Earlier this week I started my 1,000,001th attempt at a healthy diet and fitness regime and I thought that I should start writing about it because you guys may or may not find this interesting/entertaining to read.
I’ve never written about this here so I’ll fill you in.
I’ve always struggled with my weight. When I was a teen, I was at an ok weight but on the high end of the BMI scale (indeed I was never skinny). I used to “diet” (aka skip meals) and at some point I used to even go as far as alternating days in which I ate. One day I ate, the next day I didn’t eat a thing, etc. I was very serious about this, to the point at which there was one day where I had some event where I ate on a no eating day and after that I spent two whole days of not eating to make up for it. On the third day, I was on the bus to go to university and I got so dizzy that I almost fainted. I had to go straight to the canteen to get myself some food.
I lost a lot of weight that way, but I got unwell, had to stop and of course, gained a lot of weight because I’m pretty sure I screwed up my metabolism, thyroid and my relationship with food in general with that unhealthy behaviour.
After that, it’s been next to impossible for me to lose weight.
So since then, I’ve tried all sorts of ways to lose weight again. At this point, I’m not trying to lose weight because I feel ugly or unattractive. I want to lose weight so that I can be fitter, run for longer, climb more stairs without getting out of breath…
I’ve tried all sorts of diets and some I’ve tried more than once. They all work at the beginning, but the problem is sticking to them for a long enough time to make a difference. I’ll give you some examples of what I’ve tried, and what about them didn’t work for me. Note, this isn’t to say that these diets don’t work, it’s more to say … here’s what threw me off them, or why they weren’t sustainable for me in the long term.
I tried low calorie – me counting all the calories I put in my gob takes too much commitment.
Low carb – This was pretty easy but I spent about 8 months on low carb and I only lost about 4kg. After that, I ate all the carbs. Not sustainable.
Eating every 3 hours – with this one you’re meant to eat small portions every 3 hours. Um… Yeah, finding something sensible to eat every three hours was a challenge, but I can believe that this is a diet that has a lot of potential to actually work. It just requires more planning, more fruit and more veg. I didn’t do this one right and this is one I aim at doing well in the long term.
I also tried the having one meal a day thing… I just get hungry and irritable.
Exercise? As well, on and off. This is something I struggle with, essentially because I never found an activity that I like doing.
When I first used to attempt exercise I used to think that I should start going for a 1 hour walking/running session everyday. Trust me, this is not a good way to start exercising. Building it up is better. I bought an elliptical trainer at some point, I liked this and did this quite regularly until I didn’t see any difference in my weight and stopped. In hindsight, I was fitter so I should have been happy with that.
I did Tony Horton’s P90x DVDs. Now these, they make a HUGE difference. They’re really excellent workouts and I noticed I lost inches with these as I got fitter. The problem? It takes 1 hour a day 6 days a week and about an extra 30 mins to prepare for the workout. But does it work? Fuck yeah. Do I have the commitment? Nope.
I started working out with a trainer where I pre-booked and pre-paid sessions. Again, life got in the way too often and there were many sessions that I had to postpone. Since a trainer isn’t flexible enough to work around the times when I fancy exercising, it didn’t quite work out for me. So yes, working in a sustainable, long term fitness routine in my daily life is a challenge.
My life goal is not to go on a diet, but to have a sustainable, long term future plan on how to convert myself onto a healthy eating and fitness regime. I hate the word “diet” because I tend to associate the term with something temporary.
These days, after so many failed attempts at losing weight, I’m focussing on getting fitter and eating healthier. I don’t want to change my lifestyle from day to night because that means that I’m going to get cranky, feel overwhelmed and quit. So I’m going to do it little by little. Change one thing, and once I get used to it, I choose something else to change.
So this week, after following some advice from my doctor, I’ve been replacing one meal a day with a meal replacement shake and some veg (I’ve usually been opting for either raw cucumber or raw cabbage with salt and paprika). Meal replacement shakes is something I never considered and never tried. It’s the sort of thing I usually dismiss. However, replacing one meal with a shake combined with a little veg makes sense. That said, during the first two days of doing this, I wanted to eat the fridge. On the third day, I was feeling better about it. Every day seems to get easier. it’s convenient because I don’t have to cook anything for that meal and cleaning up is easy 😀
So far this diet seems to take the effort out of counting calories, I’m not restricting myself from any type of food, and it actually requires less planning, less cleaning etc. Also, since the meal replacement shakes have vitamins and minerals, I seem to not be getting weak (which is what usually happens to me on low calorie diets). It seems like this is something that I can do for the long term, if I’m disciplined enough to always replace one meal with a shake.
So… I started this on Tuesday and today is Sunday. On Sundays I’m going to allow myself to have something I’ve been craving. Today I ate dessert after lunch and I ate a meal (instead of a meal replacement) for dinner. Wish me luck with getting back on track with the diet tomorrow.
This week I haven’t started any exercise regime and I don’t plan on doing so until I feel confident that I’m used to this one change I’ve made so far. If I try to reduce my food/calorie intake and start exercising all in the same week, you can count on me for quitting faster than you can say “Zeza has a fat arse”.