I picked up four kilograms during my recovery from a double bunionectomy. This might seem like a drop in the ocean to most, but for a runner, it’s horrendous! And I know I’m to blame for indulging in all those can’t-say-no-to-take-away outings Neil and I ventured on over weekends, not forgetting the hearty Christmas fare and New Year’s feast I whipped up, adding to my weighty woes!
To be honest, my weight-gain didn’t spring on me overnight. I was side-lined from running since September last year due to a lingering ligament injury beneath my left foot forcing me to abandon the marathon I was training for. Running has always been my secret to maintaining my weight in conjunction with the Weigh-less eating plan. Since I couldn’t run, I’d lost interest in physical exercise and the dreaded weight started creeping up.
On the second of January I couldn’t escape the wobble of my double-chin in the mirror. My stomach was cushioned with rolls, my clothing was suffocating me and I refused to buy a bigger wardrobe. I knew I had to get on the straight and narrow if I was going to lose weight before my return to work. I had three weeks in which to do so and I pulled out the big guns – calling Pat, my Weigh-Less Group Leader to resume my weekly weigh-ins.
When I conducted research five years ago on what the healthiest eating plan was and the best manner in which to lose weight, I was instantly swayed towards Weigh-less. Their eating plan is based on a balanced diet, none of the food groups are forbidden, eating six small meals a day, incorporating exercise and following a winning formula to achieve your goal weight. My exploration further convinced me that dieters stood a better chance of losing weight joining a support group who meet weekly, share their struggles, celebrate losses and inspire each other in the quest to become healthy and confident in their own skin. The advantage of weekly weighing is that you are held accountable for every morsel you consume – binging over weekends and trying to starve yourself before D-Day will not hold you in good stead (believe me, I’ve been down that dirt road before and only fooled myself!)
On the first week of following my eating plan to the best of my ability, I lost a measly 0,2 kilograms! I was appalled – I’d worked unbelievably hard and couldn’t understand why the weight wouldn’t budge! I’d even resumed gyming, starting from scratch in order for my body to adjust to working out considering my long layoff.
The second week wasn’t any better, the 0,2 kilograms I’d lost – I picked up!!! I was dismayed – in my mind, I was following the plan to the T, however I didn’t take into account the AA birthday meeting I’d celebrated and an outing with a friend, spoiling myself with a treat. The rest of the time I ate balanced meals, drank gallons of water and green tea and expected a weight-loss!
Unfortunately I’d forgotten that weight-loss doesn’t work like that! In order to lose the heaviness, one has to be strict 99% of the time in order to see a drop in the scale! And it takes seven days of clean eating (no nibbling, no cheating and certainly not bigger portions) everything has to be followed with military precision according to the plan and only then – will the MAGIC happen!
After my first two disappointments, I was determined to eliminate all distractions, steering myself doggedly on the lean road, saying NOOOOO to any advances being thrown my way to have a wee bite or even yielding to temptation at a family picnic at Kirstenbosch (something I’ve never been able to do before). I needed to be my own Sergeant Major when it came to my diet and even though it was incredibly difficult, I soldiered on.
When my weigh-in day rolled around I was antsy for I didn’t know whether I was going to lose anything and if I didn’t, I was going to be highly frustrated for I’d worked my butt off! I honestly couldn’t feel as if I’d lost any weight for my clothing was still clinging to me for dear life, a constant reminder of how much I’d let myself go. Climbing onto the scale, shutting my eyes and praying with all my might – I was saved by Pat remarking “You’ve down one kilogram!!!” I could’ve kissed her – I was beaming from ear to ear, wanting to jump for joy and scream it out to the world!!!
I immediately reflected on my early years when I joined Weigh-less and how I battled to lose nine kilograms to reach my goal weight. It certainly didn’t come easy to me then and much of the time I didn’t notch up big losses, each week losing a measly 0,2 or 0,4 kilograms, taking me eleven long months to lose the excess weight! For me to drop one delightful kilogram wasn’t something I expected or believed was possible, but yet it happened! Driving home I was on a weight-loss high and couldn’t wait to share the wonderful news with my family.
What I can convey through my own journey of weight-loss through the years is that it’s one of the toughest challenges you will ever encounter in your life. You have to discover within yourself the steely determination to break down your comfort food barriers, become brutally honest about everything you put into your body, even if it’s a few forgotten bites here and there, all these stolen nibbles tally up on the scale and thwart your efforts in losing weight. You need to be the CAPTAIN of your ship, steering yourself on the course YOU want your body to mould into, navigating the choppiest waters of your mind, fighting the forceful winds of temptation, sailing through the disappointments of failed losses before gliding into the serene ocean and the harbour of your sweet destination, WEIGHT-LOSS!