1. People who see you every day don’t notice:
Considering that the most effective way to lose weight is consistent, gradual weight loss it is not surprising that people who you see every day don’t notice that 100-200grams you are losing each day. You will notice that people who you haven’t seen for some time will take plenty of notice. As Belinda will tell you there are plenty of people who will come up with an almost puzzled look on their face to ask: “have you lost some weight?”
The reason this is important is because many people rely on the reinforcement of positive feedback from others to keep them training. This goes to show that you can’t rely on this, especially from those that you see regularly. You need a motivation that is more sustainable and less reliant on others.
2. People who have never met you before still think you’re fat:
It can be very depressing to have done so much work to lose so much weight and not be recognised for it. Unfortunately, that will be the case for anyone who has never met you. You may have gone from 160kgs to 110kgs but for a new acquaintance, they will still perceive 110kgs to be overweight.
Again, you need to make sure that your motivation is intrinsic i.e. it comes from within. Relying on an external compliment from a stranger is no way to live. Sure, it’s nice but its unreliable and in the end its unimportant.
3. Numbers can be addictive:
Belinda and I work really well together. We both love numbers, targets and records. As all my clients are aware, everything that I can objectively measure is recorded. The numbers are great to provide a clear measure of all of your progress but you can’t let them get the better of you.
Weight loss and weight management is not linear. Your weight is in a constant state of flux: yearly, weekly, daily, minute to minute. What matters most is the trend. Whenever the numbers get you down take a look at the bigger picture i.e. a bigger sample size to determine whether you are truly making progress. No single result can be given greater importance than the overall trend. It also keeps you looking long term, rather than short term which is one of the biggest mistakes everyone makes when starting a weight loss program.
4. Don’t diet:
the long term efficacy of any well-known diet is poor. Even the word itself offends me as it implies a beginning and an end. Healthy people don’t diet. They eat well every day of their lives, and if they change habits, they won’t be healthy people for much longer. Belinda has not dieted once in losing 50kgs and it is a myth to believe that you need to diet to lose weight.
Diet has almost become a euphemism for health but its an absolute misconception. I want to retire the term. I’m yet to meet someone who couldn’t lose weight through regular exercise and strictly following basic nutritional guidelines. Its important to also note that heavily restrictive diets place undue stress on your available energy. It takes a lot of effort to take up exercise, adjust your health and continue all of your previous commitments. The last thing you need is to have all of your energy drained, which in my experience leads to poor food decisions long term. A small calorie deficit leads to consistent moderate weight loss. Large calorie deficits lead to big drops in weight that are unsustainable, exhausting and destined for failure.
5. Conditioning and Fitness come first:
Recent research suggests that being fit and fat is healthier than being thin and unfit. There are also many other benefits to focussing on your conditioning and fitness before your body weight and body composition. It adds to your motivation when you are capable of doing things that you were never able to do before. Along the way, Belinda has ticked off squats, lunges, push ups, planks, getting up and down off the floor and running. All of these physical milestones will keep you motivated to train hard for the next 4-6 weeks before the next milestone. With great conditioning comes improved recovery. Once you increase your recovery abilities you can then increase your training load. The overall effect is more kilojoules burnt on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. Without this conditioning you are also more prone to injury and you can end up chasing your tail to try and make up for the days you have off for recovery or rehabilitation. This is not a healthy rut to be in and can turn into an endless cycle.
6. It’s easier to wash?!?!:
A classic Belinda assessment. The things you didn’t think of before you started losing weight. It seems that it is a lot easier to get all of your bits and bobs washed when you’re carrying around a lot less weight. Hardly surprising when you think about it but I guess “ease of showering” is not on your usual weight loss wish list. A happy surprise.
7. You’re a person of influence:
As a well known face around the Edgecliff Centre, Regenesis and her local neighbourhood, Belinda has inspired and motivated a range of friends, colleagues and even strangers. You also start to become an authority on health. You will be asked for advice, you will be asked “how did you do it?” and occasionally you will asked by strangers in elevators “why are you obese?” Who does that?!?!
8. You will need a new wardrobe:
On behalf of all personal trainers out there, I’m sorry. Losing weight will cost you quite a few dollars in new clothes in sizes you may not have ever been in before – or perhaps not since you were still in school.
9. There’s a lot more space on a flight:
On a recent flight to Melbourne in economy class Belinda was shocked by the extra space she now has to sit back and relax – well, as much as you can in economy.
10. Its cold!:
There’s a common misconception that lighter people have a faster metabolism than heavier people. Its actually the opposite. Generally speaking, the bigger you are, the higher the metabolism. So if you’ve grown accustomed to some extra padding every Winter get ready for a rude shock when you spend most of the Winter months freezing like you never have before. It makes a big impact on your appetite as well, proving that we very often eat to stay warm, rather than to satisfy hunger. But I guess you can always go and exercise to warm up a bit…
Congratulations Belinda, 50kgs gone! What do we say to that? We say “boom!!”