Before you embark on any programme to lose weight, it is worth while asking yourself why?
Once you decide that you are in no doubt that you want or need to lose, and you are not just jumping on the proverbial bandwagon of not accepting and loving yourself, the next step is to make an intent. But we shall talk about that in another article.
There are many reasons why people want to lose weight. Among them are the following:
- Peer pressure.
- Celebrity worship.
- A special occasion
- Your own wedding
- Modelling or dancing
- You are obese or really overweight
- You just want to have a flat belly
- Post baby fat.
- Post illness or surgery
Read on and consider which ones you think apply to you.
Do you look at yourself in the mirror and wish you were seven pounds or so lighter?
- Are you being realistic about this?
- Have you ever been 7lbs lighter than you are today?
- If so, how long ago was it?
- Do you have two sets of clothes, one each of the bearing of the 7lbs, or its absence when you have starved it off?
- Will being 7lbs lighter help with all other problems in your life? If so, which ones are they?
- Would you really be healthier? Would the 7lbs less help with such things as arthritis, for instance?
- How would you plan to lose the 7lbs?
- What are your plans for your future eating habits, when you have lost it?
In this day of television, magazines and social networks, it is becoming more common for girls even at the age of ten to be looking at themselves and asking their friends if they are fat. Recently I was with a thirteen-year old in a restaurant, asking her mother how many calories were in a particular food on the menu. She has taken on board the message that to have a rounded womanly body is unacceptable.
Young girls talk endlessly about what they look like in a particular outfit, fretting more about whether it makes them look fatter than the colour or style. A lot of damage is done through peer pressure, and a lot of misinformation is handed out too!
People suffering from eating disorders, such as Anorexia or Bulimia often begin their problems by worrying about calories. But losing weight by counting calories is a myth and this subject will be covered in more detail later in the book.
Consider how much you allow other people to influence what size you think you should be.
Nearly every day newspapers or magazines feature a celebrity who has either put on or lost weight. Too much on or too much off. Do you think it is fair that these celebrities have to live their lives forever having to worry about being caught on camera and personal details about their bodies discussed by all? Sometimes it can just be the camera angle. Or a certain look on their faces and the camera has caught something that the journalist interprets the wrong way. But it sells papers, and that is the excuse they give time and time again!
What is so tragic about this is that people are taken in, especially young girls and increasingly young men too. In June 2012, there was a story about a fourteen-year old girl who had committed suicide. She had developed Bulimia and even though she was beautiful, she had been worried about her weight. She had ended up loathing herself! After this event, one or two magazines started to change their ways, but still the tendency is to spot the skinny celebrity and how she did it.
Consider what you think about how the media treats celebrities.
Which magazines could be having a negative influence on you and how you perceive your body?
A SPECIAL OCCASION
- Do you have a holiday coming up?
- Are you going to a friend or a relative’s wedding?
- Are you going to be the mother of the bride?
So you want to lose weight for that. Do you really think so? Because if you are only losing the weight for the holiday bikini then you will most likely soon put it back on again. If you buy an outfit for the wedding, lose the weight, look and feel your best after a lot of starvation and then put it all on again, would you consider that to be a waste of time and money? The outfit worn only once ends up at the back of the wardrobe!
Consider how many times you have done this, or know someone who has.
YOUR OWN WEDDING
You really want to lose weight so that you will look your best on the big day, which is understandable, and many people do it. But my observation is this; time and time again, the bride or groom or even both go on a diet. They may even join a slimming club to do it.
They get down to the desired weight, and they walk down the aisle looking their very best. Then when the reception starts, it is time to let their hair down, and all thoughts of the diet are put into the past, and forgotten. It doesn’t matter anymore; they achieved their goal for the day so now it’s time to eat, drink and be merry. The diet is over and within a matter of days the weight starts to go back on and within weeks they are right back to where they started before the diet!
Why do people do this? After all, the couple loved one another enough to decide to get married before the diet! They then decided that they really needed to change. They needed to look better than they already did. So in order to commit to each other they needed to look different?
