Fat to Thin: New Year Your Body... Realistically
It always seems to me that almost everybody’s New Year resolution is to lose weight like the flip of a calendar digit results in some magical boost, a new 12 months to try what you’ve tried and failed to do so many times before.
I understand, it is difficult when we live in a world where Dairy Queen will feed your entire family for under $20.00, every 5 minutes your favorite reality TV show is stopped to overfill your brain with sexy and suggestive advertisements of foods the human body is defaulted to crave and the cost involved with living a healthy lifestyle.
So I’m going to tell you how I did it, how I went from 239.8 lbs to 127.6 lbs and have kept the weight off since 2005.
Firstly where everybody always goes wrong is in the planning.
If you look at your weight and think “Oh I’ve got to lose 100 lbs” what will happen is you will feel overwhelmed at how big the task is and feel defeated before you even start.
Then the guilt hits so you cheer yourself up by sitting in front of the idiot box chastising the media for flaunting wafer thin celebs while eating half a jar of peanut butter before feeling depressed and starting the vicious little cycle over and over and over again.
So to combat this DON’T look at the total amount of weight to lose, instead set small goals.
For me my goals were simple to lose 11 lbs within say 2 months and I made it a competition in myself to reach these goals. I’d be over the moon if I did it and pissed if I didn’t but what was important was that I could reach that goal.
Motivation is the hardest thing to pull off.
When I started being serious about losing weight I was out of school, in college and signed up with 2 of my best friends to the University’s gym. Now this was crucial because if you join with a gym and you’re self esteem is low you must not feel intimidated by others but safe.
My University’s gym was perfect because yes there were steroid doped up flexors and snap-stick skinny beauty queens with chest enhancements but the majority of people were either like me or normal and the staff genuinely cared about their patrons emotional and physical state.
With almost no confidence I started with aqua-aerobics. Yes “granny sport” while my 2 friends did different classes.
Now this step for me was very important in the beginning because the aqua aerobics gently eased me into fitness. But I wouldn't of got far without my 2 friends acting as devil’s advocate for each other – they made me go, I made them go, we all arrived together and left together.
We also made a point of on Friday nights going to Subway for a 6” dinner as our treat. Yes, Subway helped change my eating patterns – specifically their teriyaki chicken sandwich and re-introduced me to shock horro vegetables, protein and fibre which keep the tank fuller for longer.
As I got into routine I began to discover classes at the gym that I loved such as dance, yoga and weights to music and found that progressively as my enegry levels picked up so did the amount of weight loss and enjoyment from exercise I received.
I allowed myself a daily kilojoule consumption of 6000kJ or approximately 1500 calories a day 500 less than the recommended amount for a woman of my target weight and soon got into a regular routine.
Remember it takes about 6 weeks for a routine to become set so if you can keep up an exercise pattern for 2 months it will become almost automatic for you to keep. By this point my friends had dropped off but it did not matter, I was starting to lose weight.
What you need to expect is that you are going to plateau at points. I had a number of times where I did not lose any weight for a month or so even though I was exercising constantly and eating a balanced diet.
Do not panic, this is your body adjusting to its new lifestyle and is incredibly important to sustaining long term weight loss and you should be very proud when this occurs because it means you’re helping yourself.
Another thing you have to know is your biology. Get to a doctor and have a blood test. You may be allergic to wheat or gluten which can bloat you or be upsetting to your digestion and overall health.
Be aware that the body due to natural evolutionary defense mechanisms is default programmed to crave fats, sugars and salts.
Why? Because fats store in your cells as lipids for long term energy storage and were once upon a time crucial for survival when food was lean in availability – think of a grizzly bear fattening up all summer for hibernation in Winter, the fat stores provide sustenance to the bears when they are unable to hunt keeping them from starvation.
Your body craves glucose (sugar) as an immediate energy source and whatever is not immediately used for body activity is then converted into fats again for storage, while the body craves salt to retain water within the cells for electrolysis.
All 3 are not naturally produced by the body and must be ingested from foods so keep this in mind.
Also dieting can be very detrimental aging you faster than is normal because you are putting every part of yourself under pressure and stress.
This creates mechanisms in your body to hold onto your stores even tighter and why many people gain even more weight when they come off a diet and then find it even harder to lose the weight in the future. The body hoards the energy and won’t let it go without a war.
It also helps to eat 6 small meals over a day every 2-3 hours and drink plenty of water because it boosts your metabolism and keeps your digestive system working.
This is how I did it and wasn’t hard or cost me the Earth. It was simple to understand and once I broke that 6 weeks it was second nature to me.
The hardest part of losing weight is in the struggle within yourself, making yourself accountable, switching off what you may think other’s opinions are and keeping at it. But I assure you if you do your life will change forever.