I Don’t Feel Like It

image source: 4StringsGood

You know you need to finish some errands yet you don’t feel like it, so you decide you’ll just do them tomorrow. You know you should go to the gym in order to stay in line with your fitness goals, yet you don’t feel like it, so you decide to skip your workout and watch TV instead. You have some free time and you know you should work on that new business idea you had the other day, yet you are tired and don’t feel like it, so you go to bed early instead. You are out at a social event and you see a very attractive member of the opposite sex that you wish to meet, yet you feel scared to walk over and say hi, so you just talk yourself out of doing it by assuming it would be awkward and socially unacceptable. You are at a fast food restaurant and you know you should order a healthy salad, yet you are sick of eating healthy food, so you rationalize that you deserve a cheat meal and order a cheeseburger instead. You are sick of your current job and know you should start applying elsewhere, yet you don’t feel like going through the interviewing process, it will be too much work, so you decide to put it off until next month and you rationalize that would be better timing anyways.

I don’t feel like it. It’s scary, I don’t want to do it. I’m too tired, I’ll just do it tomorrow. I deserve a break, I’ve been working too hard, besides I can always take care of this later. We all experience the “I don’t feel like it” syndrome for one reason or the other. Sometimes the reason is very legitimate, you could of had a long day, a few hours of sleep the night before, and are really exhausted and therefore feel like relaxing or going to bed early instead of taking care of those errands you had on your to-do list. Other times you simply are in a lazy state of mind, and don’t feel like doing anything, and therefore decide you deserve a break and you watch tv or uselessly surf the web for an hour or two.

I don’t feel like it. I have a confession to make, I don’t really feel like writing this post. It’s the weekend, I’ve had a pretty hectic/busy week, and I would rather just relax today. I need to clarify, I really like blogging and writing, and whenever I start writing I enter into a flow zone where I get absorbed into it, and the words just flow out, it’s a great feeling :)However there are times where I simply feel lazy, tired or too out of it to start writing. During such times I can usually come up with great reasons/rationalizations for why I shouldn’t write. Here is one, “writing is my hobby, it should not feel like a job, I should just put it off until I really feel like it”. There is some truth to this reasoning, so lets say I putt off writing, and don’t feel like it the next day, and the day after that etc. Would I just shut down this blog, and move on to the next thing?

I think you are getting my point here, on certain occasions if we are over-worked, exhausted, doing way too much etc. we legitimately need to take a break, however more often than not we get lazy and just don’t feel like doing whatever it is we know we have to do. We make commitments to take on this or that new habit, and we know the work involved, yet when it’s time to do it we simply don’t feel like it.

So what’s the solution. Naturally one would ask well how can I get myself to feel like exercising, writing, or doing my errands. There are several answers, one can look for motivational sources, readings etc. One can get a workout buddy, an accountability buddy etc. One can make a public commitment, for example I can commit to writing a new post everyday on this blog for the next 30 days. However none of these solutions are complete. While they are all great ideas, and would make you feel more pressure to get things done, there is still something missing. Lets say you do get a workout buddy, you might feel motivated to work out with your buddy for the first 2 weeks. However on the 3rd week your buddy is out of town on a business trip. Additionally you get a mild cold, and while physically you can do a light workout, you don’t feel like it, besides being sick is a legitimate reason to skip working out and your buddy would understand when he gets back. So you skip working out for the next couple of days. On the 3rd day you feel fine, however you don’t feel like working out and you rationalize I should rest one more day just to make sure the cold is fully gone and out of my body. You use this same reasoning to skip working out for the rest of the week. All of a sudden you realize you just skipped a whole week without going to the gym.

Of course one can get multiple workout partners to avoid this situation, however life will always throw circumstances at you, and there will be times where you just feel lazy and will come up with great reasons to relax and put off tasks. So what’s the solution, if you can’t really get red of “I don’t feel like it” syndrome, how can you live with it, how can you manage it? What about very successful entrepreneurs that work 10-14 hour days for months or even years to get a business of the ground? How do they do it? What about Olympic athletes that train for several hours a day for months to get in top shape, how do they do it?

Very successful people, who live amazing lives, and leave a legacy tend to usually do the right thing whether or not they feel like it. This in a way is like a muscle that they grow and strengthen. You can start developing this great habit today by following these steps:

  1. When you know you should do something and don’t feel like it, accept this and realize that everyone goes through it. Don’t be hard on yourself.
  2. From today decide that you will just do the right thing, and do whatever it is you have to do whether or not you fee like it.
  3. Realize that there will still be times where you will get lazy, or not do the right thing. That’s okay, you are building a new habit, this is expected. Don’t be a perfectionist, you simply can’t always do the right thing 100% of the time. Accept this. Your goal should be to do right more often as time goes on. Think of this as a muscle you are developing in the gym. If you currently do the right actions 5% of the time, and can increase that to 10% in the next year, then you would double your results, progress, and success.
  4. When you have a long tedious task in front of you, don’t stress about it. Just start doing it and stay in the present moment. Don’t think about the 2, 3 or 4 more hours you have to keep doing this for, instead think about what you are doing at this moment. Say you have to wash 50 dishes, when you grab that first dish, just focus on your hand, the circular motions it’s taking to wash that dish, the feeling of the water and the smell of the soap. Don’t think about the other 49 dishes, stay in the moment instead of worrying about the future. This is a great method I learned from Alan Watts. Another way to slow down and enjoy the moment is by monitoring your breathing.
  5. Make whatever you are doing fun. This is another method that I learned from Alan Watts. Try singing, or humming as you are washing the dishes. Make up a new rhyme about the soapy dopey dishes ;)
  6. Realize that doing the right thing no matter how you feel becomes easier the more you do it. Lets say you don’t feel like going to the gym and you do it anyway. The next day you don’t feel like it, it will be easier for you to ignore the emotion and go.

