The First Step-
After 30 lb. weight loss.
Everyone resolves to lose weight in the new year. Few attain their goal. I was one of those who actually made their new years resolution come true. The picture is me after I lost 30 lbs in 2011. I had realistic expectations, a lot of help from my support system, and the right attitude to make it happen. In 6 months the weight came off, and it has stayed off ever since. It wasn’t a snap and it wasn’t divinely easy but I did achieve some substantial weight loss, and you can, too. There really is only one way to lose weight, and that is to eat less and move more. My father told me that long ago and he was right he was also a surgeon, so he had seen it all.
I am going to tell you what I know about weight loss and maintaining your weight at the proper level, and that is considerable. Please believe that if you want to just eat exotic berries or garf down rainforest vitamins and think you are going to lose weight without cutting down your food intake, you are going to be sadly deceived. A journey of 10,000 miles begins with the first step, so lets take that step.
The Second Most Important Step-
The very first thing you are going to have to do is: weigh yourself. Yes, that is essential. You don’t have to do it now but make your mind up that you are going to faithfully weight yourself every day at the same time and record the result. Do this for the rest of your life. You will get in the habit, and as you get used to it, you will really come to regard weighing as an essential part of your day. I recommend that you weigh yourself first thing in the morning after you get up. That way you are the lightest you are going to be, and it is a more true snapshot of what you weigh.
Now that you have the number, look up what you should weigh (of course you can do this step right now and weigh yourself tomorrow morning if you like). There are a lot of places where you can find out your ideal weight, they usually have you put in your height, gender, and sometimes your age and voila, your weight is calculated and that is your goal. Here are a few I found:calculator.net, a fun interactive one at Health-calc,and a particularly good one at WebMD.com. Armed with that information, you are ready to go.
The MOST Important Step-
The most important component of my weight loss journey was one forgotten or never-noticed part of my “equipment”: the fact that we think we are hungry when we are not. In Western Civ we are constantly bombarded with messages to eat, temptations, calls to indulge, promises of forgiveness, and the certain knowledge that all will be better if we just eat. We are told that not to eat is automatically anorexic or inhospitable, that you really need more and that to deprive yourself is foolish. Count the number of food and drink ads on the TV in one hour. How lovingly they are put on and just how much food is being pushed. Your house is full of “snacks”, and the right to snack is almost a human right.
Poppycock! Gnawing hunger pains are real but they are just as much the product of expectation and habit as they are of real hunger. We consume many more calories than we need to maintain our weight, so how can we really be hungry? We aren’t, but we are eating for amusement, for a treat, because we eat at the same time every day and so it’s a habit, because it’s there, because we are disappointed, or because we are getting away with something. There are loads of reasons we eat too much, but the bottom line is that…we eat too much.
So, the first thing you have to do in order to get through the diet which will change your life is to realize that you are not HUNGRY all of the time, that you are trained or fooling yourself into thinking you are hungry. So examine the hunger you feel inbetween meals. Ask yourself,”Am I really hungry or am I just looking for a treat?” I bet you will be surprised at the number of times the latter is the answer. Once you realize you are not really hungry, pursue that thought. Enjoy realizing that hunger isn’t really at the root of your desire, and think about what is. Is it 11:00 a.m. and you are anticipating lunch, are you driving by MCDonalds and you remember that triple cheeseburger ad you saw on TV, is your birthday coming up and you want a treat in advance, are you really just a little hungry and a snack will be “good for you”? This is the moment when you really need to know yourself and turn your back on excess eating when you are not really hungry. Once you banish fake hunger, you are at least 50% closer to your goal, and all you have to do is to keep at it.
So, if there is one thing I hope you take away from reading this essay, it’s that we have a lot of false hunger in our lives, and that encourages (demands even) that we overeat. Examining that false hunger before we give in lets us realize that we are not really in dire need of a snack and then we can get on to doing something productive instead of chowing down.
Distraction Is A Good Thing-
Oh, now is a great time to take up that pastime you have been thinking of: reading a very life-changing book or series of them, learning a foreign language, needlepoint, or getting into that one piece of software you have been avoiding. Taking your mind off your appetite and putting it on something useful is the very best employment of your attention.
Best of luck. This is your first step and you should feel proud of yourself. Keep on coming back for more help in your quest to lose weight from someone who did just that. I will be blogging about this all during the month of January, and I am sure it will make your task that much easier.
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