest challenges to keep the weight off is when I am out driving somewhere and I did not bring any or enough meal preps (protein shakes or bars) to hold me off and I get hungry.
What ends up happening is I pull into the closest parking lot and begin searching for close-by food options and there are ALWAYS so many convenient places to get fast food. Then I battle in my mind “do I want to grab something and take it home or do I want to just go home and make something good?”
Here is what I found helpful. When I am faced with a health-conscious decision I find that if I immediately make a decision and act quickly it’s easy to go home and make something healthy and good versus fast food.
The minute I start taking too long to decide is when it gets more difficult. This is because every minute that my body is waiting to get food it gets more difficult to curb the cravings. The longer you wait to decide to take action the harder it gets. Therefore, I recommend when it’s decision time for you and you are in a similar situation, go home and fix something to eat!
4) Understand Your Metabolic Reality
We all usually know someone who can eat and eat, never really exercise and they seem to always stay naturally thin. Many people are born with genetic gifts. Some people have natural talents such as high intelligence or other artistic abilities. If you are a person that struggles with your weight, a high metabolism is probably not one of your gifts. It’s ok. Accept it and overcome it as an obstacle to hurdle over. I can attest to having a genetically slow metabolism. I’ve learned to accept these terms in this simplest formula to follow.
a) If I exercise and make health-conscious choices = I maintain my weight.
b) If I don’t exercise and eat what I want = I slowly get fat and stay there.
Plain and simple. There’s no negotiating or magic pills that are going to change my naturally slow metabolism. It comes down to the reality of my slow natural metabolism and the decisions I make around that. Whether you chose to be in a caloric deficit or not at the end of the day will determine your results.
“It’s a mathematical certainty.”
Do I want to maintain my weight or do I want to get fat? Understand your metabolic reality and hurdle over it the majority of the time and you will win because you “understand your metabolic reality.”
5) Exercise can take decades off your age.
Understand that you can shave the clock with exercise. It is the best medicine for longevity and has the potential to shave off decades. If you want to rewind the clock of your life cycle you don’t have to be rich or famous. Understand the power of exercise and decide to hit the rewind button. People that exercise statistically live longer. Exercise not only helps you live longer but it helps you live better while living.
Bonus: AND… You even get to feel in a good mood full of endorphins (body’s natural high) every time you are finished 🙂
6) Come to terms that it’s a “LIFESTYLE CHANGE”
If you can grasp the fact that getting it off and keeping it off is a lifestyle change and take action then you have the potential to get it off and keep it off. Similar to brushing your teeth or taking a shower. Getting it off takes a little more effort but once you get it off you can go into maintenance mode and it is much easier to maintain versus losing the actual weight. If you can make health-conscious habits a part of your lifestyle and not just something you do occasionally you have the potential to change your life around. It is a lifestyle change.
7) Become in TUNE with HOW YOUR BODY FEELS when you eat different foods.
Do you ever recall how you may pay attention to detail on how your vehicle runs when you recently get it serviced such as a fresh oil change? How do you assess how it runs? You listen closely to the engine to hear how it’s purring. You analyze the reactiveness of the acceleration and you feel if the vehicle is running smoothly when driving.
Why do most people not do the same for their bodies?
Now using that same concept, pay attention to your body on how you feel when you eat healthy foods, your energy level that shifts into high gear, how vibrant you feel, and how you feel when you wake up the next morning. When you put healthy foods in your body and really “listen” you may notice the way your breath flows through your body does not feel stuffy or over-exerted. The natural energy boost feels like you can take deep breaths and just start jogging.
Food is our fuel. The better mood, the better overall sense of well-being, and the pride of knowing that you’ve got good fuel inside your body helps reinforce your momentum so that you are more productive and consistent at your goals in the outside world.
