6 Things that Helped Me Lose 30 Pounds

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May 29 (Left); August 7 (right)

“I have become a FAT DAD” is what I thought to myself.  Over Memorial Day weekend, our family made the trek from Madison, WI to Minneapolis, MN to spend the holiday with family.  One of the fun things we did was take our kids to the Mall of America and go on some of the rides they have there.  Joshua, my three year old son, wanted me to go on a ride with him.  As I laboriously climbed in, I realized something.  I was so fat that the safety bar couldn’t lower over my belly.  I tried to suck in my gut and thankfully they were barely able to get the bar down so we could go on the ride.  I was embarrassed and ashamed. 

That was THE moment that I decided to make a life change and lose weight and to get healthy.

You have to have a moment of your own or you will never have the willpower to make the changes you need to make to lose the weight and to get healthy.

So far, I have lost 31 pounds.  I have 42 more pounds to lose to get back to the weight I was at when I graduated from college.  The great thing is that I feel so much more healthy now than I did just 10 weeks ago.  Just last week, I ran 3 and a half miles without stopping and I can now bench 150 pounds (3 sets of 10) and squat 200 pounds (3 sets of 10). I have a ways to go before I hit my goal but I thought I would share some of the things I have done to lose the first 31 pounds:

  1. I shaved my head.  People ask me all the time why I did it and I usually just say that I was tired of the Midwest heat and needed to get rid of my hair.  That’s part of the reason.  The real reason is that I wanted a physical, tangible reminder that I was at war with obesity and gluttony and I needed to be in battle mindset- like a soldier at war. You need something to remind yourself that you are in battle mode.
  2. I started waking up earlier.  I used to wake up between 7 and 8:30 AM each day.  Now- I wake up every morning at 6:00 AM and I am at the gym by 6:30 AM.  It has been really helpful to get my workout done early and to leave the house before my wife or kids are awake.
  3. I spent some money.  No, I didn’t go out and hire a personal trainer (which I have done twice in the past).  What I did was I bought myself a new gym bag ($30), a pair of nice goggles ($12) for swimming laps, and a few new workout shirts and shorts ($50).  For under $100, I was able to get some nice workout “equipment” that helped motivate me to get to the gym everyday.  I LOVE my gym bag and my goggles and my workout clothes! I’m so excited in the morning to grab my bag and head to the gym.
  4. I started counting calories.  I know, I know.  There are all these diets that say counting calories is pointless.  Well, with a $2.99 app on my iPhone, I have been able to track what I am eating and how many calories are in everything I ingest.  It has helped me to stop eating junk food and soda because I don’t want to enter in the app that I ate that kind of food.
  5. I pack my gym bag before going to bed.  It’s easier to get out of the house and get to the gym if my bag is already packed.  Also- I would highly recommend buying workout clothes that are black, white, or gray so that everything matches and you don’t have to wait until something gets washed to match your maroon and gold shorts.
  6. I made a workout plan that FIT ME.  For me, I need to have both strength training and cardio in my workout plan.  I lift weights for about 60 min on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and do 60-90 minutes of cardio on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.  Sundays are my days of rest.  For weights, I alternate between lifting for chest, shoulders, and triceps one day and then lift for legs, back, and biceps the next strength training day.

Hopefully, some of my tips are helpful to you.  What are some things that you have done that have helped you lose weight? I’d love to hear you ideas in the comment section!

4 comments

  1. Zach kuschel · August 16, 2013

    Sign up for a race, i guarantee that it is a motivator! Did my first triathlon to help motivate me to get in better shape. I’m doing my first tough mudder this september and have been super hustling to make sure i dont die

  2. Erik Lindeen · August 16, 2013

    Zach-
    That’s a great idea! My goal is to do a triathlon next summer. Tough Mudder sounds INTENSE! Good luck with that!

  3. Carol Ann · August 16, 2013

    Great post, Erik. I have been following your journey and am excited to watch how your life is shaping into health. I, too, have been working on this in my life, as you know. It’s encouraging to be walking (running, working out, etc) on the path with other friends. One of my biggest motivators is wanting to be as healthy as possible to be able to run and play with my grand-kids. It’s been a blessing to have much more energy than I did several years ago on the super fun days I get to spend with Clara. Cheering you on from Colorado! 🙂

  4. cakboliv · August 16, 2013

    Love this post, Erik! It’s been fun to watch your journey to better health! I too have embarked on this journey, as you know. For me I wanted to be healthy and was tired of the sluggish feeling I had all the time and low energy. It was also a “my moment” that was a turning point for me to get on the health path. No one else can do it for you and it’s not sustainable when you are doing it for someone else. I wanted to be healthy and have a lot of energy to play with my grand-kids. 🙂 Cheering you on from Colorado!

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