Magazine

Five Truths of Weight Loss

(source)

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?

Plus-Sized

Did you see any of the controversial coverage of plus-sized model Nancy Upton? She was offended by American Apparel’s search for a plus-sized model so she entered their contest on her own. And guess what? She won.


She won the online poll for their new plus-sized model but American Apparel chose someone else as the winner because she was “mocking” them. She explains why she was offended with their campaign strategy:

“How offensive the campaign was. How it spoke to plus-sized women like they were starry-eyed 16 year olds from Kansas whose dream, obviously, was to hop a bus to L.A. to make it big in fashion. How apparently there were no words in existence to accurately describe the way American Apparel felt about a sexy, large woman, and so phrases like “booty-ful” and “XLent” would need to be invented for us—not only to fill this void in American vocabulary, but also make the company seem like a relatable, sassy friend to fat chicks.”

Nancy Upton

Let me say, I’ve never shopped at American Apparel, at any size I’ve been, and I have no idea what their usual marketing strategy is. I think as a general rule any company that is trying to provide people of all sizes the opportunity to buy what they want, that’s a good thing–even if their press release is obnoxious.


She was trying to make a statement about the plight of plus-sized people. Her photo entry wasn’t accepted by everyone, though. She states in the interview that a fellow plus-sized model who had entered was upset with her:

“…She shamed me for hurting the world of plus-sized modeling and turning something she took very seriously into a big joke.”

I started looking around to see what kind of issues come with stores providing plus-sized clothes–like is this really that big of any issue? Is there controversy? I found a website with an article about the topic. It’s the opinion of the writer who used to work in retail, so take it with a grain of salt, but here it is:

‘ “Larger women as a whole are viewed in society as not acceptable and not needing cute clothes. If you start marketing to a larger size group then in some ways, you will be known as “catering to those that are larger and can’t fit the smaller sizes like they should.” ‘ (source)

I guess I don’t understand why having a selection of sizes over 12 in your store will mean you’re suddenly “catering” to larger people. Does it mean the store has to carry less clothing in smaller sizes? No. Does it mean the store will lose money? Um, no, I think they would entice potential customers to come INTO their store and spend money if they offered what people want.

When I was wearing a size 24W in jeans I shopped at Walmart. The only reason: they offered my size. It wasn’t my preferred place to go clothes shopping but jeans were jeans. I also shopped at Target until I no longer fit in their biggest size (XXXL I think?). None of the clothes I bought were what I’d call cute. In fact, I just wore a lot of “big” clothes. Big shirts, long skirts that covered me, jeans and a big t-shirt on the weekends.


I was able to find a few really cute dresses at places like Ross and Marshall’s. Their selections were slim for plus-sized but at least what they had was kind of cute.


I never really shopped at Lane Bryant, Catherine’s, Avenue Plus, etc. Their plus-sized clothes were stylish and cute but they were expensive. Once in awhile I bought clothes at Torrid, but again it was an expensive place to shop. When you’re a young 20-something with a limited income you can’t be spending hundreds of dollars on clothes.

Thinking back, would I have liked to see more plus-sized options at stores I liked to shop at? Hell ya! The clothing options were never that great when I was shopping. I took what I could get. I wore a lot of black. I wore very plain clothing because it fit and I thought it was slimming.

I don’t buy the argument that stores can’t afford to provide plus-sized clothes because it was cost more for them to make due to the extra fabric. If a store was buying the clothes from a sweatshop in India for 50 cents and charging over $60 for it in America, you’re still making a profit. So why not provide clothing to a group of people that will spend that $60 to buy it?

As for Nancy Upton…I’m still not sure how I feel about her statement. I want to get behind a plus-sized person who is trying to be a voice for the other plus-sized people out there….

QUESTION: Where do you stand on this issue?