How to Stop Eating? 7 Tips Video

If I had to guess, I would say that emotional eating is one of the top causes of weight gain. Often we worry about losing weight, however being overweight in the first place is just a symptom of unhealthy eating habits.

Maybe you can’t stop eating junk foods at times. Maybe you eat to deal with tough emotions. This is a very common scenario. So the question is How to Stop Eating?

This is why I created this 7 tips to get your eating under control video. Check it out, let me know what you think. Also if you have any eating tips, leave a comment.

Visit Stop Eating Start Living for more tips on how to stop eating and get your eating under control.

100 Weight Loss Tips & Tricks

Since I’ve started project weight loss I have been actively learning more about weight loss, healthy eating habits, exercising and fitness. The following 100 weight loss tips are divided into 4 sections: Get Moving, Adjust Your Eating Habits, Adjust Your Thinking, and Additional Tips. Your comments are welcome and encouraged at the end of this post, feel free to refer to any of the tips by number, or even share some of your own weight loss tips :)

Get Moving – 26 Weight Loss Tips

Obviously the more physical activity your body performs, the more calories it will burn. The more physical activity you do, the faster you can lose the weight.

  1. Clean up your home. Cleaning up your home more often is a great way to increase your physical activity level. Organize your closets, do the laundry, donate old clothing or other stuff you no longer use, take out the garbage, or mow the lawn.
  2. Use the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Maybe you can use the stairs at your work building, your school, your apartment building, multi-level shopping stores you frequent, or malls.
  3. Go for a walk during your lunch break. It’s best to do this after you have eaten lunch so that your body will start digesting the food right away. Most jobs provide a long enough lunch break to grab a quick bite and go for a walk. If you are going to school, go for a walk in between classes. Try to walk for at least 10-15 minutes. Taking these short walks on a daily basis adds up.
  4. Walk or bike to work. If the weather doesn’t permit, and you have to drive to work, park a few blocks from your work building, and walk those blocks.
  5. Park your car farther away from your destination. When you go shopping, park your car at the far end of the parking lot, and walk across the parking lot to the store’s front doors. If you use public transportation, try getting off the bus or train a stop or two before your regular stop, and walk the difference.
  6. Workout for 30 Minutes Twice a Week
  7. Attend group fitness classes. Most gyms will have free (for members) or very cheap group fitness classes. These can include yoga, strength training, or cardiovascular fitness classes. These classes will always be much more fun than working out by yourself. Also try to make a friend or two in the class, this will motivate you to attend the next session at least to catch up with your new buddies.
  8. Pay for a couple of personal training sessions. Personal training sessions are usually a bit expensive and that’s why they work. If you pay for personal training sessions, you will show up, no matter how lazy you are feeling.
  9. Sign up for some dance classes. Salsa is a favorite of mine. There is also tango, swing and hip-hop dancing classes. Anyone can take a dance class, believe me if I did it anyone can ;) Also keep in mind you are taking the class to increase your physical activity, so there is no pressure on how well you perform during the class. Who knows you might even learn a cool dance move or two :)
  10. Try rock climbing. Many gyms have rock climbing walls and trainers that will teach you.
  11. Go Ice Skating. Ice skating is easy to learn and is lots of fun. Ice skating is generally pretty safe and painless because when you fall you just slide down the ice.
  12. Take a biking trip this weekend. Get your bike ready, and ride it for 10-15 miles. Make sure you pack enough water and small healthy snacks. Take your camera along and take a few photos to show off to your friends later ;)
  13. Go camping. Camping requires some physical activity whether you are walking around the camp site, setting up your tent, or packing your stuff. It’s also relaxing.
  14. Sing up for a 5k run. This is a great way to stick to your weight loss commitment. Once you sign up, you will be a lot more motivated to go for short runs. During the run you will usually be surprised on how much you can push yourself when you have other competitive runners around you. When I did my run I was very surprised about how well I performed.
  15. Ask your company to sponsor a recreational activity or league. My last company rented us a basketball court on a weekly basis during the winter and even sponsored a softball team during the spring and summer.
  16. Walk your dog more often. If you don’t have a dog, this is a good reason to consider getting one ;)
  17. Jump Rope. This is a very fun way of losing weight and exercising. You can also jump rope practically anywhere even in your own house.
  18. Go on a hiking trip. Hiking is a great reason to take a short weekend trip.
  19. Play some Tennis or Racquetball. You should be able to find a close by gym with racquetball courts. The greatest thing about racquetball is that even if you can’t get a a friend to play with you, it’s still fun to practice by yourself.
  20. Go swimming. While getting in a bathing suit might make you feel a bit insecure about your body shape, it is a great reality check and will make you want to lose the weight even more.
  21. Try some home exercise videos. My favorite is Billy Blanks Tae Bo: Fat Blasting Cardio & Total Body Fat Blaster. If the weather is horrible outside or you just don’t feel like going to the gym, you can always do a home exercise video.
  22. Shop for Clothing. Walking around different department stores is fun and is a great physical activity. Also trying on clothing is a great reality check. It might be be a bit uncomfortable to look in the mirror and see how clothing fit your body. However that discomfort will motivate you to lose the weight once and for all.
  23. Start on some home improvement projects. Maybe you need to paint some walls, fix the roof, or buy some new furniture. Home improvement projects always requires some physical activity.
  24. Listen to your favorite music. While exercising or doing other physical activity, listening to your favorite song will make the time fly.
  25. Lift Weights. The more muscle you build, the more calories your body will burn. Pro weightlifters eat thousands of calories per day to maintain their muscle mass. Lifting weights and building muscles will increase the rate of your metabolism even when your body is at rest.
  26. Try CrossFit. CrossFit is a great workout that is becoming more popular. It is used by many celebrities to get in shape quickly for an upcoming movie or music video.

