Weight loss is pretty simple. In this old post of mine, I talk about the very simple weight loss process.
All you really need to do to shed those extra kilos is to go in a calorie deficit. So some part of it is achieved by cutting calories in your diet and some more calories are burnt in a workout.
Sounds really simple. Right? But have you ever found it so simple? I have not!
I am 41 and in my life I have lost weight and put it back on multiple times. I know what needs to be done. I do it, well most of the time and yet I do not have a forever success story.
Of course not everyone is like me. But if you have experienced this too, you would know what I mean. Now the point is have you ever realised what could be the reason? What is it that takes you back to where you started?
I have finally discovered it! It took me all these years to figure this out but I am glad I did.
For a long time I thought that it was my genes that were making me fat. But you know what? Weight gain is not genetic, well it could be in some rare cases, but the biggest cause of weight gain is poor lifestyle. And also in my case it was more to do with my distorted relation with food.
Now whenever I lost weight it was through extensive control. But control does not work forever, eventually your will power goes weak and you go back to your old ways.
Like I remember this one time I lost around 10 kgs in about 40 days. I was not cutting my diet too much. I was eating very well and very healthy. I was following intermittent fasting. I would eat only in an 8 hour window and even then I would only eat 3 meals and not a peanut in between. I was controlling myself a lot. The whole diet was working on my willpower.
I would not drink my tea in between. I would not snack ever. No sweets. With my otherwise distorted lifestyle and poor food choices especially in terms of sweets and snacking, I lost weight fast. And I actually gained health.
Now even though this process did me a lot of good I could not sustain it for long. Why? Because it was based on will power an not on belief change!
If there had been a shift in my beliefs and values I would have continued around the same process. After all I was not starving! I was eating well. Only I was not eating all that stuff that satisfies me emotionally!
Yes and that is the second cause of diets not working, of weight loss not being permanent and our broken relationship with food.
There is this emotional void, this feeling of emptiness that takes us to the kitchen looking for a solution there. We stand in front of the open refrigerator, seeking to heal ourselves. I have found that happening so many times. Especially around dusk if I do not occupy myself, If I do not indulge in a workout, or step out of the house and meet people, I find myself hungry.
The problem is that we do not understand the difference between emotional hunger and real hunger. This emotional hunger always craves for something unhealthy – a chocolate, some savories, etc. Emotional hunger is never satisfied by food.
And instead of addressing the hunger we need to address the emotions!
So this very simple process of weight loss becomes so complicated. I find the scale oscillating forever…. 2 down 2 up, 3 down 2 up and so on. I know it all and yet I do not succeed, not forever!
But I am glad I know “this” now.
I have been working on improving my relationship with food. I eat my meals mindfully! I chew each bite till it is soft and mushy. When I experience untimely hunger I sit with it for a while. I drink some water and sit with the emotions. I meditate, I journal… Basically to diffuse my feelings.
I am not denying the importance of willpower. But there are many things that help support willpower. Moreover when you heal yourself, when you change your values and beliefs, when you eat mindfully and improve your relationship with food, Weight loss will be permanent. Also you will experience a new shift! A shift in your lifestyle.
You will in the process gain holistic benefits.
I’m participating in #BlogchatterA2Z and this post corresponds to letter W!