Dieting sucks. However, the rewards of eating better and working out on a daily basis do not. In my case, these results do a pretty good job of motivating me to continue with the discipline I've been recently enforcing upon myself, which is actually making the diet suck less.
Since I realized (and finally admitted to myself) the terrible shape I am in, I've made some lifestyle changes. I've cut out all processed sugar. I've dramatically decreased my caffeine intake to an occasional glass of tea with dinner and a 5-Hour Energy shot now and then on weekends. The only soda I drink is Diet Rite Pure Zero, which has no carbs, sugar, caffeine, and no sodium. Despite all that, it actually tastes good. I've cut alcohol altogether. I was never much of a drinker, so that one was easy. My diet consists of lean meats, lots of poultry, plenty of low carb/low starch veggies, and if you question my commitment, I'm even eating fish. People who know me know I do not eat fish. Now that I'm eating the right things, I just need to start eating them in smaller portions. Baby steps...
I've also been in the gym every weekday since December 27th. It's funny, but simply having the LA Fitness bar code tag on my key chain did nothing to advance my physical condition. The tag was peeling apart and the bar code was barely visible. They issued me a new one and low and behold, I'm wearing jeans I haven't been able to fit into in three years and the scale reads fifteen pound lighter. That new tag rocks!
My workouts consist primarily of cardio routines. I usually knock out three miles and 600 calories on the elliptical trainer in thirty minutes with loud, hard rock music blasting in my headphones. I also occasionally get my a$$ handed to me in the racquetball court. I love racquetball and used to play every day. Even then, I sucked at it. I make a great target for those little blue balls and I usually come home with welts all over my back. Nevertheless, my plan is to stick to the cardio work through January and then get back to weight training. I always bulk up fast and will have to maintain a balanced ratio of usable muscle and flexibility to just plain bulk.
The true test of my new-found discipline will be how well I stick to the diet and exercise routine when I travel. Being on the road 45 or more weeks out of the year makes it difficult to maintain a routine. That's my reason, although really it's no excuse. The reality is I have no excuse because the hotels I stay in all have some sort of exercise facility and I have a per diem rate that allows me to eat healthy.
I'm told muscle outweighs fat 2:1. If that's true, I anticipate the weight drop will slow down dramatically, even beyond the typical plateau we all experience once I get back into the weights. I'm hoping the proper eating habits will continue to facilitate a consistent weight drop as the muscle mass increases. I spent the last three years putting this weight on. It ain't gonna fall off overnight. I have another five months to realize my goal.
Next weight update at 210 pounds. Don't hold your breath. It could be a while.