Pay attention to the bloated feeling from excessive breads, the way your stomach feels, and how clogged you feel in your digestive system when eating fried breaded and greasy foods. Also, notice your energy level after consuming high sugar foods coming off the energy crash such as the feelings you get after eating a dessert. I am not saying do not enjoy the desert while you’re eating it but just become accustomed to the feelings your body receives 20 to 30 minutes after the sugar rush and the fatigue feeling you get afterward resulting in tiredness and sometimes indigestion.
When you start becoming in tune with the way your body feels the next day when you eat a lot of excessive fatty or sugary foods, your focus becomes in tune with how your body is reciprocating to what you’re putting inside it. This awareness has the potential to make you start desiring better food choices such as less fatty or less sugary foods because when you start focusing on the feelings that you’re receiving afterward and how well you perform in the outside world it can become addicting to want to give yourself better fuel.
Similar to how we sometimes listen to our engines, we should listen to our bodies.
8) Keep Momentum Going
Progress creates feelings of accomplishment. If you were to swim a long distance it would be natural for you to want to poke your head out of the water to see how much distance you covered. When tasks are measurable we can then assess the amount of effort something is going to take. This is why it’s so important to keep the momentum going. No matter what your age is, keep it going and keep getting results.
9) IT FEELS AMAZING
There is a feeling that you get that feels almost like a glow when you get in shape. I don’t care if it sounds corny or not because people that understand the feeling know what it’s like to radiate confidence and project a kind of energy that is not talked about. Losing weight can make you reflect on how you feel about yourself whether you’re looking in the mirror or walking down the street. It’s an incredible feeling to know that you impacted yourself through hard work and dedication and it reciprocates how you feel and how you treat others with kindness.
I want as many people as possible to gain this same feeling. When you feel it you never want to let it go and to me, it’s worth living the rest of your life knowing that you are going to feel the same way long term. It’s going to add years and longevity and you will be able to enjoy more time with your loved ones and so on.
So remember next time you’re deciding to go home and fix something to eat or to get your body moving in the morning. Just know that if you don’t already know, you’ve got the glow inside you. It’s there. Let it grow and let it come out and “feel amazing”.
10) EVERYONE CAN CHANGE
Who you are and your identity can change. For example, similar to a recovering alcoholic, the past convict who becomes a minister, the recovering drug addict that stays sober for 20 years and now lives a fulfilling drug-free life volunteering and helping other less fortunate people change. People can change and the recovery from a person suffering from obesity is no different from changing who we are because it is changing our belief system that we no longer accept living a non-healthy lifestyle.
We’re always told to just be ourselves but sometimes even that can conflict with our core values and our priorities in our life. In essence, being yourself can be overrated because sometimes we can evolve for the better. Becoming a better version of yourself comes with “change” and if you always feel like you are an overweight person and that’s part of your identity then subconsciously it is possible to always find yourself doing things to keep you at that weight because that’s who you feel you are. The reality is we become what we believe is possible about ourselves and we can evolve and transform into how we feel about our identity.
Don’t think just because you may have been overweight throughout your life or for a long period that it has to always be that way and that is who you are. If fitness and feeling better about yourself and your body is important to you then let it become part of your value system so that you can grow and love yourself inside and out and feel good about the way you look and feel.
So when you hear the good old saying, “just be yourself” I think it can get misconstrued in our subconscious that we are always taught to never act or try to pretend we are somebody that we’re not. Our subconscious can easily misinterpret this. Keeping an open mind for improvements can help you be in alignment with an evolving identity that involves upgrades such as mental health awareness and a healthier you.
Stay inspired by what motivates you. What do you want? Say it out loud and demand that goal from yourself because you have what it takes. With this kind of mindset, you can easily change your identity and start focusing on eating better and desiring to get your body moving.
Whether you are a struggling mom that wishes to live healthier, a dad that wants to be more active, or someone simply tired of not living to your fullest potential. I hope that you are inspired. I hope that you use these principles to make a change in your life and not only get it off but keep it off.
All the best.