I was watching this recent clip from John Oliver's show - youtu.be/WA0wKeokWUU
- and it brought to surface a lot of feelings I've had on the issue of "the latest diet fad" or "the miracle fat burning pill". If you take the time to watch the clip I shared here, you're probably both laughing, because John Oliver is freakin' hilarious, and you're probably also a little furious at how easy it is for our society to be saturated by wonder drugs and these self-purported easy ways to get what we want.
I lost 85 pounds in one year, and the question that I get more than any from SO many people now - both in my life, and some here on spark people - is "how did you do it". A fair question. A wonderful question, really. I love talking about how I lost weight, because it always brings me back to the moment I changed the course that my life was headed, and brings me back to the epically hardcore, unwaveringly will-powered guy who tore through to his goal weight in seven months - losing 80 pounds in the process. I explain how I came to a low place in my self-esteem and how it was affecting my daily life, and how I'd had enough. I explain how I immediately began eating better and smaller portions, and working out diligently three times a week - half hour cardio, half hour strength training. I explain how it led me to coming back to spark people and tracking my calories honestly every single day, saying no to the random snacks that I knew would only slow my incredible momentum. And then I explain how increasing my exercise intensity along the way to match my body's growth in that respect was crucial, and that with being at goal now, and keeping all these amazing habits in tow, I'm able to relax in regard to that extra glass of wine... or as of late, a daily vanilla dip donut, lol.
I love it. I love being able to share all of that. But guess what... guess the reaction that I have almost every... single... time. Can you guess? The friends, the relatives, and even the strangers, they all respond with, "oh... I was hoping it might be something easier. Like maybe a pill or just cutting out one thing or another." Annnnnnnnnd cue awkward laugh from me. I smile, I nod, and I just end up saying "yeah, too bad it couldn't be that easy." What's amazing is that I understand where they're coming from. When I was struggling with my weight, I couldn't change because I felt it would be too difficult, and so why bother. I think it's very natural for us to always want the easy way out. I think it's somehow innate almost. At least it was with me, and seems to be with many to whom I keep telling my story.
When it's not people looking for the easy way out, it's people looking for the latest fad. I've had people ask if I did the atkins diet, or say "you MUST be doing paleo", and of course people ask if I've been doing all the shake diets. The weird thing is though, that when I explain how I just eat what I want so long as it fits my recommended calorie range, and comes close to the ratio of carbs/fats/protein that I want, the sparkle in their eyes diminishes immediately! I'm always so shocked to see their interest completely wane when in fact I'm saying "eat whatever you want, just not so much of it". Yet it happens. At the end of the day, if it's not the easy way out people are looking for, it's the sexy new diet on the block that they want.
The secret to losing weight and keeping it off isn't a mystery to me anymore. It's just a plain-jane thing really. You eat smaller portions of healthier foods, you say no to high calorie foods and drinks that are bad for you until you get to your goal weight range (I stayed away from pasta, pizza, desserts, and wine for seven whole months, but have allowed them back in as weekly indulgences here and there), and you exercise regularly a couple times each week. The more you can find ways to be active outside of the gym, the better! I make a habit now of walking places close to me instead of driving, and if I've been sitting too long watching TV or playing Candy Crush on my phone, lol, I force myself to stand up and find something to do. With two kids, it doesn't usually take too long to find some way to be active. :D It's a mental shift, a new normal to develop, and it's not easy. Not by far. If it were easy, then weight would never be an issue for anyone. But... it's a wonderful thing. And... the incredible boost to your self-esteem and self-worth at feeling good about how you look, and feeling like you've accomplished something important, makes it worth EVERY single sacrifice in terms of the foods we crave, and the lazy-ish lifestyles we tend to gravitate toward.
There's no shame in wanting it easy. There's even no shame in being afraid of how hard it might be to change. The real shame is that we let ourselves think that we could never do what's necessary to change. I thought that way for years, and let myself get worse and worse... driving out of my way during the day to buy two or three whipped-cream filled donuts from a Country Style Donuts location (OMG sooooo yum)... buying and consuming whole birthday cakes all by myself, in one night! The list goes on. We lie and tell ourselves we'll never change, so why bother and just enjoy what we're putting in our mouths... the truth is we CAN change, and we don't have to live in that misery of our own creation.
Not sure what kind of comments this post will inspire, but it's just something that was in my mind and on my heart, and that incredible John Oliver clip completely sparked me into sharing it all. Happy Hump-day Spark People, hope you all have an incredible rest of your weeks!!!
Quick pic from Father's Day recently, cause everyone loves pics! :D