Ok, obviously that was a cheap trick to get you to open this post. I really did lose 15 lbs. Actually more like 25, but it was far from overnight.
I began my battle with weight loss around 10 years ago when I realized that I had put on 30 lbs over my “ideal” weight. What ensued from there can only be described as a torturous yo-yo war on my body. I lost weight, gained it back, lost a few pounds, gained 10 more, etc. It was terrible.
I found myself hiding from cameras, hiding from people, not wanting to go out…dreading trying to find things in my closet. I was feeling horrible about the way I looked when I was around other people. What an awful feeling. Granted, most of that I was doing to myself.
So I started taking water pills. I went on a low-fat, calorie restrictive diet. I ran. I only cheated once a week. I scoured the internet looking for quick fixes. I went on a zero carb diet where I reduced my fruit and veggie intake and basically existed on meat and cheese. I avoided parties so I wouldn’t be tempted with cakes and cookies and bread. I set up goals based on important events such as “I will lose X lbs for this event.” And you know what? I GAINED MORE WEIGHT. I was miserable. I finally got so fed up with the way I looked and felt that I decided it was time to do something real about it.
I am here to tell you. There. Is. No. Quick. Fix. Seriously. Let me repeat that. THERE IS NO QUICK FIX FOR WEIGHT LOSS. Sure you can crash diet for an event, but guess what happens after that event? Those pounds come creeping back.
So I finally got serious. I gave up the quick fixes and set my goal for a permanent 20 lb weight loss. In doing so, I’ve made a massive overhaul of my habits and my attitude. I lost weight very slowly by creating a lifestyle change that I can adhere to and enjoy. And it was slow at first. Like a pound a month tortoise-tromping-through-molasses slow. But I’ve stuck with it for about three years now. I have managed to maintain my weight loss with just a couple setbacks that occurred because I stopped taking care of myself. Although no “dieting” list is a panacea, here are some tips that worked for me:
- Put down the diet pills/water pills etc. – these are patch jobs.
- Find a way to move your body most days of the week – even if this means marching in place for 20 minutes while watching Big Bang Theory (hey, it happens).
- Find a diet plan that you enjoy and can stick with for the rest of your life – for me this was giving up processed foods.
- Change your attitude – no one can ever love you like you can love you
- Be conscious of what you put in your body – this means turning away from refined foods and “diet” foods. These come from manufacturers that are making a shit ton of money off you… what do they gain from you losing weight and not buying their products anymore??? Seriously, ponder that one.
- THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A CHEAT DAY – consuming 4,000 calories in a day is 4,000 calories *however, if you do not find a way to include small indulgences you are likely to “fall off the wagon.”
- Reconsider your alcohol intake.
- Eat only when you are hungry.
- If anyone makes you feel like crap about your looks, or your weight, give them a quarter and tell ’em to call someone that cares.
None of these things are revolutionary. And the weight loss that I’ve experienced is far from extraordinary. These tips won’t make you a supermodel, give you media frenzied thigh gap, or make you the next Iron Man. These tips are a simple reminder of the reality that diet and exercise need to be a plan for life, not a quick fix.
If you read nothing else, read this one final tip:
Love your damn self. Stop being at war with yourself. And remember that weight loss is not linear. You will dip, you will gain. You will stall. If you are doing your best to eat nutritious food, accept that it is a journey and embrace it.
Ok – your turn! I’d love to hear from you!