Disclaimer: This has not become a “diet” blog however, I would like to impart with all of you (while it’s still fresh in my head) some of the techniques I’ve learned in jumpstarting my weight-loss.
When I was at my heaviest, I made a mental note of my feelings and frustrations. It was important for me to know what my process was on how I shed the pounds so that I could hopefully, inspire others to successfully lose weight and get fit too. Before I started my diet, I felt a bit hopeless and the idea of getting rid of at least 20 pounds was daunting. I thought that I could be comfortable and happy with being overweight but in reality, I was unhappy and lugging all that excess fat around was literally painful. Can anyone relate?
Here are simple steps on how to start your own journey to weight-loss and fitness that goes beyond just dieting:
Step 1: Do some detective work
Take some time to identify the most likely culprits of the unwanted weight. Are fried or sugary foods too tough to resist? Is it hard to avoid noshing whenever free food is within arm’s reach? Are you too tired and busy to shop and cook healthy meals? Or do emotions—like boredom, anxiety, nervousness, depression, and joy—send you straight to the fridge?
For most people, a wide variety of factors lead them to pack on unwanted pounds. The answers can lead you to your best first steps. If intense emotions are driving you to eat, identify alternate routes that will offer relief without derailing your weight-loss goals.
Best tip: Reach out to a diet/nutrition expert, get more sleep, sink into the distraction of a good book or movie.
How I did it: Mindless eating and drinking were the culprits of my weight gain. Socializing like going to parties and events and indulging on canapés and cocktails added to unnecessary calories consumed. When I realized my weaknesses, I slowly changed my daily activities and I stopped going out. I know it was a bit extreme but I realized that I had zero food discipline. It was tough because of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and I was afraid that I might lose friends but then again, real friends will always be there for you no matter what plus, there will never be a shortage of parties and opportunities. My well-being was more important and committing to my diet for a few months was so worth it!
After four months (and 22 lbs. lighter), I finally went out with friends and it was as if I was never gone from the group. In fact, we missed each other so much that we all had a great time at dinner. I have the best friends! I was also able to apply my new habits of eating and drinking less and I’m proud of myself. Self-empowerment is a great feeling!
Step 2: Make a commitment
Permanent weight loss takes time and effort — and a lifelong commitment.
To stay committed to your weight loss, you need to be focused. It takes a lot of mental and physical energy to change your habits. So as you’re planning new weight-loss-related lifestyle changes, make a plan to address other stresses in your life first such as relationship conflicts and other problems. While these stresses may never go away completely, managing them better should improve your ability to focus on achieving a healthier lifestyle.
Best tip: Once you’re ready to launch your weight-loss plan, set a start date and then — start.
How I did it: I gained a lot of weight after the holidays. I knew I had crossed the line of being unhealthy and overweight and I had to address my problem. I booked a weight-loss consultation with Dr. Aivee and Dr. Z Teo at The Aivee Clinic and that was the start of my weight-loss journey. Regular visits to the clinic also made me commit to my diet and got me focused on my goal.
Step 3: Find your inner motivation
No one else can make you lose weight. You must undertake diet and exercise changes to please yourself. What’s going to give you the burning drive to stick to your weight-loss plan?
Make a list of what’s important to you to help stay motivated and focused, whether it’s an upcoming beach vacation or better overall health. Then find a way to make sure that you can call on your motivational factors during moments of temptation.
Best tips: Post encouraging notes to yourself on the refrigerator and pantry doors.
How I did it: To be honest, in the beginning, I had a shallow reason for wanting to lose weight: I wanted my to fit in my clothes! I didn’t want to buy bigger-sized outfits so in reality, I did it for fashion. LOL
It’s important for me to mention though that my ultimate goal is to maintain a fit and healthy body for the rest of my life. For now, I’m creating new habits and learning new food skills. Also, the best part of not being overweight is that the pain in my leg (from carrying the extra weight over the years) is completely gone!
Step 4: Set Mini-Goals
Instead of shooting for a size that has not been seen in your closet for 10 years, set more attainable goals. Even modest weight loss can improve your blood pressure and your cholesterol, blood sugar, and triglyceride levels. Losing as little as 10 pounds can put the spring back in your step and make you feel terrific about yourself.
Best tip: Track your progress by jotting it down or documenting it on your phone.
How I did it: I accepted the fact that it would take time for me to lose weight and burn all the excess fat in my body. It took me six years to gain all the weight and I was aware that it would take at least a few months to shed it. The goal was to lose a pound or two a week. Half a pound loss is better than gaining. The secret was to lose weight slowly and surely. It was less pressure for me to choose one healthy meal at a time rather than thinking of how much pounds I wanted to shed. So far, I have lost 22 pounds in four months and I’m closer to my goal weight.
Step 5: Seek for support
While you have to take responsibility for your own behavior for successful weight loss, it helps to have support — of the right kind. Pick people to support you who will encourage you in positive ways, without shame, embarrassment or sabotage.
Best tip: Ideally, find people who will listen to your concerns and feelings, spend time exercising with you or creating healthy menus, and who will share the priority you’ve placed on developing a healthier lifestyle. Your support group can also offer accountability, which can be a strong motivation to stick to your weight-loss goals.
How I did it: I couldn’t have found a better support group than my family, Dr. Z and Dr. Aivee! Tom and our children were mindful of my diet so much so that we temporarily stopped eating out for two months. Dr. Z and Dr. Aivee were also my ultimate weight-loss enablers and supporters! They gave me the correct information on the H2 Diet and other weight-loss treatments.
To be honest, at first, I kept my weight-loss plans private and to be accountable for myself—I had regular weigh-ins at The Aivee Clinic and recorded my diet and exercise progress in a journal.
Step 6: Changes You Can Live With
You can lose weight on virtually any diet. But to send those extra pounds packing without a round-trip ticket, you must find healthful strategies that you can stay with forever.
Best tip: Take a minute right now to rethink your weight loss goals, and remember you are in this journey for the long haul.
How I did it: My goal was to eat healthy and low-calorie food every meal. I started my day with a healthy smoothie. After drinking it as a meal replacement for three weeks, I lost weight and developed a new and healthy habit at the same time. Also, one of the biggest changes I did that contributed to my weight-loss was drinking lots of water before and after meals. The changes I made were effective and sustainable.
Step 7: Celebrate Small Victories
Be grateful for your life. Going through life’s changes is easier when we celebrate tiny victories.
Best tip: Write them down, and revisit them often.
How I did it: I rewarded myself (not with food but experiences like pampering or buying a new outfit) along the way for improving my eating and exercise habits.
In a nutshell:
• Realistic goals will improve your self-esteem and provide the reinforcement you need to help you continue the journey.
• Small changes and doing it consistently reap big results!
• Reward yourself with experiences rather than food to maintain your weight-loss. This will help keep your attitude positive and remind you of the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.
The diet dilemma has everything to do with food. And nothing to do with food. It really has more to do with adjusting our mindset so that healthy choices feel right—and don’t feel like deprivation, hard work or punishment.
Start now! I’m excited for you!
Read my previous blog on weight-loss: 3 Defining Moments For My Weight Loss