Drink shakes. Take pills. Sprinkle powder on your food. Use our magic machine. Eat only foods that begin with the letter “Z”. You’ll lose 50 lbs! Overnight! Guaranteed!
These ads, that these products even exist, make me so rage-filled. And everyone seems to know someone that they’ve worked for and lost 200 pounds in a month. What no one hears about is how as soon as they stopped using the magic miracle, they gain it all back (usually plus some because they didn’t learn how to make healthy food choices for meals). Or that they’re now on the transplant waiting list to replace the organs that were damaged by whatever concoction of chemicals they’d been sucking down in pursuit of gaining that buff beach body. Losing weight and getting healthy is not that easy without consequences. I just want to shake those friends and family I have that keep sinking money into this crap, then get depressed when they either don’t work or the weight creeps back on.
Twenty-some years ago, I was a fitness trainer. I had that body. Now, I’m over 200 pounds. No matter what the circumstances, be they medical or just a lack of willpower, I allowed this to happen. I knew I was gaining weight and didn’t take the necessary steps to halt and reverse the process. I can own this…IT IS MY FAULT.
Last June I made the decision to change my life. Facing and accepting the fact that losing weight and getting healthy is not going to be easy or quick was the right first step. I wanted off the lose/gain roller coaster and wanted to make more of a lifestyle change, so I researched and then researched some more. Exercise and Diet (as in what foods you choose, not trendy weight-loss plans) go hand-in-hand for a medically safe and effective way of reaching your goals. I’m basically a homebody computer nerd, so I had to accept that getting away from my desk and off my couch to do some kind of physical activity was necessary.
My best ally turned out to be a website called My Fitness Pal. The main attraction was its food diary program and database. I bought a food scale and started tracking everything I ate and drank. It was eye-opening. Things that I assumed were healthy just because they were low-cal were loaded with sodium and other nasties. I now have a good understanding of what nutritional options work for me and still give my body the fuel it needs to function. I can eat out, indulge in desserts and eat the foods I like (portion control, portion control, portion control) and still achieve my daily goals.
The site also offsets your daily dietary choices with your activities and exercises. Even if its only walking around your neighborhood for 30 minutes to an hour, daily exercise is a must.
This past year has been one of the hardest of my life. Its not easy and I’ll admit, I’ve had setbacks. I’m not anywhere near reaching my goals, but I’ve made enough progress to feel good about myself and the path I’m taking.