When you are obese, even mildly, losing that weight becomes such a complicated and confusing thing. There are enough work out plans, trainers and methods out there in TV, books, devices that are to help you. So much advice on how to lose that weight and yet, none of it seems to be successful. Not for long term, permanent weight loss goals. Sure some of them will help you trim a few pounds for your wedding, or that special vacation, but nothing ever seems to stick.
It’s because these plans and programs and temporary. They only work as long as you maintain them. And believe me, Weight Watcher, Jenny Craig, all those programs know it. They know you’ll be back because you want to look good, and this was the success you had, so this is what you’ll return to. These programs and plans love you, you’re going to be a return customer for the rest of your life, earning them lots of money. And the funny thing is that you’ll tell everyone it’s a great plan, because you lost that weight. But the thing is, if it was a great plan you’d be able to keep the weight off. That’s your goal, right? So it’s not a success. So, why do you think it is? Because you blame yourself for getting fat again. You failed because the program worked and then you quit and put the weight back on.
It’s not a failure on your part. These programs are designed for it. There is no lifestyle change. There is no educating you on proper portion size and meal preparation. You heat up what they give you. No education what so ever.
It’s called yo-yo dieting. And it’s very stressful and hard on your body.
I prefer to think of it as a roller coaster. You feel amazing at that top of that hill, you have lost your weight and everything is wonderful. But then you hit the dip, you feel so low, you’ve put that weight back on and there are feelings of guilt and shame.
You shouldn’t. It wasn’t your fault. These plans are not meant for a permanent fix, they wouldn’t make as much money if they fixed the problem for you. They wouldn’t make as much money if they educated people on how to eat, what to eat and the proper size of a meal. It’s as plain and simple as that. It’s not you that failed when you put the weight back on, it’s the plan or program that was designed to make you put the weight back on. They failed you.
The simple thing to do if you really want to lose weight is educate yourself. Don’t think of changing your diet as a temporary thing that you can drop as soon as you lose that weight, unless your goal for weight loss is to be just that, a temporary thing. Then continue as you are.
But, if you want a permanent goal weight to be met and kept then what I suggest is to change your life. Don’t think of exercise as something that needs to be done to lose the weight, think of it as something that you will do for the rest of your life. So, find a way to exercise that isn’t pure torture for yourself. Try to find activities that you will enjoy while working out, like swimming for me. I love to swim. I also love jumping rope, I know folks think that it’s for little girls, actually girls these days don’t jump rope anymore, which is a shame because it’s a really good cardio workout, and these days with kids getting more and more into the tech like tablets and video games where all they do is sit and eat snacks, things like jumping rope really need to come back.
I like riding a bike, I’m not good at it, but it’s something that I enjoy. I love to ice skate. As a child I lived on the rink every weekend and holiday I’d be out on the ice. When I was really young my dad made a rink in our backyard, it wasn’t huge, but it was big enough for a small game of shiny hockey for the neighbouhood kids. Every morning I’d get up about an hour and a half earlier than needed and I’d hit the ice. I’d come home from school and as soon as the homework was done, I’d be on the ice. My Mom would drag me off for dinner, a bath and bed, and as I fell asleep, all I would think about was getting up early in the morning and getting back on the ice. No, I did not figure skate, I did not play hockey. I liked gliding along on the ice.
So, try to find an activity that you don’t hate and make that your new normal. That’s the thing that you’re going to do for the rest of your life, or as long as old age allows you. As you age your joints, bones and balance will alter, so maybe you’ll have to revisit an exercise plan. My grandmother, who lived to 100 was a very active woman. She skied all her life. She hiked and enjoyed swimming. When she started to get into the senior years she fell and broke her hip, which limited her skiing, but she maintained her hiking. Then she fell while hiking and again broke her hip. So she dropped that out of her routine and what was left, swimming. So she joined water aerobic classes, which became aquafit classes. She did a bit of weight training (just a couple pounds) to help her bone density and fight the osteoporosis. She died just a few months short of her 101st birthday from pneumonia.
I think the most important thing to remember as you try to lose weight is that this is not something that you’ll work on for a bit, have success and then quit.
This is something that you’ll be working on for the rest of your life. So try to find a way to enjoy it.
When it comes to eating, you’re going to have to moderate yourself. We all know the foods that are our addiction and that are not healthy for us. I’m not saying to cut them out, because if we omit the things that give us joy, what’s the point of living? But if we enjoy them in moderation, cut them down so that they are treats that we can enjoy once in a while than we can become healthier.
The most important thing I am learning about is portion size. Eat the appropriate size helping, and that doesn’t mean that you can grab another helping of a small size, it’s the same as that big whopping size that we’re all so used to. Carry snacks with you when running errands, so that you won’t be tempted to hit the drive thru and grab a burger, fries and soft drink. Plan your schedule so that you eat before you feel hungry, and by eat, it could be nothing more than a carrot or an apple. Just something in your belly to ward off that signal to your brain that you need to really fill your tummy up with something yummy.
If you look at this new shift in your diet and exercise as a lifestyle change and that it’s permanent, then you’ll have more success if it’s just something you do until you reach that goal weight.