Life & Everything

Living a Healthier, Happier Life

April 9, 2014 | One comment


My body and I just don’t see eye to eye on things. I have struggled with my weight most of my life. I make progress and then I have a relapse and have to start over again. Most of the time, it feels like I’m fighting a never ending battle. I finally realised that I was so focused on the forest that I had lost sight of the trees.

I have tried everything. Every diet known to man. Counting calories, Weight Watchers, health clubs, LCHF, Atkins, GI. And then I tried them all again. And again. And again. Most of them worked for a while, but then I had a bad day and ate something that wasn’t allowed or didn’t exercised enough or for some other reason got discouraged and gave up. I have spent the last 10 years of my life switching from one diet to another and never finding something that really works.

I tend to focus so much on the things that don’t work, that I forgot about the progress that I have already made. Most people that met me now would probably not believe me if I told them that I’ve lost 80 pounds. It has been a slow process, with lots of ups and downs. I now have less than 10 pounds left to reach my goal weight. Compared to what I’ve already lost, it shouldn’t be such a hard task. And yet it is.

To be honest, most days it feels like an impossible task.

This last year I’ve realised that I needed to change the way a think about weight loss and how I approach it. I’ve always focused on the number on the scale. It goes down and I am happy. It goes back up and my world collapses.

I know what my problem is. I don’t exercise enough, and I don’t eat healthy enough. I’m good at eating healthy when it comes to my main meals, but then I go crazy with deserts and snacks. I have no impulse control. I cannot just eat one serving of ice cream or one piece of chocolate. I eat a tub of ice cream and then a box of chocolate.

You know how some people say that they gain a pound if they eat a piece of chocolate? Well, I gain a pound just thinking about eating a piece of chocolate.

To complicate matters, I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) which among other things can cause weight gain and make it more difficult to lose weight again. When I was first diagnosed, the doctor told me that I had to lose weight. Desperately. Among other things, my cholesterol was way too high, and so was my blood pressure. My blood sugar was all over the place, and I was in the risk zone of getting diabetes. That was the motivation I needed to start changing my life and take back control. These issues are all under control now and I am a much healthier person, but it is a constant struggle to stay that way.

I think the most important thing for me is to establish healthy habits that will keep me on track for the rest of my life, rather than short term diets. My goals is a slow and steady change, rather than rapid progress (with equally rapid setbacks).

I have learned a lot about what works for me, and equally important what doesn’t work for me, from the last 10 years’ battles. I know that the key things for me is routines. I can easily commit to going to the gym and work out five times a week but it only lasts for a a few weeks and then it takes me several months to start again. I can stay away from sugar for a few days and then I fall of the wagon and it takes me weeks to try again. There is no consistency.

So what’s the plan? (Because obviously there is a plan, and a list.) It’s short, but this is really what matters.

1. Stay within my daily calorie goal.
The only way I can do this is to log what I eat.

2. Exercise regularly.
Try to find the things that works with my daily routine and around my busy life as a graduate student: do yoga, go to the gym, go on lots of walks, take the stairs instead of the elevator etc.

Something I also need is accountability. Support from my lovely sister and my friends helps a lot, but I need to take it a step further. Since I started participating in the Weekly Wishes community last fall, I have listed my health goals (together with other goals) for each week but I’ve only skimmed the surface. From now on, I’m gonna do a separate weekly post about the healthy habits and document my progress.

I’m hoping this will help me stay on track and get rid of these last 10 pounds while also establishing the habits I need to live a healthier, and happier, life.

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