Going pro was never an option, instead a life of beer leagues is what’s left. Staying true to the name, you do tend to pound some beers from time to time with your friends. It doesn’t help that you never get younger, your metabolism slows, and you have more important things to do then workout for hours a day. The end result, a nice round beer belly, one the ladies laugh at, the one that leaves you feeling pretty crappy.
Yes, that’s me, and most likely you as well. I’ve decided to change my habits to get not only a better body, but most importantly, improve my hockey game. I’m no doctor, no nutritionist nor a personal trainer, but here are some things that have worked for me and could possibly work for you. I challenge all beer league-rs to make a commitment to improving their health and their skill.
Set a Goal
Sounds pretty simple, but like work, life and everything, if you don’t have a goal in mind you don’t know where you are going. A proper goal improves motivation, and in a grueling process such as working out and getting into better shape, you’ll need all you can get. Goal setting is pretty logical when you think of it, but most people do it wrong.
The first thing is to figure out the big picture goal, what you’re end result will be. For me, I set a goal of losing weight, 36 pounds to be exact. Note, whatever you choose, it needs to be able to be measured.
Once you figure out the big picture goal, you then break that goal down into smaller targets to reach your big picture goal. How much you want to break it down is up to you, but refrain from so small as a daily measurement, or so large as only a monthly measurement. Humans need feedback, how much is up to you. For me, I hop on the scale weekly, with the target of losing 2 pounds a week.
The last step is to achieve your targets. Know that you will hit some tougher times than others, so if you do not hit your target one week, it does not mean you are a failure. Pick it up and push yourself hard the next week and get back on track. In the words of Batman Begins, a young Bruce Wayne is talked to by his Father, “And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”
Now that you have set a goal, you need to know where you stand. We are all skeptical of those before and after pictures on the television, but hey, maybe they’re true. Know your measurements, take a picture, have something to look back on. Nothing like a good picture of you in your mankini to compare against.
Have a Plan
You know what you want to achieve, how are going to achieve it? For my weight loss I keep track of all my caloric intake and what I expend during exercise. To do this, I have downloaded the Lose it! application for my iPhone. Plug in some information such as current weight, height, age, sex, goal, etc… and the thing kicks out your daily allotment of calories.
So now I know I am only allowed 1,733 calories a day to reach my goal of losing 2 pounds a week. Well, let me tell you, that is not a lot. Before every meal I log how many calories I am eating. Logging before the meal is important, a little Jiminy Cricket starts talking to you if you start over indulging.
To help in your poor eating habits, plan your meals in advance. I know my breakfast, lunch and snacks throughout the day before I even eat them. Another bit of advice, drink plenty of water and pick up some chewing gum. Many of times when we think we are hungry we are actually thirsty. And the times we might be a little hungry, sometimes chewing a piece of gum can hold you off until your next meal.
Lastly, make sure to workout. I shoot for at least 2,000 calories burned in a week. If I was only to run as my workout at a pace of 5 mph (12 minute mile), I would have to run for about 3 hours. Over 6 days that is a half an hour a day, an easily doable feat.
You have the talking part done, now you have to do it. The hardest part is getting started. Many of times I dreaded running at night after a long day of work but once I stepped foot on the treadmill I ended up having some of the best runs I’ve ever had. (Yeah, you’ll eventually love running after a few weeks. Weird I know.)
I’ve shared some ideas and tips that might help you. No guarantees what worked for me will work for you. I can guarantee that if you work hard enough at achieving your goal you can definitely achieve it. So far I’ve been losing 2 pounds a week for 5 weeks and there is no signs of slowing down yet. I’ve also noticed my hockey game has improved with having that extra step to beat out other players and the endurance to weather a long shift. Best of luck, and if you have some advice or success stories to share, fell free to do so.