You know, this topic about “getting in the zone” means different things to different people. For me, it was really about getting plugged in with walking, drinking water, and eating healthily to have a better life. “Getting in the zone” for me was trying to understand how I can get things to align and start losing weight, but, more importantly, a step towards a healthier lifestyle. The word “eating healthy” is such an overused phrase. To me, “eating healthy” means understanding what foods to eat and what foods to stay away from to help with weight loss.

There was a specific moment in my life when I decided I needed to change my road. For you, that life-changing moment may bring you to some point with a fork in the road. You need to decide whether you make either a left or right-hand turn. You know, at that moment in time, your life has changed. Some people don’t have that moment until later in life. For me, it was August 4, 2021, as I was at my doctor’s office. It took four different scales for the nurse to figure out my weight, primarily because I was 400 pounds. Their scales in the office didn’t go high enough to measure my actual weight. I got the wind knocked out of me as I was sat down by my doctor and told that I was a walking heart attack. If I didn’t change soon, my life would be over. Millions of thoughts went through my mind. Do I have my affairs in order? What would my wife and three kids do if I’m no longer around? How would they survive with me? It hit me like a brick wall. I needed to change the road I was on!

At that moment, I realized I needed to reduce the unhealthy food I ate. I started looking at the labels on what I was consuming with every meal or snack to know precisely what I was putting into my body. I also needed to start walking every day, get up and move. So, for 30 minutes every day, I started walking and drinking water. I cut out all soda from my life. I started looking at my food and tracking how many calories I ate daily. By actually seeing what I was putting into my body, it clicked! While I’m eating 3 or 4,000 calories daily, I’m only exerting 1000 cal daily. No wonder I put on so much weight! So, I started to cut down my caloric intake to balance out the number of calories I was putting out. I began to understand that eating certain foods: fresh vegetables, unprocessed foods, and other better choices was not restrictive and was better for me. There is no restriction on what I can eat. If I eat a 600 cal meal, I know that overall for my day, I can’t exceed my caloric deficit. I stop eating around 7:30–8 p.m. to allow my body to digest my last meal and not go to bed on a full stomach. I don’t need anything else after that last meal.

No, there were no fancy surgeries. There were no diet pills I was on. There is no magic easy button. I dialed in what foods I liked and put together 20 meals and snacks that I rotated. I finally felt comfortable about eating. Every month I would see my doctor and get blood work done. My blood pressure, cholesterol, and anxiety began to decrease. By the end of this journey, about 10 to 12 months, I was ultimately off all my blood pressure, stress, and cholesterol pills. I was off of antacids: all medication. My bloodwork was all within regular zones all because of the food I was consuming and the exercise I was doing. Now, for the first 150 pounds, I didn’t do any heavy exercise. I strictly focused on eating healthier food, drinking water, walking, and understanding what I put in my mouth. I “got in the zone” of understanding as I knew what I was eating, drinking 90 ounces of water a day, and walking 10,000 steps. I weighed myself every morning at 5 a.m. the same way, meaning wearing the same clothes or lack thereof and eating roughly 1,500 cal a day. These simple changes helped me drop over 200 pounds in about 12 months. 

So, when we talk about “getting in the zone,” it may take you six to ten weeks to understand how to track your food correctly, walk every day, accurately weigh your food, and drink enough water. Once you have the system down, the weight will start coming off and will encourage you to stay “in the zone.” Don’t worry if you misstep. You didn’t start riding a bike first, and you won’t “get in the zone” the first time, either. It will take trial and error, and you will make mistakes. However, with the mistakes and errors, you will find precisely what works for you, and you will be able to live a healthier life. It will become second nature to you after a while.

So now, with Change the Road, I’m sharing everything I’ve done and trying to help others experience the happiness of losing weight and getting healthy. I’m sharing my experience going from 400 pounds to 195 pounds. I’m sharing everything I’ve done with meals, recipes, food swaps, exercise, ideas, tips, tricks, snacks, pictures, and encouragement videos to help others.

Getting in the Zone:

  1. Setting your target weight goals.

  2. Creating a baseline – tracking fluid and food intake

  3. Walking every day- just get started. Target a goal of 10k steps per day

  4. Calculate your calorie deficit target. This number will fluctuate over time. You must adjust the number as you weigh yourself and compare your consumed calories, walking, and water intake to keep losing weight.

  5. Eating every three hours (snacks or meals, your caloric deficit divided by 5 or 6)

  6. Weighing yourself every morning

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“Getting in the zone” enabled me to have a system to track everything I was doing. The saying “what gets measured gets done” is accurate and valid. I count my food and understand what is needed for caloric intake. I know how much water I drink every day and how many steps I take every day. “Getting in the zone” helps me have goals and things to focus on so I wasn’t just flopping around in the kitchen, not understanding what I was doing with food, especially with snacks later at night. Always remember that low calories doesn’t mean low taste. Enjoy your food. Wake up every morning with your goals in mind and hold onto them so fiercely that no one can pry them away!

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