The Lazy-asses guide to losing weight: the workout edition

Not to be confused with the lazy-asses guide to losing weight: the food edition, which will be posted at a later date.

Hi, I’m the Black Widow, and in the past three months, I have lost ten kilos. To some, that may be a walk in the park, but for me, that’s a whopping change. For my entire life, I have relied heavily on my metabolism to cut down my body weight and remain the trim little spitfire that I am, but it eventually caught up on me and I packed on a few extra kilos that weren’t necessarily wanted. Finally, after snatching a good deal with Anytime Fitness, I decided to shed that extra weight and return to my most fitting form.

I know some of you have read weight loss stories and thought “But these people have all the motivation and discipline in the world to achieve their goals, and I don’t. How will this work for me?” The solution is simple: me. I can honestly tell you that when it comes to physical exercise, I am one of the laziest mofos in the world. Usually, when someone starts going to the gym and they get into a regular pattern, they love going to the gym and can’t get enough of it. For me, after three months of regularly attending the gym, I still dread going to that metal clanging-and-banging hellhole.

Those are interesting coloured paperweights...

Those are interesting coloured paperweights…

To help others get fit and get into the shape they desire, I have compiled a list of steps that I personally took to help me achieve my weight loss:

Step one: Set a goal
I know it’s cliché to say this but a goal is needed if you’re even thinking of getting into shape. I set a goal as soon as I decided to go to the gym and it’s definitely helped me. When I am struggling to breathe as I run for my dear life on the treadmill, or my arms are about to snap off when I’m lifting weights, I think of my ultimate goal and picture it in my head… and it allows me to keep going. For at least another like two minutes or so.

Step two: Stay disciplined
After a few days of hitting the gym, you’ll feel really pumped and think “Yeah! This is for me!” but then you’ll gradually stop going until you realise you’re donating money to the gym. Don’t fall into this trap. If, for some reason, you feel yourself thinking “Hey, I don’t need to go tonight” or “I can do without the gym just this one week”, discipline yourself . You won’t achieve that goal if you skip a day or two. You’ll go back to the way you were if you miss an entire week. For me, if I keep this thought in mind, I will always go back to the gym: “If I miss the gym tonight, I won’t get to walk around the beach without a shirt on because people will think a whale has washed ashore and throw water on me.”

Step three: Stick to a schedule
In a similar light to setting a goal, planning a weekly schedule will keep you going. If you go to the gym with no real set plan in mind, you’ll just aimlessly wander around, pretending to use cardio machines and looking at your dumpy ass in the mirror and then go home. What did you achieve? Nothing. However, if you know that Monday is leg day and Wednesday is abs day, then you’ll know what to do, how long to do it and what’s up next. For me, I plan to go to the gym at least five times a week with three of those days being dedicated to specific parts of my body. If I miss a day, you can bet your sweet ass I’ll catch up with it next week.

Step four: Believe you can do it… the results will show
I had a really good week at the gym in mid-December. I had been hitting the gym really hard and felt great about myself. I stepped onto the scale and… still the same. Honestly, it shattered me a bit and I thought “I’ve been killing myself for so long and nothing is showing!” Like all good things in life, however, it’ll come to the patient ones who wait. Don’t let a bunch of numbers and results slow your efforts down. Stick to your plan and I can guarantee you the results will show themselves eventually. It also helps if a friend of yours stops and says “Hey, you’ve lost weight!” because then you’ll know that something is changing, and it’ll motivate you to keep going.

Now I’m sure there are plenty of other things you could do to maximise your efforts at the gym, but these four fundamental steps will prove vital in your journey to your ultimate weight loss destination. If a naturally lazy writer like me can get off my laptop and go to the gym (begrudgingly, of course), then I’m sure you can as well.

Of course, the other (bigger) half of weight loss is eating properly. Stay tuned as I tell you what I did to my diet which led to my weight loss.

– by The Black Widow

Quit Smoking: The Best Resolution

Maybe it’s my own fault for being so annoyingly optimistic, but I absolutely love that New Years resolutions are a thing. A legitimate thing? It’s widely disputed, but even if many resolutions are abandoned not long after midnight there are countless examples of people sticking to their new goals. On your Facebook wall you may have encountered a handful of people saying that everyone should be making resolutions all the time, not just when a new year is rung in, but the popularity of such a notion is at least a good start, and by fulfilling these resolutions I’m sure people will be prompted to make many more.

It might look cool but this dog is dead now.

It might look cool but this dog is dead now.

But this isn’t about a vague wish of being nicer or being less materialistic, this is about one resolution that should take priority over any other, and at all times of the year – quitting cigarettes. Sadly, I am a smoker, and can admit that I did have this resolution and have relapsed since. It’s hard, and becomes even harder when you’re within the age bracket with the YOLO mentality. Even if this is another excuse, I lasted longer than I thought I would, and will last even longer the next time I quit. If this is you, you should be very proud and ignore the nay-sayers that tell you not to begin with the new year – any time you quit is a good time.

