“I’m overweight and want to get started on an exercise program, but I’m confused”Getting into shape, and losing some weight doesn’t have to be intimidating. With the massive flood of information we’re confronted with every day, it can get overwhelming to say the least. Back in 2009 when I was quickly approaching 300lbs, this mass of information is exactly what turned me off to the idea of getting back into shape. Just a glance at the magazine rack and you’re bombarded with “lose 10lbs in two 2 weeks”, “8 weeks to your beach body”, “rock hard abs in 6 weeks” etc. It’s a relentless attack of Ads that aim to do one thing – sell you something. One thing that always irritated me about these ads and infomercials on TV is that they’re filled with people that have met their goals or are already “ripped” etc. These weren’t people that were struggling to lose weight, or were in the process of becoming non-obese. Being almost 300lbs, this was NOT motivating. I saw myself as so far from being in shape – most of the time I thought “why even waste my time trying.” Now, this type of negative attitude towards people that were successful wasn’t helping my weight gain any. In reality, it was self destructive. I had to change my way of thinking. I knew I wanted to lose weight, but at the same time I knew that I wasn’t aiming to be a massive bodybuilder, or a magazine cover model. So, where did this leave me? I knew my major goals were to lose weight and be healthy so I can enjoy my family, run around with my kid without feeling like I was going to pass out, and just enjoy life in general. That’s where the term “Everyday Athletes” comes in. The key to this thought process is moderation – which is something you’ll rarely see discussed in the health and fitness industry. Moderation doesn’t have to mean BORING. With that in mind – if you’re overweight or obese and want to get started on a healthier lifestyle and get into shape, know that it’s possible AND you can do it with moderation. For me, what worked was finding a staggered approach. I wanted something that would get me moving, get my heart rate up and help get some weight off. I didn’t want some extreme fitness program and I knew there wasn’t a pill I could take that would make me lose weight overnight. I found this in the form of the popular Couch to 5k program from CoolRunning.com. It was perfect – you start slow and build from there. You don’t jump into some program that is intimidating. You can even do couch to 5k walking. The focus is on getting your body moving and burning more calories than you take in. I coupled this type of program with a reduced calorie diet and the weight started coming off. I also included one cheat day per week where I didn’t worry about what I was taking in as far as calories went. In part 2 of Everyday Athletes, I’ll get into some specifics to get you started on setting up a manageable meal plan and finding the ideal calorie range for your body to lose weight. From 9-5, Lonnie sits in front of a computer. Outside of being an IT Geek, he’s an athlete who’s familiar with the cycle of being fit-fat-fit that so many of us struggle with. Down from his highest weight of 300lbs in June 2009, he’s made the permanent lifestyle change to remain Big. Strong. Fit. Healthy. When not spending time with his wife, son and daughter, he’s at the gym keeping off the fat and adding quality lean mass.