Originally posted 4th June 2016
“I’m not losing weight. I’m getting rid of it. I have no intention of finding it again”
I am no expert and I don’t pretend to be one. When I say ‘6 Things You Need To Know’ this is not coming from a doctor, it is not coming from a personal trainer, it is not coming from a nutritionist. It also isn’t coming from someone who’s been slim, fit and healthy their entire life, yet somehow think they know what you’re going through.
I want you to know that these have not come from research or observation. They come from experience. They come from someone who is going through the same thing right now. I have my good weeks and bad weeks. I lose; I gain; I maintain. I can do everything right and the scales don’t show it or I can do everything wrong and think feel elated when I think I’ve ‘gotten away with it’ (see more on that later!)
So I’m no expert, but I think these are important for anyone who is starting, or has already started their journey.
Let’s get started!
It will not be easy
This may sound cliche and something you could read anywhere, but it’s the honest to Gods truth and if anyone tells you different then they’re a liar.
I remember reading about Katie Hopkins and how she decided to gain weight and lose it, just to show how ‘easy’ she thinks it is and I remember thinking “Now there’s someone with way too much time on their hands”
People like Katie Hopkins, and other celebrities, you have to remember that when they say “Oh I lost all the weight in so many weeks and it was really easy with these simple blah blah blah” – it is their job to look good. (Personally I don’t think that’s right, butthat’s a different post)
Celebrities are busy people, yes. But they have to make time in their schedule to work out. Chances are they even have people telling them what kind of diet they should be on for the role they’re doing and so on.
The fact is that it isn’t easy. It will probably be one of the longest and difficult journeys you will take-on in your life. I’m not trying to put you off, I’m being realistic.
There are too many people or ads out there that say ‘5 easy steps’ or ‘Lose weight quickly using’ or even breed advice such as “Well, here’s a solution. Exercise more and eat less!”
Wow, genius. Where did you get that gem, Hallmark? You know, because that thought has never crossed my mind.
Let’s be real, those kinds of people have no idea what you’re going through. They think they know best, they think it’s easy but chances are they’ve never been where you are now.
But don’t let it deter you. Your journey is entirely your own and don’t let anyone tell you different.
So no, it won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it (…I’m sure it’ll be worth it, it had better be worth it!)
You don’t have to do it alone / It’s OK to ask for help
This was a big thing for me. I was so stubborn thinking “I’m going to do it on my own, how hard can it be?”.
I’ve never seen asking for help as a sign of weakness, so that wasn’t the issue for me personally. My issue was that I really didn’t like the idea of anyone knowing that much or being that involved in my diet and workout plans. I already had (and still do have) my family constantly asking about it and sometimes it just gets a bit intrusive.
The problem was that I didn’t know what I was doing. I tried going it alone but a healthy lifestyle just wasn’t something I aspired to back then. I did it all wrong, it doesn’t help when you think what you’re eating is healthy but you find out it contains all these hidden fats and sugars. Absolute nightmare.
So, I joined Slimming World with my sister. We both joined at the same time. I never actually had that ‘light bulb’ or ‘ah-ha’ moment, that moment when something clicks. I just decided I wanted a change. Weight has been an issue my whole life, it’s something that I think about every day – because I have to. Especially since I joined Slimming World – my life seems to revolve around working out what’s free and counting my syns. Now, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Since joining Slimming World I’ve lost just over a stone. It’s been up-and-down for me, still not easy but I don’t think I could have lost even that without having joined.
If you don’t want to join something like that, maybe do it with a few friends?
Recently some friends and myself have started doing tennis on a weekly basis. I’m doing it to lose weight, they’re doing it to be a bit more active. It’s fun, it’s social – it’s a win-win.
Now I need to get myself a gym buddy!
Do It For You
Again, this one comes up so frequently it’s pretty much a staple, but I couldn’t not include it.
I said that this would be one of the longest and difficult journeys you may take on in your life, you do not do it for anyone except yourself.
If you’re happy the way you are, fantastic! I wish more people were. But if you want a change then go for it! I did.