Adjust Your Eating Habits – 39 Weight Loss Tips

Adjusting your eating habits is important for losing weight. Let’s face it, all those extra pounds are the result of foods that were consumed at one point or another. Starving yourself certainly doesn’t work and isn’t practical, instead here are some tips to help you eat smart and lose weight.

    1. Read the Nutrition Facts food labels. This will help you separate the high calorie foods from the healthier low calorie foods. Remember to not only check the total calories but to also check the serving size and number of servings per package. Sometimes food manufacturers have a very small serving size to trick the consumer into thinking that they are buying a low calorie food. Here is a great guide that will teach you everything about the Nutrition Facts food labels.
    2. Use Calorie King. It is a great tool that will help you find the number of calories in any food, even ones without a Nutrition Facts label.
    3. Calculate your weight maintenance calories. This is how many calories you need to consume per day to maintain your current body weight. Once you know this number and you decrease your caloric intake by 500 calories a day, you can expect to lose 1 pound of body weight each week. Here is a great tool that will calculate your daily caloric intake for weight maintenance.
    4. Try to eat 5-6 smaller meals per day instead of the traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner. Try a Breakfast, a Lunch, an afternoon snack, a dinner, and an evening snack. Eating smaller meals keeps your metabolic rate high throughout the day because your body is constantly using up energy to digest the food you are eating. Eating smaller meals will also leave you feeling lighter and more energized throughout the day.
    5. Do not skip meals or starve yourself. Skipping meals or starving yourself puts your body into survival mode. This is where your metabolism slows down to conserve energy. This is why your body can survive without any food for several days. Of course when your metabolism slows down your body burns a lot less calories. Try to eat a meal or a snack every 3-4 hours.
    6. Decrease your consumptions of White Carbohydrates. White carbohydrates include bread, rice, fried foods with breading, cereal and pasta. White carbs encourage weight gain, here is a great quick read to learn more about carbs.
    7. Decrease your consumption of processed foods. Processed food is just another name for junk food or fast food. Processed foods tend to be high in calories and in fat content. Typically your body will just store those extra calories as extra pounds. Here is a great Junk Foods vs Whole Foods guide.
    8. Eat more fruits and vegetables. They are generally low in calories and high in fiber which is why a small serving will satisfy your hunger. Fruits and vegetables are also full of vitamins and minerals.
    9. Drink diet sodas instead of regular sodas. Try to only drink diet or low calorie drinks. Regular sodas have a lot of sugar and extra calories.
    10. Drink lots of water. Drinking water while eating a meal, will help you get full faster and eat less. Consuming more water will also improve your skin, and cleanse your digesting system.
    11. Eat slower. Savor each bite of food, and chew it slower. The slower you eat the faster you will get full. You can even try to eat half of your meal, pause from eating for 5-10 minutes and then resume eating.
    12. Decrease your fast food restaurant visits. If you have to eat at one try to get a salad. Many will have grilled chicken salads. Go easy on the dressing. Check out this guide for specific healthy menu items from many of the most popular fast food chains.
    13. Avoid Mindless Eating. Do not eat while watching television or surfing the web. This is Mindless eating, where you are distracted by something else and aren’t conscious of what you are eating. When you eat mindlessly you tend to eat more. If possible try to avoid doing anything else while consuming a meal.
    14. Have some healthy frozen microwave dinners in your freezer. Lean Cuisine and healthy choice make many great healthy frozen dinners. They are perfect when you are in a hurry and need a quick healthy meal. Since they are quick to prepare they will help you avoid the temptation to stop by a fast food restaurant.
    15. Eat sugar-free snacks. These are low calorie snacks that are sweetened with sugar substitutes. They are a great way to satisfy your sweet cravings. Two of my favorites are Sugar Free Jell-O snacks and Del Monte Sugar Free Diced Peaches fruit cups. Both these snacks are available in most grocery stores.
    16. Try Philadelphia fat free cream cheese. It’s very low in calories and tastes delicious.
    17. Eat more lean grilled meats. They are lower in fat and calories and pack a lot of protein which will satisfy your hunger very quickly.
