What’s your Weight Loss Formula?

I don’t buy a lot of the crap that the media cranks out with regards to weight loss, especially those reality shows for grossly obese people. While, yes, I’m sure a combination of diet and exercise is a surefire weight loss formula, not everyone does it that way. Just once, I’d like to see this concept fleshed out.

weight loss formulaFor example, the times when I lost a considerable amount of weight never had anything to do with any weight loss formula. At least not one that was sound. So personally, it has gotten to the point where I equate healthy living to being hungry.

But it’s not like I’m an advocate of fad diets either. I know that these things get a little crazy and you end up really screwed up because all you can think about is a piece of bread or whatever. Also, I feel like when you cut a part of your regular diet out, it makes you crabby.

So what is my personal weight loss formula? It involves getting really sick to the point of crying because of how uncomfortable I really am. As you can probably surmise, it also involves being unable to keep anything down for more than a few hours—yes, that means puking electrolytes at 3 AM in the morning.

If that sounds a little idiotic, that’s probably because it is. And the thing is, I know that it is more than a little foolish to think of this as a weight loss trick but that’s the only thing that has been effective for me. Getting really sick has gotten me through about 30 pounds in a little less than 2 weeks.

This isn’t to say that I induce illness, I’m not that crazy—I know that that is unhealthy on so many levels. But when I think back to how much weight I lost in the past, I’m inclined to think “Oh, that’s right, I lost that weight because I got sick.” Quickly ruling out a healthy lifestyle is an impulse for me.

I also know some people who insist that the perfect weight loss formula is a diet based on mostly oatmeal. Just thinking about it makes me gag—who can live on mush three times a day? It makes me think of how food is portrayed as a villain in these times.

weight loss formulaOther people insist that clear, tasteless broth is a weight loss formula that is completely foolproof. And I can’t help but reply, “Of course it’s effective, you’re basically drinking hot water.” This seems not only crazy to me, but also a red-eye towards shaking fits in the morning due to your body’s lack of sugar.

So what’s my point if I’m not pro crazy diets? My point is people are ridiculous and will always have their own weight loss formulas. 90% of which are probably unsafe and unrealistic.

Is there a lesson to all this, a position where insight can be achieved? No, not really. Just making an observation, is all.

All about Weight Control

weight controlSo many girls who fall into the pattern of having an eating disorder and people think it’s mainly because of insecurities. What they don’t know is that it’s as much about insecurity as it is weight control issues. It’s an aspect that isn’t usually investigated in most cases.

Weight is one of the relatively easier things to fix about one’s self. Consequently, it has some connotations both good and bad and has been a huge factor in self-esteem. It’s funny how something as insignificant as the measurement of one’s mass has become the forefront of superficial targeting.

One more thing that I’ve observed over the years is that weight control is not just a personal task. Parents of overweight children, sometimes, get in on the act. While I can certainly understand that it stems from concern, it’s also a ground for unnecessary insecurity in children.

I cannot stress enough that children should always be made to feel good about themselves. I’m not suggesting that parents lie to their children about health but I suppose it’s not too much to ask that they be a little bit kinder. Weight control sounds a little too harsh to me.

For example, maybe instead of just being obsessive about portion control, parents could also be involved in their children’s physical activities. And it shouldn’t just be a matter of correcting the problem when there is a problem. Playing with your kids should be a natural thing—not a prevention measure.

As an adult, it is relatively harder to manipulate one’s weight but there is also more pressure to remain fixated on just this one thing. When you are receptive to the majority’s ideas of what you should be, it’s easy to fall into the confines of counting calories. It seems that the message is everyone is shaped differently but only one shape can be beautiful.

weight controlWeight control in these situations is a little extreme. Obviously, we all know what we should do in order to be healthy. But when we preoccupy ourselves with a number, the pursuit of health turns into a bid to fit a cut-out that we were never meant to fit.

The thing is control is such a strong word; weight control is even more daunting. It connotes ideas of obsession and an ideology that weight is something to master—you are weak when you cannot even will yourself to starve to a lower number. How troubling that everything that that is prefaced by the word “weight” is already seen as a negative.

How did this happen? When did we start thinking of this word as dirty and depressing? Can we build a schema that recognizes it as just another number, a measurement that in no way defines who we are?

I think we can, but it would take a campaign as extensive as the one that the media is perpetuating in regards to a disapproving picture of the word “weight.” By realizing that weight control just denotes the idea of a healthy middle ground between the ideal and what is, we can counter the norm. And I, for one, hope that we do contradict this message.

