This will sound ridiculous but it wasn’t until I was 27 years old and had just started dating my then new boyfriend (now husband) that for the first time in my life saw myself for what I physically was, a tall and slender 67kg woman. I remember it clearly the day my boyfriend lovingly remarked on my attractive slim physique, we had just started dating at that stage so everything was rosie tinted but this was particularly so because up until that point in my life no one had ever said those sorts of things to me before. I had had very loving and appreciative boyfriends in the past but that was never a phrase used to describe me.
I was a chubby girl, a curvy teen and remained so until I discovered how to think, what to eat to burn fat and be well and that those two really do (at least 80% of the time) account for your weight. Movement and exercise are essential too for health and strength but don’t typically seem to make you thinner. That for me was the end of actively pursuing weight loss. Those discoveries were just a few years before I met my husband and interestingly to my surprise I discovered I was still to some degree carrying around the belief that I was the chubby girl – even when I was wearing a size 8 to 10. It was only with my boyfriend saying thin and me in the same sentence that the light bulb pinged on that I might have a false perception of myself. In that micro moment it all fell into place and I never looked back.
Since originally hitting my target weight and remaining consistently there for the better part of ten years I discovered that you don’t need to loose weight instead you need to change your lifestyle and eating habits so that how you think and what you eat supports the ideal weight you want to have daily. I figured this all out organically and more or less by accident over years and years but it really doesn’t have to be a time consuming process its actually pretty simple and easy to apply once you have the frameworks. I really tested this successfully when following my baby and a year of breastfeeding I returned to my ideal weight (actually 4 kilos lighter) just through eating the way I naturally choose to. Plus I was doing rehab work at the gym for my shoulders so I couldn’t do too much exercise so without much choice in the matter regaining my ideal weight was at least 80% reliant on food and approach rather than exercise.
I have noticed two things, as I have built my well-being over the years and remained at my ideal weight:
1. People on the street and in shopping malls genuinely seem to be getting bigger and simultaneously unhappier
2. Friends who started out naturally thin haven’t necessarily remained so with age
These two things have prompted me to ask myself why? What is happening? What are they and I doing differently?
In answer to number one my observations do tend to anecdotally reflect statistics like these from the World Health Organization (WHO):
1.5 billion adults, 20 and older, were overweight in 2008.
Nearly 43 million children under 5 years old were overweight in 2010.
The WHO also states that ‘Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), primarily cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, are responsible for 63% of all deaths worldwide (36 million out 57 million global deaths)… If the major risk factors for noncommunicable diseases were eliminated, at around three-quarters of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes would be prevented; and 40% of cancer would be prevented.’
The statistics and facts from the WHO lead into my answering number two – really the only difference between me and those particular friends is I have invested in educating myself in how and what to eat and I have implemented strategies in my life to make that my daily practice so that I don’t have to think about what or how, I just do it easily. I now get to reap the health benefits long term and my vanity is satisfied too!
Sadly for many access to food and health education in developing countries is limited or just plain unavailable but in developed countries like the UK and Europe, Australia, USA etc we really have no excuse. Ignorance doesn’t hold up in a court of law and nor does it when it comes to health or weight it will catch you out in the end.
End weight loss and instead start a new lifestyle – you’ll be eternally grateful to yourself for doing it.
Be Bold | Be Aware | Be Well