Maybe this will urge you to quit, or guide you on the way, or if you’re not a smoker maybe this can help you better understand what we’re all going through. These are the things that have helped me in the past and will help me again.

Know the facts.

Valuable Information.

Valuable Information.

As a loyal smoker you don’t look into the statistics of smoking, you know deep down it will deter you from doing what you “love”. When you fully grasp the seriousness of smoking, and realise each and every thing it does to your body, you will feel sick to your stomach – this is a good thing, use this feeling to get you started. Unfortunately the oodles of health risks doesn’t stop everyone in their tracks, thats okay because, wait! Theres more! Like how it makes you uglier than you should be, or takes all your pretty pennies (Like, a bunch of pennies). A quick Google search will scare you more than the packet pictures.

Keep Goals. Reward Yourself.

I would advise against rewarding yourself with dog food.

I would advise against rewarding yourself with dog food.

What a good goal is varies from person to person; what stays constant is the feeling of reward after a triumphant victory. It can be as small as a day smoke free or as big as a year, whatever it is give yourself something, obviously not smokes though, you dumb dumb. It’s okay to make both realistic and unrealistic goals, don’t think two weeks is even remotely possible for yourself? That’s okay, write it down anyway, and have a reward in mind just in case – you may surprise yourself.

It’s your decision to tell the world.

Think before you howl.

Think before you howl.

You may have heard that you have to tell everyone, so they can support you and stop you from doing anything silly. I like to think that this decision is highly dependant on the type of company you keep. A lot of people cannot grasp the seriousness of quitting and therefore can come off quite insensitive. If you know people who would react like this to your possible failure: ‘I thought you quit!’ , or ‘Well that didn’t last long’, and maybe ‘I told you so!’ than try not to be around them whilst quitting and maybe don’t tell them what you’re doing. It doesn’t mean they’re horrible people, they just don’t get it, and you shouldn’t have to validate an amazing life-saving decision to them. These reactions can create a fear of judgement and stop you from wanting to quit again.

Tell loved ones who have urged you to quit for years, the ones who can support you no matter what and at least try to understand what you’re feeling.

Find a quit buddy.

We can do this together.

We can do this together.

Friend, partner, family, stranger on a train, internet forum – Anyone who is on the same journey is completely invaluable to you at this time. Just a quick message when you’re feeling the urge is enough, they’ll tell you why you shouldn’t, what has worked for them, and more importantly if you feel like you’ve tried your very best and have still failed, they will not guilt you into oblivion. On top of all of this convincing your buddy not to smoke will motivate yourself as well.

Strategise for cravings.

Don't be this guy.

Don’t be this guy.

You could be doing every single thing right – it doesn’t matter, you will still get cravings. Some won’t last more than three minutes, others will feel like a lifetime, when this happens you need an exit strategy. Again, everyone is different, but these are the hints I can offer to you that have worked for me:

Check the time and tell yourself to wait ten minutes or so before you go for a smoke. Keep doing this, continually postponing will eventually get you to an urge-free stage.

Stop thinking. You will think about smokes even when you don’t want one – and then you’ll want one. Keep active, clean something, exercise, draw, talk to someone. Fill your time and notice how productive you’ve been without icky cigarettes.

Substitute. A very reliable brand of Electronic Cigarettes, nicotine free, helped me, but if you’re not comfortable with this splurge on some gum, eat tiny, stick-like snacks, chew on a twig. You can still have a ten minute break without a durry.

Be somewhere smoke-free. Chill inside your house if you’re not allowed to smoke there, opt to sit inside at restaurants, bars and cafes. You won’t be getting a good amount of sun but you also won’t be getting as much Cancer.

Affirm yourself. Tell yourself that you want to be healthy, smell good, have money and look pretty.

Become a recluse.

Walking will be easier without shitty lungs.

Walking will be easier without shitty lungs.

There is a real danger of going a little stir-crazy for a while, but as soon as your feel strong enough you can enter the world again. It’s essential to know what situations would usually make you smoke and deliberately avoid them. For me, it’s parties, town outings and coffee dates. Most things that include alcohol or coffee should be forgotten.

This is where I messed up. After a week at home, not smoking I was frantic to get out of the house and to a party. Fortunately there was someone there who had quit as well, and she became my quit buddy – unfortunately, as soon as she crashed for the night it left me capable to bum a smoke and feel close to guilt-free.

It’s hard, but apparently it gets easier. At the same party I met someone who told me he had been smoke free for a whole year. That alone was very impressive, that was until his friend reminded him that he had actually quit in 2011. This guy had quit more than two years ago, and didn’t even think about smoking enough to know how far he had gone. Inspiring stories like this can be found everywhere, and will help to motivate you.

Quit now, if you fail keep quitting, if you have already then congratulations, you are officially a non-smoker.

Now go eat some reward chocolate, you incredible person.

This dog: Smoke free for seventy years (In dog years).

This dog: Smoke free for seventy years (In dog years).

by Josefina Huq