Good Monday Morning Blog Friends! Today, it’s Rob Keane’s turn to take to the keyboard for more of his Keane Observations. I hope you love today’s post as much as I do. Here’s Rob!
Over a year ago, I wrote in this blog on how I started to change my behavior and lost a little weight. A couple of months after I wrote that entry, I did pretty well—I lost about 25 pounds and felt better than I had in years. Clothes were fitting better, and I didn’t have to hold my breath while I tied my shoes (always a nice thing). In about four months I reached my goal weight.
Then I did something not so smart: I stopped. Stopped weighing myself, stopped paying attention to what I was eating, stopped going to the gym. I had my excuses, sure: I could only go to the gym late at night, which would keep me up late, I didn’t have time to make lunches for myself each night, and, of course, I promised myself that I would eat better tomorrow. Just as soon as I was done with this grilled cheese cheeseburger that I was eating now. * These, unfortunately, were all justifications, if not flat-out lies.
So what happened? My clothes “shrank,” and all photos of me seemed to be processed with the “Fatbooth” app.
One thing I’ve learned that after you turn 40, you try to push your body to make changes, and your body will push just as hard to change things back to where they were. In addition to the weight I re-gained (yep, gained all of it back), I also added on a couple of “complimentary” pounds for good measure.
Anyway, you know what this means: I can now consider myself an expert in both losing and gaining weight!
Here are some tips I have for gaining back weight you’ve lost (why would you want to do this? How do I know? Maybe you’re a method actor who has to “bulk up” for a role, or maybe you’re going on “Survivor” and you want to have enough stored energy so you won’t end up eating live grubs or something.)**
- Snack, snack, snack. This one’s easy, because most people don’t know they’re doing it. Just take a look around the pantry; there’s always some graham crackers or chocolate Pop-Tarts. If you’re really in a bind, you might get lucky and find your kids’ Halloween candy, which has been all but forgotten since the chocolate Santas and candy canes have been brought out.
- Talk yourself out of exercising regularly. This is surprisingly easy. With the literally thousands of reasons not to work out (I’m tired, achy, don’t feel good, etc.), the one good reason to work out (I’ll look a little bit better without my shirt off in six months) can be brushed aside. To be a master at this, you should never have your gym clothes easily available, and keep things like your iPod, combination lock, and water bottle hidden throughout the house.
- Adopt a “YOLO” mentality. Now, I realized “You Only Live Once” is meant to inspire you to skydive or eat your steak medium rare and things like that, but if you take YOLO to heart when looking at a menu, bad decisions are bound to happen.
- Stay up as late as possible. You know, because that midnight showing of “Sharktopus” isn’t going to watch itself, right? Not only does staying up late give you sleep deprivation, taking away your motivation and ability to get some exercise, but studies show that a lack of sleep also makes it easier to overeat.
Those are just some ways to gain weight. But since I wanted to end this on a somewhat positive note, I wanted to share how I lost the 25 pounds in the first place (and am trying to again):
- Don’t eat after dinner. Even though I was working out five times a week, my weight loss didn’t really kick in until I stopped eating at night (especially in front of the TV). One trick you can try is to brush your teeth right after dinner. Then you’ll be less tempted to ruin that fresh feeling in your mouth.
- If you have the time to go to the gym, go. No matter what. Like I said above, you can think of a million reasons to not go to the gym, but unless you need to watch the kids, or your house is on fire (or both), just go. I’ve never come back from the gym thinking “well, that was a bad idea.”
- Get some sleep. Actually, get a lot. One of my biggest mistakes when I originally lost weight was that I didn’t make sleep a priority. Because of my schedule, I ended up going to the gym at 8:30 at night (or later) and by the time I worked out, showered, and came home, I felt I was too wired to fall asleep until well after I should have turned in. Get into the habit of going to bed at a decent hour and stick to it.
- Don’t eat less, just eat better things. Funny thing is, I definitely didn’t cut food out; I just made major replacements. Sliced apples (NuVal score of 96) instead of crackers, water instead of soda, and a stick of string cheese instead of one those high-fat and high-calorie “granola” bars.
The good news is, I’m pretty much “back on the wagon” now and trying to live by these tips again (the second list!). I’ve been eating salads and turkey with mustard on whole wheat bread for lunches, and have cut down drastically on trips to the vending machine.
Question of the Day
What tips do you have for either gaining or losing weight?
*I‘ve never actually eaten one of these. And neither should you.
**This should go without saying, but obviously, this list is meant to be ironic, and I’m not endorsing these ideas. Repeat: DO NOT DO ANY OF THESE THINGS.
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