This post is in conjunction with the January blog a day challenge.
I have a confession. Despite the fact I still haven’t gotten my own act together it drives me nuts when I see/read/hear about people doing crazy diets. I know I have no right at all to give people unsolicited advice, especially considering I have a hard enough time taking my own advice.
That being said when I read about people doing extreme calorie restricting/removing entire food groups (unless medically necessary) (I would say Paleo/keto aside as so many people have had success on them long term and have been able to make it a lifestyle as opposed to a diet), crash dieting, doing liquid fasts and so on. I just want to tell them that they are lovely and all they need is do calculate their BMR, knock off 500 or so calories from that, count calories using an app like MyFitnessPal, get 30-60 minutes of activity a day, and make sure that you lift weights following a program set up by a personal trainer or following a program like New Rules of Lifting For Women or Starting Strength. And then stick with it. Re-evaluate every 20 pounds lost or 3 months or when you hit a plateau. Try new things. Try C25K. Take a spinning class. Go for long walks or hikes if the weather permits.
I know when you lay it all out like that it sounds daunting. And for someone starting out it may very well be, but for someone who has been around the block on this SO many times and done so many detrimental things to try to lose weight, I know that this approach works. Yes, it may be hard, and it takes dedication and willpower to eat salad and chicken when you want pizza (not that I’m saying you can’t eat pizza). If you can fit it in to your calorie count, go for it. I learned from doing severely restricted diets like Optifast, (and I am still paying the price from that in the form of a headache that hasn’t gone away in over 7 years) that denying myself things that I want/crave ends up being a disaster for me personally. So if I want pizza, I have it, but I make sure the rest of my meals make up for the extra calories and make sure I work out.
Remember the scale is a tool, and that your life and self worth isn’t measured by a number. Take measurements monthly. Take progress pictures monthly. The scale doesn’t always measure progress. While I only lost a few pounds while I did a weight loss challenge at the gym, I lost 16 inches overall that the scale didn’t reflect.
The biggest thing I’ve learned in this journey called life, is that you can do anything if you want it bad enough. I lost 85 pounds once. I wanted it bad, and I restricted myself and went exercise crazy and never, ever enjoyed what I was eating. After I lost the weight, I was like great, brilliant! And then I went back to my old habits, and gained 20 pounds back practically instantaneously.
I’m not a doctor of medicine. I’m not a nutritionist or a personal trainer. But I know enough to tell you if you want something, you can do it. If you read my blog, you know I am very open and honest, and I’m always here to listen and offer advice and be supportive to anyone who needs help.
And hopefully be able to take my own advice. And that’s my biggest confession of all.