No Magic Potion For Weight Loss

We’ve all wondered if there is a special pill or magic potion for near-instant and miraculous weight loss.  We’ve all seen those infomercials at 3:43 a.m.  Those same infomercials that will offer solutions to problems we never really had, and probably still don’t, like a remote-controlled discrete testicle scratcher, an intercontinental ballistic plunger, or a ShamWow.  

That’s when you see it.  The infomercial that promises instant results to shed those pounds, to lose that weight with little-to-no effort at all!  Just pay enough money to fill a dump truck, and their magical potion for “Lard-Be-Gone” can be yours.  The ad will say something like, “Just 1,789 easy payments $47.99, and you can tell your beer gut and love handles to fuck right off!”

But I’m here today to tell you from personal experience that there is no super-dooper, secret magic potion or special pill to losing weight.  I’m telling you from personal experience that healthy weight loss is a personal journey that takes self-discipline, patience, and real effort.  If you want to lose weight, I will tell you the actual, honest way to do so.  If you don’t, then that’s okay too.  Because being happy with yourself is very important.  But I hope you keep reading anyway because you find my articles entertaining. 🙂

As you can see from the picture, I lost 60 pounds.  It was a journey eight years in the making.  There were many ups and downs in between, however, so don’t be discouraged that it seems to have taken me eight years to lose 60 pounds.  That’s not the case.  I had periods where I lost most of the weight, plateaued for a while, put some pounds back on, lost more weight, gained it back again, etc.  Basically, I was on a jiggly roller coaster full of pizza & beer, self-induced carbohydrate comas, jogging and weight lifting, and low-carb tortillas that tasted like cardboard and failure.

Food Intake and Diet:

Food is the most important part of any weight loss journey.  You have to burn more calories than you take in.  The best way to do that is to reduce your calorie intake.  Eat less.  But equally important is to not starve yourself.  It seems pretty simple, but it’s absolutely necessary.  Eat less and eat better.  Healthier foods tend to have fewer calories anyway.

So no more consuming an entire cheese wheel in one sitting.  If you’re serious about weight loss, you can’t ingest a huge, spicy chicken sandwich that uses two large pizzas for the buns instead of bread.  Your breakfast cereal can’t just be a bag of Oreos dumped into a bucket with milk poured over the top.

For myself, there were only two things I didn’t let myself have.  When I completely eliminated these two things from my diet, I had the best results.  The first is sugar.  No sugary foods or drinks! This is self-explanatory.  Sugar bad!  The other is alcohol.  Most importantly, beer.  I found that drinking, especially the beer, inhibited my weight loss progress.  And beer can reverse any gains you’ve made.  Beer is so full of calories and carbohydrates, that having two or three beers (or nine or twenty, but who’s counting?) can make you pack on the pounds quickly.

Calorie Counter:

I used a calorie counting app. I logged everything I ate and drank.  I think you should too.  Why?  Because you must face yourself if you want success.  You must look in the mirror.  You can’t achieve goals, or even be a better person, if you’re unable to look in the mirror and face yourself.  It’s the same with counting calories because it makes you see just how much food you’re eating each day.  If you don’t, then it’s like those people that never admit to being wrong, never admit to or acknowledge their mistakes, and won’t take responsibility for their own actions.  

If you don’t log every calorie you consume, you’re not taking responsibility for yourself in your weight loss journey.  I know sometimes it’ll be tempting to keep your daily calorie count artificially low by not entering that entire bag of chicken nuggets you had for a “snack”, but you’d only be cheating yourself.  And if you cheat yourself, you make the Baby Jesus cry.

Log those calories!  Seeing the reality of how much you consume helps you face yourself.  It’ll help you see that some foods, especially in large quantities, will be a mistake if you’re trying to lose weight.  

Unless they’re tacos.  Because tacos are never a mistake. 😉

Exercise:

Start small.  If you haven’t worked out in a long time, then you need to gradually build your body up with your fitness routine.  In particular if you’ve spent the past five years inside all day playing Xbox and watching Pornhub.  Don’t just jump right in and think you can keep up with Crossfitters.  You know…those people that stack fire engines and do squats with aircraft carrier anchors on their backs for fun.  

Go on walks every day.  Go for a light jog a couple of days a week to start. I also recommend strength training. Strength training is great not just for weight loss, but just overall health.  If you’ve never done any form of strength training before, then I recommend you consult a professional.  Go to a gym and book time with a trainer.  A trainer will teach you the right way to lift weights without hurting yourself.

Exercise and being active is good for your health.  And it burns extra calories.

Self-Discipline:

You have to maintain it.  Stay the course!  If you want to achieve your weight loss goal, you have to maintain your focus.  Therefore, no cheat meals until you’ve hit your goal.  If you spent the past week maintaining better eating habits and exercised, you’ll be very tempted to reward yourself.  The danger is that after not having junk food for a week, and you reward yourself early, you run the risk of taking a step backwards.  Then you’ll be continually tempted to have more cheat days, and then more-often-than-not rewarding yourself, thereby destroying the progress you’ve made. Next thing you know, you’re having three cheat meals per week consisting of donuts and entire boxes of Captain Crunch.

No cheat days!  Instead make your cheat meal your victory meal.  Save it as a reward to yourself for achieving your goal.  When I was focused on my weight loss goal, I didn’t have cheat meals, and thus earned better results in a quicker amount of time.  Instead, you can make your ideal cheat meal your victory hashtag.  For example, #igetvictorypizza or #igetvictorytacos or #igetvictorypie or #igetvictoryspamspamspameggsbaconandspam.

That’s it.  That’s the secret. If you want to lose weight, that’s the real truth of what you need to do.  There is no magic potion.  Eat better and eat less, get in some exercise, and maintain your focus and self-discipline.  The feeling after achieving your goals is very rewarding.  But it won’t happen overnight.  It will take time and patience.  And it’s worth it.  

If you’re reading this and you want to lose weight, you can do it.  You can do the thing!  I super believe in you, Tad Cooper!