I’ve never considered myself fat. Moreover, most of my life people have admired me for being slim and for how good I look. I gained 22 kilos weight during my pregnancy and then within four months they had disappeared without any effort on my part or from dieting. I was back at my normal weight and I was happy with my body.
But last summer, while looking at my holiday photos I realized that I was actually not pleased with what I saw. That’s when I realized that I wasn’t happy with what I saw in the mirror either. I simply had chosen to ignore it. You know with the right clothing you can hide a lot of imperfections. Yet when it was time to put my bathing suit on I wasn’t excited about it. I don’t know how many kilos the camera adds but three impressive fat curves on my belly were staring right at me. That’s when I realized it was time for me to start taking care of myself for the long run.
I didn’t go on a diet. I took three simple steps instead. I wouldn’t say it was easy peasy but it wasn’t difficult either.
It takes commitment.
If a chocolate-addicted couch potato like me can do it, anybody can do it.
Change your mindset
“I can’t do it.”
“I don’t have enough time.”
“This is not for me”.
Get rid of all of your Loserville thoughts and you better do it now. If you don’t take care of your body, nobody will do it for you.
If you want to lose weight so you look good in your bikini for the summer, that’s cool but what happens when the warm days are over and you forget you even have a bikini?
The few attempts I had made in my life to get in shape, never lasted longer than two weeks. Why? Because I wasn’t committed. I didn’t have the right reasons or motivation to stick to it until the end. Eventually I started skipping my gym classes because “I’m busy”. The truth is I signed up for the gym because all my girlfriends talked about it non-stop so I wanted to try it too.
Also, be sure to set baby goals and make baby steps on your way to achieving your bigger goal. When a baby is born it can’t do anything. It takes her say a year or even more to learn how to walk. She starts with holding her head up, rolling to her belly, sitting, crawling, standing and making a step while holding on to somebody.
Whatever your goal, be realistic and give yourself the time to achieve it.
Tip: Some good starting points are: to get in shape because you want to feel good in your body, to improve your health, to get more energy and to enjoy yourself every minute of every day.
Review your eating habits
Don’t count calories.
Forget about diets; instead stay away from processed food and sugar (and all its names). You don’t need to restrict yourself but do think twice about whether that can of soda (also the 0 calorie one) is helping you in any way. Read the kilometer long ingredient list of the low fat cooking cream you’re about to buy. Does it sound like food to you?
“Crap is crap no matter how many calories are involved”.
Eat whole, nutritious foods. There’s a difference between 200 calories of vegetables and fruits and 200 calories of cake. There’s also a difference between a glass of home squeezed orange juice and a glass of “orange juice” from a box.
Having said that, you should keep in mind that I am also not encouraging you to overeat. Eat in moderation and do allow yourself occasional treats.
Tip: Try the 80/20 rule. For 80% of the time eat healthy and for the remaining 20% allow yourself some treats.
One more tip: Always take a piece of fruit or some of your favorite nuts with you. This way when you get hungry, you won’t reach for a candy bar.
Get your buns moving
You will lose weight if you eat well AND work out regularly.
Physical activity is not “one size fits all”. Some people love running, others prefer cycling. Some prefer to practice yoga in a studio, while others choose the comfort of a home practice. There is no wrong choice as long as you stick to it.
Choose the right time for you to work out/practice. It doesn’t matter if that’s in the morning, afternoon or evening, as long as it fits into your day.
Be sure to put it in your agenda too.
Make sure to start slow and keep your physical condition in mind. There is nothing more demotivating than signing up for an advanced class when you can barely do 5 crunches. Focus on getting the basics right and then you can build up from there.
Tip: Get rid of the scales and let questions like: “How do I feel in my clothes?”, “Do I like how I feel?”, and “Do I like what I see in the mirror?” guide you in the right direction to achieving your goal.
Do you still doubt whether the above strategy will work for you? Well, my husband (and his sweet tooth) – who gradually and without any stress lost 14 kilos – enjoys a normal life again. Just remember to follow the three steps that I outlined above and you can start to enjoy a more healthy life like me and my husband now do.