Is your struggle with weight breaking your heart? I can relate to that. Isn’t it an awful feeling when you look at yourself in the mirror and think “pig”. Thats being polite compared to what I thought of myself at my heaviest. Whats worse is I found it emotionally upsetting when friends or family who were going through similar struggles seemed to come to me for support when I started to lose it, and they seemed to sustain it. This article is a friendly chat about what I’ve discovered. To make things more interesting – I’m a guy. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man, or woman, the concepts are the same, although I fully understand there is greater pressure on woman to be slim in this messed up world.
I’m so tired of all the experts, who are often naturally slim, preaching the best ways to lose weight based on what they’ve studied in books. If you’re a woman, have you ever had a skinny woman tell you how easy it is to lose weight – when they’ve never been fat in their life? Or guys, ever had a guy with a 6 pack patrionise you on “you should do this, that, like this” – also who is naturally slim and has never experienced extra pounds?
Like most things, unless said expert has actually experienced a problem for themselves, they can only go by what they’ve studied. While what they suggest may be scientifically accurate and valid, it offers people trying to lose weight little comfort in what is ultimately a very frustrating and often emotional struggle. The only people who can possibly understand – are those who have been there, or still are!
As a guy, my perspective on the usual dieting concepts is somewhat different to that of women. After all, men aren’t under the same amount of pressure to be beautifully slender. I think its fair that although society is still judgemental – we guys have more breathing space, so to speak. Having a natural inclination to carry more weight, than less, I can relate to the struggle, as a human being living in a society that seems to persecute those who are overweight.
I am now half the weight I was at my heaviest, and I have sustained it very easily. Or rather, I eventually discovered how to make it ‘easier’ to sustain. It took a lot of attempts, and of course trial and error, but I’m going to offer you some advice on how you can lose weight, keep it off, and live a healthier lifestyle as a result. Unlike everyone else who claims to know better than the next person, I will skip that nonsense. I’m just a regular person, writing about a subject that affects regular people. What works for one person, may not for the next; what is suitable for you, might not be suitable for who reads this before and after you. Learn for yourself what changes you can implement within your own life, and stick with what works.
The question of protein
Ah the protein diet. Have you tried that yet? Its just another way of manipulating your diet to help you lose pounds, but also your health in the process unless its very short term. An all-protein diet, despite the hype, is not a good idea medically. You’re a human being, which means you *require* a varied diet in order to achieve good health. Fat doesn’t just come from what you eat, but about how what you eat affects the rest of your body. Ignore the full protein diets – they can deliver fast results yes, but those results are short lived before reaching a dieting plateau. Unless you keep it up, its not something I’d recommend if you want to lose weight, keep it off, and remain healthy in the process. The key here – healthy variety! Eat foods that are healthier, but don’t be a rabbit – form your own list of foods that are healthy, but varied.
Drinking hot drinks to counter hunger
I’ve noticed many articles that talk about helping hunger while dieting, by consuming hot drinks. I have to agree with this, I drink a lot of coffee and it certainly helped me. So to complement the idea, just make sure you don’t add garbage into it – such as sugars. I’ve never been a supporter of low calore sweetners, but its better you use them as a replacement to sugers in your drinks – particularly while you’re in the midst of trying to lose weight. If you require milk, keep it skimmed milk. Caffeine is not good for you in large quantities, but if you manage it right that same caffeine can be a tool to help you fire through physical exercise. Use it to your advantage.
Thinking, before doing
Its important to consider what exactly you’re putting into your body in the form of food and drink. Under normal circumstances, you don’t have to analyse every little detail, but the challenge of dieting is just as much, if not moreso, psychological than about the physical. By thinking carefully about what you consume (which I admit is alien at first), you’ll soon find yourself doing it without realising it. Find the strength to say no to that big chocolate bar, not because its bad, but because its unhealthy. Rationalise, understand, and realise. Replace snacks with healthier alternatives – and no they don’t have to be bland rabbit alternatives, just something better than what you normally have.
What a thought eh? Having to religiously go through physical ‘rituals’ daily to burn calories. Well, get over that, as everyone knows increasing your physical activity is one of the best ways to lose weight and tone up at the same time. Forget those electrical devices that ‘exercise’ you while you’re sitting watching TV. If you want to lose weight, you’re going to have to get up and get active! With that in mind, its true that the small changes have the greatest impact. Walking to your local store instead of taking the car for example, or exercising while you’re catching up on your favourite TV shows. Make it interesting. For every step you take more per day, than you do now, is a step closer to your personal goals – both in weight loss and in general health. The real secret to great calorie burning is of course, swimming. But chances are you’re not comfortable enough with your body to attend the pool – I know this feeling well! Again thinking psychological, in my case I used that as a ‘stepping stone’ goal, basically to lose enough to make me comfortable enough to go swimming (or the gym), then as you begin to lose weight, you open up more opportunities to lose even more faster!
I know of one woman who used to cry a lot – not in public or on front of people, but behind closed doors. It was pure chance that I caught her crying one day and I had to basically force it out of her that it was about her weight. It broke my heart seeing her so upset over it, because she’s a brilliant person and a great friend. So if your weight is getting you down, take comfort in people who are going through the same struggle. It can work wonders, and can actually boost both your confidence to not just struggle – but to win! You want to lose weight? Guess what, there are no miracle cures, all you need to do is want to and be willing to go the full distance. I know, I know, its much easier said than done, but until you find the strength inside you to say “right, this time I WILL achieve my goals”, and actually mean it, then the inevitable is you’ll sustain the struggle.
Forming a plan and regime
An absolutely critical thing to do is actually come up with a plan, that fits into your particular circumstances and life, that you can execute as apppropriate. Keep in mind this doesn’t have to consist of full blown workouts or aerobic sessions, but little things. “Monday to Wednesday, I’m going to walk the kids to school”, for example, or “On Thursday afternoon, I’ll skip watching that talk show and walk around the block twice”. Always remember – its the LITTLE things that provide the greatest long term results. Losing weight doesn’t mean your life has to change, it just needs tweaking.
Realising and recognising
Imagine how you feel when you’ve discovered you’ve lost 7lbs. Or even 2lbs. Use every single step of progress to fuel your motivation. While you might have only lost a few pounds, and you’re aiming for many, its crucial you appreciate and congratulate yourself on making progress. Nothing happens overnight, and see such mood boosters as a brilliant sign that things are at least going in the right direction. Recognise within yourself that yes, your plan is actually happening! If you can lose 1lb, there is no reason you cannot lose 10lbs, and if you can lose 10lbs, there is no reason you can’t lose 100lbs. Every single pound is as important as the target, remember that.
If you’re looking to learn more about what you can do, or unite with people to share in your common struggle, do so. The internet is full of forums and communities and plans – you just have to pick one that is right for you. If it wasn’t for my internet friends, I really don’t know where I’d be – never underestimate the power of people united under a common cause.