    18. Eat more nuts. Nuts contain healthy unsaturated fat, and are very satisfying. You should eat nuts in moderation because of their high caloric content.
    19. Try light wheat bread. It’s lower in calories. My favorite is Wonder Light Wheat bread which can be found in most grocery stores.
    20. Try fat free plain yogurt with real fruit. Fat free plain yogurt is available in most grocery stores, and has fewer calories. It also tastes great when you add in your own real fruit bits, and is much more nutritious than the prepackaged fruit yogurts.
    21. Try fat free cottage cheese with berries. Cottage cheese is very healthy and satisfying. It tastes delicious when you mix in some blueberries or strawberries.
    22. Eat baked chips instead of regular chips. All the big potato chip manufacturers now make baked chips which are lower in calories and wont leave your fingers greasy.
    23. Satisfy your chocolate cravings with fat free chocolate pudding. It’s low in calories and is still delicious. Kraft makes it so it is available in most grocery stores.
    24. Use non stick pan spray for cooking. It has a lot fewer calories than oil or butter.
    25. Use herbs to seasons your foods. Herbs make a great replacement for high calorie dips, sauces, and salad dressings.
  1. Replace butter with olive oil when cooking. This is of course if you can’t just use non stick pan spray. Olive oil is a healthy fat and contains fewer calories than butter.
  2. Eat low fat ice cream instead of regular ice cream. It tastes good and has a lot fewer calories.
  3. Avoid bringing unhealthy foods into your home. Try to avoid buying unhealthy foods as much as possible. Try to avoid bringing them into your home. If you feel like having an unhealthy snack, buy it in a small one serving size. Avoid buying junk food in family size or in bulk. Junk foods aren’t good for your or your family members.
  4. Try these 75 healthy meal ideas
  5. Prepare healthy meals in advance. Make healthy meals in bulk over the weekend and store them in your fridge or freezer. This will save you a lot of time during the weekdays. This will also make eating healthier much more convenient.
  6. Eat a variety of foods. This will ensure that your body is getting all the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fiber and amino acids it needs to function optimally. If you also eat the same couple of healthy foods/meals over and over you will get bored really quickly. Always buy and prepare a variety of healthy meals.
  7. Get familiar with the food pyramid. The food pyramid teaches you how much of each food group you should consume to maintain a healthy weight.
  8. Eat cheat meals. If you try to have a very strict diet, it will be very hard to maintain, this is why you should have cheat meals. Cheat meals can contain any kind of junk food you crave or really like. You should plan a cheat meal at least one day in advance. This ensures that you will not use cheat meals as an excuse to consume junk foods in moments of weakness. Also watch the portion size of your cheat meals, obviously the smaller they are the better.
  9. Drink alcohol wisely. Alcoholic drinks contain a lot of empty calories that can easy turn into extra pounds. Try to limit your alcohol consumption as much as possible. At the bar it’s okay to order a diet coke or bottled water. If you are a beer drinker try drinking light beers. If you like mixed drinks try a tonic water and lime.
  10. Eat junk foods in controlled small portions. If you decide to eat a junk food, maybe it’s part of your cheat meal, only eat it in a controlled small portion. If you decide to have 2 slices of pizza it’s a really bad idea to buy a whole large pizza. It will just increase the chances of you eating more than 2 slices. Instead just buy a personal sized pizza. If you decide to have a slice of cake, it’s a really bad idea to buy the whole cake. It’s better to go to a bakery or a restaurant that will sell you an individual slice.
  11. Learn about Glycemic Index. Low glycemic index foods will satisfy your hunger for longer periods of time in comparison to high glycemic foods. The best low glycemic index foods are the ones with the fewest calories.
  12. No mayo. Mayo is full of fat and is very high in calories. Try replacing mayo with mustard or try light mayo.
  13. Bake foods that you normally eat fried. This works great for fries.
  14. Read this Ethnic foods guide. If you like Chinese or Mexican food check out this guide, it’s fully of healthy ethnic foods.

Adjust Your Thinking – 20 Weight Loss Tips

Increasing your physical activity and eating smart will help you lose weight only if you have the right mindset. If you have the wrong mindset all the weight loss tips and tricks you learn will not work.

