How to Really Lose Weight
Let me be real with you. I realize this is one of thousands of how to lose weight sites. I suspect that you have probably overdosed on diet tips, crazy “eat a leaf a day” diets, and ads about how great diet pills are. Some of you, though, may be looking for the real scoop. And so while my website certainly has plenty of articles about how to lose weight fast, I do this website because staying thin enough to like myself is ongoing work. If I just stopped caring about my weight and my health and ate whatever I wanted, I would be at least fifty pounds heavier. So I really write this website for me. Writing for you helps me.
Here’s the truth about how to lose weight. You’re going to have to change your life. Your whole life. Being overweight is a sign of a body out of balance. A body out of balance, is, fundamentally, a life out of balance. You know that you weren’t made to sit in a car or at a desk or on a couch for pretty much your whole life. Your body was made to move, to sweat, to lift and stretch. And you and all the rest of us know darn well that the natural foods that people have been eating (and staying slim on) for millenia are not what most of us are eating right now. Go find a chart of what Americans ate even 80 years ago for a rude awakening on how weird and sick the standard American diet is now.
If that sounds extreme to you, fine. Go elsewhere. Stay fat. Continue to eat foods that work against not only your weight loss efforts, but your health and possibly even your emotional life. Stay prisoned by the subtle, almost unconscious fears that keep you from really seizing a weight loss strategy that will work for you. Don’t change. Maybe if you keep trying the same things over and over again, eventually some day they will work.
Have I scared you off yet? Ticked you off? No matter. I am actually doing this because I like you, because I know that if you are the kind of person that is still reading this, that hasn’t bolted yet, then I like you. So now that I’ve said what I really think about this whole weight loss problem, and why it does not work for most people (only 5% of people who undertake a weight loss program keep the weight off for more than 2 years), let’s talk about the solution.
You are going to change your life. I’m not going to change your life, you are. I’m not even going to tell you how to change your life — you are going to figure that out. I am going to point you in specific directions and tell you to go find your own answers, because there’s no way what works for me is what’s going to work for you. Eating akmak crackers, faye yogurt and apples works really well for me. Maybe you hate yogurt, or you’re vegan, or you don’t trust those crazy Greeks and their yogurt. I don’t know. But here’s a to do list to get started:
1) Change your diet: Find 3 super-healthy foods you like and eat them every day. Things like raw sliced zucchini, or apples, or fresh raw sugar snap peas, or cantalope, or strawberries, or asparagus. Pick whatever you want. The more you like it, the better. No processed foods allowed. Please avoid frozen stuff. Organic is preferred, but sometimes it is too pricey for me, too. If your grocery store has less than inspiring vegetables, go find a farmer’s market. Eating one large salad a day, drinking more water, and eating 2-3 fruits a day is an ideal start, if you must have specific direction.
2) Change your body: 30 minutes a day of exercise. Walk if you want. Climb the stairs in your office four times a day (once up to work, once up and down for lunch, once down on the way home). Do jumping jacks. Clean your house. Clean your yard. Join a gym. Whatever it is, do it 30 minutes a day. You may need to just walk for the first few weeks, or you’ll get so tired you won’t be able to “work out” the next day. If you must take one day a week off in order to maintain this, fine. Many people make this agreement; they plan to walk or work out every day, but when that plan gets blown up once a week, they don’t freak out.
3) Change your mind: Got Netflix? Download all the great movies about healthy eating. There’s Forks Over Knives, SuperSize Me, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, Food Matters, the Future of Food, the Meaning of Food, Food, Inc., How to Cook Your Life, Ingredients… the list goes on. Buy a copy of Why Weight? A Guide to Ending Compulsive Eating by Geneen Roth. Do the assignments in there. They’re really easy (I do them when I can’t sleep and I’m too tired to even really read) and will give you insights that will knock your socks off. All of Geneen Roth’s books are good; Breaking Free from Emotional Eating is a good place to start. Then go out and buy 2-3 books or magazines about weight loss or fitness that speak to you. Sure, I have my favorites, but everybody is different. Really, what you are shopping for is motivation and facts that stick in your head, information that helps you. Its a quest.
This is how I lost 63 pounds and what it took, and then how I put 40 of it back on during graduate school (with a full-time internship) and kept it on until I ditched the 90 hour a week job.
I was a reasonably fit kid. Not an athelete, but I liked going into the woods, and I liked riding horses. I was tall so my mother recruited me into all kinds of awful team sports that I hated. But I was not really fat, though I do remember a bit of baby squishiness. I also remember some funny eating habits — like stealing tubs of frosting and eating them alone, in a closet, savoring every wonderful thick white spoonful of vanilla and sugar and fat.