Monday, 21 October 2013

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.


  1. I wander off for a while (and move house) and then when I wander back, I find that you've been updating your blog lots and posting photos of yourself!

    I agree that diets don't work - and that cutting out various things including wheat is very effective. My partner has developed a wheat and dairy allergy and has lost a lot of weight by cutting them out. I am not so dedicated though and because I can eat wheat etc, I often do.

    I lost a lot of weight in my early twenties having always been very overweight. I am still not entirely sure how I did it. I remember stopping eating mayonnaise - and that was about it. I imagine it involved more than that though. It isn't that I have also lost my memory, I am not sure I was that clear at the time why it happened. I must do more to get a bit fitter though. I have thought a few times about taking up running, but I now live someone rather hilly (and it's getting quite cold). You may be getting an idea of why I am bad at taking up exercise...

  2. Ah, so you'e finally moved house! Yay. I hope the move went well?

    I bet you were very shocked to see so many (at least a few) blog updates... ;-)

    The answer to weight loss is mayonnaise...I wish that could so simple. was it because you stopped eating the things that went with mayonnaise (chips and mayo, cheese and mayo name a few)? I definitely get an idea of why you're finding it difficult to take up exercise. Hills are just...nasty. ;-)