Are you struggling to lose weight? Do you try every diet going but find that nothing works? Do you wish that there was a quick fix that would shed the pounds and give you the kind of body that would make a super model jealous?
The bad news is that no such diet exists; you can starve yourself and exercise until you’re blue (or red) in the face but, if you were born without gazelle like legs and your DNA has determined that your boobs will forever remain like two fried eggs on a draining board, you’re not going to feature in the Victoria Secrets catalogue any time soon. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh but, if you really want to improve your fitness and lose a few pounds you have to have realistic expectations. I read something this morning which discussed whether or not you can lose 10lbs in a week; yes of course you can, you just don’t eat anything. Is it a healthy approach? No! Will you put back on all the weight when you start eating normally again? Yes and probably more besides. The very simple answer to weight loss is that you need to eat less and exercise more so why are we always looking for a quick fix and why do so many people struggle to lose their excess pounds?
Personally, I think that part of the reason is that some people simply don’t really want to lose weight and therefore they aren’t motivated to do the things that are required. Every day, thanks to the internet and the power of advertising we are bombarded with images of women that current society has deemed ‘beautiful’. There is a very specific body type which is considered attractive and most women aspire to it. However, images are often photo-shopped and, frankly, there are only two ways to get a body like that if you weren’t born with it:
- Find a way to travel back in time and be born to different parents
- Spend thousands on implants and plastic surgery
We have the weight loss Nirvana thrust in front of eyes every single day, sometimes in the name of health but, more often in the name of beauty. Girl friends get together and discuss the celebrity diets, the latest crazes in dieting (think eating nothing but cabbage – bleugh!) and encourage each other to shed a few pounds so that they are a uniform size 10. With this kind of pressure from all sides, it must be pretty difficult to stand up and say ‘actually, I’m quite happy being a size 14; I’m healthy and fit and I like my big boobs and bum’. However, if you don’t you’ll end up in an endless circle of doing what you don’t like: dieting to lose weight and then reverting back to what you do like: eating shepherds pie in front of the TV and putting the weight back on. Worse, you’ll beat yourself up every time you choose the shepherds pie and the TV over a run round the block and a salad which will then make your pleasure a guilty pleasure which, somehow, then makes it even more desirous.
If the motivation to lose weight is not there you will find excuses; we all do it when we’re doing something we don’t really enjoy. Human beings are prone to procrastination – why do today what you can put off until tomorrow – and this applies as much to weight loss as to everything else.
“I’m going to make sure that I eat regular healthy meals every day and I won’t snack……unless I’m really hungry”
“I’m going to make sure that I stick to my diet at all times……….unless I go out for dinner”
“I’m going to try and cut out sugar…………but I need to have a treat sometimes don’t I”
“It won’t hurt if I have a pizza a couple of times a week……….everything in moderation right?”
“My friends are all going out for burgers…….I can do an extra 30 minutes at the gym tomorrow can’t I?”
“I know the trainer said 4 miles per hour on the treadmill………..what difference can 0.5 mile per hour make?”
To get your body in a peak physical state takes time and dedication. You don’t ‘go on a diet’, you eat a certain way all the time and you plan your meals to ensure that you have the optimum amount of fuel in your body to enable you to exercise it and keep it lean and healthy. You spend hours every week sweating and straining, working every muscle in your body to the point of fatigue; you run, walk, swim, lift weights, do Pilates or yoga, team sports, ski, whatever, all to keep yourself in top shape.
If you’re not prepared to do that it’s ok, it’s your body and you can do with it whatever you like but, before you say that diets never work for you, ask yourself if you are really committed to changing. If you’re not then be happy with that decision and celebrate the body that you have; the only person you should ever change for is you!