In my journey to lose over 100 pounds, I discovered a lot of things about the process of losing weight, and I discovered a lot of things about myself, too. It was amazing how EASY it was to change my lifestyle.
Before, I spent weekends on the couch with a tub of ice cream, candy bars and could eat an entire pizza all by myself. My life was spent on the couch in front of the TV. This is not to say I was antisocial. I had a lot of friends that I hung out with. A lot of the activities we did revolved around food. I certainly had certain friends who were enablers; they were people who always wanted to eat too.
As I slowly changed my habits to lose the weight, I saw how bad this lifestyle was for me. I spent less time on the couch. This was a direct result of introducing exercise into my life. Exercising became something I enjoyed. It also took up a lot of time. Swimming especially; there was the process of going to the pool, getting ready, going swimming for as long as I could, and then showering and dressing afterward. It took time. That was time I wasn’t on the couch eating something. Having distractions outside of the house has helped me maintain my weight loss immensely. Being busy, being social, being active, means there’s no time and no room for boredom eating.
This list is about MY truths. Weight loss is a very individual thing. What works for me, may not work for someone else. There’s food restrictions, special diets, personal taste, physical limitations. So tailor YOUR truths to YOUR reality. But here is what I learned about losing weight:
The Five Truths of Weight Loss
1. It Will Be Hard Work. It will probably be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. It takes time. It takes planning. It takes willpower and dedication. You will sweat. You WILL be sore. You may hate it at first. But once you change the habits that lead to weight gain and start to see some progress, it suddenly won’t be so hard to do it. You might even like it!
2. You Will Lose A Lot At First But That Won’t Be The Norm. Those first few weeks that I was swimming and counting my calories were epic. I was so encouraged by HOW MUCH I lost. It got me excited! I felt motivated! I wanted to keep going! I think I lost like 8 pounds that first week or two. It was amazing! Then it slowed down. I was losing about 5 pounds a week, then 4, then I was lucky if I lost 1 pound a week. But even if the numbers aren’t huge, if you are still losing, you are heading in the right direction. Don’t let that small number on the scale discourage you. (See Truth #1)
3. You Will Be Tempted. And unfortunately, that temptation never goes away. Even now, 110 pounds lighter and active, I still have temptations every single day. You have decide what you want more –the junk food or the goal weight. I had my sights set on that number on the scale and I had tunnel vision. I was NOT going to fail. I was going to lose 100 pounds. Period!
4. Exercise Plays A Big Part. You have to burn more than you eat. You can lose some weight doing Weight Watchers or counting your calories, but until you introduce exercise into your life those numbers won’t be what you want them to be and it will be even harder to keep the weight off. Exercise inspires me to eat healthier. Exercise makes me FEEL better. It really is a magical cure for things like stress, depression, anxiety, anger, sadness, bad days and grumpy moods. I always feel better after a workout. And sorry to break the news, but exercising once a week is not enough!
5. Food Makes A Difference. The type of food you will eat makes a difference. Skipping meals, drastically cutting carbs, relying on supplements and doing fad diets just don’t work. The bottom line: your body needs fuel and nutrients in order to survive. So control those portions; measure foods; eat fruits, veggies, protein, cabs and fat–just eat the right kind. My suggestion is to see a dietitian to get started on an eating plan that works for you and that you will LIKE.
I had a hard time imagining what my body would look like after I lost the weight because it had been so long since I’d weighed an “average” size. And I especially had no idea how drastically my life would change. Running in evens! Biking 72 miles! Being on the cover of a magazine! Who, me?! There were a lot of changes and surprises, but I don’t regret a thing!
QUESTION: What are YOUR truths of weight loss?