“It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!” – Rocky Balboa
One day you look at yourself in the mirror and decide that you hate what you see. Binge drinking became a problem to the point it was affecting my relationships and my health.
My diet was so poor that I had piled on nearly 30 pounds of unwanted body fat. Heartburn was becoming more frequent, my lower back hurt and I often felt lethargic.
I didn’t like my appearance and I didn’t feel confident about my body.
The worst part is that I didn’t know who I was anymore. I lost my passion and my excitement for living. I knew right then and there that I needed to change.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
It was December 2014. I decided that fitness and healthy living was a good path to take.
I had worked out in my twenties and remembered how good it made me feel.
I started formulating a plan based on research I did online. I knew not to over analyze because it often leads to paralysis by analysis.
The first workout I did was very basic, consisting of full body workouts done twice per week. I didn’t lift too heavy and I wanted to get a feel for the movements again.
I also realized that this was a marathon, not a sprint. I didn’t become out of shape overnight so I gave myself one year to change my body.
This time frame would let me go at my own pace. I knew if I rushed and pushed it too hard I would only end up discouraged and injured.
That is what made me quit in the past. And this time I was determined I was going to do it no matter what!
Progress Not Perfection
So I made a plan and each day I stuck to my plan no matter what. Inspiration is often overrated.
If I said it was all easy I would be lying. Sometimes situations came up where I had to juggle my workouts around and fit them in.
Other times I would have headaches or be really tired. However, I always found a way. The only time I missed a work out was one week when my daughter was born which is perfectly understandable. I wouldn’t have missed that for the world.
Another factor that really slowed down my progress in the past was “all or nothing” thinking. If I missed a workout or cheated on my diet I wanted to throw in the towel.
I have now learned to be relentless. As humans, we are not perfect and things we don’t expect will always happen.
If someone brought doughnuts to work, I’d smile, enjoy one or two and not beat myself up over it. It’s what you do the majority of the time that matters.
Abs Are Made in the Kitchen
I also knew that exercise alone wasn’t going to cut it. If I really wanted to change my body I needed to change my lifestyle too.
At first I struggled a lot with this. Let’s face it – food is one of life’s pleasures.
The first thing I did was to start making healthier choices. Instead of pizza for example, I would have rice and chicken.
I started learning how to cook and make things as tasty as possible. I marinated my meats, used spices and cooked a lot in bulk to minimize cooking time.
Processed foods became a thing of the past and I really liked clean eating. I could eat a lot more food without gaining weight.
After six months I started becoming really comfortable with my new way of eating and was ready to take the next step. That’s when I started tracking calories along with protein, carbs and fats.
When I first set out to make a change my goal was to weigh 145 pounds. In fact, I kept a sticky note on my fridge to remind me of my goal whenever I wanted to cheat or became discouraged.
It simply said, “I want to weigh 145!”
Since I was so focused I actually hit my goal just after the 6-month mark. I finally got down to 140 pounds from 163 pounds and decided I was lean enough.
So altogether I lost 23 pounds! Not only did I look better, I also felt much better.
I have more energy, I am less stressed out, I have a more positive attitude and have a better outlook on life as a whole.
The discipline that fitness has given me has carried over into other areas of my life. It has been an incredible journey and the best part is that it’s just beginning.
My wife said she is proud of me and my friends are starting to notice my results. I am even having people asking me for advice!
The take home message here is that it’s never too late change your life for the better. I am living proof of that.
If you haven’t done so yet, what’s stopping you?
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10 thoughts on “Fit After 40 – How I Changed My Body & My Life”
I appreciate this post, it has a lot of real life challenges that many of us face when it comes to our fitness and health. My favorite take is that fitness is a marathon and not a sprint. Congratulations on achieving your goals and inspiring others.
Thanks Pat. Many people fail to make progress because they keep searching for something that doesn’t exist in the form of that one “secret” they think is missing. All it takes is a simple, yet effective plan executed day after day. And the best part is the person you become in the process.
Timely blog post for me. Congratulations on your accomplishments and thanks for sharing your tips.
Thanks! Glad you found the info helpful.
I totally relate with: “paralysis by analysis”. I am a big victim of over-thinking things. I now know that small steps taken in the right direction is the best way to keep moving towards your goals. Thanks for an inspiring post.
Hey Joy – Glad you liked it. It’s good to hear you’re now moving in the right direction. I think a lot of times we are so afraid of doing the wrong thing that we end up doing nothing at all.
Great article, the one thing that most of us forget about is the fact that change takes time, as you said “I didn’t become out of shape overnight so I gave myself one year to change my body”, we didn’t get to where we’re overnight, and we will not be in a better place overnight too, it’s a process, a journey and a lifestyle.
I’m learning this the hard way in fact, things take time to change, during this time, I believe, we will be tested and challenged, why is that? to qualify for the things that we said we want (do we really deserve it?), in the words of Jim Rohn “life was not designed to give us what we need, life was designed to give us what we deserve.”
Good points Mosab. Trials will always be thrown at us from time to time. And to be honest, there were a few times I wanted to quit. I merely stepped back for a little while and looked at the big picture. Then I kept going whether I felt like it or not. Sure glad I did!
I liked reading this. Change can be totally liberating and lead to a new lease of life. I had a similar experience when I learned how to swim in my 30’s. It was something I had always felt I just couldn’t do.
Then I got lessons and it came much easier than I thought.
Not only were there the obvious benefits of learning a new skill and becoming healthier, OVERCOMING something I had thought was too hard for me totally changed my mindset on how to tackle problems.
Problems are not problems anymore. They are challenges, all of which can be overcome or navigated around by breaking them down into doable steps, often starting with informing yourself and getting advice or lessons from someone willing to help.
The benefits of making a change can be totally unexpected.
Thanks for sharing.
Hey John – glad you liked it and thanks for sharing. I agree, for every problem there is a solution. In the beginning I was reluctant to even begin because I thought my age was a factor. Boy was I wrong. I’m just getting started!