Contractor Tip Of The Month: A Lifestyle Change

Words: Damian Lang

A Lifestyle Change!

Damian Lang

I write this article to help fellow managers, contractors and business owners avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made in my 30+ years of business ownership. If I help just one person avoid some of the same pitfalls, I think I’ve made a difference and the time devoted every month to writing is worth it. The greatest satisfaction I get from writing is when an article resonates with my audience, strikes a chord, rings a bell, to such a degree that the sheer number of responses received requires I write a follow-up. This is my follow-up to the August 2017 article. Here are some of the responses I received: I lost 15 pounds and hardly did anything but avoid bread and potatoes, and I don’t miss them at all. After reading the article and just changing a few of my eating habits, the weight is naturally coming off. I lost 25 pounds just by limiting bread and potatoes. I follow all your contractor tips and this is my all-time favorite. Can you share your plan with me? Thank you everyone who took the time to share your thoughts. This follow-up is for you. I discussed in August how too much of a good thing isn’t always good. I said your body is your best asset. When you’re in good health, your mind is sharper and you produce more. If you produce more, you earn more. I also talked about the stroke I had and the ensuing doctor’s advice that led me in May 2017 to dedicate myself to a weight loss program. Since then, I’ve lost 35 pounds (18 since the August article) and reached my 200-pound goal. The program was successful for me because I treated it as a long-term lifestyle change, not just a diet. Losing 35 pounds got me to my first goal. Now my lifestyle plan includes maintaining a weight between 195 and 205. By doing so, I lower my triglycerides, increase my energy level, stay healthy, and reduce the likelihood of another stroke. To stay healthy, I’ve adopted the following practices (and like all change, it’s not easy to get started but it gets easy once you get started!)
  • No fried foods. Bad for your heart and take long to digest. Cause clogged arteries and veins, which lead to stroke.
  • Reduce daily calories. Best achieved by lowering caloric intake at every opportunity.
  • Carbs are sugar. When you limit carbs, the fat takes care of itself. Live by the model: “If it’s white, don’t bite.”
  • Eat right, move more, and exercise daily.
  • Hunger pains cease in 15 minutes whether you eat small or large portions.
  • Eating-pleasure lasts only the 3 minutes you are devouring the food. Eating right during these crucial 3 minutes creates the kind of happiness that lasts the rest of the day and a lifetime.
  • Eat natural foods as much as possible. Processed or refined = bad.
  • When food won’t quickly spoil, it’s filled with preservatives. Preservatives = terrible.
  • Keep heathy snacks nearby, like almonds and dark chocolate, but eat only small portions.
  • Eat smaller portions more often. More small-sized snacks throughout the day allows us to reduce the portions of our meals.
  • Unless at a special event, no alcohol on week days. Limit it for those other times too.
  • No bread, potatoes, donuts, ice cream, cookies, chips, or deserts.
  • No sodas or fruit juice.
  • Less red meat, more chicken and fish.
  • More veggies.
  • Lots of water all day long; one bottle 15-30 minutes before meals.
  • 1 salad daily for 1 year = 10 lbs loss.
I put the plan in my calendar and like a scorecard, I grade myself weekly on goal attainment. Getting weekly reminders helps me stay on top of this and ensures it remains a focus. It helped me. On my recent medical checkup, I improved in virtually every category. My triglycerides (that I needed to get under 150) went from a baseline 296 to 52 without taking any medicine. My cholesterol improved so much, my daily prescription was cut in half. I lost four inches in my waist line, allowing me once again to bend over and tie my shoes easily. I sleep better and snore less. I’m not tired throughout the day like before, and my productivity has improved. So what keeps people from starting similar programs? I think it’s because we don’t make scorecards for ourselves. This makes it easy to deceive with ourselves about our progress. And, therefore, we tell ourselves we can’t do something we’re perfectly capable of doing. In the process, we delay our plan until a more-convenient time, like after the holidays, an upcoming vacation, or similar. Unfortunately, for some, that sometime never comes. If you need to lose weight or improve health, I recommend forgetting about a diet and instead change your lifestyle like I did. Start today. Track your progress each week.

I didn’t endure torture by starving myself for even one day along the way.

As readers have confirmed, you will be surprised at how easy it is, and the progress you make will improve your self-confidence. You’ll then know you really can achieve whatever you set your mind to.

Scorecards have impactful results on increasing motivation and self-improvement both in our professional and personal lives. Managers, if you’re not using scorecards in all aspects of the business, do so and watch productivity improve!
Damian Lang owns and operates several companies in Ohio. He is the inventor of the Grout Hog-Grout Delivery System, Mud Hog mortar mixers, Hog Leg wall-bracing system, and several other labor-saving devices used in the construction industry. His latest venture is Malta Dynamics Safety Company that focuses on bringing quality safety products to construction customers at the best possible prices. He writes for Masonry Magazine each month and consults with many of the leading contractors in the country.
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