Weight Loss Motivation – How I lost 45 Pounds in 6 Months

Matt Bodnar - Weight Loss Motivation

Looking for some weight loss motivation? I lost 45 pounds in six months. Over the first half of 2013 I went from a plump 215 pounds down to a much more reasonable 170 pounds.

That’s a BMI drop from a BMI of about 30 (full blown Obesity) to a BMI of 23.7 or just under the level for “normal weight.”

Here’s how the National Heart Institute measures BMI.

  • Underweight = <18.5

  • Normal weight = 18.5–24.9

  • Overweight = 25–29.9

  • Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

My target weight is 165 with me being decently cut, so that said I probably could shave another 10 pounds of fat off my body right now if I wanted to really push it (I don’t because I’m lazy and getting within a normal BMI has slowed my weight loss motivation down).

To be honest, I’m no good at building muscle and both of these weights I still have a relatively flabby physique without much muscle. I used no magic secrets to get here.

 What’s Your Weight Loss Motivation?

Do you want to know what I did to lose the weight? It doesn’t matter! The tactics do not matter. Tactics are irrelevant. Mindset is everything. Your weight loss motivation is the critical factor that determines your success.

Your mindset on how you lose weight is ALL THAT MATTERS. Period. Once you have the mindset of living a healthy life and making fitness a priority – you will naturally discover that the tactics start manifesting themselves all across your life.

Until you want it more than you want anything else you will never do it. I want you to re-read that sentence and let it sink in.


Here are some other priorities you probably didn’t realize are crowding out your weight loss motivation and your ability to lose weight:

  • Sleep

  • Not getting up when its 5am and its 10 degrees outside

  • Video Games

  • TV

  • Reading

  • Partying

  • “Not Feeling Like Going To The Gym”

  • Working

  • Hanging out with your friends

  • “Being Tired”

  • Not being that annoying person at a meal who won’t eat certain things.

  • Drinking

  • Eating Cake (ohh how do I love cake though, funfetti in particular)

If you aren’t willing to sacrifice any and ALL of those things – you are never going to make meaningful progress. You have to be a rude sometimes. You have to be unreasonable. You have to sacrifice sleep.

You have to be unwilling to compromise on your health decisions. Its your health and its your life – no one is going to hand you fitness. You have to fight tooth and nail every single day to win that battle. Your weight loss motivation has to be iron clad.


Compliance Always Trumps Effectiveness

To put that more bluntly, do the easiest possible things you can to lose weight. You have to make it as easy as possible for yourself. The absolute worst thing you can do to sabotage your weight loss motivation is to make it difficult on yourself.

Doing the “wrong” or “less optimal” (believe me the peanut gallery will chime in on this one) thing for 3 months because its easier is infinitely more effective than doing the “right” thing and quitting a week later because its too hard.

My entire weight loss motivation strategy is based on the core principle of laziness. Doing the easiest possible things in the gym so that I can stay motivated to keep going! I’ll tell you all about exactly what I did to lose the weight but, again, that doesn’t matter at all.


The Best Fitness Advice Ever

Stop listening to everyone who gives you fitness advice. Bloggers, friends, family, and even me!

There’s too much information clutter out there about fitness and health and losing weight. You can literally find “definitive” weight loss motivation advice on polar opposite topics for nearly everything. Some people say eating a big breakfast is critical to losing weight, some people say that never eating breakfast is the best thing you can do! Some people say you should lift with heavy weights for a few reps, others say lighter weights for many reps.

Stop listening to all of it and only listen to your body. That’s right, I’m literally telling you to disregard the way that I did it because it WON’T work for you. You have to do what your body says is right. Not what I tell you to do. You have to do what you mind wants to do. Not what works for other people.

Do what works for you and what your body says is right because everyone’s body is different.

Disregard all of the tactics that I am going to tell you, but make sure you especially ignore those people who have not actually achieved the fitness goals you want to achieve – they have the most dangerous advice (and they will always chime in with their “opinions” about what you should and should not do).


The Magic Secret

Because I know people are going to want to hear this. Here are my tactics. Here’s exactly what I did to lose 45 pounds and maintain my weight loss motivation.

Here’s my magic secret: diet and exercise.

I was an absolute fanatic about going to the gym every single day – and if I couldn’t get to the gym I would get up at 5am and go for a run – no matter where I was or what time of day it was (and I hate running).

I also started watching what I ate like a hawk and followed these general principles:

  •  Stationary Bike for 30-60 minutes 5-7 days a week. This is almost all I did at the gym. The only other thing I would do was a “4 Hour Body” style minimalist workout about once every 2 weeks.
  •  Stop eating breakfast, ever. I drink coffee and eat a banana and that’s it until lunch.
  •  Cut out carbs as much as you can. Real talk – carbs make you fat.
  •  Eat a salad for lunch with a lean protein like chicken.
  •  Try to eat a light dinner 2-4 times a week.
  •  Weigh yourself every morning. It creates an awareness about weight loss and helps you focus.

Keeping the Weight Off

Now that I am in a healthier weight range its about maintenance and not massive cutting. You don’t need to tap into that visceral weight loss motivation anymore, you can ease off the throttle a bit and focus on sustaining.

There are a few principles at work here.

Never be more than 2 weeks away

This is a concept I heard about from Nerd Fitness originally. The idea is genius. Basically – monitor yourself at all times and never get more than 2 weeks away from your ideal shape – that way you don’t have to kill yourself at the gym all the time – but you can maintain the physique you want.

Splurge a little bit every now and then.

It’s not about being hard core all the time. Its about making it a lifestyle and not a one time thing. Sometimes you need to eat crazy meals and order everything off the menu. In fact, a bunch of research shows that sometimes bingeing can help boost your metabolism (remember though, you need to find the right balance for your own body!).

Weigh yourself every day – keep monitoring your weight.

Research also shows that just the awareness of your weight helps you make subconscious decisions to lose weight and be healthier. Weighing yourself every day also helps you know when you’re slipping out of being “more than 2 weeks away.”

Make health and fitness into a LIFESTYLE not an event.

You have to build fitness into your lifestyle. This is more powerful than any short term weight loss motivation. Now I go to the gym 2-3 times a week. If my weight is creeping up there I start cutting back on what I eat and I go to the gym more frequently until I get my weight back in line again. I usually eat whatever I want and do whatever I want – and as soon as my weight starts creeping up I crank the heavy routine back in place until things get back in line.

Resources & Learning More

I realize I told you to disregard nearly all the fitness advice you hear. However, I still wanted to share (because I know people will want it) my two favorite resources on quality weight loss motivation and information.

These sites have helped me lose weight and stay fit. You need to find the sites that can do the same for you and are true to your body. Both of these were very inspirational to me and also provided me with a rough guideline of the tactics that I ultimately used to lose weight.

Nerd Fitness

 4 Hour Body

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