Today I was asked by a colleague to give diet advice. It makes me really happy when someone wants to make a positive, healthy change to their life. I don't know much but I'm happy to offer what knowledge I have.
It wasn't quite the blog entry I was going for, but this seems to be the theme of the day.
It isn't the first time I've been asked for diet advice in the last couple of year. It is because I lost 3.5 stone, which hasn't gone unnoticed. I don't have a "before" picture, but I do have the most recent picture which was taken at the weekend:
I am not thin (not in the modern size-zero sense), but I am happy. I am fit and healthy. Isn't that all that matters?
Having been a bit of a chubberchops, I honestly feel that, even with the best intentions and strongest motivation, a diet can only ever be a temporary phase. The diet will fail, or the resolve be blown apart the next time you get stressed out and need a chocolate bar. It is because we put so much meaning on the word 'diet'. It is like a punishment because you can't eat all the 'naughty' things you want to. My advice: don't do it, and especially don't try to be thin. Oh, and don't use the scales! Why set yourself up to fail?
The easiest thing I did was to simply cut out the crap: stop eating wheat, cheese, and sugar (which is sadly in almost every food you can buy these days), added lots of vegetables to my diet, and exercised. I have not made changes because I want to be thin, I have done it because I want to feel well, and to be able to enjoy my martial arts and other activities without getting ill. It was (and always will be) a lifestyle choice, not a diet. The weight loss was a side effect, as was good skin and increased confidence.
So many people spend so much energy on trying to fit into an image of what they think they 'should' be, instead of focusing on how they would like to be. They focus on goals that aren't achievable. Not everyone has a frame that can get down to a size zero, I know I don't (the thinnest I got was at 18 after being in the Peruvian rainforest for a month. I lost so much weight that size 8 clothes were hanging off me by the time I got to uni) nor would it be healthy to try.
I like being asked about my weight loss plan but not many people want to hear it. There is no quick fix that will last, you see. It is hard work all the way but it is worth it in the end.