In the United States, obesity has reached epidemic proportions. Obesity is among the top 5 causes of preventable death in the US. That's right, I said preventable! The fact is, obesity is closely connected to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and an increased risk of several related cancers. Each of these diseases relates to other organs as well. Given these health risks are quite real, losing weight, even as little as ten pounds, decreases your risks. It appears that losing weight is really good for you. |
My Personal Journey I am rather certain there is no one who would disagree with me. So why is weight loss so difficult. From personal experience, I can say I struggled for years with my weight.
While I am sure there are 'heavy' genes in my family gene pool, that is more of an escape clause than not. I tried every diet that I could find. Diets that promised instant success. Others that required me to keep strict food diaries. Some even required that I attend meetings in order to order their food. I went to psychologists, psychiatrists, and even a hypnotist, none of which worked. I found the problem was that I wanted quick results, a magic formula, that would melt fat away and make me skinny.
Truth is, I decided to give up and live in my fat body. I joined a fat support group where we told each other there was nothing wrong with us. But, I left every meeting depressed. I did not wish to be fat, I did not wish to tax my body into failing me before my time. And then it happened. I had an important revelation.
The Revelation No matter how hard I wished for a quick fix, I figured out there is no magic spell that will melt fat from my system. I became convinced that the solution to my being overweight was to figure out how many calories I could take in to create a calorie deficit allowing me to lose weight. Weight loss, I concluded, was a matter of eating fewer calories than I burned over the course of a day. As long as I eat fewer calories than I burn I will lose all the weight I wanted to lose.
I also decided that I needed to do some exercise in order to increase the calories I burned. As a child, I loved riding my bicycle around town. I rode to school, to the store, to the village square. My friends and I often took 'bike hikes' of up to 30 miles one way. Riding a bike seemed like a good way to start. Not wanting to overdo anything, I decided to limit my rides to from 20 to 30 minutes every day, rain or shine.
I also began to think about what I was eating. I began to look at labels on the boxes of processed food I had in the cupboards. YIKES, so many ingredients I had trouble pronouncing. I read about the processed food industry and the impact of chemicals consumed on weight gain. Slowly, I began to walk away from processed foods in favor of naturally grown vegetables and fruits. I also did not wish to eat meats pumped full of antibiotics, growth hormones and who knows what else. As I changed my approach to food, and believe me it didn't happen overnight, I began shedding pounds.
The Long-Term Positive Results Now, some years removed from my revelation, I am a healthy weight. I have more energy than I ever thought possible. I sleep well at night. I changed my career and became a weight loss counselor working with others to face the same battles I faced.
In the final analysis, four things became the foundational basis of my life. First, I chose to detoxify my body. The first seven days of detoxification were simply miserable. After that, all I do each day is begin and end my day with a cup of Red Tea to help eliminate any new toxins that slipped in during the day. Secondly, I became quite conscious of what I was eating. I moved to a low carb diet because it made sense to me. It was the easiest way to cut out processed sugars and flours. I still count calories every day; it is a habit rather than a burden. Thirdly, my decision to ride my bike was the right one. I am still riding. Last summer I took off four weeks and joined a group biking through Alaska. WOW! Simply beautiful. Finally, I learned to meditate to stay motivated. Yes, I still have days where I wish I could eat that entire chocolate cake I saw in the baker's window. But those urges are quickly stilled as I concentrate on my breathing. I choose not to dwell on those urges which now seldom arrive.
Sara Dawson is the managing partner at Proven Rapid Weight Loss A Fischel Group Company. Her personal journey going from ‘chubby’ and unhealthy to thin and healthy is one that anyone who suffers from being overweight or in poor health, or both should know. Sara encourages you to visit her Weight Loss Blog where she shares her story along with tips and ideas for healthy weight loss.
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