25 steps to losing 25 kgs
1. You need a lightbulb or “aha” moment – this can’t be engineered sadly, but if you are honest with yourself you’ll recognise it when it arrives
2. Do the math – you need to know your numbers: weight, BMI, BMR, waist-to-height ratio, hip-to-waist ratio and a variety of measurements. There’re some measurements I wish I’d taken – my thighs, my arms and my ring finger. Odd, I know, but I couldn’t wear my wedding ring for 7 years...I wish I knew just how plump my finger actually was! You need to know what all these measurements mean and how they affect your health, this is your starting point
3. Forget the math – the next and probably most important step, is to not obsess about those numbers. Know them, be aware of them, but don’t be ruled by them
4. Take pictures – this is probably the best method of recording your progress. The scale and tape measure don’t record the pasty, pallid complexion, or the bad skin or the greasy hair or the dark rings under your eyes, or the tired look...all of which are signs that you aren’t healthy. Apart from the obvious “shrinking” pictures, those early shots will keep reminding you of how you really looked. That will spur you on like nothing else will!
5. Educate yourself – losing weight and getting healthy has no place in the pages of a gossip mag that touts celeb diets or detox potions. They don’t work, aren’t healthy and there is no quick fix. Accept that you didn’t get fat overnight and neither will you lose it overnight...it will take time, hard work, and more sweat than you thought you had in you.
6. Get serious – you either want to do this right, or not. Do some serious soul searching and deal with the reasons why you are overweight to start off with. Break the emotional eating associations, find non-food methods of rewarding or consoling yourself and never underestimate the power of your mind. Get your head straight and you will be unstoppable.
7. Be patient – it takes a while for others to notice the changes. You may see small changes happening but others won’t for a while, don’t let that make you despondent...it will come, and when it does it’ll be worth the wait. I lost 26 pounds before anyone outside of my family and closest friends actually noticed...and what a sweet day that was!
8. Hydrate yourself – if you do nothing else right, this is the one activity you need to master early on. Water is the only calorie free nutrient that your body truly needs, it has been proven to raise your metabolism, help curb hunger and nibbling, and it keeps everything working the way it should.
9. Rule the kitchen – knowing exactly what goes in your mouth is probably the best, safest way to feed your body. Do your time in the kitchen - try new recipes, modify old ones, swap with friends. No-one ever got thin on fast food!
10. Add it up – there are hidden benefits to a new and healthy lifestyle...one of them is the money saving. I’ve proven repeatedly that eating healthy is actually cheaper than the fast food options. Do your own calculations and you’ll see that I’m right – fast food is not cheap!
11. Get moving – find ways to get your body moving. We are engineering marvels, with more movable joints than any others creature on the planet...we are designed to move! Do it with purpose, enjoy it and don’t stop ever. Look for ways to keep yourself moving.
12. Don’t lose the fat clothes – keep at least 1 item for an “after” picture. We all need a cheesy shot of climbing into our fat jeans and showing off how far we’ve come
13. Find like-minded friends – anyone who is on your side adds to your resolve. Friends don’t need to be fat too, they just need to understand your journey and offer support
14. Get ready for another lightbulb moment – this is the point when you realise that you aren’t on a diet and you leave the mentality behind. This moment is the most-defining one of all because it is at this point that you know for sure you’ll get it right this time and that the change is for good. Diets are just short-term projects – you’re on a lifestyle change, use that as your mantra
15. Find a sport – endless hours in the gym will become boring eventually and that can lead you back to the couch. Avoid this at all costs, try everything, experiment with every kind of sport out there...find one you like and stick with it. This is the route to making the change permanent
16. Reward yourself – there has to be something you would like to have or really need, and it doesn’t need to be fitness/diet related. Find ways to reward yourself as you progress – a movie, leisurely reading on a Sunday, a pedicure, a new hobby...it doesn’t matter what it is as long as it’s important to you and makes you feel good
17. Crank it up – studies have proven that listening to music can make you increase your exertion during exercise. Make a playlist (or 10) and enjoy the tunes...and it doesn’t have to be the thumping, throbbing music from the gym either. Some of my best workouts happened while I listened to unremixed 80’s classics – yeah, ABBA and Neil Diamond made the list, don’t judge me for it!
18. Pay it forward – as you progress, don’t be shy to share your secrets and solutions. Pass the knowledge on to others who ask for it or need it – be an inspiration! It doesn’t matter what horrible number the scale said in the beginning...share the detail so that others can realise that they too can achieve the same. Encourage others who are on the same journey, tell them the things you’d like to hear, cheer them on. You’ll be surprised at how you motivate yourself this way too
19. Give thanks – there’s no way you can finish this journey without help and support. Acknowledge and thank those that have inspired you, find the unsung heroes in your story and let them know what part they played.
20. Lift it – strength training is just as important as cardio work when it comes to keeping the weight off. And there is nothing in the world as effective at holding back the years, as lifting weights. Start light and small, work your way up but keep it in your routine at all costs.
21. Repeat steps 2 & 4 – do it periodically, at least once a month. And smile when you notice the differences!
22. Challenge yourself – keep changing your routine, find groups of friends that can spur you on to greater things, try something new.
23. Don’t be shy – as soon as you dare, move into the type of clothing that you used to avoid. Open arms, shorter hems, fitted waistlines.....ENJOY the changes! Those are the changes that people see and comment on, they never see the scale so flaunt the off-scale victories.
24. Get your beauty sleep – one of the unhealthy symptoms many of us has is insomnia. Work out a sleep program and make sure you get your rest – again, it has been proven in studies that well rested people have higher metabolisms, not just more energy and clearer heads.
25. Have your cake and eat it – do not deny yourself the things you enjoy, just find ways to build them into your diet without breaking the calorie bank. The 80/20 rule is best...eat well 80% of the time and eat fun food the other 20%. Denying yourself that glazed donut on a day when you really are desperate for it can trigger off a binge cycle – so don’t deny yourself, there is a way to live life, eat what you want and keep the weight off.
And just for fun...here's "before" and "now" pictures....