A few years ago I was horribly overweight (for my body frame) and I didn’t even know it.
I guess my clothes started feeling a little tighter than what they normally did and my face was a lot rounder, but I didn’t really notice any of this. I was stressed beyond belief at work and I was too tired and unmotivated to get exercising when I got home.
It wasn’t until a comment was made on a Facebook picture of my husband and I – it was a nice enough comment from a family member saying hello, except that we were called “vetties” (the Afrikaans word for ‘fatties’). That woke me up, big time. It was the wake-up call I needed, although I would definitely prefer a kind word over something like that any day!
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not the type of person to preach about what someone else should look like at all. I hate that the media is constantly bombarding us with adverts to lose weight and to look a certain way, or that airbrushed images of women are plastered all over the covers of magazines. Weight loss and beauty are two huge money making markets – and sadly, I don’t see either one of them quitting any time soon.
My thing is this: you should feel confident and comfortable in whatever size your body is. For me today, it’s a question of how healthy I want to be. I like having energy and not feeling out of breath every time I climb up and down our stairs at home. I like knowing that I can run a while before feeling like I’m about to pass out. I enjoy that extra boost I get after a great workout – all the positive energy that goes along with it. Basically, I just like having energy and feeling fit. And a few years ago, I wasn’t very happy or comfortable, and I had zip energy.
But everyone has different reasons for wanting to lose weight and that’s fine.
It took me 10 months to lose that weight because I did it slowly – the healthy way. I didn’t starve myself or try all kinds of wacky diets or stick to only drinking fluids. It was 80% about what I ate and 20% about moving around and getting more active.
I cut the weight and the extra calories by cutting out certain things every day. Today, almost 5 years later I still stick to this way of eating. It’s become part of my lifestyle.
Here’s what I did:
- I upped my water intake to 8 glasses of water a day. I even carried a water bottle around with me so I wouldn’t forget.
- I kept snacks with me. Provita biscuits, yoghurt, fruit, and nuts.
- I cut down eating bread.
- I cut out butter.
- I cut down to one or two teaspooons of sugar a day.
- I stopped eating sugary cereals for breakfast.
- I tried to stick to eating vegetables or salad and a protein without any carbohydrates for supper.
- I ate brown rice with different veggies, or pasta salads for lunch.
I still had treats – desserts and chocolate – but in moderation. I didn’t deprive myself of anything. I made more of an effort to go to the gym or workout at home at least 3 times a week.
Making the decision to lose weight and cut those extra calories is not an overnight weight loss breeze…it’s a lifestyle choice. At least that’s what it was for me. Over the past year I’ve only picked up one or two kilos here or there, but I’m not anal about it. For me, it’s all about feeling good about my body and feeling fit and healthy.
Do you find it’s easier working out more or changing your eating plan in order to lose a bit of weight?
You might also like to read: 7 Effortless ways to cut daily calories
Image credits: freedigitalphotos.net
Health and happiness…