Fact: Weight loss success can only be achieved if you think long term.
A little story…
When I met my husband, he said I looked like someone who had just come out of a war zone – undernourished. Like I was in need of a good meal. David told me that, prior to meeting me, he’d never met anyone so thin.
I actually don’t have memories of being thin. What I do remember is, back then, I believed spending money on food was a waste. So, I probably spent very little on it. In my mind, I couldn’t afford to pay bills, buy clothes and spend a decent amount of money on food all at the same time. The first two were priority and the last simply was not. I ate enough to stay alive which if I think about it now, was probably 2 or 3 small meals daily and no snacks.
It’s amazing how ignorant we humans can be sometimes. I was in my early 20’s and I believed I was slim because I didn’t have the ability to put on weight no matter how much or what I ate. That belief changed one hot summer when, 5 days a week on my way back from work, I would buy and eat a Magnum ice cream lolly to cool down. At the end of the summer, all my clothes were tight. I was actually overjoyed. So, I can put on weight! Yay!! It was there and then, at the age of around 23yrs old I made a little connection between sugar and weight gain. I stored that connection in my brain and brought it out 4 years later when I had my son Kash. In some respects, I prefer the constant. I don’t like certain things going from good to bad or high to low. Instead of using up energy constantly shifting from one position to the other, I use energy to remain in a constant position if there are great benefits to be had.
With regards weight, the constant is cheaper. Once I got delivered from spending all the money I had on clothes and barely any on food (which was after I got married), I guess my war zone undernourished looking days ended. I started to eat better after I met David. He showed me that, even though I was thousands of miles away from home, I could still eat good food. Within a year of marriage, I had my son Kash and suddenly I had hips, suddenly I was 3-4 sizes up! Woo Hoo! I was overjoyed because I wasn’t thin anymore! I ate a heck of a lot of crap during that pregnancy. My memories of back in the day are vivid. After a very long church service, I’d rush to the church cafe and gobble all I could get my hands on. Cake, sausage rolls, meat pies….. smh.
We were a newly married couple with a baby, replacing wardrobe items was not priority. I had a wardrobe full of clothes in my old size and living in maternity clothes was a no no because I liked to look good. The cheapest option I had was simply to lose weight. So, my much celebrated weight had to go. I went back to the connection I made with sugar 4 years prior, looked at my diet, cut out all crap and started walking everywhere. In those days I probably could walk from London to Lagos.
How you have to think to sustain your results.
Many people don’t realise that losing weight is kinda like the easy part. Keeping the weight lost off is the hard bit. A couple of years ago, a friend of mine went on a liquid diet. At the end of the diet she looked amazing and she asked me, “how do I stay like this?” And I replied, “by doing what you did to look like this.” I’ve seen people who have done such diets almost kill themselves trying to maintain the weight lost on the diet whilst eating proper food. Permanent weight loss success is impossible with such diets. People who do it end up unhappy, frustrated, depressed and bigger than when they started. I love life too much for that type of shit. Short term focus, short term results.
Remember I said I like the constant?
A thought I had then and still have now is, what I’m doing now, how long can I keep doing it? Can I keep doing it forever? If I stop doing this, what do I replace it with to keep the numbers balanced. What can I do without and what will I struggle to give up? I love cakes, ice cream, biscuits, chocolates etc. Completely cutting out sugar forever is unsustainable. I like carbs, would a carb free diet be realistic? I like chewing food and eating fruits and veggies. Going on a liquid diet would be a disaster. So I had to come up with a system that I could sustain. I’m now in the 3rd decade after my son was born and I’ve been the same size 10 since then.
Actually that’s not true.
Back then, my weight loss journey success took me down to a UK size 2 from my initial 10 and I had started buying tshirts from Gap kids because they were cheaper. When I look at old pictures, I realise that I wasn’t actually a 10 when I thought I was because the clothes often looked like they had a lot of give. But, I liked the number 10, which is why I claimed that size. I remained a size 2 till the day David told me I looked like a 10yr old boy. He said he didn’t marry a little boy. Omgosh! Did I look like that?????
As a result, I made my way back up to a real size 10, not a size 10 that looked too big. I loosened up a bit on the no sugar habit. 3 decades later, I’m still on a 10. I’ve haven’t gone to 12,14,16 and back to 10, I’ve remained a constant size 10 the last 3 decades.
Actually, that’s not true.
I did go up 5.5yrs later after I had my daughter Abisola. I used the same sustainable strategy I used 5.5yrs prior, lost all baby weight and have remained a 10 (even though I could now afford new clothes). This time around, the journey back to size was shorter because I didn’t put on as much as when I had Kash. My diet was much better before and during the pregnancy and I went to the gym 3 times a week till the very end of the pregnancy.
I did have an issue with hips though, I wanted hips and I didn’t have any. I discovered weight training when I had a issue with my knee 15+ years ago. It’s given me a tight booty and some shapely thighs. ☺️I get the motivation and excitement that comes with rapid weight loss through a drastic diet. What I don’t get is how people constantly seek the next quick fix even after they have failed to sustain the results of the previous quick fix. That’s short term thinking. If you stop to think of the overall effect of such diets, then you will opt for something more sustainable – long term thinking.
Save yourself heartache, disappointment, frustration and anger by walking past quick fixes and be long term focused for your weight loss success. If you’ve been there before, history should have thought you something. Experience teaches at the cost of mistakes. It’s not okay to keep repeating the same mistake. It’s foolish.
Whatever your desire is, resist the temptation to go for a quick fast solution. Give yourself time, work out a solution that focuses on a new lifestyle as opposed to just loosing weight. You can’t lose weight and sustain it if you don’t change who you are. YOU have to change. Your lifestyle has to change. And when you do change, you must see it as permanent and not just for a season.