Be Successful With Your Weight Loss
After watching the Obesity Clinic on RTÉ over the past couple of weeks, it brought memories flooding back for me! Memories of how my life was, where my life was going and what would life be like now! What would my children be like now if I wasn’t successful with my weight loss? What would I be like? How big would I have gotten? How bad could it all have gone? The one thing I can say with some relief is, “Thank God I stuck with it”.
Stick With It
Some people might think that weight loss was easy for me, only because I have managed to be successful in the battle against my weight but I had to go through all the same feelings, thoughts and failures as you do/did. The only difference is that I stuck with it; I took the extra step, I went the extra mile and I didn’t stop until I hit my target. It did take me two years. I did have my bad days or bad week but I kept my eye on the target and kept drawing those lines under each bad time. I always try to remind my members to keep going, don’t give up and keep their eye on the big picture, not on what happened today or the past couple of days.
No Easy Way Out
After writing my blog last week about fad diets, I still see people looking for an easier option. Something that is going to give them a quick start, an “easy” way out, an easy way to lose weight! And I’m sure it will probably always be like this! It’s very frustrating for me because I don’t like telling people that things aren’t going to work because there might be that tiny chance that it may just work for them but for the majority of people, knowing that they just don’t work and knowing they will continue to yo-yo between diets is really frustrating! Everyone has their own opinions on how weight loss is tackled on a personal level but I would never force my opinions on anyone and tell them it’s my way or no way. I will only ever offer my opinion and hopefully people will form their own opinions from it and from their own experiences. I suppose my blogs let me vent and say things that hopefully people will take on board without been directed at any one person. There is no easy way out! Cabbage diets, soup diets, banana diets, tea diets – fad diets – please pass them by and look at yourself; you haven’t hit the weight you want and you are still looking for the magic potion. I said it last week; there is no easy way out in dieting. You do have to put the time and effort in and you do have to be consistent – my simplest advice is, keep going, don’t let anything or anyone stop you. Keep going until you have hit that final goal that you want but do it properly – eat healthy, exercise and be consistent, try not to force a weight loss plan or you’ll grow to resent it – follow this and you will not regret it and your body will thank you for it.
Being over-weight is something that unless you are going through it or have gone through it yourself – you will not really understand it. If I’m 100% honest I will also say that even though I have been through it, I myself sometimes wonder how is it possible to let yourself get that far? I wonder how indeed I let myself slip that far…and it could’ve gone further. Obesity and being over weight becomes a vicious cycle. You eat because you are sad or depressed, then you become more sad or depressed because you are eating so much and it just keeps going. There are several weight loss programs available and some may work for some people and others work for other people so find the one that works for you and stick with it.
Opinions On Weight Loss
Exercise is another part of the obesity that people sometimes forget and again can become a vicious cycle. You feel you can’t exercise because you are so unfit or overweight that it is painful and frustrating you might even be injured and unable to do a lot of heavy impact exercise, or depressed and lacking motivation so you start to eat, your weight builds up, the fitness continues to decline and it becomes even harder to get started (or even WANT to get started).
Again, I would have my own opinions on exercise and weight loss because I have seen both sides of it. I have been the super un-fit person who struggled to walk let alone anything else, and have now come full circle, re-qualified as a personal trainer and enjoy an extremely active lifestyle. In terms of exercise, the main thing I would say to people is start SLOWLY and build it up gradually! Like the weight loss – you didn’t become unfit over night, so don’t expect to be super fit after one outing either! It takes time so let your body adjust gradually to the new changes and increase the time and intensity week by week. In terms of the type of training you want to be doing – then you need to be doing a combination of Cardio and also resistance/weight training. Cardio is essential for burning fat, and on your food and exercise diary you will see that there is also an exercise diary incorporated alongside your food diary! This is to encourage the more active lifestyle every day and ensure those positive changes really do stick and becomes a way of life! You should try and do some form of cardio exercise (walking, running, aerobics, cycling etc) at least 3 – 4 times per week, but ideally every day! It doesn’t have to be a full blown workout every day – even a walk on your lunchtime will count towards hitting that daily target set out in your plan! 🙂
In terms of the weights/resistance – this doesn’t mean having to go to a gym, and this doesn’t mean you will end up looking like the incredible hulk either if you get it right! 🙂 Ladies and men do tend to want different things when training with weights. The majority of men want to “tone up” but in reality this often actually means, “Bulk up”. They want to get that ripped look, and to get that means adding strength to the muscles and building the size of the muscle so that it can be clearly seen! Ladies on the other hand, generally want to “tone up”, and by that they just want to have firmer looking skin and less wobbly bits. As ladies generally spend most of their time trying to get slimmer and lose inches, the last thing they want to do is “bulk up” and add size and inches so the training does tend to be a little bit different! For those simply trying to tone up and keep the size to a minimum we are really looking at using light weights with high repetitions. By this I mean you should be using a weight that you can comfortably lift more than 12 times. If you cannot lift the weight that many times then you should be switching to a lighter weight. Lifting weights using high repetitions and low weight means that you will be toning up rather than bulking up. Lifting a very heavy weight just a handful of times will really improve your strength and power, but it is also good to remember that this will also be significantly building the size of your muscle, sometimes this can result in changing your shape – and not necessarily in the more slender way that you had imagined 🙂
As I said, you don’t have to go to a gym to add resistance training into your workout you can do these exercises in your own home in front of the T.V. so NO EXCUSES 🙂 Improving your muscle tone actually makes your body more effective at burning calories so is a really important part of your weight loss journey and will also help you to maintain your goal weight too. 2 people same height, same age, same weight etc. Person A has a higher percentage of muscle in their body to person B………Person A will actually burn more calories doing absolutely nothing than person B!! To maintain her weight, person A would also be able to eat several hundred calories MORE to stay at the same weight than person B! Now to me that is appealing enough in itself! 🙂
Being obese is a horrifying experience and one that I would not wish on anyone. It is why it is so important for us adults to make sure that our children are shown or guided in the right way to do things, be shown and educated in food, explain the different nutritional facts and benefits. It might sound simple but explain the benefits of exercise and the consequences of not doing any etc. My children are only 4 and (almost) 3 and because I have been living a healthy lifestyle – since they can remember, it has really rubbed off on them. Both children would rather walk to crèche and Montessori than take the car. Even the other day I was in a rush so I said, “quick, jump in the car and I’ll nip you to school”. Both had a fuss and told me not to be so lazy and said they wanted to walk!! Even my eldest said, “Mummy we need our exercise”! So we walked lol. It’s the same with their fruit and vegetables. When they were smaller, Frank Greally (Editor of the Irish Runner) told them that if they eat their fruit & veg they will grow up to be big and strong and will be able to run fast, like Mummy. Now they love to run, they eat all their fruit and veg and they know what foods are good and what are bad for them and they do make their own choices – usually healthy but kids will be kids!
So if you are trying to lose weight, or thinking about it, find something that works for you and stick with it. Keep away from fad diets gradually increase your cardio activity and start to add toning exercises 2 – 3 times per week, and you will hit your goal weight.
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