When we are no longer able to change a situation,
we are challenged to change ourselves.
~ Viktor Frankl – from Man’s Search For Meaning ~
Before I begin, this post is not aimed at any one person and definitely not at any of my online friends.
I’ve lost 100lbs following Weight Watchers (WW) online. There were a few reasons for doing it online instead of going to class, the main ones being:
1) Weighing in front of a class just never appealed to me.
2) Finding a leader that you like and can connect to is a bit of a lottery.
So I decided that online was the way forward for me and if I needed some support then I would use the WW Community Boards. The main difference for me this time (as opposed to the numerous previous times I tried to lose weight) was my mindset. Because I had been told that I needed Bariatric Surgery I didn’t feel that there was any pressure on me to lose the weight. I knew that to be accepted for weight loss surgery I would have to prove that I could lose weight (they like you to lose between 5% and 10% on your own first), but I would only need to lose about 14lbs and I have been able to lose that in the past – it’s just that that was ALL I could lose in the past. I would come to a wall and wouldn’t lose anything else, get fed up thinking I was “starving” myself for nothing and decide that I was meant to be fat, give up and end up putting more weight on. So instead of needing to lose 3 stone (42lb) 22 years ago, I ended up needing to lose 9 stone 2lb (128lb).
This time, as I have said, was different. Each week I would get on the scales and feel no pressure at all, I was a lot more relaxed about it. Even after my 2nd weigh in when I gained 1lb! I didn’t moan and whinge about how good I had been and how unfair it was. I just carried on following the plan. As long as I didn’t gain I was happy – no matter if I stayed the same or “only” lost 0.25lb)
After a couple of months I discovered that there were also FB groups for extra support and I joined a few of them, as I figured the more support I had the better eh?
I have to add that I have made some fabulous and inspirational online friends through those groups and I will always be grateful to them for that.
For those that are interested in my “Pearls of Wisdom” here they are (in no particular order). These are just things that I have found that have helped me at the start of my journey and tips that I have picked up from those that have reached a plateaux and need help with that. I don’t profess to be an expert – far from it but these have helped me and I thought I would pass it forward.
1) When trying to lose weight, you have to be in the right place mentally, I truly believe that 90% of successful weight loss is mental. Unfortunately there is no magic potion to enable you to reach this place.
2) Don’t think of any weight loss programme as a diet, think of it as a lifestyle, if you can follow a programme and successfully lose weight, if it fits in with your lifestyle i.e. you can carry on eating that way permanently for the rest of your life, then you are more likely to succeed and most importantly KEEP THE WEIGHT OFF.
3) If you can, increase your exercise/activity. It’s not likely to increase your weight loss but it will tone you up – lose those inches. If you can’t due to health problems then don’t despair, I am no longer able to do exercise (apart from walking) due to health problems and I have successfully lost weight, so it can be done..
4) Plan and track! Plan your meals in advance. I plan my meals for the week ahead, this helps me to know what I’m eating each day without having to think about it. I just buy the food that I need for the week which means that I’m not tempted to buy extras which could lead me off track. Track what you eat. If you eat something write it down so if at the end of the week you haven’t lost you will be able to see a possible reason for that.
5) Mix your meals up. If you have reached a plateaux try mixing your meals up, if you have a larger pointed (caloried) meal for tea and a lighter dinner then swap them around for a couple of days. If you tend to eat the same foods all the time, try some new foods – add some variety so your body doesn’t get used to the same things.
6) Drink at least 2 litres of water each day. If you feel hungry have some water first before reaching for food.
7) If you eat a large amount of bread then try substituting it for melba toast, wraps, pitta bread or do without.
8) Don’t let one bad meal/snack lead to another. Draw the line and continue with your weight loss journey for the next meal. Don’t think “Oh I may as well start tomorrow or next week” How much weight could you gain in that time? Think about how much closer you could be to goal by planning your next meal and making it healthy instead of waiting for another 1, 2 or 7 days to “start again”.
9) There is no magic cure. It took years to put the weight on and it could take a couple of years to get it off. Be prepared for that – losing the weight is only the start of your journey, keeping it off will be harder still!
10) Don’t put any pressure on yourself. If you have a lot of weight to lose then set mini goals if you think it will make it easier for you. However don’t set a time limit for reaching those goals if you think that not reaching the goal will lead you to go off track because “it isn’t working”.
11) Don’t look at a STS (stay the same) or ANY loss (no matter how small) as a failure – you’re still a step closer to goal than you were a week ago!
12) It doesn’t matter how much support you get from your meetings, groups, friends and family at the end of the day You control what you put in your mouth.