  1. Have measurable weight loss goals. I just want to look thinner isn’t a specific measurable goal because “thin” means a different number of pounds to different people. Also “thin” isn’t specific so you can’t really achieve it because you can always be a little thinner. A good goal is “I want to weigh 175 pounds” or “I want to weigh 125 pounds”. This is measurable because you can always step on the scale and see your progress. Another good goal is “I want to achieve 15% body fat”. This is also measurable because you can always measure your body fat and see your progress.
  2. Make a list of why you must lose weight. Make a list of all the different pains that you feel from being overweight. After that make a list of all the pleasures you will gain from losing the weight. Take your time creating both of these lists. Update and add to these lists often. Review these lists regularly. These lists will help you stay motivated to lose all the extra weight.
  3. Start now. Start working toward your weight loss goals right away. Stop reading and implement at least 1 tip from this page right away. Taking immediate action will increase your chances of sticking with your weight loss efforts. If you are serious about losing weight and are sick of all those extra pounds, stop reading, and implement 1 tip, you can always come back later and finish reading this list.
  4. Track your weight loss progress daily. While stepping on the scale and checking your weight on a daily basis might sound intimidating, it is a great reality check that will certainly keep you motivated. Always use the same scale to weigh yourself. I recommend you weigh yourself in the morning right after waking up, otherwise if you weigh yourself at different times throughout the day you might get different numbers depending on when you ate your last meal and your body’s water levels. Also keep in mind that there are certain uncontrollable factors that might cause sudden weight fluctuations like getting sick, or going through the menstrual cycle for women. However if you are monitoring your weight everyday you will notice these sudden spikes and be able to diagnose them. The Tanita BC533 Body Composition Monitor is one of my favorite scales that measures both weight and body fat percentage.
  5. Track your body fat percentage. Tracking your body fat percentage will help you recognize if the pounds you are losing are mostly fat or lean muscle mass. Many people lose a lot of weight yet don’t end up looking lean because they still have a high body fat percentage. Check out this article Are You Losing Fat, or Just Losing Weight? I would recommend that you measure your body fat percentage at least once a week. It’s another great way to track your progress. I recommend the Omron HBF-306C Fat Loss Monitor, it’s affordable and works great.
  6. Use a Measuring Tape. Using a measuring tape is critical especially when you first start losing weight. If you are trying to lose weight, and only check the scale you might be disappointed at the slow weight loss. However if you are using a measuring tape to measure different parts of your body you will notice the inches coming off very quickly. If you don’t have a measuring tape I recommend the MyoTape Body Measuring Tape by Accufitness.
  7. Record what you are eating. Try recording each food you eat and it’s caloric content at least for a whole week. This will give you an idea of how much calories you are consuming. Also record your emotions and stress level for each day. This will help you identify any emotional overeating habits you might have. Recoding your eating habits will also help you stay more focused and on track towards achieving your weight loss goal.
  8. Avoid very restrictive diets and other fads. Diets don’t usually work, and even if you do lose the weight on a diet you will most likely gain it back once you get off the diet.
  9. Focus on building life long healthy habits. Don’t worry so much about how fast you lose the weight now. Just focus on slowly improving your eating habits, and slowly increasing your physical activity levels. As long as you build healthy habits the weight will come off.
  10. Do not lose more than 1-2 pounds per week. If you lose weight quickly you increase the chances of gaining that weight back. Losing 1-2 pounds per week ensures that you are slowly improving your eating and exercising habits, and building a healthier lifestyle. If you lose the weight slowly, you tremendously increase your chances of keeping the weight off for the rest of your life.
  11. Make a public commitment. You should not make your weight loss efforts a secret no matter how ashamed you are of your current body shape or fitness level. One easy way to make the public commitment is by posting your weight loss goals and progress on your blog. Check out my Project Weight Loss commitment. If you don’t have a blog here are 33 reasons to start a blog. Another quick way to make a public commitment is by sharing your weight loss goals with family and friends. Making weight loss a public commitment makes it much harder for you to slack off. If you slack off, you will not only let yourself down, but also others who you made the commitment to.
  12. Be okay with failing. Weight loss isn’t always the easiest goal to achieve. Be okay with slacking off, falling off the wagon, and then trying again. The only way to not lose weight is to give up. Don’t be hard on yourself.
  13. Be patient. You can lose a lot of weight very quickly when you start implementing healthier eating and exercising habits. However as you progress the weight loss will gradually start slowing down. The hardest pounds to lose are the last 10 pounds. However these last 10 pounds will make all the difference, especially in your body’s shape and leanness.
  14. Make gradual changes. Do not overload yourself and try to implement all these tips at once. This will make weight loss seem overwhelming and impossible. Instead try implementing a new tip or two every weak. This will make weight loss almost feel natural.
  15. See a therapist if necessary. Maybe you have been trying to lose weight for years now without any lasting success. Maybe you overeat frequently to deal with emotional issues. Maybe you overeat to deal with stress. If you can relate to any of these symptoms you should consider seeing a therapist. There are many therapists who specialize in eating disorders which include overeating. Try at least one session and then decide whether or not it’s right for you.
  16. Don’t let others distract you from your weight loss efforts. Never cave in to others requests to try this or that unhealthy food. You might think that by complying with their requests you will make them happy. You are not. While you might make your friend happy right then and there, you will feel disappointed on the inside. Overtime these disappointments will steal away your happiness. If you aren’t happy with yourself then you can never make anyone else around you, including that friend, happy. If you aren’t happy with who you are you will not even have that much value to provide to others. Lets face it, we all have our own share of problems to deal with and no one wants to be around an unhappy person who’s carrying a lot of disappointment on the inside.
  17. There is no Magic Pill that will help you lose weight fast and keep it off. Check this out Hard Work or a Secret Formula?
  18. If you overeat one day you can undo it, just do an extra long workout the next day or perform an extra physical activity to burn the extra calories you consumed. Don’t expect to ever have perfect eating habits. Perfection is an ideal, it’s not real.
  19. Visualize a thin fit happier you. As often as you can, close your eyes, and visualize a thin version of yourself with your ideal weight and body shape. Visualize how lean your body looks, how well clothing fit you, how confident and happy you are with your amazing body shape. Visualize how energetic you are. Visualize becoming a lot more successful in other areas of your life because of the confidence you now have from achieving your weight loss goals.
  20. Consider the effects of each meal. Before each meal consider the short, medium and long term effects of what you are about to eat. For example say you feel like eating junk food. In the short term it will taste great in your mouth, that will last for the duration of the meal which is probably 15-30 minutes. In the medium term, or the following few hours, you will probably start feeling sleepy, tired and wont feel like doing much. In the long term, a few years from now, if you keep eating junk food you will gain more weight, develop all kinds of health problems and will dislike yourself even more. Say you are about to eat a healthy meal, in the short term or the 15-30 minutes you eat it, it might not taste great. However in the medium term, or the next few hours, you will feel light, energized and ready to get all your work done. In the long term, or after a few years of eating healthy foods, you will be in great physical shape and will probably live a happier more satisfying life.

