I dislike the title of this article, but it’s meant to reach the most number of people trying to get healthy by way of losing weight. When I began this journey, I did so with the mindset of losing weight. Only along the way did I change my perception of what it is to be healthy and focused on being healthy vs being lighter. Don’t think for a second, however, that being thin means being healthy. I have relatives in my family who were all thin and died before the age of 65 from maladies associated with being overweight: high cholesterol, hypertension, and cancer. None of these men were anywhere near what could be considered overweight. Heck, they’d be described as, “Thin as a rail.” That’s why focusing on being healthy is so much more important than being lighter or thinner.
With that said, what makes advice worth listening to? Some people go to the gym to seek assistance with losing weight because most of the people who are instructors at gyms tend to be in good physical shape. Most of these people were never overweight, and if they were, only slightly so (notice I said most, not all. I know a few instructors who were obese, but they are the exception). Just because someone is thin does not mean they have healthy habits nor have they had to go through the labor of losing the weight. The same can be said for millionaires. Just because someone has a lot of money doesn’t make them an expert at making more of it. Some people inherit it while others started with nothing and made fortunes. Which of these two individuals has better advice to give?
I used to get nutrition advice from a good friend. Everything he said to me made sense, but I have to admit I never really let any of it sink in. Why? Because he was always thin. He was never obese, never struggled with overeating, and never had to deal with taking on a lifestyle that is drastically different from the one he was used to. Or so I thought. While it is true that he was never obese, he did have to change some habits due to health concerns, and it was those very changes to be healthy that led him to the knowledge he was sharing with me.
When my cousin talked to me about the very same concerns my friend talked to me about, I heard much the same information from her, but this time I listened. What was difference? My cousin always struggled with weight, and when I saw that she had conquered the problem, I thought that I might have a shred of a chance of doing the same. I listened intently and worked hard to learn as much as I could about Whole30 and Paleo. Over three years later, I’m in maintenance mode and much healthier in every regard.
I’m not writing to this to say that I am smarter, wiser, or more knowledgeable than anyone else on the subject of losing weight or getting healthier. I’ll be the first person to tell you that you shouldn’t listen to just me. But I was obese. I did lose the weight, and I did so without starving, using patches, pills, products, and any weird programs. I did so while eating natural, healthy foods, and my health has greatly improved and allowed me to live a life that was only a dream to me just four years ago.
Stop believing the mainstream nutrition industry. They are there to make money. They want to sell you as much as they can, even if that means selling you products that are only marginally effective (if at all). There is a lot of good, peer-reviewed science out there about the benefits of low-carb diets, and more than a small mountain of anecdotal evidence that it works. I am living proof it works, and I’m a regular person just like you. The only difference is that I have this blog, and I started over three years ago. You can do this, too! (I’m not telling you to start a blog, but journaling was actually something that has helped me through the journey from obese to healthy).