I have been trying to write this article for a long time. I write, erase, start over, write something else, backspace a bunch of times, write some more, erase that, start over again, etc… If you are reading this, then that is proof I got it done. It might not be perfect, but it’s done. My process of just trying to get a simple point across to you is a lot like dieting for most people. You try something, get some results, something happens, you back track, start over again, and so on. After a while, you get frustrated and give up. The first thing I tell everyone who is attempting to lose weight is that it is hard. Changing our bodies is hard work. It is not always a perfect and linear process, but if we keep working, much like this article for me, you will eventually get where you are going.
I frequently hear people tell me that it is easy to gain weight but difficult to lose weight. Tell that to the teenage boy that wants to put on muscle. The first thing I tell people who are interested in gaining or losing weight is that it is difficult. It is going to take a lot of hard work to get your body to change. Our bodies want to remain the same; they don’t want to get bigger or smaller. Our entire fat storage system is based on this concept. Store extra energy so we have it when we need it, and pull from our reserves when we need to. People frequently tell me they did blah blah blah diet and lost xxx pounds, but it came right back on. Yes, as I stated above, our bodies want to stay the same so it is easy to regain weight. It is just our body’s way of getting back to where it thinks it’s supposed to be. We often feel like it is easy to gain weight, but for most it took a long time put it on. Let’s do some math… Slow weight gain, ¼ of a pound every month, that doesn’t sound like much right? Definitely not noticeable, but that adds up to 3 pounds per year. Still not much? Do that for 10 years. Now you gained 30 pounds! That’s only ¼ pound, what if its ½ pound? For the most part, this is how it happens, you gain just a little bit over a long time. Yes ladies, you drew the short straw when it comes to weight loss, it’s harder for you. My main point here is that it is a slow process to gain weight so it’s a slow process to lose it. You need to stick with it.
Another really common thing I hear is, “If I had your metabolism, it would be easy”. This is a common excuse people rely upon and it is just that, an excuse. Some people are smart, some are funny, some have brown hair, we are all different. If you are mean to people, then it’s your fault that you’re a jerk. Genetics didn’t make you a jerk, you just became one. We are all born one way and we had different experiences in life, but we get to choose who we want to be. By blaming genetics, we are saying that we have no control over our bodies or our lives, but here’s the thing…we do. Accepting responsibility is liberating and empowering, it means we are in control. You CAN make good food choices. You CAN be active. You CAN control your weight when you accept responsibility for the choices you make. Maybe your parents did not teach you how to have good eating habits, maybe you got depressed and turned to food…that’s ok. It is time to acknowledge the problem and start working towards a solution. If you need help, seek a professional who is trained to help you.
The last thing I want you to know is that it’s a rocky road, not a nice smooth straight line. There are going to be ups and downs, change isn’t linear. Sometimes change will be fast and sometimes slow; sometimes it will feel like it is not moving at all. Accept this fact, and it will be easier to stay the course, because giving up is not an option. Sometimes life is going to throw you a curve ball and it will be really difficult to continue with your plan in the face of that. This is when you need to be the strongest, because in times of stress, your health is of utmost importance.
I hope this was helpful for you. Just remember the main points: Weight loss is a difficult and slow process. It will not always be a straight down loss, but you’re in control and you can make it happen if you persevere. The point of this article was to get you started, to begin the thought process. Next up, we are going to talk about your metabolism, so keep an eye out for that.