Before I walk you through this I want you to first note that unhealthy weight gain is a sign of abnormalities happening in our bodies. I also want to emphasize that there is beauty in diversity and there isn’t a set standard for beauty or size. What matters is for you to feel good and comfortable in yourself and your skin as you become your best and healthy self.
I may come across as being obsessed with losing weight but the truth is that I want to be and stay healthy to reduce the risk of developing “lifestyle-relate diseases”. Of course I also want to look my best (who doesn’t)! If you have read my previous article (click here to read it if you haven’t), you would understand better.
My current ongoing weight-loss did not happen overnight. It took a lot of effort to start seeing it and indeed I still find the process very intriguing. This is to say that you need to first embrace and trust the process. The following are what I have been doing in the last few weeks. Yes! The last few weeks.
- Conditioning the mind for change
The change I needed was not coming because I was not mentally prepared for it. In fact in my mind I felt it would take too long and so much hard work to make it happen. This mindset led to inconsistencies and sabotage so I was at the same point (between 67 kg and 68 kg) for about four months. The “I-can-do-it” mindset kicked in when I started making some positive affirmations to myself. I began accepting the fact that I needed to work for it- that I needed to embrace the process and to be patient. It really started from the mind for me and obviously any form of change one wants to see must first be seen in the person’s mind to manifest.
- Daily routine and meal plan
What to do every day had to be considered in order to achieve every goal I set. I therefore decided to apply same strategy to my journey. I drew a routine centred on my average daily activities and put in when to eat and exercise. I also planned what to eat within every day of the week. Meal plans get boring sometimes to me, especially when I eat exactly what’s on my plan for specific day so I alternate the meals (but not the times) on the plan for satisfaction.
I do high intensity interval trainings (HIIT) sometimes twice a day, three to five times in a week, when I wake up in the mornings and just before I go to sleep at night. Working out in the evenings is sometimes difficult to get in so I usually relax by stretching with some yoga poses before bed time.
It is important to note that recovery allows your body to rest from the stress of exercising and indeed medical research has shown that our bodies take time to burn fat during the process. During my recovery days I either take long walks or stretch with yoga poses. Recovery soothes the mind and improves sleep.
- Enough/Quality sleep
Having enough sleep is as important as exercising and eating well. Our diet is directly affected by the amount of sleep we have. Continuous sleep deprivation puts your body in stress mode, releasing the stress hormone called cortisol. High cortisol levels make it difficult for the body to burn fat and contributes to the deposition of fat in the abdominal region. Deprived sleep also causes our bodies to over-produce hormones called leptin and ghrelin. These hormones increase cravings and hunger and cause us to eat more and unnecessarily. Even on a great eating and workout plan, sleep-deprived individuals find it difficult to burn fat or lose unhealthy weight when compared with individuals on the same plan and metabolism, who get enough/quality sleep. I therefore make sure to get enough sleep (both at night and during naps) at a total of 7 to 8 hours in a day.
- The ability to differentiate between hunger, cravings and empty stomach
I learnt to identify hunger from cravings and hunger from an empty stomach. I realized that I used to eat whenever I wanted to or had the urge (craving a particular thing) to eat. There were also times that I was not hungry but I simply felt light in weight and would eat anyway (the feeling of an empty stomach). I drew my attention to these and address or ignore them accordingly. I also don’t eat when I don’t feel hungry. There are times that I notice that I actually only get hungry once in a day.
Our bodies listen to the words we speak to ourselves and align with them. I learnt to talk myself out of cravings and interestingly it works for me.
I have been doing these for almost 6 weeks and eventually started seeing the results, back-to-back in a period of two weeks. I listened to a number of weight-loss testimonies and learnt that on the average, people start seeing results after 6 to 9 weeks of living a healthy lifestyle.
Measuring the progress of your input should not be dependent on the weighing scale. Our body weights fluctuate at different times of the day and week. Continuously checking your weight on the scale has the capacity to leave you depressed, disappointed and discouraged and can cause you to stop doing the needed activities. I use three methods of measuring progress; I use the scale to check my weight, averagely every Friday morning, the tape measure to track the inches lost around my waist, abdominal region, arms and thighs, and take photographs for latter comparisons.
You may want to ditch your weighing scale for some time if you know you work so hard at your goals and it keeps disappointing you.
Disclaimer: This is what seems to be working for me. You may try it and let me know how it goes.
Being healthy is a total lifestyle based on habits. Habits do not change overnight but are built over time with conscious efforts.
I am living my best life!