From July 2012 to March 2013, eight months, I lost 60lbs in weight and went from a size 20 to a size 10. 16 months later, the weight is still off, and like many people who’ve done something they’re proud of, it’s impossible to shut me up about it.
That said, I’ve had so many conversations with people over the last 10 months along the lines of ‘wow that’s amazing how did you do it?’ and I say ‘well it was hard work and a long story, I’ll blog it’ and I keep meaning to blog it and never do(!) so, anyway, here’s a blog.
In July 2012, I weighed myself and found out I weighed 215lbs, at 5’10” tall this equates to a body mass index (BMI) of 30: I was borderline obese. Never in my life did I think I would be obese.
Knowing me, you wouldn’t think it, if I say so myself I held it well. I made my own excuses why I was a size 18-20 (‘broad shoulders’ and other forms of denial) and I led myself to believe that 30 minutes of walking and 20 minutes of cycling a day constituted an ‘active lifestyle’.
I also love high carbohydrate fatty food, like chips, crisps and restaurant curries. As I’m chocolate/cake/sweets/biscuits agnostic, I kidded myself I had a healthy diet. And I like a drink. Again, a little self-deception meant drinking 4-5 times a week meant ‘I’m not much of a drinker’.
If I have a healthy diet and an active lifestyle, can I really be obese? Well, yes: if I weigh almost 15 ½ stones and I’m 2 inches off 6 foot tall: I’m fat.
So, there you go, three things I lied to myself about: that I was not fat, that I was active and that I had a good diet. And that day in July I woke up to my own self-deception.
You probably have your own reasons for wanting to get fit or lose weight, well the good news is, you can: you are, however, going to have to do three things to make this work:
- Follow what I say: what I did works. This may sound arrogant however I know this because I have done it. There are whole industries and a million urban myths built up around dieting and fitness, almost all the advice I was given when I was dieting (by ‘professionals’ as well as friends! – sorry, you know I love you all!) turned out to be utter nonsense, and usually, I believe, the result of wishful thinking and the sort of denialism that led me to believe I was in a better shape than I was.
- Recognise you will have to make the emotional decision that you are going to change everything about your lifestyle to make it work. This means stopping smoking, drinking and eating anything that has a high calorific value. Just so you are aware, a balanced diet is important but this does not mean that a balanced diet makes fattening food make you less fat. You put on weight if you take in more calories than you use (2,000 a day for women, 2,500 a day for men). To lose weight you have to consume less than you use. Don’t even think of pretending otherwise.
- Set yourself exercise, food (calorie) and weight loss targets. Stick to them, do not bend them: these rules are not meant to be broken, they are meant to make you lose weight. Rule-bending, wiggle-room and ‘tiny little treats’ are self-deception and if you are going to lie to yourself about this, you are not ever going to lose weight or get fit. This is a fact. Get used to it.
Oh, and enjoy yourself.
Here are some free resources to help you get through your own weight loss program:
A lot of bullshit is talked about BMI, usually ‘how it doesn’t apply’ or ‘there are other ways of measuring your body’s health’. Whatever. If your BMI is over 30, you need to do something about it. And whoever you are, you need a BMI of less than 25. Weigh yourself accurately and find out your height, accurately. Plug the numbers in, and then find out what you need to do. It’s black-and-white.
Recording your Net Calorie Intake
www.MyFitnessPal.com is amazing. Sign up and get the app for your phone. Log everything. There are other apps, I know, but I’ve not used them. I do however know this worked. I cannot praise it enough. It will set you a net calorie target and help you achieve it. Prepare for some difficult truths: like to lose 2lbs a week requires a net intake of 1,200 calories a day, that a slice of bread is 10% of your daily net calories and that cheese is the work of the devil. Life is hard!
It’s a social network, so you can encourage your friends to join and give them encouragement. I’m on there, (mirandayardley or Miranda@DarkArtsLtd.com, add me).
Recording Your Exercise and Fitness Goals
Again there are other products on the market, but sign up to www.MapMyRun.com which will allow you to map, measure and assess calories burned for runs, walks and bike rides. If you like your food, you will want to squeeze every single calorie out of your exercise.
Again, it’s a social network, so you can encourage your friends to join and give them encouragement. I’m on there too (mirandayardley or Miranda@DarkArtsLtd.com), add me.
The next part will follow as and when…