Let’s swap gear for today’s post, and talk about weight and the struggles that come with it! While not many of you might know that, I have inner battles with my weights since my teenage years and, so for about more than half of my life.
My intention for today is simple. I want to share with you something simple, yet powerful and that is the only way I know to having the good health and body you want. It is not a magic trick, nor a shortcut, it is life changing.
I never obtained the body I wanted, no matter how in shape or fit I was. I always had extra weight that I did not want, and I was heavier than I dared to admit. I was told that I have a “big skeleton”, and that my bones are heavy, and that should justify my weight. But looking in the mirror every day, I wouldn’t see the heavy bones. I would see the extra weight on my waist.
I had different levels of fitness in my life, from being an athlete in my 20s (training 8-12h a week); to not training at all when I was 25 (and gained lots of weight), to being fit again in my 30s (and lost, a lot of weight). I am 1’79 tall and as I do not have a track of anything else that weight, I will have to use that as a reference for that article. Let’s look at the “milestones” on my fitness and weight journey:
- 15 years old: ~80 kg & training two times a week
- 18 years old: ~90 kg & training four or five times a week
- 22 years old: ~105 kg & started to stop training
- 25 years old: ~123 kg & no training
- 27 years old: ~88 kg & no training (intense diet for 1 year)
- 29 years old: ~108 kg & no training (recovery from diet failed)
- 31 years old: ~91 kg & training three times a week
- 33 years old (current): ~90 kg & training four times a week
As you can see, I have experienced some highs, some lows, and some struggles to maintain weight until very recently. All of that, because of a wrong belief. I convinced myself that my weight was NOT because of the food I am eating. I let my brain trick me, and let it believe what other people said to me. That it is my body type, it is my big bones, and that my extra weight is just that. For years, I kept believing my food was okay.
I still go back there sometimes. At times, I still believe my food is okay when it is not. But I learn a very critical lesson, and that is what I want to share with you today: it is all about food. We could be healthy and lean without ever exercising. We can be fat, and unhealthy with exercising a lot. It is 80% about the food.
If you are fat today and you think it is a lack of exercise, think about it again. While exercise might help, it is what you put in your body that is the problem, first and foremost.
Let’s go back to my year 29 to understand that better. I am just out of a year of an intense diet and I gained half of the weight back (123 to 88 to 108 kg in about 2.5 years). It started because a friend did a diet, lost a lot of weight so I felt that it was a good time to try it myself. It was mostly a protein-based diet, with a rotation between a week of nearly only protein, and a week with protein and vegetables. It is a controversial diet as risky for health and preferably done under the supervision of a Doctor, and I wouldn’t suggest it. BUT, and it is a big but, it broke the belief that I could not lose weight. It showed me that with the proper food, I could lose weight. From 15 to 26, I convinced and let others convince me that I could not. That was the game changer, I could finally do it. If you look at the ages and the weights above, my weight ALWAYS went up until I broke that believe.
With my adult height, 1’79 I went from 80 to 85 to 90 to 95 to 100 to 105, then stopped training, moved country, and little I knew, I was 123 kilos.. And I truly believed I was the kind of person that cannot lose weight. In my 20s, I worked with a dietician or two, with no success. I had little education about food, calories, and nutrients. My mother did try to explain, but I never listened.
After I lost 35 kilos with that extreme diet, it was time to stabilise the weight. The diet I was following could be found in a book, with detailed explanations about how to lose weight, which I did successfully, and how to stabilise too. It explained that the body will be highly sensitive, and that phase is hard to pull off, but if done carefully, it is easy enough. I was thinking I was doing the right choices when re-introducing various kind of food to my meals, but with my lack of knowledge, I made mistakes after mistakes and could not understand how the weight is coming back that fast. I re-read the book a few times, assessed what I was eating, but I just couldn’t figure it out. At some point, when I was approaching the 110 kilos, I understood that what I need is not a diet. It is a lifestyle change.
I decided to eat clean and to go back to exercising. I knew that would be the only way for me to have the body I wanted. At that time, I also did misunderstand my motivation for weight loss. I assumed it was to look better, so maybe I could find a girlfriend. When actually it was for health reasons. I found little motivation in trying to look better, but I found a lot of motivation for being healthier.
The key from that story is that when you have your reason for keeping your weight low and/or your body health, and that you understand that it is not a diet, but a lifestyle, then you have a chance to win the long game. You have a chance at literally changing your life.
Even with that, the last few years haven’t been easy. In my experience, it never gets easy when it comes to weight. It is simple, but not easy. I had to re-assess my diet, and I recently just worked again with a dietician to make some adjustment and move away from the 91-92 kilos I was stuck at for about nearly two years. The goal isn’t just to lose weight, it is to reduce fat. So I can healthier, and improve my physical condition! My journey is just starting…
That change of lifestyle is the only way to lose weight. As it is about having that healthy body for a lifetime, not just for a wedding picture or for a summer. As it is about the food, you should also know that healthy food tastes excellent! I just take a little while to get used to it, but it tastes excellent!
Enjoy health, enjoy life, enjoy food too!
Thank you for your time and reading my post.
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