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My weight loss advice to you: Unless you have to, don't lose weight

By: Nathan Anderson

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jan 04, 2012 03:28 pm

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Iíve never been a fan of New Yearís resolutions. Of course, it wasnít until recently that I realized just who New Yearís resolutions are for.

New Yearís resolutions are not for teenagers. Yes, itís true that most teenagers want to completely overhaul their lives, but they want to do it every day. They donít need a special occasion.

New Yearís resolutions are not for people in their 20s. Iím sorry to report, 20-somethings, you quite simply havenít done enough truly regrettable things to get into the spirit of New Yearís resolutions. Drinking too much and kissing that weird guy at that party doesnít count. Not even if your name is George.

New Yearís resolutions are not for anyone older than 50. At least thatís the impression I get from watching Viagra and Cialis commercials. In those commercials, people over 50 are all empowered, happy, wealthy and oddly smirky. They have no regrets, and never will again. Thanks to Viagra and Cialis, New Yearís resolutions have become superfluous.

The truth is New Yearís resolutions are only for people in their 30s and 40s. They are for people who have lost their supercharged metabolism but not their supercharged appetites. They are for people who are starting to look/feel/smell worse, but who have not given up their hopes to look/feel/smell better.

So, when I said Iíve never been a fan of New Yearís resolutions, I now realize thatís because I was a guy in my 20s with a great metabolism and pleasant aroma. Now that Iím firmly entrenched in my 30s, I realize what a jerk I was.

The year of 2011 saw me take my first New Yearís resolution start-to-finish, sticking to it through 365 days of painful exercise and awful low-sodium food. Yeah, my resolution was to lose some weight.

I dug my dust-covered stationary bike out of retirement and got to work in early January, and aided by a vicious flu, I started losing weight almost immediately. It was just enough to keep me going through the early days, plagued by dreams of Baconators and chocolate milk shakes.

I honestly didnít think I would stick with it. When my stationary bike started falling apart, I was so sure I would eventually give up that I refused to buy a new one. I replaced the broken pedals with street bike parts from Canadian Tire. When the handlebars broke off, I bought hose clamps and duct tape. My bike started to look like a losing project from Junkyard Wars.

In April, my mom bought me a new bike. It was expensive by my standards, and accepting this gift forced me to continue riding. She really is a genius.

By summer, Iíd lost a noticeable amount of weight. I got complacent. I started spending more time riding horses and my bike got lonely. (Note to my fellow 30 and 40 year olds: The loneliness of your bike is directly related to the size of your butt. You know that giant chick at Walmart who should not be wearing yoga pants? Her bike is crying itself to sleep nightly.)

I got back on my bike in the fall and went back to work. This time I stuck to it, off and on, for the final four months of the year.

Now that 2011 is officially over, I can report to you that I have kept my resolution. Biking 6,540 kilometres, I burnt 164,937 calories. Without dieting too extreme, I managed to lose about 40 pounds.

Would I have lost more with the help of a professional trainer? Absolutely. Would I have lost more if I stayed away from pizza? Definitely. Do I care? Not a bit. I havenít been this thin since I quit smoking the first time back in 2003. More importantly, I truly do feel better.

People have been asking me what my secret to losing weight is. My weight loss advice is simple: Unless you have to, donít. Exercise hurts.

When I hear 20-year-olds talking about losing weight, it makes cry inside. Big wet tears of jealous anger. You darn 20-somethings donít have a clue.

Unfortunately, for us 30 and 40 year olds, sometimes we do have to lose weight.

At least until weíre old enough for Viagra. I, for one, canít wait.


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