Feb 22, 2007

Losing pounds

[Note: this is what worked for me and is posted here as a reminder to myself. Please use this at your own risk. Consult with a doctor first before trying anything here.]

I've been 185 lbs. for the last 5 years. Ever since I stopped playing basketball regularly. I was 185 no matter what I ate or didn't eat. Or so it seemed. It was really frustrating.

But now I've lost some weight pretty quickly. And did so quiet easily. Here is how I did it. And if I could do it, anyone can do it — but you might need to find your own way to do it.

  • Workout 5 days per week. Started slowly with 10 mins walking, 12 mins biking on the first day. Today (4 weeks later), I jog and bike for 20 mins each. I used Google Spreadsheets to keep a log of all my workout sessions. On the 5th day: as soon as I woke up, my mind kept repeating, "I can't do this. I really can't do this....." on and on. Just ignored it and still did my workout on that day.
  • Count calories. Stopped drinking soda on Jan 18, 2007. Working out for 30 (tiring) mins to burn 250 calories (avg. calories burned per day, first week), your body more than hesitates to drink that can of soda (140 calories). Started drinking lots of water. I cut down everything that was unnecessary. Example: from 2% I switched to Skim milk.
  • Don't stuff yourself with food. Started eating about 75% capacity. And after about 3 weeks of that, I noticed that my appetite was considerably smaller than before.
  • It is OK to be hungry. I formed this new belief. You'll be hungry when you cut down your food intake. I became OK with it. In time, I was OK with being filled to 75% capacity. The first few days, I had day-long headaches — be careful about that.
  • Eat fresh fruits & veggies. I am vegetarian, and so I like to eat fruits and veggies. I bought plenty of fruits for a whole week: apples, oranges, pears, peaches & bananas (about 5 of each). Veggies (all fresh): peeled baby carrots, beans, broccoli, & brussels sprouts. Fruits for dinner. I usually had soup and steamed veggies for lunch.
  • Don't be tempted. I've been hungry while all my friends ordered and ate pizza, right in front of me. I didn't think for a second about eating a piece. Instead, I went home later on and had some fruits.
  • Yoga and meditation 5 days/week.
  • Just rest and relax 2 days/week. Didn't workout.
  • Daily schedule.Having a regular schedule, made me do things without thinking about it. And now many of the things have become a habit for me — a big advantage. This was my eating schedule (and still is):
    • Breakfast: milk w/ Swiss mix
    • Before lunch: about 10 baby carrots
    • Lunch: soup + steamed veggies or homemade burritos or salad.
    • After lunch: Some organic Yogurt
    • Evenings: fruits
  • Allow yourself to fail. Sometimes I started hating the food I ate and wanted to quit. On those days, I eat something different yet healthy. (Sweet Tomatoes is an awesome place — its a salad bar.)
  • Become comfortable with the amount of food that you eat. — cause that's what you'll be eating for good.
Update: changed header to "Losing pounds"

Feb 12, 2007

overcoming resistance

Sometimes at the beginning of a workout, my mind resists by saying "I'm really tired. I can't do this." (Even though I have quiet easily accomplished the workout before.)

Whenever I give in to such negativity, my muscles DO start to feel heavy and I stop quickly.

However, I've noticed that repeating, "Yes, I like this experience. This is the way I want it. I CAN do this" internally, helps me overcome that resistance and makes me feel much more energized.

This follows from a workshop I took a long time ago. In it, they were talking about how you can stop suffering (and you suffer when you resist) when faced with a difficult decision that you feel is forced upon you. Simply pretend that the decision is actually your choice. Say to yourself, "I choose this" and move along. It was remarkable how something so small can make such a big difference.

And many times I don't even notice that I am resisting something. One good way to notice is: if something takes longer and is harder for you (than for others), there is a good chance that you don't want to do that activity — that is, you are resisting that activity. And of course, "whatever you resist, persists." So the key is to not resist. Never fight the system, or something like that.