If you have ever been overweight you know exactly what I’m talking about. After more than one failed attempt to get slim and sexy, you get tired of waiting and BAM! the pounds come back faster than you could ever imagine possible. The anxiety of wanting to “hurry and get it over with” makes you think of food all the time. It’s akin to holding your breath. You just suffer through each day, hour and moment, waiting for the pounds to melt away and it seems like it will never happen. Have you ever heard the adage, “A watched pot never boils.” ? That’s what’s happening. You’re so obsessed with seeing a change in your body and ending your “diet” that you can’t even see the progress that you are making each time that you make a healthy decision. You pour over images in the media of “skinny people” or “buff people” and wonder how long it will be before you wake up ripped. Your focus is not merely your goal of looking great or being healthy. It’s also returning to your former habits. That’s why you’ve never been successful. You’re putting a band-aid on a fatal wound. You need a bigger bandage.
When I first began Davids Way, I was at a goal weight that was set for me by the international weight loss company that once employed me. My goal was to get to a specific number so that I did not have to pay weekly dues. I finally got to that goal. The problem was, I was still too fat. I still had high blood pressure and I was losing muscle fast. I was not active enough and I was not eating enough protein. Even though I had “arrived”, it was not working like I thought it would. Still unhealthy and soft and too fat, I sought out something better for me. I wanted to be strong and healthy. As soon as David started teaching me, I asked the question, “How long will it take?” His answer, full of wisdom, was “The rest of your life.” Immediately, my perspective began to change. I knew that this was not something that I would finish. I suddenly understood the meaning of “a lifestyle change”. The idea that I was embarking on a journey that would not end, changed everything. If you will never stop trying to get healthy and improve yourself, there is no pressure. There is an ebb and flow of easy days and tough days, days that you food prep like a pro and days that you struggle to scramble an egg but all of those days are part of the process. You don’t stop because you burn the chicken. You have to eat, so you just cook something else, your nutrition being your foremost responsibility, solely to yourself.
Time Marches On
If you are stressed about how long it will take to get fit, think about this. Time is going to pass. It will pass if you are making wise decisions or eating yourself into an early grave. Will quitting get you to your goals quicker? Probably not. While that sounds absurd, that’s how we act. It’s as if we think that we will be better off if we abandon our healthy program if it doesn’t work FAST. The truth is, if you lose weight fast, your habits don’t really change and as soon as you get to that magic number on the scale, you will return to those old habits, like coming up for air when you swim up from the depths of the ocean. You will feel like you’ve been shot out of a slingshot and rebound right back into obesity. If you lose weight too fast, depending on how much you lose and other factors, you will most likely have stretch marks and loose skin. Some of those things can happen even if you lose slowly but they will be much worse if you lose fast. If you are going to be doing this the rest of your life, there is no rush. You have the time to do it right. Occasionally there are medical reasons to lose weight faster. I am not addressing those medical conditions. That must be addressed by your medical doctor. Otherwise, slow loss is always best.
Yo-yo dieting is believed to cause extra weight gain. (1) Leptin,which is regulated by your fat cells, is decreased in your body when you diet. Leptin helps control your appetite by signaling you to eat less by giving you a feeling of fullness. As you lose fat cells, and their associated leptin, your appetite increases and you want to eat more. While this is happening, you are losing muscle, if you are dieting strictly. This causes you to conserve energy, or to hold onto fat cells. As a result of this cycle, one in three dieters ends up heavier than before they went on a diet. This is one of the reasons that we don’t promote a diet. We promote a healthy lifestyle based on healthy choices and slow weight loss. Eventually, the yo-yo dieting cycle will cause you to have a higher body fat percentage which can make it even harder to lose weight and keep it off.
One of the scariest things that i have discovered about weight cycling, (yo-yo dieting) is that studies indicate that it can lead to fatty liver disease which, in turn can cause cirrhosis of the liver or liver failure. Fatty liver can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Is a quick fix worth the possibility of these very dangerous medical problems? Before you answer, remember, the “fix” will most likely not be permanent. It will be a fleeting victory that may leave you with huge medical problems over the course of a lifetime. I know many women who have “managed” their weight with fad diets their entire life only to get fatter and fatter and sicker every year. The risk of heart disease rises so much with this type of dieting that many doctors will tell you to just stay fat unless you’re going to lose it once and for all.
What You Can Do
You can go to the Calorie Counter Pro and enter your statistics to find out how many calories you can eat to lose or gain 1 or 2 pounds per week or to remain at the same weight. Your information is always confidential. We strongly advise you to aim for only one pound per week unless your doctor has a different opinion. Eat whole, healthy foods that nourish your body and keep you full. Avoid sugar and highly processed junk foods that add calories devoid of nutrition. Sugar and other processed foods make your blood sugar rise and fall rapidly and the inevitable hunger that follows will drive you to eat MORE, even if you have already eaten way too many calories. See your medical doctor and ask him to advise you concerning exercise. While you can’t outrun a bad diet, (David Yochim), exercise will burn some calories and build muscle that is crucial to your health. Rest well. Lack of sleep causes a rise in cortisol which is associated with excess belly fat which can be deadly. It increases your risk of heart disease, insulin resistance, colorectal cancer, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and premature death from any cause. (2) You need 6-8 hours of sleep every night.
We have an article, ATTACK! that discusses the difference in being “Reactive” and “Proactive”. Being proactive is simply taking charge of your life. That’s what you can do. You’re in the driver’s seat. Ladies/Gentlemen, start your engines.