Statistically speaking, ninety-two percent of all people who make a New Year’s Resolution will fail. Fourty-five percent will fail before the end of January alone! It must then be asked how do those eight percent make it through? What secret must they posses that the other ninety-two percent of the populous of “resolvers” not? It really comes down to a matter of definition.

A resolution by definition means “to do something or to behave in a certain manner”. I resolve to walk to the Starbucks every day and get a Venti Latte, that is an easy enough task because it is something I desire. A revolution, however, is a different story. Revolution by definition means “ a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something : a change of paradigm” and that is the key point in why so many people fail at resolutions. To resolve to do something, it is a simple and usually passive act. To create a revolution in your own life is they catalyst to lasting change. I will tell my own story and how I am currently creating a revolution in my life in hopes it may enlighten, inspire, or even just give a moment of pause to you, the reader.

My goal is this, I am currently 32 years old (turning 33 in August) and I plan to drop 30 pounds in two months. Some may consider that drastic when, in my experience, it isn’t that difficult. Growing up I was always slender and never really had much weight fluctuation. That is until I began working behind a desk, was happily in a relationship, content with my friends, and happy with life in general. I slowly started gaining weight going from around the 180 pound mark to upwards of 265 pounds. To break that down for you further, I wore a size 34 waist jean at the start and by the end I was wearing a 42 waist jean. I am 6ft 1in. tall so to say I was overweight was an understatement!

Ty at the beginning

Ty at the beginning

There is no real need to discuss why I let myself get to that point or how did it get that bad because it just did. Anyone who has ever gained weight can tell you it’s a slow process then you just wake up and realize what you have allowed to happen to yourself. My self realization was multi-tiered because it wasn’t simply that my clothes no longer fit. I suddenly found myself barely getting any sleep due to the acute sleep apnea that had developed. For those not familiar, sleep apnea is the temporary stoppage of breathing during sleep. The onset of my apnea caused me to wake up with severe headaches, I would be constantly tired, not to mention there is a possibility of death of suffocation during sleep.

I tolerated the sleep apnea for about a year before it became so bad I decided to go to the doctor to see what could be done; I had three options. First, I could sleep with a CPAP machine strapped to my face. The CPAP machine works by delivering a stream of compressed air via a hose to a nasal pillow, nose mask or full-face mask, splinting the airway (keeping it open under air pressure) so that unobstructed breathing becomes possible, reducing and/or preventing apneas and hypopneas.

CPAP Machine

CPAP Machine

The second option which was a bit more radical was to have a uvulectomy. Basically the surgeon would remove my uvula and a small amount of soft tissue in the back of my throat to allow my airway to be more open. Clearly I was in no way interested in having any form of surgery.

The third option, which was the option I chose, was to simply loose weight. I never had sleep apnea as a child and it could only be assumed that the onset was due to my expanding waist. This was the option I decided to take since the first two left a bad taste in my mouth!

You have to understand that the sleep apnea was only part of the answer to why I decided to lose weight. In addition to the health issues, I was single at this point and realized I wouldn’t date myself! Not that I am or ever have been so narcissistic that I would want a carbon copy of myself but I had to take into account the type of person I desired was nothing like the person I was. To that end, the decision was made and I started a personal revolution.

Let me now skip to the end and work back toward the middle. In the course of 8 months I went from about 265 pounds down to 155 pounds. Before you think it, no there was no illness involved, no drugs, no medical assistance, it was all on my own. The plan I followed was nothing out of any book, I didn’t use a personal trainer, I worked out by myself as a matter of fact. The secret to weight loss is an easy one and I’ll share it with you now. Sacrifice! For those who read the diet books and follow the diet plans etc etc etc listen very carefully…The only way to get what you want is to sacrifice. I’m not talking about starvation but all those plans that tell you that you can substitute “xyz” for your favorite treat is feeding you a load of tripe. There is NO SUBSTITUTE for the snacks, treats, and food you love. You (and I) love them because they are full of fat and the fat is what makes it all taste so good. You will have to get ready to accept the fact that there is no replacement, as much as I love apples they are by no means as good as apple pie with vanilla ice cream.

My routine consisted of the following, I went to the gym 6 days a week, only for an hour to 1.5 hours each time. I focused primarily on cardio with a small amount of weight training mixed in. For meals, I ate all those prepackaged Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones, Healthy Choice meals. They were lunch and dinner, breakfast was usually a nutrition shake or bar or something of that nature. I ate a decent amount of raw fruits and veg in between but for me, as it is for most people, it was about portion control. I love to cook and when I do I go big and ate just as big. The only way to stop that was to stop preparing my own food because I lacked the self control. The packaged meals made it a lot easier and I adapted and eventually was able to cook for myself but in smaller portions and much lighter fare.

Ty at the end

Ty at the end

Eight months flew by, the weight flew off and I could not have been happier or more proud of what I had accomplished. That was about six years ago, and I managed to maintain my weight within a few pounds since. Last spring I found myself unemployed which of course caused a huge amount of negativity. Unfortunately situations such as that or any other life changes in the negative can cause persons who are prone to weight gain (such as myself) to start putting it back on. I would say I packed back on about 25 pounds in the past year. Is that horrible? I’m not 265 pounds like I was at one point but it is certainly a slippery slope.

This is where it is time to adopt the personal revolution I once made such successful use of. My partner has decided that we will be taking a weekend vacation at the beginning of March to Miami. That now leaves me with about two months to get back to where I was. This time however will be different because I have no gym membership at my disposal so I will be at the mercy of what I can accomplish on my own. I have no doubt in my mind I will succeed at the task I’ve laid out for myself. Plus I plan on documenting the process here on my blog as I go.

Some people may think I’ve decided to drop a few pounds because of the beach trip that is forthcoming when in reality it is nothing but a focal point for me. Just as anyone should have a clear and distinct point in their own personal time line to aim for. Fortunately for myself, I’ve found myself falling into the same old bad habits and have been able to cut them off before things grow too far out of hand. I’m not resolving to change my life, I’m creating a revolution in it and the paradigm will shift in my favor.

For those of you out there wanting to make changes in 2010, either weight or finances or relationships or whatever it may be…don’t simply make a resolution but join the revolution and make change happen!