“At 25, I began a long and frustrating journey that would lead me down many difficult roads, most of them dead-ends. In the process, I gained more weight as I hopped from diet to diet, believing each to be the perfect solution to correcting my imperfect size and shape.
I embraced many lies and discovered a few key truths along the way. The lies included the damaging notion that if I could get my eating under control and my body the right weight, I would be a totally fulfilled and happy person. I thought that no matter how I got the fat off, being thin would be sufficient motivation to keep it off.
After a few successes and many failures over the next three years, I fell into the most devastating rotation diet of all time —diet pills and bulimia. After devouring enormous amounts of junk food, I would draw a line in the sand and vow never to binge and purge again. I became consumed with learning every tip to losing weight quickly. And the only way to make that happen was to get rid of my urge to eat. Those amazing little white pills really did the trick.
The next thing I knew, my boyfriend declared he would marry me since I was a lean 60kg. In my mind, I had finally achieved the perfect body. I was determined to stay thin and was married four months later. Believe it or not, I actually took my bathroom scale on the honeymoon.
But even before we returned home, the diet pills seemed to turn me on. I became increasingly nervous and noticed frequent heart palpitations. I knew the danger of amphetamines. I knew I had to stop taking the pills, so once again I tried to use willpower and self-control to manage my weight.
My husband also did his part to help me. He pointed out every attractive, thin woman he noticed and reminded me at every opportunity of the things I didn’t want to eat. He even turned down some foods on my behalf when we were invited to friends’ homes for dinner. How wonderful to have such a supportive advocate.
Of course he had no idea that the hidden problem I had was becoming an oppressive stronghold in my life. Since I felt so uncomfortable eating in front of him, I fell into my secret world of bulimia in other to “take control” of my conflicting urge to eat yet stay thin. When the numbers on the scale started to creep up and my clothes started to get tight, I reluctantly went back to the diet pills for help. I continue to lie to myself, saying, “I’ll just get this excess weight off, and I’ll never take these pills again.”
By the time I was thirty-two and doing a Master’s Degree, I had been through the cycle several times, yo-yoing between 60kg and 75kg. But the last time I went back “once and for all” to diet pills to overcome a long bulimic phase and skyrocketing weight gain was one time too many. I began to experience panic attacks. At first they were occasional, but soon they increased in both frequency and intensity. Within a year,I was living in overwhelming fear.
By the time I was thirty-three, the panic attacks forced me to realise that I could never take stimulants again. Gripping anxiety consumed my life. I thought I was dying. I thought I was going crazy. My fear of getting fat and losing my husband’s acceptance paled in comparison to dealing with my fear of dying and losing my mind. It’s a miracle I even made it through the Master’s Degree course.”
That was the touching story of a woman I met few months ago. Does it look like what you are going through or some part of it. Whatever your issue, I am sure all hope is not lost yet. You must call out for help and learn the truth that will help you find victory over your habits and even discover a way to stay at reasonable body weight without becoming unreasonably obsessed with your looks.
Common Weight Loss Lie:
“You can lose weigh fast.”
You didn’t gain it fast, and you won’t lose it fast either. In fact, you can eat 2,000 calories or more in an hour. As I said before, an average woman only burns 1700 in a day. You absolutely cannot lose 2kg of fat per day. Yes you can lose 2kg on the scale who cares? That’s water. If you starve yourself and ate nothing, it would take you about two days to burn off 2kg of fat. (1,700 calories x 2 days=3400 calories, 100 calories shy of 2kg of fat.) Throw away your scale. Get realistic. And make reasonable shifts in your caloric energy equation.
“A supplement or drug will solve your weight problems.”
We thought drug was a wonderful thing. Now we know the truth. The risks are not worth the reward. Have you ever listened to the list of side effects at the end of every pharmaceutical product advertised on television or the one you read on the precautionary measure slip that usual comes with the drug? Scary. So perhaps you will just stick with the “natural” products such as ephedra, found in so many popular weight-loss formulas. Read the small print on those also. Just because they are natural doesn’t mean they are safe or good for your body. Opium is natural. Cocaine is natural. Remember the lady I shared her story got hooked on pills to lose weight. Natural “speed” is not the answer. We simply do not need more stimulants in our bodies.
“You can lose weight without exercise.”
You may hate the “E” word. Exercise from my perspective is simply stimulated activity designed to make up for our our outrageously sedentary lifestyles. If you are naturally active in your daily life, you may not need to exercise. But the point is that we all need to move purposely and with some intensity most days for the rest of our lives. If you don’t get some form of aerobic activity and muscle work, your body will not burn fat efficiently. More importantly, you will not have the energy and endurance to enjoy life to it’s fullest.
The Truth: “Permanent weight loss requires a lifestyle change.”
Ask yourself this question whenever you’re trying to get the fat off permanently: “Can I maintain this kind of behaviour, activity or type of eating most days for the rest of my life?” if you don’t believe you can, then it probably won’t work. Lose your fat the same way you are going to keep it off —through a permanent lifestyle change.
I hope the simple truth I shared on this page about fitness lifestyle is making sense. I can guarantee that the small changes you make will add up if you practise them consistently. And as you continue to read, you will discover more practical approaches to change in all dimensions of your life.