You have to be in the right mind-set. If you’re doing it to please someone else then it will not work. It might for a while but
1st – if you’re happy in yourself then what is the point? You’re putting yourself through so much stress, you’re changing your entire lifestyle, you’re changing yourself all to make someone else happy? Wrong, in so many ways. You do not need them in your life.
2nd – if you’re not in the mind-set of ‘I want to do this for me’ then chances are you won’t be as motivated or determined. You may even end up feeling worse because things are going slowly or get to a stand-still and that isn’t right.
Before you start on the journey make sure it’s something youwant to do. It’s your life, you are the one who has to go through the ups and downs, the elation and frustration.
If it is what you want you will endure it. You will keep at it every day, every week. You know that you will have set-backs, but you will take every hit and you will hit back twice as hard. You will do whatever it takes. Then and only then will it work.
Everyone has them. I don’t think I have ever heard of one person who has not had a set-back on their weight-loss journey. They come with the package.
As I said in the introduction there will be times where you’ve done everything right and the scales just don’t show it (traitors!).
There are times where you you’ve done everything wrong and the scales show a loss. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense, but let me tell you that it is rare that those numbers never show up. Just a warning, if it doesn’t show up one week you can bet it’ll be there the next. Trust me on that.
Set-Backs are inevitable. How you handle them is the issue. There are times where you see a gain and it’s so easy to think ‘screw it, what’s the harm in…’ (equally, if you see a big loss you start to think ‘well, it was a good week so why not have…’) – it’s a dangerous game.
If you haven’t had a loss in a few weeks the best thing to do is get back to basics. When was your best loss? What did you do that week? Can you replicate it this week?
Whatever you do, please do not give up. Please do not throw away days / weeks / months of hard work because of it. Remember why you started. Remember, it works – it’s worked before and it will continue working as long as you keep at it.
Also remember that you are human and it is OK to enjoy yourself every once in a while. It is OK to have what you like at a restaurant, if you gain then you know where it came from and you are in control. Instead of doing it on a whim tell yourself consciously ‘I am having that and after that meal I am back on plan’ If you make it a conscious decision you are the one in control and it will be easier to control your decisions for the rest of the day.
A food diary is an absolutely fantastic way of keeping track of what you’ve eaten, drank and your exercise throughout the day.
I have one, to be honest I rarely use it. I’m trying but I think since I found out you can do it on Instagram I use that a lot more.
I have an Instagram account but I’ve created a new one for my weight-loss journey. It makes it so easy, just snap a picture of your food (yes, you have to become one of those people. If you are already then no worries, I’m still getting used to it), your drinks, your snacks, any exercise whether it be tennis, gym, walking the dog, walking in general – it’s a daily log and can really help.
I’ve also found that doing it through Instagram has helped me because other people post too, they post recipe ideas – whether they’re at their target weight or getting there – and you get so many ideas! It keeps you motivated, inspired and determined.
Do not think that you have to lose weight in order to live life and love living it.
I know this is an issue for some people because they feel self-conscious, which I can totally understand. I’ll be honest, this isn’t such an issue for me. I’m rather oblivious or in my own world, so if people look or comment I don’t notice.
If I did notice, then screw them. They are not me, I am having a good time with my friends or family and I’ll be damned if I let a few people who feel the need to look down on me ruin that.
Do not let them get to you. They don’t know what you’re doing and, quite frankly, they don’t care. They just want to feel superior and probably have nothing better to do. They are not worth your time, energy or thoughts. They’re strangers that you will never see again. You have your friends and your family, the people who care about you, they are what matter.
You can do whatever you want. Go out, socialise with friends. Have fun, play tennis, go to the gym, go swimming, go to the beach, go to town, go on a shopping spree, do that run, bowling, laser quest, park, football, concerts, holidays!
Don’t say no because you want to wait for that perfect moment to start living your life because there is no such thing. Life is not perfect. The world is your oyster and it won’t wait for you. Time goes on regardless of your decision, so just do it.
I could keep going but I feel that’s a good place to leave it for now. As this journey continues I may consider doing a part 2.
If anyone feels I’ve missed something you feel is vital or has been pivotal in your journey please comment down below, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Lets help and inspire each other, shall we?