Monday 3 February 2014

Why I have been able to loose weight

Earlier today I shared a little of my weight loss journey about why it happened. Now I am sharing the five reasons on what I have done it and why I have succeeded. (From more determinant to least.)

1. Accountability 
I am a deadline person. Give me a deadline and I will deliver, give me all the time in the world and I will never do it. This is why having monitoring appointments with the specialist has made my weight loss possible. He is like this funny grumpy old respectable teacher that you both love and fear and that you do not want to disappoint. He gave the orders to maintain a food diary in which to write everything that I ate, which I did. It made certain decisions on whether to eat something or not much more simple.
I know that without this one single reason I would have not lost a single gram. Because I was well aware all the other reasons bellow  before I step inside his room. 
2. Affinity with the diet guidelines
This may not seem that important, but for me it was. You see if you are going to be dieting long term - to me anything more than a week feels like longterm dieting! - you need to feel that you are going to be able to eat/do things that you really enjoy even if they are in moderation and/or small portions.  
If someone had told me you can't eat any type of bread or starchy carbs at all, as well as not being able to eat any chocolate, cheese, seafood (high cholesterol!)... until you reach your target, I would have not been able to do it. I needed a well balanced diet that allowed me to look forward when I would be able to indulge. All with good measure and 
The diet guidelines were simple enough: a low fat 1000 calories a day: 

  • 4 small servings of starchy carbs - of varying sizes depending on their calories/sugar content, ideally wholegrain; 

  • 3 pieces of fruit; 

  • two weight restricted protein servings; 

  • as much vegetables as I wanted. 

  • Cheat foods one portion every 15 days of one of the following: chocolate, cheese, prawns or other shell seafood or avocado. (I hate avocado so no worries there!, but choosing between the other three was hard.)
I always have loved raw carrots and salads, so I always have bags of carrot batons and salad ready in the bridge. I kept the cooking as simple as possible, thinking about ways of cooking things may work for some but for me makes me want more the stuff I cant have. Simple and quick works for me, the less time dedicated to food, the less it is important.
The same with exercise. I hate gyms, I hate swimming, I hate running and walking. What I like is dancing. So Zumba looked like a good idea. And it was, I love it. I was lucky that I found a local instructor - Leean Lok - who not only is very good at it but also is a lovely encouraging woman. Even more lucky was to have a friend - the lovely Sarah Mcgrath - who also wanted to do it and together it was so much easier those first few weeks of Zumba.  Thank you Sarah!
The point is that I felt I could follow the rules because they seemed to fit me and that helped enormously. I am not saying that the diet I follow will  suit you or anyone else for that matter. It suits me and that is why I succeeded. My recommendation is to find a weight loss program that you like the idea of, that it sounds like you will be able to do it long term. Chances are you are going to succeed too.
3. Trust in the guidelines
We live in a day and age when the media is constantly giving us mixed information about which is the best/fastest/most healthiest way to loose weight. I am a perfectionist by all accounts, if I am going to spend my money I want the best for my buck. If I am going to diet, I really want to make sure it is a proven program and that I am going to actually loose weight healthily
Having a professor of endocrinology - recommended by a friend of ours - as my specialist, made me trust his guidelines. My husband laughs about it - "Did you have to go to the best endocrinologist in London to tell you you need to loose weight to actually do something about it?"
The truth is that no, I did not needed him to tell me that I needed to do it, but I needed him to tell how in detail. I trusted his opinion above all other information given by the media or friends (Sorry!). No matter what people told me ("Your body is going to go into starvation mode", "It's an old fashioned system", "Avoid all sugar rather than fat"...) I focused on what the specialist had told me. 
I found this app called myfitnesspal which has been a great help in order to track calories, sugar, fat... I have it installed on my phone, ipad and computer (website) and with is is easier to maintain the focus.
For the first 4 weeks I did not have scales at home. I did not want them. I thought they may have been depressing. Once I knew at one of my check ins that I was loosing weight, I bought myself one and weighted myself first thing every morning. Some days are good and some days are depressing. But the thing is week by week the weight came off and the focus and perseverance in the guidelines continued. 
 4. Health
That is the reason why I first went to the specialist. I wanted to get better. The fact that he was quite insistent on the fact that weight loss would help me get there meant that loosing fat brought me closer to health. 
After months of dieting, I feel slightly better, unfortunately I don't feel that much better. Though, I do hope that with time and close monitoring of all my issues I will get much stronger and feel better.
5. Apperance
Yes, the old one. The reason that everyone uses to advertise weight loss programs and the one that most people start dieting: to look good. Funnily I think is the least important reason that made me loose weight. If it had been, I would have never let it get this bad before I started. I was not blind nor delusional. 
As I said before, women are rarely happy with their weight and how they look. I am happier about that now than I was four months ago, but I am not completely happy. Of course.  
However, starting to get compliments from friends and family and it helps your moral, focus and perseverance. So, to see the appearance improving is also very helpful and should not be tossed aside as just vanity. 

Anyway, these are the reason why I believe I succeeded. It was not because I have a strong will - because I don't - for me it was down to Accountability, Affinity, Trust, Health and Appearance.

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