This is my story of how I lost weight… for real.
I’m hoping that somewhere, somebody out there will read this and find what I write about useful. If it helps even just one person, I’ll be happy. 🙂
When I was younger (yeah let’s hop on the time machine a bit), the boys in our class used to torment me. They called me “toothpick” and would yell it out in a singsong voice. This usually culminated in a chase around the buildings with a broom.
But, that’s how thin I was. I was really, really stick thin. I looked malnourished, really.
Then, when I hit 30, suddenly, everything I ate started showing up. I had armpit fat, a donut belly, and big fat legs. I never got as big as other people, but I was on my way.
Plus, it wasn’t just about the looks. I felt tired, listless, and puffed and huffed with every few steps. I got sick more.
Yearning for the lightness of a right-sized body, I tried everything. I ordered diet pills from online, hired a personal trainer, became a gym rat for years, went on fad diets, and even secretly upchucked in the bathroom after meals.
The latter was put to a stop by my dentist who scared me of enamel erosion.
By this time, I was suffering from chronic pain in my shoulders, joints, and nape (from cervical spondylosis, carpal tunnel, and calcific tendonitis). My sizable income from working very hard was simply paying for doctor bills, tests, therapy, and pharma drugs.
That was when I made a decision and made a huge lifestyle change. And that’s when I discovered by accident what stuff really works.
Embarrassingly, it’s exactly how Robert Fulghum said it. What you need to know, you learned in kindergarten. What I’m about to espouse next is very simple. Hardly rocket science.
THE HOLY TRINITY OF LOSING WEIGHT AND GETTING HEALTHY
1. The Right Food
2. Enough sleep
3. Exercise and Activity
and I’ll throw one more in… Less Stress!
You might say, that’s it? You had to listen to my meandering story just to be told to eat right, sleep well, get enough exercise, and lose some of that stress?
Yes, yes, yes, and yes!
As simple as they sound, very few people actually get any of the above.
I’ll just quickly share how I was defeating my own wellness goals. You might recognize yourself in some of the situations below.
– I ate out a lot at fast food restaurants; most nights I ate 7-Eleven and Mini Stop insta-food
– Most of what I was eating was processed food and fried foods
– Because I was in Graveyard shift at work for years, I was drinking a lot of energy drinks and coffee, and eating a lot of snacks to keep awake
– I comforted and rewarded myself with food
– I did the circuit of popular eat-all-you-can restaurants
– I was running on four to five hours of sleep
– I wasn’t getting my melatonin fix, because I was sleeping daytime and working nighttime
– I had an erratic sleeping schedule
– Sometimes, I read or watched movies to de-stress when I should be sleeping
– Even though I was physically exhausted and mentally stressed, I was exercising like a dog. I was even running races. No weight loss though.
– I had lots of it. Really, really lots of it. (Totally loved my work though, so that carried me through)
– I brought my work everywhere, and made myself on call 24/7
The funny thing is, so long as you’re stressed, you’ll be hard put to fix all the rest of it. In fact, I found it impossible for the past 10 years.
WHAT I CHANGED
More whole foods. This means no processed, fried, or any foods with long shelf life.
I started sleeping at night. In the dark. For a full 8 hours.
A little bit of yoga. A little dancing. Moving my body in the morning and later in the day kept my metabolism speeded up.
I changed my line of work.
Isn’t it ironic how the solutions are so mind-blowingly simple?
I have a few other little tips and tricks to help manage weight. You can read them HERE. (And if you can add to them, I’d really love that.)
And that’s it. Really. Three months of sleep, rest, exercise, and a calmer mind.
I was 95% pain-free. I could move my arms freely, and carry lightweight stuff again.
To anybody suffering from chronic pain, this is HUGE stuff. You don’t know how blessed you are until you experience being in constant pain, and losing that pain after.
And, this might interest you more. I had lost all excess weight.
The realization came after the fact. I was…. ohhh so that’s all it takes.
I know it’s not as simple as it sounds. We have work and responsibilities. We have to keep the bills paid up.
In the end though, it all boils down to how much you want to lose weight and feel healthier. If there’s anything I learned, it’s no use talking to people who are not ready to listen. It’s just the way it is.
In my case, it took a chronic disease that will just get worse and serendipitous chance encounters with other people to make me re-evaluate my lifestyle and where I was headed.
It is truly amazing when you pay attention, and the Universe shows you the way.
What’s YOUR story? If you have a story to share, or if you have any questions, just post a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.