I embarked on this weight loss journey about 3 or so years ago and it has been a ride to say the least. For people who think it's all about calories in and calories out have no real clue about what a person goes through to fight obesity. And I truly think that being honest with yourself is the key to be successful at losing and keeping off the weight. A few random thoughts I would like to share that I've learned throughout this journey thus far.
- realizing the weight gain is an after effect of something else that happened along the way is important. It's not always the cause but it's usually a symptom of something.
- to me, this journey can be defined into four buckets. 1- eating 2- exercising 3- accepting your body 4- internal
1- eating: I am not a fan of eliminating things from your daily eating program but rather to identify your trigger foods, limit or eliminate those for a bit and slowly introduce them back in cover a long period of time. For me, I have my trigger foods that I stay away from or it leads me down the wrong path. I have identified those and respect that space that I need from them. If I eat something that is a trigger food, it will lead to more eating and usually ends up in a downward spiral. I also usually limit my simple carbs, that crappy food I'm the middle if the grocery store that are manufactured foods. Nothing wrong with them per say but just something I like to avoid along with white processed sugar, and now, most artificial sweetness since they have been linked to spike in insulin. The biggest take away is that I track everything I eat. This gives me the power to look back on the week if i gained weight or to look back at positive and destructive patterns. This is the part of being honest with yourself. Also, learning about position size is so key too. I used to over eat and realizing that what my body really needs is amazing. I still have my issues, especially with traveling but I am learning positive balance with that. Eating right, in a healthy, is 90% of the battle. Weight loss happens in the kitchen, body sculpting happens with exercise.
2- exercise: by far, one of the easiest things for me so far. The biggest take away is find something that you love!!!! I used to hate the gym, still kinda do actually. But I am afforded time to hit the gym during the day that I use. Cardio and HIIT... High intensity interval training. I also love, my first love, is cycling. That is where I dropped most of my weight. Also, kettlebell training is amazing. Such a great workout. I also love walk and hiking. That's the key.... Find things that you love to do. Yes, treadmill work sucks but throw on music or a podcast, and it's pretty nice. Another big thing is to be active. Unless you are seriously weight lifting, there is no need to take a day off. Be active, everyday, with something. Sometimes that's just a 30 min walk for me but it's key to do something extra. And your body will love you and love it for it. You need to give back to your body. That's important. Another important walk away is not justifying eating with exercise. They mean nothing together unless you are during something that requires endurance. For example, a century or a long hike requires some fuel. Good fuel.... Not crap. I used to justify long rides with tons of extra eating. Not good at all and did not move me toward my goal. Find something you love.... Actually.... Find a few things that you love so you can switch off a lot for me, cycling, HIIT, kettlebells, walking, gym work, and hikes, gives me variety,
3- accepting your body through the journey: this is something that is often looked over but it's key. Yes, we all have areas of our bodies we love and of course hate but try to come to peace with it and accept that you are unique and individualistic. With accepting that, you are respecting your body. After times, it's said that your body follows your mind. If you have a bad mindset about your body, your body will feel like crap and the negative thoughts creep back in. Accepting your body has been hard for me to deal with personally. Even now, what I see in the mirror is something I need to work on.
4- dealing with yourself internally: this is something that really intrigues me because I think it's the key to maintaining your weight loss and also continuing to be on the journey of weight loss. Many of us can lose weight but if we do not deal with those internal issues, we will fail and/or yo yo. Both are destructive acts and we, as society, need to realize that what is inside, our internal issues, are at hand with successful eating and weight loss. This is not a little thing to tackle. It will take time and a heck of a lot of dedication to deal with this issues. For me, I have been seeing a food psychologist to help me. It's a long journey but yields positive results. Not only with weight loss but also how you feel inside.
To me, those are the four key buckets are they are like piggy banks. Throughout this journey, you need to be inserting coins into each bucket. Mainly we stick with eating and exercise and neglect the other two buckets. Those are the buckets that people are afraid to tackle but once you have that come to Jesus moment, it works well!!
Accepting your body had been tough for me, personally, to deal with. I just spent about a grand on new clothes that I needed. Nothing fit anymore. My girlfriend and I went to the store and hooked up with my friend who is the manager and we spent three hours shopping and trying clothes on. I would grab the 4 or 5xlt shirts and the 50 size pants. I was still living in the fat me. Through a lot of encouragement from my girlfriend, she had me in 2 and 1xlts and size 46 pants. I bought new shirts, new sports coat, and new slacks. We went out on a date Sunday night with friends and it was an amazing feeling to dress up. She has taught me so much about style, something I never had. I would just accept those clothes that I could find in large sizes.