Additional Tips – 15 Weight Loss Tips

There are other great weight loss tips that didn’t fit into any of the previous three sections.

    1. Join online weight loss support forums. Networking and communicating with others who are also trying to lose weight can be very motivating. My favorite is John Stone’s Fitness Forum. Check out the fitness journals where others who are also trying to lose weight share their progress.
    2. Find an accountability buddy. You can do this by making a friend or two on a weight loss forum, and requesting that they regulary review your weight loss progress posts. You can also do this by asking a close trusted friend to check in with you on a weekly basis. Having an accountability buddy makes it much harder to slack off.
  1. Take Before Photos. It can be very intimidating to take before photos, especially when you dislike your current body shape. Taking before photos is in a way a reality check, it will help you realize how much extra weight you have put on. The pain you might feel from looking at your before photos will motivate you to get your weight handled once and for all. Also once you do lose the weight, you will love having before photos to show off how many pounds you lost ;)
  2. Take a daily multivitamin, here is why
  3. Adjust your sleeping habits. Try to get between 7-8 hours of sleep per day. This will ensure your body is getting enough rest to burn off the pounds you are losing. Also getting very little sleep tends to increase your hunger and cravings throughout the day.
  4. Read success stories. Regularly read weight loss success stories, they will help keep you motivated and remind you that weight loss is an achievable goal.
  5. Look at before and after photos. Regularly looking at weight loss before and after photos will remind you that weight loss is possible, others have done it, and you can too. If you type in “weight loss before after photos” in any search engine you will get lots of results. Here are some of my favorites:
    Flickr Weight Loss Before After Photos
    Google Images Weight Loss Before After Photos
    Weight Loss Tips Before and After Photos
  6. Try weight watchers or Jenny Craig. Numerous people had success with both these programs and highly recommend them. They have been around for a long time and aren’t just some new fad diets.
  7. Try Body for Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength. This is the probably the most popular weight loss plan that actually works consistently for people who try it. I know many people who have used this book to lose the weight and keep it off.
  8. Make friends with healthy fit people. Spending time with them will automatically teach you healthy eating habits. They also tend to know a lot about fitness and can give you great advice from their own experience.
  9. Take some cooking classes. Becoming a better cook will enable you to cook healthier nutritious meals more often instead of being tempted to always go to restaurant for food. While you can get healthy foods at restaurants, it’s always safer to prepare your own.
  10. Take a nap or a shower when feeling strong cravings. When you have really tough junk food cravings, do an activity that makes it impossible for you to eat. It’s hard to eat while taking a shower or a nap. Doing this distracting activity will give you more time to question your cravings instead of automatically giving in.
  11. Set Regular Rewards for achieving weight loss hurdles. Make sure those rewards don’t involve food. For example if you have been debating whether or not to buy that really nice expensive watch, or that pricey dress, decide that you can only buy it after you lose the next 5 pounds. Rewards will keep you motivated and focused on your weight loss goal.
  12. Book your next beach vacation. Say you are down to those last 10 pounds, and decide that it will probably take you another 10 weeks to lose them. Book and pay for a beach vacation that starts 10 weeks from now. This will motivate you to lose the last 10 pounds since no one wants to go to the beach and feel fat in their bathing suit. Also since you paid for the vacation you now have another great reason to lose the weight.
  13. Shop for tight clothing. Go shop for clothing and buy an expensive item that is one size smaller than what you currently wear. It should be very tight fitting on your body where you currently would be too embarrassed to wear it out in public. Hang it up in your closet where you can see it on a daily basis. This will give you another great reason to lose weight.

