Get fit in 2014
With Wunderlist

January 02, 2014 — Reading time: 5 mins — Comments

A few years ago, sitting in the July heat on a wall in the Harajuku district of Tokyo, I came to a conclusion: I had let myself become a loser. At least, I had let myself become a partial loser. I was fat and unhappy. My skin looked grey. I was slowly killing myself. I was obese. I made excuses to myself and others. I used my success in other areas as a justification: I just wasn’t a fitness guy.

It was bullshit.

These days I’m still not an elite athlete, but I turned things around. I’ve lost nearly 100 pounds, gone from a max ability to run 45 seconds at a time to running several half marathons (and almost finishing full marathon training--long story), and lost 10 inches around my waist, though I have since gained some of that back.

Before, I was incomplete. I allowed myself to believe in a partial picture of myself. Now, I’m closer to the real me. I’m still a smart, creative guy. But I can also do more pushups in a row than the average American male, and can run longer and faster than most guys my age. And I feel great. I feel noticeably better almost all the time.

Chad then and now

I’m often asked by other obese and overweight people how I did it. People see me at conferences and other venues and literally don’t recognize me. How did I make such an incredible transformation?

If you’ve asked me this question, this post is for you.

It’s a long story. But I’m going to give you the very very short version: it was easy.
I could tell you exactly which system I devised and exactly what worked for me. But that would be missing the major point. The most important element of making a change like this is that it is easy.

What would you trade?

If you could trade your body for one that is 50-100% better in a year, what would you give?

If you had asked me in early 2008, I wouldn’t have even believed it possible. But I would have given a lot. What about 6 months? Obese or overweight people, what if I told you that in 6 months you could be in almost unrecognizably better shape? Would you jump on whatever I was selling?

The secret? I’m not selling anything. It’s just truth. Choose any non-bullshit system and actually stick with it for 6 months and you can and will experience life-changing results. You can extend your lifespan significantly.

If you want to change, here’s what I want you to do:

1. Recognize how deep in denial you’ve been.
2. Recruit a partner to hold you accountable on your change. For me, that partner is my wife. Her encouragement was invaluable but maybe more important is the fact that I had committed to her and I didn’t want to let her down.
3. Measure yourself now. If it’s weight that’s your issue, get on the scale immediately. Stand on it and cry. You probably haven’t been measuring it, and it’s probably worse than you think. Embrace how far you’ve gone in the wrong direction. This is the end of that long, drawn out series of lies you’ve been telling yourself.
4. Find any program that doesn’t look like snake oil and try it for 20 days. Measure your progress. If you don’t know what to try, start with 45 minute light cardiovascular exercise sessions 4 times per week (find a TV series to watch on a treadmill…a one hour show without commercials is about 42 minutes), forcing yourself to eat a protein-heavy breakfast within 30 minutes of waking, cutting out empty calories and sugars (coke, sugar-heavy “coffee” drinks, beer, etc.), and eating 5 small meals per day.
5. After 20 days, you’re almost 1/6 of the way through a major transformation. You have probably gone down one clothing size or are close to it. How far do you want to go? Pick something you didn’t previously think you were capable of and commit to it. Maybe it’s a bike race or a triathlon or doing Cross Fit.

The funny thing about huge change is that making it happen isn’t usually as huge an effort as we think. We just get stuck. All you have to do to go all of the way, is to go some of the way.

A few years after my own dramatic transformation, I’ve let myself slowly slide back out of shape. I’m far from where I was at my worst, but I’m starting to see the old habits come back. I’m not alarmed, though, because I know exactly what to do. I’ve done it before and I’m going to do it again in 2014.

Click on the ‘Add to Wunderlist’ button below to join Chad and get fit in 2014. His curated list will be added directly into your Wunderlist and provides practical to-dos (along with Due Dates, Reminders and Recurring Tasks, as well as some words of motivation along the way) on achieving your goals. So, what are you waiting for, add it to your Wunderlist now!

Fitness 2014
  • Measure yourself
  • Set your goals
  • Identify your support team
  • Start your 21 day program
  • Try doing a weekly menu
  • Use small steps to make giant leaps
  • Shop for motivation
  • Review your progress
  • Don't forget to eat breakfast
  • Remove caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol
  • Reward yourself, you deserve it!
  • Sign up for a sporting event
  • Try on your "goal garment"
  • Keep it fresh
  • Lean on your friends
  • Eat in
  • Try working out together
  • Become an expert
  • Hit the refresh button

We’ve also got lists to help you accomplish your 2014 Finance and Productivity resolutions. Stay tuned too, because we’ll be sharing further tips and advice right here on our blog. In the meantime we would love to hear what you think about the lists, so please leave a comment below. Oh, and to stay up to date with all things Wunderlist be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ or sign up to our newsletter below.

About the Author

Chad Fowler is the Chief Technology Officer at 6Wunderkinder. Chad has more than 18 years of diverse experience in the field of software engineering and development. He is also an author, musician, speaker, teacher, and organizer of The International Ruby Conference & Railsconf. For further musings and discussions on software development and life in general you can follow him on Twitter via @chadfowler or visit his blog www.chadfowler.com

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