Fairly recently, I reached my lowest point in terms of self-image. I weighted a lot of pounds, I kept seeking comfort foods to lighten my daily mood, and worst of all, my laziness was at an all-time high! I don’t’ know if you’ve ever experienced the dread of waking up, looking at yourself in the mirror and not recognizing the person looking back at you. I started searching for diets that promise quick results, pills to help me in my efforts of weight loss, I even read blogs full of advises from exercise gurus… still nothing. It’s a process, an internal struggle that I believe every overweight person (and yes, I am not ashamed to call myself overweight) goes through. I lacked the motivation, and dare I say it, the discipline to stop complaining and do something about it!
Now, there wasn’t an event that miraculously changed my way of thinking overnight, I’ve been building up to this decision for more than two years. I decided that I miss the old me and that only I can bring her back. So my journey began. Almost a month in my new ‘lifestyle’, I feel happier than I’ve been in a long time because I transformed my mind and now my body is slowly starting to catch up. I won’t claim that the following advises will work for you and your weight-loss journey. I’m merely sharing my own rules for a successful transformation, that I believe are helping me achieve a better, healthier me.
1. Diet is a dirty word – In my vocabulary the word ‘diet’ is a big NO NO! This word tricks my brain into thinking that if I can do, for example, 14 days of eating this and that, then I will look and feel amazing, guaranteed! I precondition myself with false expectations that need to be achieved in a limited time frame, which if my body doesn’t manage for some reason, naturally I feel depressed and turn to eating again. That’s why I threw the word ‘diet’ out the window and I insist on referring to it as a lifestyle choice. It is my choice to transform my life through this process of healthier eating and regular exercise. To stop myself from thinking in time frames, I also keep repeating my mantra: ‘It’s not a race, it’s a journey’!
2. Shed your mind from the weight, your body will follow – Forget about looking in the mirror every day, pinching little pockets of fat and sighing at the look of your body. This will only weigh on your mind, making you feel like you’ve failed even before you’ve started! Shed yourself from all preconceived notions of the human body. I stopped reading glossy magazines. The women in there for me are simply not realistic representations of the female body. Not to mention most of them are being photo-shopped beyond recognition. It isn’t fair to you to keep comparing yourself with such images. Free your mind of societal body expectations and focus on a realistic goal that you know would make you feel happy in your own skin.
3. Find your role-model – I know most good dietitians will tell you that the right reasons for losing weight are if you do it for yourself and nobody else. In a sense, they are very right. You have to acknowledge that you have chosen to do this transformation for your health and yourself only. However, what I’ve noticed keeps me motivated is the fear of letting down not only myself but my loved ones. I have a beautiful and supportive partner in life, whom I always keep in mind while exercising. I want to be the healthiest me I can be not only for myself, but for the both of us. Draw your inspiration from others around you and you will find that you might not be alone in your journey.
4. Bury the scale, clothes are your best friend – This one you’ve probably heard time and time again. Don’t weigh yourself every day! Miracles don’t happen overnight (as much as we wish them to) and your body will not transform with the click of a button. Of course shedding pounds is important for your health and agility, but it shouldn’t be the main way to measure your success. That’s why I like trying on clothes. I have one piece of clothing that I’ve chosen for comparison. I try it once a week and see how it feels on my body. You will be amazed at the confidence boost you will get each week, seeing how different you look in the same outfit!
5. Kick yourself in the butt! – The last advice comes down to purely pushing your mind and body into trying out different things. Always wanted to go to a spinning class? Nothing is stopping you, except YOU! Each day after I wake up I have to kick myself in the butt and give myself the internal motivation to continue with my weight-loss journey. You will soon start to draw incredible joy from trying new things, I know I do!
There’s one more thing I’d like to remind myself of once in a while – I can be my best friend or my worst enemy. The choice is entirely mine and I’ve chosen to continuously work towards a healthier, happier and better me.
What will you choose?