That one day as a slim person was good. They looked good. They were slim. But suddenly once they were married it didn’t matter. By losing that weight, they lowered their metabolism. Their bodies went into famine mode and started to preserve every little bit of fat, and from the wedding onwards it is downhill all the way! They have got themselves into a lifetime of struggling with their weight for the sake of one day!
What are your thoughts about this?
- Have you or someone you know ever lost weight for their wedding?
- How successful were they and did they keep the weight off afterwards?
- What excuses did they have if they put it back on?
- Do you consider that it was worth it?
- Are you thinking of losing weight for your own wedding? If so, maybe you could consider what I have just said and decide that this won’t be just another diet, but will be a change of
MODELLING OR DANCING.
Many people in these professions are living on starvation diets. They strive to be an unrealistic weight, which can lead them to becoming emaciated. Models have become so thin that they seem to look all skin and bones. Eating disorders such as Anorexia and Bulimia are very common within these professions.
Have you or someone you know been in danger of doing this?
In these cases, many people need professional help.
What are your thoughts about this?
YOU ARE OBESE OR REALLY OVERWEIGHT
Now we come to the people who really need to lose weight. They are obese or overweight more than the odd stone. They may have already been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Perhaps they may have had a heart attack or some other heart problem.
Or they might have got to the point where getting about is very difficult. Seats on public transport are getting too small, or they cannot walk very well. Their joints are playing up and painful.
These people have a vast choice in how they are going to do it. There are so many diets around that they just do not know where to start. Each diet is giving them different information.
The magazines feature people who have lost the weight, and they look terrific! I featured in one myself and had a wonderful day having a makeover and being pampered for the photo shoot, and it made me feel fantastic!
Bookshops and the internet abound with different diets. Headlines in the paper scream at you. Special editions include a new diet. But most of them are just a different version of a low calorie regime.
Whichever diet you choose, if you survive beyond the first few days and stick to it strictly, and it is your first diet, you will lose weight. You may lose 10% of the weight you want; you may lose it all. If you do get close to your goal, you may find losing the last few pounds just as big a struggle as the whole diet put together.
If you are with a slimming club, you may, as I have a few times, have the members cheering and clapping when you can shout “I’ve done it!” It’s a great feeling! Then the leader hands you your badge and explains the maintenance programme, and so begins the struggle to keep the weight off!
However, it is well known that 98% of people who lose weight this way put it back on again and many people put on even more than they have lost. I don’t want to play devil’s advocate here for those who are perhaps already struggling with losing weight on a diet, but you may want to think about what you are going to do when you reach your goal.
I am not saying at this point that you should abandon what you are doing. Just consider what you are doing is for life, and use the thoughts in this book to help you to map it out.
Find a way of eating that will be for life and not just to lose weight.
Remember the statistics say that 98% of people who lose weight, put it back on again and more besides.
This is because they are not adopting a new lifestyle and way of eating and the way that they think! This is worth repeating.
- Think about your plans to keep the weight off, once you have lost it.
- Read and research to find out what you will think would suit you if you could choose how to do this.
- This book will give you a framework to make a start on designing a diet for life.
POST BABY FAT
Women are designed to have babies! Even if they do not want a baby by choice or cannot have them for some reason, women’s bodies have all the biological necessities for reproduction. Even before you conceive, your body prepares itself every month, just in case.
Women’s hips are wider than men’s. Her thighs are thicker. (That is why you will find that if you try to wear men’s jeans the waist is disproportionate to the hips and thighs.)
Her fat storage system is different; that is why men lose weight more easily than women.
When she has given birth, she is expected in nature to breastfeed the baby. So she preserves her fat and needs nourishing foods to do that.
The womb takes six weeks to revert to its nearly normal size. She has flabby skin around the abdominal area, which if she is lucky or works out at the gym will gradually retract back and leave her with a reasonably flat stomach. But most women find it very difficult and may not ever get that flat stomach back. So what do women do?
A lot of them put up with it, because they are too busy or tired to do anything about it, which is natural.
Or they go on a restrictive slimming diet!
Consequently, they are not getting the proper nourishment that their body needs at this time. Often they just give up and stuff themselves with takeaways or whatever they can get their hands on!
Women can end up feeling that somehow there is something wrong with them, when they see celebrities getting their figures back within a very short time. They fret and worry and talk endlessly about getting to the gym to get back in shape. Why?
