Tuesday, August 06, 2013
I've always been overweight, but I didn't become concerned until my senior year, when the annual weigh-in at school showed my weight - 160lb. Both my parents have health problems that are exacerbated when people are overweight, and that thought scared me into trying to lose weight. That was when I first truly encountered my shoulder angel and shoulder devil. They were my conscience and temptation respectively.
One of my initial methods to try and lose weight was to try various diets. I tried the Atkins diet, the no-carb diet, the cabbage soup diet and the Beverly Hills diet, to name a few. All failed in a matter of days. Yes, DAYS. All thanks to my shoulder devil - or so I thought.
It wasn't until I started reading the articles on spark people that I understood why my diets crashed and burned so miserably. All the diets involved going completely cold turkey on almost all my favorite foods. Compared to coca cola, chocolate, pizza, biryani, and other high-calorie foods that tasted good, fruits and vegetables didn't really hold that much appeal. When I went on the diets, I would cut all of them out and force myself to eat healthy fruits and vegetables. Needless to say, my "shoulder devil" would revolt and the diet would fail. It seemed to me that she liked all the junk food and hated fruits and veggies.
All the articles I read spoke about eating these foods in moderation. It wasn't until a month ago that I decided to give it a try. After all, I was out of ideas. I slowly reduced my consumption of coca cola, from 2-3 a day to my current consumption of 1 a day. I also reduced my chocolate consumption from 1-2 bars a day to my current average of 1 bar every 2 weeks, and never the whole bar at one shot. My shoulder devil has not revolted. I realized that she was never protesting the decrease, she was protesting against the fact that the decrease was very sharp, down to 0. Also, it turns out, she does not hate fruits and veggies. She loves watermelon and oranges and cannot get enough of them. She loves my tomato-lettuce-olive-chicken wrap, and doesn't particularly miss the chocolate.
My shoulder angel's been supportive too! The other day I was craving chocolate like never before, and finished half a pint of chocolate ice cream before I even realized what had happened. Instead of getting upset, she let it slide, as a treat after keeping my bad eating habits under control for so long. I did, however, promise to myself that I would not allow the incident to become a frequent one.
My 2 inner companions have also played a role when it comes to fitness. Before spark people, I would go to the gym and run like there were rabid wolves at my heels. I would be able to manage maybe 3-5 mins before I would start walking slowly to catch my breath. I would then continue to stroll for the remaining duration of the "workout" . The next day, I would have no motivation to repeat the previous day's fiasco, and so my shoulder devil would whisper, "give up!" and I would listen. That way, there was less chance of me feeling sad about my low stamina.
A month ago, I decided to give it another shot, with the stately that I would set a low target that was relatively simple - 32 mins for an average of 3.7mph. When I finished the workout, my average speed was 4mph. I felt good about being able to surpass my goal. Both of my companions rejoiced with me. The next day, I couldn't wait to get back in the gym. I set a higher target - 4.4mph. It was more difficult, but I managed it. I stuck to that goal for another few days, before increasing it to 4.6mph for another few days. I kept this pattern up, increasing the number of days for each target speed, to increase my stamina. I heard no complaints.
I wasn't until today that I realized that my shoulder angel and devil were never the epitome of good and evil respectively, they were guides, present to prevent me doing damage to my body in a desperate attempt to lose weight. I am glad I listened to them as the benefits that I might have gained would have been short-term. This way, the effect are more long-term. I have lost 4lb in the last month, at a steady rate, ice cream binge and all. And the best part is, I've just gotten started.