Shortcut to Happiness – Secrets Exposed

Shortcut to Happiness is the name of movie starring Anthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin, and Jennifer Love Hewitt. As you can tell from the movie’s catchy name, it’s trying to expose the secrets of happiness. Of course I had to watch it, I felt weak and couldn’t resist. Anyways I’m glad I did watch it because of this very insightful quote that appears throughout the movie:

remember son there’s never a shortcut to happiness

I will not ruin the story and plot of a Shortcut to Happiness, so if your curios I’d recommend watching it, I think it’s worth watching at least once.

Image Source kalandrakas

Much of today’s advertising and marketing claims to provide a shortcut to happiness. A magic pill is another name for a shortcut to happiness. I’m sure everyone is familiar with many of the magic dietary supplement pills that were once very popular claiming that they would help you lose 30 pounds in 30 days without you having to change your eating or exercising habits. This is a great example of a shortcut to happiness. What’s the problem with this shortcut? well there are several. As most of us who tried those pills, my self included, can tell you that they never work. More importantly, lets say the pill did work for you without you having to change your eating habits or exercise habits. So 30 days later you are 30 pounds lighter. What will happen once you stop taking the pill? You will gradually gain the weight back because you never replaced your bad habits of eating and lack of exercise with healthy ones. Instead of the pill actually being a shortcut to happiness or weight loss it was actually a detour. I know someone will say well but if the pill works why can’t I just keep consuming it and not have to eliminate any unhealthy habits? You can keep consuming it however it’s a known fact that after 90 days of taking any dietary supplement your body becomes immune to it’s benefits. Even body builders go through different supplementation phases usually 90 days of taking a certain supplement and 90 days without it. Anyways I like this line of thinking so lets assume that your body doesn’t become immune to the dietary supplements benefits, and you now have a healthy weight. Well guess what? Losing weight will certainly give you a spike of happiness however this happiness will not last long. While being in a great body shape will feel great for a few months, it certainly will not solve all of your other problems. Behind bad eating habits and lack of exercise there are usually deeper issues including depression, fear, disappointment, failures etc. These deeper issues will still manifest themselves in all other areas of your life. Now that you also lost the weight, you will become a lot more conscious of other problem areas that you didn’t worry about that much before including your career, your relationships, your happiness etc. If your not convinced, then read You Think Making More Money or Losing Weight equals happiness? Think Again. Next time your are about to order a product or buy something at the store, ask yourself am I purchasing this because deep inside I think it will provide a shortcut to happiness? And then remind yourself that there are no shortcuts to happiness.

The Appeal of a Shortcut to Happiness

It’s interesting that we are constantly looking for shortcuts to happiness. I think for many people, if one was to really get down to what they really want out of life, it would be happiness. Why does someone want financial success? Because the media and everything else tells him it will make him happier. He thinks that by accumulating materialistic thing he will be happy. Why does someone want more exciting and fulfilling relationships with others? Because he notices that he always enjoys the company of great fun friends, and just wants more of that happy feeling. I think for many people their purpose in life in some form or the other is to be happy. It’s very easy to achieve temporary spikes of happiness. However finding and maintaining lasting happiness requires some work. As you can see from the weight loss example I provided earlier maintaining happiness is a dynamic process because once you achieve or own something it slowly starts losing it’s value. Once it loses most of it’s value it no longer makes you happy. Keep in mind this is the same thing that you put days, weeks, months or even years to achieve. After it no longer makes you happy your back at step one looking for what new thing will now makes you happy. This is exactly why shortcuts to happiness seem very appealing.

Image Source: anyjazz65

Find and Maintain Happiness
Now that we realize there are no shortcuts to happiness, we have to discuss how you really find happiness and more importantly how you maintain it. This is obviously a very deep topic however I have found two commonalities between many of the happy people in my life. I also found that these two commonalities were both true in moments and periods of my life where I was the happiest.

Method 1 – Choose Happiness

Right now anyone can chose to be happy by simply changing what they are focusing on. Everyone has their share of negative issues in their life like problems, failures, disappointments etc. However Everyone also has their share of positive things in their life that they can be thankful for. Try this Feel Great Now 5 Minute Exercise and remember whenever you are feeling down start thinking about what you are great full for in your life, whether it’s your health, your family, your abilities, your skills, your access to today’s great technology and vast amounts of information. Choose to be happy. By choosing to focus on positive things in your life instead of the negative things, you are choosing to be happy. This method of finding happiness works great in the short term. You can use it immediately at any time. However if you have many major problems and disappointments in your life that you are not dealing with, this method will certainly not work long term, this is where the 2nd method comes in.

