If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you’ll know that its no easy feat. It takes commitment, dedication and a whole lot of effort.
Perhaps you’ll feel more confident, sleep better and be healthier than ever; all things that we know are usually involved with losing weight.
But there are some things that no one tells you… so I’m spilling the beans on what I’ve leant through my own journey.
1. You'll start a million times over
Okay, you won’t literally start a million times over, but it sure will feel like it. If you have been a serial dieter for most of your life, you know exactly what I mean.
There will be countless “I’m starting on Monday” and one too many cheat meals tuned into ten. You will most likely fall off the wagon and jump back on more times than you can count.
Throughout my life I’ve been on a number of diets, some worked but most didn’t. I have tried cutting out carbs, sugar, eating nothing but soup… and honestly none of them stuck.
It was only last year when I fully committed to being consistent is when I saw results.
Chances are this will happened to you too, but whatever you do, don’t give up!
2. There's no "magic pill"
I know that this sounds obvious but losing weight will not fix your life.
Sure, your health will get better, you might feel more confident but losing weight is not magic.
Don’t waste time waiting to lose 5 kilos before you begin to live your life. You are living life right now, and no matter what your weight may be, you deserve to live life to the fullest.
And although you being thinner won’t fix your life, losing weight does teach you a lot.
The process of consistency, perseverance, and determination are the biggest lessons that this journey will teach you. It’ll help you gain the confidence to go for the things you want.
You become a better version of ‘you’, not because you lost weight but because you discover who you have been all along.
3. It takes a while for your mind to catch up
Have you ever been through something and have it feel like it was an outer body experience? Well, that’s exactly what looking at your body during and after weight loss feels like.
I’ve lost 20 kilos and looking at myself in the mirror or in pictures, feels like like I am looking at another person.
There’s things I can defiantly notice, like my face is thinner, most of my back rolls have disappeared, and I have loose skin. But there are times I can’t see those differences at all.
When you’ve been accustomed to seeing yourself at a certain weight, seeing changes can feel weird at first, but give your mind sometime to catch up and know that you are making progress no matter how big or small.
Sometimes you mind never catches up and that can lead to body dysmorphic disorder; a mental disorder which sees one obsessing about their appearance and perceived flaws. If you feel that you may be experiencing body dysmorphic disorder, it would be best to visit your doctor.
4. It can take forever
We have all seen the countless stories and TV shows where people drop insane amounts of weight in a VERY short amount of time.
While there are people who can reach their goal weight in 3 months, it can take others years to reach theirs. And that’s totally O.K. — it’s taken me close to eight months to lose one third of my weight-loss goal.
It may take you months or years to reach yours, but what matters is that you do eventually reach it.
You need to take into account that we all have different lives, bodies and challenges. This journey is about you, and honey, you can run this race at your pace!
5. One size DOES NOT fit all
News flash: That eating plan that worked for your friend, might not work for you.
Some people can eat carbs and still lose weight, while others find that they need to cut out bread and potatoes to see progress.
You need to find what works for you, literally. It’s all trial and error. You may choose to meal prep, give intermittent fasting a go, or just eat smaller portions — trying a few different things can help discover what’s best for you.
6. PSA: your weight does not define you
I want to shout this from the roof top: YOUR WEIGHT HAS NEVER AND WILL NEVER DEFINE YOU! You are worthy of love and respect no matter what the scale says.
Being a certain weight will never make you funnier, smarter, or more beautiful. Instead, it will teach you a lot about who you are, why you did certain things, and that you deserve so much more than you’ve been giving yourself.
Weight loss itself did not make me a happier, but through the process of dropping those kilos I realised that I deserved to be happy.
It made me realise how much I held myself back because of my weight, and it made me realise that I was capable of so much more than I led myself to believe.
I am not close to my weight loss goal. In fact, I have about 40 kilos to go before I reach it, but through this process I have learnt that I am a total bad-ass (I’m high-fiving myself right now)!
No amount of muscle definition or the number on the scale should ever dictate someone’s worth.
I hope that if you or someone you love decides to go on a fitness/weight-loss journey, that they learn that they’re a bad-ass too.
This article was originally published on Women's Health South Africa.
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