Weight goals are a subjective thing. I wasn’t happy with my current situation, so one day I chose to consciously uncouple myself from my muffin top and it became the cornerstone of my life. A total sliding doors moment. An act of self love.
Life is about choices. I would choose to grab the McDonalds and eat a little bit out of everybody’s fries only to claim ownership of the one I didn’t touch. I’d grate the cheese for dinner, but eat half the block when no one was watching. I’d portion my plate and pick off my children’s. The mindless overindulging was real, and it was spectacular.
This was my every day reality, and these were the things I decided to be accountable for one day when my energy levels were at an all time low, my weight was at an all time high, and I was feeling sickly more often than not.
I’ve never loved the term diet. It implies that I’m going to be depriving myself of the food I love, and ain’t nobody got time for that. I don’t believe it to be a long term solution. I wanted a lifestyle change, not to lose weight just to put it back on once the novelty wore off. I needed a flexible eating regime that allowed me to celebrate food when appropriate and be more mindful at other times.
The term “fitspo” has always seemed like a bit of a wank to me. Setting my sights on someone or an ideal that I’m never going to look like or a weight I’d never reach as my “goals” is ludicrous. It would just serve to set myself up for disappointment, comparison and regression. Having a goal is often helpful, although it is crucial that the goal you choose for yourself is realistic for your body type, frame, and fitness level. You’re not going to get abs by doing 10 crunches a day, be reasonable.
After much consideration, what I wanted to achieve, for my own personal satisfaction, was to just gain a bit more consciousness and mindfulness of the foods I was putting into my mouth. I only wanted to eat things that satiated my hunger and made me feel good, not out of habit or desperation. Doing that was no longer hitting the spot and none of my pants fit me anymore. By being aware, weight loss became a byproduct of my decision to become more mindful of my actions and choices. This was the initial step, the epiphany I had, that led me to lose weight, two dress sizes, and off all medications for my Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
With any weight loss or health journey, the most important thing, the most crucial element to the whole process, is being in the right frame of mind to begin. The rest is like a pendulum swing. You gain momentum as you go along. You fall in love with the process and the inherited strength of body and mind motivates you to continue. To challenge yourself. To grow.
Five pieces of advice to anyone thinking of beginning a weight loss or health journey:
- Start small. Tiny even. Toy with the idea in your mind for a couple of weeks until you are comfortable with the idea of getting a bit uncomfortable. There are no time limits to a healthy lifestyle. Don’t rush it. You’re not in competition with anyone. The more you are ready to commit, the better your chances are of sticking to a program that excites you.
- Incorporate more water into your every day. Water hydrates you and when you are hydrated your body works in your favour. Don’t underestimate the power of H2O! If you’re not a big water drinker, start slow. Swap one glass of fizzy drink/juice etc for a glass of water a day and build on that. Set a foundation. You can’t go from drinking coke all day to green smoothies. This practice is unrealistic. Furthermore a major contributor of why most people put their finger up at the process and go back to their old habits.
- Begin with being mindful of how many coffees/teas you have a day, how many sugars you place in them, and how many biscuits you eat each time. Cut back on your sugars half a teaspoon at a time until you are used to the taste and more importantly enjoy it! Go from two biscuits each time, to one. You’re not going to stick to a plan if you hate it. Be kind to yourself and be practical. Once you begin and feel in control, you will see how much it will consequently empower you. This will positively flow on to other areas of your life as a result. Just start!
- Move your body. Move it. You don’t have to sweat your hole out at the gym initially or at all if you don’t want to. Grab a vacuum. Clean the house. Mow the lawn. Hang the washing on the line. Stretch. Make a decision to move, however you want to, and grow it from there. Initially I started to walk around the block three times a week. Now I work out 5-6 times a week and I’ve discovered a love for lifting as a flow on progression. The adrenaline is addictive, although first of all, choose to make it a habit that is realistic for you at the fitness level you are at. You can’t go from being inactive to running 5K in a day. Be smart about it and more importantly be kind to yourself! Don’t set yourself up for failure!
- Choose to be consistent. Beginning is a choice and you need to consciously choose to make better decisions a habit every day. They say it takes 7 days to form a habit, so mindfully choose to commit to 7 days. 7 days. 1 week. It’s achievable! It’s normal not to be motivated every second of every day. Accept the fact that you are human and life gets in the way of our good intentions sometimes. You can choose to get right back on track with your next bite. Accidentally eating a cheeseburger instead of a salad isn’t going to make you a bad person, although it doesn’t give you a right of passage to quit either. So you chose indifferently this time. Just pick it up again at your next meal. No biggie. Just keep going! It takes time! Be patient! Eating one cheeseburger is not going to make you fat, just like eating one salad is not going to make you skinny. It’s a process, jump on board!
So if you’re in the right frame of mind, choose today to begin your 7 day habit building form. I’ll see you next week to discuss different exercise options HIIT vs LISS etc.