You promised yourself that you would change your body this year.
So off you went to a flying start, lost the first 5 Kgs & a full dress size…The compliments started pouring in and you felt so good about yourself that you cheated on a few meals and didn’t exercise for an entire week.
This is the umpteenth time you have declared to the world, and yourself, that you are going to lose weight no matter what.
But then after a week of denying yourself your favorite comfort foods, of aching in every muscle from all the unaccustomed exercise, you ask yourself if this was all really worth it. And then your uncaring family pitches in with a ‘Come on, just one piece of that cake won’t kill you!” So, you go on and have that piece, and then a few more.
And pretty soon you are right back where you started – falling off the wagon with an almighty thump!
This has happened to me way too many times to count and it still happens to me at least once a month. But you know what – I am still losing weight – at least 1 kg a month. How, you ask? Read on…
1. Set a practical weight loss goal.
We google weight loss and the internet pops out pictures and stories of incredible weight loss. Someone lost 25 Kgs in 2 months, dropped 5 dress sizes in 3 months, gained back their pre-pregnancy body in a week! The fact that we are googling weight loss means we have obviously not succeeded before and to think that we can achieve the same effect this time with the same techniques is bordering on the ridiculous!
Now don’t get me wrong – I am not saying that we will fail!
I am just saying that we are not those people on the internet. We have different bodies, different climates, different foods and a very different lifestyle. Hence we should aim for different goals. So attached is a popular chart for your ideal weight (this is for Indian women) because your ideal weight should always take into account your gender as well as your age.
Do note that as your age increases, it becomes more difficult to lose weight but that’s because the body grows less efficient and therefore needs more energy to sustain itself. E.g. if you are 35 yrs. old, height-5 ft. 3 inch, weigh 90 Kgs, you should ideally aim for 56-58 Kg. Means a 32 Kg weight loss which should be spread over 2 years., which equals about 1.5 Kg weight loss a month.
That gives you enough leeway to change your lifestyle at your own pace. And that means a much lesser chance of falling off the wagon!
2. Pick your Tools
Now that you know what your weight-goal or destination is, let’s map the journey.
At this point you can either choose to join a gym/dietician, and leave your fate in the hands of the experts. All you need to do is follow what they tell you. If you can do that, more power to you! Me? Not so much. I am more Do-It-Yourself. So if you are like me and would at least like a shot at it on your own, arm yourself with some basic tools.
I have personally used Caloriecounter & Myfitnesspal to count my calorie intake and record my calorie burn. These or other apps will give you the information about fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, fibre, sugar, etc. in the food that you are eating. Great way to keep yourself in check. And Fitocracy, PrettyFit & Runkeeper are some of the exercise based apps that you can download on your smartphone and use, or you can buy exercise videos. Having all these apps at your disposal will make you feel more accountable of your progress. Whatever you do, arm yourself with the knowledge and then stick to your plan.
3. Get a Support Group
There will be times when you would want to quit your new regime, or binge or just stop exercising. This is when you should ask for support – have a workout buddy or join few amazing fitness groups on Facebook where people can exchange information on fitness and also keep a check on each other.
You will be surprised to see just how supportive and great people you can find in these groups, who have all been right where you are and can guide you so much better than a professional.
4. Be Realistic
So you went to a party last night and binged. Or you went on a vacation and broke all your rules. You gained weight and now you feel like you have lost it all.
So what!!! Get up and start again.
Tomorrow is literally another day and you can’t sit and mope about the past. Move on! Realistically this is going to happen every few days. The challenge is to fall down and get up again. You have all the help you need.
5. Love yourself
A few of my friends and family members discouraged me on my weight loss journey, in some way or the other, for whatever reasons. Some people called me Fat to my face, more behind my back. The mirror told me I was unhealthy and unhappy.
Now I can choose to let all of this bog me down or I can use the insults to climb up higher to my goal.
I might not be at my ideal weight according to the chart, or at a place where I have truly met my goal, but I love my body now. I want to keep it healthy and happy, not THIN! Thin is not the goal, Healthy is The Goal. If I weigh at 50 Kgs and still have trouble climbing the stairs, I have not achieved anything. And if I am 65 Kgs but can run up the stairs, I am fit.
All in all, goals were made to be achieved as long as you are realistic about them. You WILL achieve your personal goals and don’t let anyone tell you any different. If you fall, don’t just sit there, pick yourself up and or have someone pull you up, cos it’s no fun doing it alone !