Can I Lose Weight Easily?

lose weight easilyFor much of my life, I have been dealing with the problem of not being the right shape. In a society where beauty is hardly arbitrary, it can be hard for someone who is not naturally skinny to like themselves. You start and stop diets and you wonder, “Why can’t I lose weight easily?”

Growing up, my sisters were of considerably thinner built. They had no problem eating a ton and never gaining a pound while I struggled to keep my weight down by eating only a fraction of what I really wanted—they were girls who would always lose weight easily. Not to mention, eating only one real meal a day.

The rest of the day, I coasted on mini snacks and stomach grumbles that constantly reminded me that I was hungry. I was happy. I was finally the right size and everyone who beamed when they asked about my weight confirmed that I had done the right thing.

Was I finally one of the girls who could lose weight easily? Hell no. Even in my size extra small shirt and beneath my protruding collarbones, I knew that my thighs were still completely and utterly fat and it was not enough.

Now I knew that it would never have been enough. Recently, some of my newer friends found photos of me when I was (to them) a skinnier, sharper stranger—and they gaped in shock. How could that girl be the soft and plump girl they had lived with for four years now?

At first, I registered their shock as second-hand embarrassment—I couldn’t even bring myself to look at my old photos. I looked so much more different; honestly, everything about me was too small for my features. My eyes and my nose and my lips popped out from their frame, I had no idea that I had looked like that.

lose weight easilyThen I realized they were so shocked because the girl they knew now wouldn’t even begin to consider being that thin again. The girl they knew constantly prodded them to have realistic goals about the way they looked and was forever telling them about not letting the way you looked affect what you wanted to do. The girl they knew looked and felt like herself—and it was comfortable.

I now know that I look better when I look like myself. And while I still lose weight sometimes (and inevitably gain it back), it doesn’t bother me and I try very hard to not let that be the barometer for how I feel. I don’t think I will ever again be one of the girls who lose weight easily.

I have made my peace with that and I harbor no ill will towards skinny girls. I still cringe though, when girls have a bull session about how fat they are—I try to avoid those situations because I never know what to say when I’m in them. I don’t have it in me to complain anymore.

So, can I lose weight easily? No way, I will probably never go back down to my thinnest again. But that’s ok—I’m living off the scale now and my tummy has never been happier.

The Healthy Way to Lose Pounds

lose poundsThese days, everything is about getting to the end result faster in the easiest way possible. But there are just some things that cannot be done with shortcuts. How one can lose pounds, for example, does not deal in easy alternatives.

In my opinion, if you want to lose the pounds you won’t look for easy alternatives but you can look at smart substitutes. The guiding principle to staying sane while shedding the weight is to aim for health rather than thinness. It is much smarter to think in this way, rather than to have endgames that are illogical and unattainable.

Have sustainable goals—read: don’t expect to lose 5 pounds a week just by not eating carbs. You may lose some pounds doing that but its superficial loss. The more you do it to your body, the more screwed up it becomes.

By denying your body the proper nutrition you need, you are starving it of much needed nutrients—so you’re getting thin but your head is in a heavy fog. Also, the longer you stay with this dietary tactic, the less effective it becomes. Soon you will watch fewer and fewer pounds go until the loss ultimately comes to a standstill.

Instead, eat a healthy diet. You know what is and is not good for you—it’s time to exercise that willpower and discipline and stick to your guns when you feel the need to eat only hotdogs all the time. It’s a matter of re-teaching your body to respond well to good and whole foods, not food-like products.

Personally, I think that the more you teach your body to like all these processed sugars and preservatives, the more it will respond to this kind of stimuli. Subsequently, by cutting out soda and junk food and eating well, your body will crave for it less and less. Of course, it’s ok to give in to the temptation once in a while, just don’t over indulge.

lose poundsThe reverse of the theory is, of course, by feeding your body a steady diet of mostly healthy food, it will respond by craving these types of food more. So the trick is to teach your body and listen to it. The more you have an understanding of what you are feeling physically, the easier it will be to just use common sense as a way to lose pounds.

Also, it’s not very wise to embark on “diets.” Rather, you should be changing your whole dietary habits. This makes more sense as the pursuit of health should be a lifelong venture.

The fact is, diets can only take you so far, but an overhaul of your eating habits will tide you over much longer. Remember: the goal is to live a healthier and productive life, not only to lose pounds. The pounds lost are just a by-product of the original goal.

In this day and age, there is a myriad of information on how to lose pounds quickly. But the truth is the healthiest way to do just that is never the easy way. There are no shortcuts to excellent results.