I wonder if it is because they are trying to live up to a higher standard than nature intends. If she eats properly with good, nourishing, real food, she will find that she is nourishing the baby properly, and herself and her family. She won’t have to join a gym for weight loss, although she may want to tone up! She certainly will not do all this on crisps and takeaways!
But she will stand a better chance of gradually toning up and being healthy if she does not go onto a restrictive calorie counted diet.
- If you have recently had a baby and are struggling with this, what ideas have you had to lose weight?
- Do you have a plan for healthy eating?
AFTER ILLNESS OR SURGERY
Due to lack of mobility, boredom or just people bringing them too many chocolates, people often lose weight at first during an illness or after surgery and then proceed to put it back on and more besides.
Women who have had a hysterectomy often put weight on due to hormones being disrupted and causing depression, but more often than not it is because of eating comfort foods and because of boredom. However, if it is just the hormones then the amount of weight increase should be no more than about 5 lbs.
This can apply to any weight gain when hormones are involved, including taking the contraceptive pill. Many people who are grossly overweight will blame the fact that they are on the pill. But the difference is really only a few pounds.
I’m afraid that the rest is because of what they eat, which is more than likely processed, refined carbohydrate.
Take an honest look at the reasons why you think you may have put on weight if you have suffered from an illness or disability.
I JUST WANT TO HAVE A FLAT BELLY.
Nature designed women to be rounded. Only fifty years ago, Marilyn Monroe was hailed as a star. She would be referred to as a celebrity in modern times, but Marilyn was outstanding. The reason for this was her figure, of full breasts, narrow waist, wide hips, and a rounded belly.
What was referred to as an hour glass figure.
She was the equivalent of a size fourteen these days.
Not that we have to put up with a bulging belly, but we were not designed to have the flat belly that we seem to think we should have!
Now, fifty years later women have become famous for being the opposite. They want to look boyish, and they want to “choose” how to look. Fighting against what nature designed them to be. If they have big breasts, they want small ones, or if they have small breasts, they want big ones. They certainly do not want a rounded belly!
The Oxford Companion to the Body, which can be found on the internet, talks about the extremes that people go to, to change their body shape. Extreme dieting leads on to Eating disorders.
Plastic surgery is used to the ultimate degree, not only changing noses or face lifts, but tummy tucks, thigh tucks and so on. Millions of pounds and dollars are spent on trying to look good.
There is more and more discontent with the way we look. Some older celebrities look hideous as they attempt to hold back time.
Although much of this reading is directed towards women, men reading this can read between the lines and see where it can apply to them too. Men of course need to look at their belly, as that is where they generally store their fat. .
Many of us have lost the ability to accept our bodies and images for what they are. Society is obsessed with being thin. Lives are dominated by diets, what to eat and what not to eat.
Yet we are still in the midst of an Obesity Epidemic!
We have wandered far away from being natural humans. Our stores are full of junk food. Our bodies are unacceptable. We need to get back nearer to what nature provided for us. With both our body image and with what we eat!
We need to celebrate our bodies, not keep fighting them!
- Which parts of your body would you change if you could?
- Consider carefully whether you are being completely realistic?
- Stand in front of the mirror and look at them one at a time and consider whether any of them could be changed in a natural way.
I have also decided to add in another factor for older women.
As our body grows older, there is no doubt that it will do everything it can to preserve itself.
The Primal need in our bodies will save and store as much fat as it can and as we get older and the body begins to break down, that will happen all the more.
Therefore, if you are over the age of about sixty, you may need to settle for a slightly higher weight than your mind is telling you to be.
There is a lot of evidence now that being overweight, (not obese) is healthy. See this link, but also research it on google. https://www.sciencealert.com/the-healthiest-weight-might-actually-be-overweight-massive-study-finds
So from that we can conclude that we have been led up the wrong path with NHS guidelines saying that we must be below 25 to be healthy.
The same can be said of our cholesterol levels. We do not need to constantly concerned about keep them low. But that is another matter, although it does give us some indication about how we have all been like sheep and led astray as far as our health is concerned.
So, while considering whether you really need to be constantly worried about losing fat, add this latest thought to your list.