>> Thursday, September 17, 2009
So, this is my last post on this subject for a while, I promise. And it fits in with Thieving Thursday, so I'm going to write it. And then I'll let it rest. Really. Even if someone adds something fascinating.
So, what am I talking about? Two things. How to lose weight in a permanent kind of way and how to help someone lose weight in a permanent kind of way. I know, I know, I'm fat, but I have lost weight with lifestyle changes that would likely have lasted if my lifestyle had lasted and, after all, this is only advice. And it won't cost you a cent.
First and foremost, for those like me who are fat, it won't be easy and no one can do it but you. If someone tells you of "simple" tricks or drugs that let you live your old lifestyle, you're being lied to and they won't help anyway. In the end, without a lifestyle change, you'll just go back to what you were. If you become dependent on someone telling you what to eat or when to exercise, you likely will end up with little rebellions that will undo it all. You have to commit, you have to be ready and willing to do it - or none of it will work. I believe this.
Sometimes it is easier than others. Sometimes it's pure hell, but, even if you never get as skinny as you want to be, even if you're always heavier than you'd like to be, eating better and getting exercise are both good things for you to do. Always.
The first thing you need to do is remember why it's worth it. Because you are. Your fat is not who you are, it doesn't define you. You have to believe you're worth it or it won't work. BUT, if you do believe it, if you do believe in yourself, you can do so much more than you ever thought.
Secondly, you need to get active. Make it something you enjoy, because, if you hate it, you won't keep it up for life. Find a partner if you can. Get your heart pumping and keep it pumping for a while. Be careful not to injure yourself (and therefore, set yourself back). For me, boredom is a big issue, so I like martial arts because I have to think and my mind is engaged. Bring music. Do team sports, dance, walk briskly, life weights, just something that makes you excited and gets the blood pumping. And, DON'T SKIP. You have to commit to this or it won't work.
Think about what you drink. This gets a lot of people. No soda or sugared drinks. Keep milk and fruit juice to a minimum (especially if there's sugar added) and avoid whole milk. I've found 1% is easy to get used to. But, drink all the time, just drink water. Throw some lemon juice (unsweetened) in it if you don't like the taste. Use water fountains, filtered tap water, whatever, but drink and drink a lot. As you lose weight, toxins stored in your fat will be released. Best to flush those out. And a stomach full of water is less likely to demand a big meal.
Think about what you eat. Know exactly what you're eating and why. If you can afford a dietitian or it's covered on your health plan, seek their advice. I won't tell you what to eat and what not to eat - I'm not qualified and I'm not convinced everyone should eat the same things in the same proportion - but limit your calories, keep track of everyone so you know exactly how many you're getting. You will get hungry, even feel starving. Aim for food that gives you what you need, calories that mean something instead of foods that provide sugar or fat and nothing else. Vegetables and fruit (the latter in moderation) are almost always good bets. I'm a big fan of boiled eggs for breakfast, but then I don't have a cholesterol problem. There are sites like this one that can help you figure out how many calories (and other groups) you're eating. Get into the habit of tracking it. Do some homework, consult health professionals, and think about everything you eat. Small meals but more of them, but no snacks per se. Snacks are killers for throwing off a diet.
You will hit plateaus. Seriously. And you'll likely get discouraged, because it never goes as quickly as it ought to. And you can lose quite a bit of weight without being able to see the difference. For me, what works best is using the the tracking tools with the Hacker's Diet - which is the diet that has always worked for me 'cause I'm technical, however, you don't have to be technical to use these tools. What I like about it is that you weigh every day, but it does an averaging thing so the dips and crests that are part of water retention and normal day to day stuff don't feel like "I lost three pounds!" "Oh, no, I gained five pounds!" Also, when you've lost the weight, you can keep using it and it can let you know when you're starting to pack 'em back on, even if you're only gaining a fraction of a pound a month. Cool beans.
I'm sure the Mother will chime in with stuff I forgot or didn't know. Take care of yourself. You're the only one of you we've got.