I have a huge admiration for people who have managed to lose weight, and then keep it off. Both of those feats are huge things to me, and I’ve struggled with my own weight since my childhood. I’m at a much better stage than I was, but it wouldn’t be lying to say it’s taken me decades to get this far.
One of the least useful things I read when I’m in the depths of my weight loss despair are articles from people who have lost loads, and are invariably grinning as they hold up some trousers/a skirt/grundies/whatever that they used to squeeze into, but are now way too baggy. On the one hand, genuinely good for them. On the other, nothing got me reaching for a bag of crisps faster.
This article is not that, not least because buttons still pop on my clothes and I still look lustfully at food I know I shouldn’t be eating. Instead, I’ve got some tips. One or two of these I’ve given before when I talked about weight in this series previously. Some I haven’t. But given how much weight has made me miserable in my life, I’m hoping some of these may be as useful to you as they have been to me.
One thing to note: weight loss isn’t a goal for everyone. There are many reasons for putting weight on, and excellent organisations such as Beat, for instance, have information on eating disorders for insance here.
These tips, though, proved useful to me, and may do to you too.
- Firstly, if your head isn’t one that goes for an all or nothing approach, try cutting one thing out, and keeping it cut out. Three months ago, I stopped eating crisps. The first two weeks were extremely tough. Now, not so much. The upshot is that I’ve shifted weight that otherwise wasn’t budging. I can’t sit here and say I’ll not relapse, but I’m surprised at the difference it’s made.
- If you like an alcoholic beverage a few nights a week, then turn one of those nights into a booze-free one. Keep the others, but just reduce things a little.
- I struggled for a while with giving stuff up and it making no difference at all to my weight. What I didn’t realise is that my weight was actually stabilising. Whereas previously it was creeping up, it at least stayed steady. I didn’t appreciate at the time that this was a good thing. But it was, and I wish I’d accepted that a bit more in the midst.
The other side of weight loss is exercise, and this is the bit that really, really helped me get through a difficult period. I had access to an exercise bike, but as with most cheap exercise bikes, it spent most of its life as a clothes dryer. I can’t stand gyms – they’re hardly for people losing weight as a rule, are they? – and I have a boredom threshold that’s not very high. My eureka moment was putting the bike in front of a not very expensive television, and hooking up a games console. Thus, instead of me sitting on a bike struggling to get through ten minutes, I suddenly got that up to 20 minutes. Then half an hour. Even an hour when I was in the midst of a good game. It took my mind off the exercise and as a consequence, I had to get a clothes horse.
Weight, and weight loss, are never far from my mind, and I suspect will always be something I struggle with. But I’ve enjoyed minor victories, and hope to continue to do so.
Please share your own tips below. And stay awesome.