So, a handful of years ago, Klay & I had a bit of a competition, to see who could lose the weight we’d put on over the previous few years. While I won the competition, Klay kept up the habits, and achieved his actual goals. I didn’t.
I’d lay some of the blame at changing jobs, which radically shook up the habits I’d been developing before they had a chance to “set,” but realistically, it’s that I just let it fall apart.
The thing is, it was simple while I was doing it. Don’t eat to excess. Let yourself stay hungry – you’re not going to starve to death. Don’t eat garbage – soda, unrecognizable non-foods, etc.
The simple fact of competition was enough to keep me adhering to good behaviour, and the end result – looking and feeling better – was reward beyond anything the competition had set up.
Why didn’t it stick? Food’s delicious, and there’s definitely something pleasurable about eating whatever it is you enjoy, and however much of it you want.
I’d hit a plateau at 213 – I couldn’t get below that. Now, I’m at 218ish, and while that’s only 5 lbs, it’s a really critical and really difficult 5 lbs for me – makes the difference between being “chubby” and being “okay,” to me. Realistically, I’m still ~30 lbs more than I should be, but I’m willing to make this a long-term project.
The key, I think, is to develop simple, easy rules. If I put half a meal in a takeaway box up front, it takes a little “activation energy” to bother to eat it later. It’s also cold, having been in the fridge, so it’s a little less appealing. If I’m genuinely hungry, I’ll eat it, but I won’t eat it “because it’s there.”
No more soda. Work makes soda really accessible, and I end up drinking a Diet Coke almost every day. I don’t even *enjoy* it, it’s just a habit I’ve developed for some ridiculous reason.
So, those are the first two things. No soda, and eat less. If I focus on rebuilding those habits, they’ll build the foundation for the rest.