Method 2 – Maintaining Happiness is an Ongoing Process 

Maintaining happiness in the long term is a journey not a destination. You have to realize that to remain happy you will need to work at it a bit on an ongoing basis. Remember there are no shortcuts to happiness. You have to take some alone time and start writing what it is in your life right now that makes you unhappy. Make a big list, and then prioritize all the issues you come up with. At the top of your list should be the single issue that makes you unhappy the most. For many people it might be their current career or job, their current relationships, their current lifestyle or an unhealthy habit. Start taking out some of your free time each day to work on these issues, trying to first solve the one that makes you the most unhappy. Do some research, get professional help, get an accountability buddy or whatever it is you have to do to get it handled. After you start solving this issue you will start building a momentum that will help you fly through all of your other issues and problems.
I will also recommend that you try some new activities that will maybe stretch your comfort zone a little bet. The rewarding happy feeling you will get after getting out of your comfort zone is amazing. I recommend reading the following two posts:
Comfort Zone Zombies – 7 day Challenge
Security Does Not Exist which is Great News

Being a happier person is certainly a worthy cause especially since there are not shortcuts to happiness. Being happier will reflect in all areas of your life, your work, your hobbies, and your relationships. You will notice that your friends will become more attracted to the happy vibe your bring, they will be competing to spend more and more time with you. You will notice that even strangers at times will approach you trying to initiate conversations. You will start discovering new ways to make boring things in your life a bit more exciting, a whole set of new possibilities will open up. You will start viewing life from a child’s perspective full of energy and excitement.

Project Weight Loss – Introduction

Project Weight Loss Defined
Project Weight Loss is my plan for building healthy eating and exercising habits for the month of January. If I can make it a habit to eat healthy and regularly exercise for 31 days, I should be able to turn that into a lifelong habit. I have been putting on extra pounds in the fall and winter. I’m noticing that many of my clothing are starting to feel tighter. My purpose of sharing this weight loss project is to encourage others who would like to lose weight, eat healthier or get fitter. I also would appreciate everyone’s support and feedback.

My Weight Loss Background
Growing up I was always overweight. I reached my highest weight when I was 18 weighing 225 pounds, at the time I was 5′10″ tall. I didn’t play any sports growing up so all of that extra weight was fat. I remember throughout elementary school, junior high and high school getting picked on as the fat kid whether it was in the locker room or when I was walking down the hall going to class. Over the next 12 months (between ages 18 and 19) I improved my eating habits and started regularly exercising. I ended up dropping 50 pounds weighing 175. Losing the weight certainly made me feel great and improved my self esteem. However over the next months and years I started developing the bad habit of resorting to food for dealing with stressful situations. This developed some bad overeating habits. I have since been learning to control my emotional overeating.

Weight and Fitness Goals to achieve by January 31st
My current weight is 201 Pounds, with 23% body fat, at 6′0″ tall. Here are my goals:

  • Exercise 5 days a week for at least 45 minutes each day
  • Eat healthier more nutritious meals throughout the week, with an allowance of 2 cheat meals each week. More specifics about my meals is included in the following paragraphs.
  • Lose 2.5 pounds per week for a total of 10-11 pounds in a 31 day period
  • Drop my body fat percentage to 19%

Slow Weight Loss is Very Important
I can certainly lose more than 2.5 pounds per week, however I’ve noticed in the past that the slower I lose the weight, the longer I keep it off. Losing the weight slower helps me develop healthier eating and exercising habits for life. When I have went on extreme diets in the past, I did end up losing weight quickly however after the diet was over I always gained the weight back. Slow weight loss also insures that my body will mostly burn body fat instead of muscle mass.

Eating Guidelines
I will be aiming for the following nutrition intake 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates, and 20% fat. That means that I’ll try to formulate my meals such that 40% of the calories come from protein, 40% come from carbs, and 20% from from fat. To achieve this my meals will generally be made up of lean meats, eggs, veggies, fruits, beans, and other healthy carbs. I will be minimizing my intake of white carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, rice, fried foods etc.
Calories wise I will be aiming for about 2000-2500 calories per day. I could restrict my caloric intake more, however this would increase the chances of my body burning more muscle mass instead of just burning fat. I will be eating 4-6 small meals throughout the day to insure that my body is constantly burning food, maintaining a high metabolic rate, and a steady levels of energy.
I will also have two cheat meals per weak where I’ll just eat something I crave that might not be the healthiest. Cheat meals are also good because they insure that my metabolism will not slow down because of the decrease in my caloric intake.

Exercising Guidelines
I will be Performing a combination of cardio and strength training exercises. The cardio will help my body burn fat, while the strength training will insure that my body maintains most of its muscle mass

Leverage to Stay on Track
Simply defined, leverage is circumstances and systems that one sets up to insure that if they are tempted to slack off or fall off track, it will be much harder. A great form of leverage for any goal is letting all of your friends, family and coworker know about the goal. This way if you are tempted to slack off, not only will you be letting yourself down, but also everyone else that you’ve told. As you can see leverage makes it easier to stay on track. My forms of leverage:

  • Publicizing this weight goal on here, and writing regular progress reports
  • Signing up and paying for a few personal training sessions
  • I will also add additional forms of leverage on here as I implement them

I Need Your Support
I really would appreciate everyone’s support, questions and feedback. As you know losing weight can be a tough goal, and the more support one has the easier it is. You can support me in two ways:

  • Leave a comment at the bottom of this blog post, this will keep me conscious of my public commitment to accomplish this goal
  • If you are currently trying to lose weight, or increase your fitness please share your current weight, your goals, and any eating or exercising recommendations. You can share by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post. This will encourage everyone who reads this post who also wants to lose weight and will create some leverage for your weight loss goals since by sharing you are making them a bigger public commitment.