This is something I thought for many, many long and painful years. It seemed that no matter what I tried or what I did, be it exercise or the latest diet my doctor turned me onto, nothing seemed to work. Oh sure, there were short-term losses of weight, but I never felt better. I always had reduced levels of energy, I felt tired and worn out, and the hunger. Oh, let’s not even talk about the hunger.
I had resigned myself to thinking that there was no way I was ever going to be thin and healthy again. There was no way I could ever lose the weight. I thought that it would take a gym membership and 5+ visits a week sweating and working hard to drop pounds, and honestly, I wasn’t going to do that. Ever. There was too much weight to lose, and there was no way I was going to be able to drop the amount of weight I needed to do with the little amount of exercise I was willing to do.
I was fortunate that my cousin Sarah showed me Whole30 and the Paleo Diet. These two diets literally saved my life. One is short-term (Whole30) while the other is meant to be a life-long diet that requires a change in how you think about food as well as your relationship with food, but they work! But why did I think I couldn’t lose weight when Whole30 and the Paleo Diet both worked so well for me?
Well, first of all, I thought weight loss was all about exercise and only marginally about diet. I had it mixed up. Weight loss is almost all about diet and marginally about exercise. Had I known that sooner, I’d have lost the weight sooner.
Second, my eating habits were atrocious. I ate the foods the American Heart Association said to eat which included whole grains and avoided foods with high fat and red meats. The result was weight gain and eventually, developing Diabetes. Thanks, AHA.
Third, I lacked the motivation and dedication to lose the weight. All my attempts started with me being motivated, but I quickly lost steam due to the hunger and sluggishness that always came with these diets. I was unaware at the time that I was often going through sugar withdrawals, and I didn’t realize that it would be such a grueling process. Had I know, once again, I could have gotten through it.
Fourth, the food I ate wasn’t actually conducive for success. Artificial sweeteners act on the brain in the same exact way as sugar does: it causes further cravings. I could never escape the cravings, even when I did cut sugar. Then there’s the issue with low-fat which is actually counterproductive and doesn’t actually help with weight loss. Also, I ate lots of processed foods, fast food, and pre-prepared foods instead of foods made with whole ingredients.
Finally, there’s the fact that I just wasn’t ready to commit to the changes necessary to improve my health, lose weight, and to finally get to a weight that I was comfortable at. Changing your lifestyle isn’t easy, and for some, it’s more difficult than it is for others, but it’s absolutely necessary if you are anything like I was: someone who was prone to binge eating, ate lots of grains and sugar-filled foods, or who just plain ate a lot.
You can lose weight even if you have failed many times before. I failed often, and I failed hard. I always gained back more weight than I’d initially lost. This is the first time I’ve been successful, and I’m into my third year of good health and being thin. I still can’t believe that I got here, and I want to help motivate everyone who wants to lose weight to do so without pills, powders, patches, products, and medical procedures. I did it; you can, too!