Sometimes it takes nothing less than a tragedy to turn things around for you in life. But there are few other times when nothing in life has changed, yet everything is different. Life has a way of making us take her for granted. It is easy to fall into a routine filled more with things we HAVE to do, not WANT to do, forgetting to take some time out for what we love. Most of us do this, that’s what even I had been doing until a few months ago, until it happened. What exactly even I am not sure. It was like a switch flipped inside me or something. I cant really put my finger on what really changed but one of the first things I decided to do was, lose all the excess weight that has been weighing me down lately (literally). After I moved out of my parents place, I had gained over 8 kgs and from the way my clothes barely fit me, I knew I was stretching things.
Being by yourself and taking care of yourself can get depressing and lonely sometimes. I think my way of making coming back to an empty room more bearable was by eating. A full belly is one of the ways to numb or at least dull some of the painful realizations and lighten evenings when you feel lonely but don’t really have anyone to talk to in person at least. And so started the long process where I gained weight, not all at once really, it took me almost a year to gain back all the weight I had lost with so much trouble just because I kept procrastinating finding a good mode of exercise and kept finding comfort in food that was no good for me.
Then came the New Year and also came the new year party pictures where what I looked at seemed like another person. There were curves in all the extra places now and things that I could do with ease before were now a task. Mostly, I felt lethargic and low and whiny all the time. I complained about everything. I blamed everyone. I was miserable and it was all on me.
February took me to a trip down south which changed my perspective on so many thing including and most importantly how I treated myself. I realized I kept talking about all the things I wanted to do in my life: travel, write, lose weight etc. but hardly did anything about it in a concrete sense. All I did was plan and talk. And the Lord knows how much I love planning! There are many things I want to do in life and for many it isn’t time yet. But there was this one thing that was possible to begin to change and I did not have to wait for or depend on anyone for it and that was my weight.
So that was where I will start to put back the pieces of my life in a design that pleases me. In a way that will make it mine.
I needed to take back control of my life and this was how it was going to start. Except that deciding it was so much easier than actually doing it.
It has taken me a while to get where I am, I have lost the weight I had gained and though I am not at my target weight yet I have learned some invaluable lessons about weight loss (and life really) in the process :
1. You need
a plan Plan A, B, C, D, E….Z
I started by running at first. And what a fiasco it was! I did run for a few days, ten twelve maybe but eventually quit. Nothing changed. I was demoralized and began to change my mind abut wanting to lose weight altogether. It took me a while to accept that this way was not working for me and that I needed to find something else that did. Except, I didn’t, for a long time.
2. You are what you eat
One of the things I had learnt the last time I attempted to lose weight that more than exercise, it is what we put into our bodies that determines our health and fitness more than anything else. So I began to do what I do best: research all diets that were out there to find one that fit me, yes you need to find something that “fits” you because diets are like clothes, there is never a one size fits all. I found one that really appealed to me and I found out everything there was to know about it, most importantly if it will help me not only lose weight, but more importantly keep the weight off. Because that is the trickier part.
3. All diets work, IF you stick to them
Being on a diet is like climbing a slippery slope, you are bound to slip at times. Allow yourself to slip and know that it isn’t how many times you slipped that mattered but what matters is what you tell yourself after that. Many years ago when I used to go on diets, I could never stick to them because on the first sign of slipping up, I would just abandon the whole diet and eat whatever I wanted with a vengeance. There are situations when you end up cheating on your diet sometimes our of choice sometimes because of availability, but if we manage to get right back on track by treating it like a minor slip and not a fatal one, it is all good. Remember, like all shows, the diet must go on.
4. Do the Weighing Machine Dance
There are many mixed opinions about this out there but I definitely vouch for this one, you must check you weight every single day and track your progress (or the lack of it) as closely as possible. For some of us this close scrutiny is too much to handle and to those I say, grow some sweetie, it is YOUR weight, of YOUR body. Look at it, accept it and then stare it in the eye and change it. Especially on the days when your weight increases for no reason or stagnates for days on end, breathe in , breathe out and continue because it is those frustrating days that will make the sudden one kg drops seem so much more sweeter.
5. Refuel the Motivation
Motivation is the single thing that will decide whether or not you will reach your target weight. So refuel it as much as possible, my favourite way of refuelling motivation is flaunting my success, whichever way that suits you. Wear the clothes that had stopped fitting you but now slide right over your slimmed down hips. Write down the number of kilos you’ve lost where you can see it and your heart can do a mini jig every time it does. Let friends swoon over you, make those haters jealous and love it. Celebrate every gram you kicked in the butt, and make way for more. Many , many more.
To be continued…