As a web developer, Josh Meyer sits at a computer for most of the day.
At 6 feet tall, the 29 year old found himself weighing 283 pounds.
By joining a weight loss challenge focused on simple healthy eating and exercise requirements, Josh managed to lose 50 pounds in just four months.
Josh had always known that he was overweight and could stand to eat healthier.
“What finally got me going was,” Josh says about what finally motivated him.
“A friend of mine that I go to church with started a weight loss group, a challenge, with other friends that we go to church with.
Basically, we all put a little bit of money into a pot and there was a system that we had to follow.
So, I went ahead and joined that with my wife and it was pretty competitive and I got super into it, so that challenge is what got me going.”
The weight loss challenge that Josh had joined provided him with a simple system of things to do.
“We had to eat two servings of fruit a day,” Josh says while elaborating on the challenge.
“Three servings of vegetables and we had to drink 64 ounces of water a day.
Then what I think made the biggest difference is we had to cut all of our sugar out except for one day a week.
We kind of got a free day to do whatever we wanted.”
“That’s what happened on the food side of things,” says Josh before explaining the exercise component.
“Then we also had to work out at least five days a week for 45 minutes or longer so those were the rules of the challenge.”
“In the beginning the first few weeks were pretty tough.
I started having sugar withdrawals pretty heavily around day two or three that came with some headaches and stuff like that, but by the end of the second week I’d say it just got easier from there.”
Josh gives a lot of credit to the weight loss challenge that he joined.
Having his wife also join the weight loss challenge we even greater support.
“I’ll say that the support system might be the single most important thing,” Josh relates.
“So, my wife was my biggest support because she also did this challenge.
One of the biggest things since she was in this with me, the food that came into the house was very regulated.”
“So a lot of the temptations went away because she would go shopping and she would plan all our meals out about a week in advance and there was no more sugar coming into the house.
So, I’ll say if you’ve got somebody in your house on your team helping you achieve that goal it makes just tremendously easier.”
Josh also talks about doing weekly progress reports of Facebook and how not letting down the other people in the challenge played an important role.
The social aspect of the challenge also made exercise and going to the gym more enjoyable, so that exercise wasn’t something he was doing alone.
Josh believes a change in mindset allowed him to succeed on his goals.
For him, the change in mindset was about not fooling himself anymore and accepting the facts about his health.
“Really, I got to the point,” Josh says.
“Where I accepted the fact that I was really overweight and in a sense, I tried to become okay with that reality, not okay that I was overweight, but I just tried to embrace that situation that I had gotten very big and it was my fault.
Then I had absolute control over that situation, because when I make an excuse about my weight, what I’m doing is I’m relinquishing my control to my excuse.
So, I owned it and that was probably the biggest single thing that helped me.”
Planning meals ahead of time is a big component for Josh to stay on track.
Without this planning, making a healthy decision becomes harder to do.
But, giving in to temptation from time to time is part of controlling it for Josh.
“Another big thing is,” says Josh.
“Sometimes I do want to eat a big greasy meal and every once in a while I will go do that, but I think the important thing is on those very occasional meals where I do that it’s important to know that you’re going to go up in weight and not to let that discourage you and just realize that you’ve got to get right back on it the next day.”
“So, by knowing and accepting that every once in a while I was going to cheat and I was going to go up it allowed me to not really get discouraged about it, but get right back on it the next day and go back down.”
For exercise, Josh runs between four or five miles about three to five mornings per week.
“If I don’t do that workout first thing in the morning,” Josh says about having to budget time between family, a full-time hob and other responsibilities. “I know I’m not going to get it in, there’s just no other time for me.
I also think it just helps my whole day.
Working out used to be a burden for me, but after four months of this if I don’t go jogging in the morning it makes my day worse.
I actually dread not going for that run now.”
After his morning run, Josh seeks protein for his breakfast, eggs loaded with vegetables.
In addition, Josh says, “I also like to make green smoothies in the morning.
So, I’ll throw some spinach in a blender with some fruit and maybe a little bit of honey or something like to sweeten it up just a bit.
I’d say 80% of the time those are the two things I eat in the morning.
I try to have a bigger breakfast and a smaller dinner.”
“For lunch I like making salads.
What I find is if I can eat two salads a day I can lose weight and I can keep going down.
The trick for me is to keep the salads delicious, right?
I’m pretty particular with what I eat on my salads.
I like a high quality, very tasty salad so usually that will consist of some greens, some grilled chicken and then some kind of homemade dressing, something like that that really makes it delicious.
It’s actually one of my favorite things to eat now is salad.
I also like to go out with my coworkers a lot, so there’s a few salad places that I like to go to with them.”
Dessert is about portion control, rather than finding a healthy alternative. He and his wife may share a dessert instead of each getting their own dessert.
Remember, getting healthy is not about being better than someone else, it’s about being better than you used to be!