My mother would always say that l was born over 200 pounds and for most of my life l have been struggling with weight issues from as early as l can remember to the present day. I have tried every diet fad and weight loss programs – from drinking chocolate Slim Fast to going to Dr. Bernstein for injections that would burn the fat off my body. The amount of diet pills and supplements that were recommended or given to me over the years to help me lose weight and try to have that perfect image have been endless.
I struggled with being overweight, or in some cases you even would have considered me obese. I know that excess weight is associated with potentially serious health conditions, such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, not to mention sleep apnea, fatty liver disease, and back and knee problems, among other things. I also worried about my appearance.
‘Consider weight loss drugs or surgery’ has also been whispered in my ear about weight loss. There have been days that l would go home, in some cases depressed and seriously consider surgery. It got to a point in my past where l did visit a weight loss clinic for a consolation to do bariatric surgery on my stomach for weight loss.
Needless to say that on a personal level, l have tried it all. In one way or another, I have experienced all the struggles with weight loss.
Here’s what worked for me:
I resigned myself to the fact that l was a fat person. Even as l was losing weight, l would have to remind myself that a fat person lived inside of me. The psychology behind this mind technique is that putting the weight back on is so easy.
I chose a well-rounded, nutritional diet plan consisting of a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats, and very low carbohydrates. It was a popular diet, which l modified to suit my preferences. I never bought any prepared foods and I stayed on track with common sense and moderation.
I got a small pocket notebook and started keeping track of everything that l ate. Each page represented a day’s intake, and l counted calories, as best l could. Once a week, l weighed myself, and recorded my weight only once a week.
Exercise is important from the stand point of doing something. For me, l started with just walking for about 20 minutes a day and as l got stronger, l incorporated more vigorous exercises. Exercise helped me sleep better, because when l wasn’t sleeping, l was always munching on some food late at night. Try not to eat anything after 8.00pm. I trained my mind with a small psychological trick…l would say to myself that the mill was shut down at 8.00pm.
There were stops and starts, and the scale went up and down, but over time, the pounds slowly came off. As l was losing weight, l was able to rejoin my gym and add one or two weekly workout sessions in. It took me over two years, but l was able to have a 50-pound weight loss.
Most weight loss is followed by weight gain, as people revert to their old habits. For me, it was difficult at the start but keeping track of how much l ate was very helpful. Self-monitoring and tracking what l put in my mouth was very important in my success.
Obesity is a major global health problem and predisposes individuals to several comorbidities that can affect life expectancy. Interventions based on lifestyle modification and integral components in the management of obesity. However, although weight loss can be achieved through dietary restrictions and/or increased physical activity, over the long term many individuals regain weight.
Weight loss is a big thing, the problem is that fad diets -the extreme ones that limit food source or completely cut things out, don’t offer long-term results. When you incorporate healthier tendencies as part of your lifestyle, you’ll start to see numbers on the scale shift in the right direction. If for any reason results take a little longer than you’d hoped, you’re less likely to become discouraged in the meantime.
At the end of the day, it comes down to a very simple old adage and that is “eat less, exercise more” and do what works for you and your lifestyle.