In these posts I'm going to let you know whenever I come up with an idea (or use one from elsewhere) that I have found was beneficial to me. It is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list of all the things you can do to help lose weight, and it is specifically the things that I have found beneficial - you may find these tips don't necessarily work for you! But here we go...
1) Find a photograph of yourself...a slim one!
I've heard tell of people who like to get a photograph of themselves at their absolute heaviest, and put it up inside the refridgerator, or on the back of their door. I guess what they're trying to do is remind themselves of what they don't want to be anymore, but in my own weight-loss attempt I'd much rather focus on what I would like to be. I don't believe thinking in negatives is necessarily the best idea - 'I don't want to be fat anymore' or 'I want to lose weight' both contain the words fat and weight, terms I don't want to apply to myself any longer, not even in my own mind. I much prefer thinking 'I can't wait to be slim!'
Below is a photograph I took of myself when I was first at university, so it must be about seven years old or so.
Compare this image to the one below, which I took on the very first day of my new program, just over three weeks ago.
At first, I was absolutely furious. Not only with myself for letting things get as bad as they are, but also with other people - peers and 'friends' - for making me think I was fat back then. I needed to lose a few more pounds, sure, and could have done with some toning up, but on the whole I don't think I look too bad.
But I felt bad. I felt massive. I would beat myself up every time someone said "morning, big guy!" or "you're so cuddly!". It didn't make me desperate to lose weight, as it does now (and I got the 'big man' comment again just this morning), but it reinforced the twisted idea already in my mind that I was ugly, overweight, and that I should just give up trying to look good.
Well not any more! I have made that photo the background on my computer now, so I see it every morning when I record my weight, and every time I come online to blog. It shows me:
- how much slimmer I once was. I intend to look even BETTER than I do in that photo, so its something of a marker for me - get there, and you're back to where you were, but with the full momentum and confidence of having lost scores of pounds to get there.
- how much of my problem was caused by my mindset. As I've said, I felt fat back then, and I felt fat when I started this program, but I didn't feel any more or less fat inbetween. There were no degrees of weight in my mind - I was simply overweight, and that meant I was bad. The consequence of this was that whenever I put on weight, I didn't notice - I was still just a fatty, regardless of whether I was overweight by 10lbs or 100lbs. Now that I've come to terms with that, it is much easier for me to notice the positive changes that are being made by my weight loss.
- that I can be slim. Some people bandy around terms like 'big-boned' or 'hormone problems' or 'slow metabolism', but by and large they are a myth (not in all cases though, of course). When I used these terms, it was to absolve myself of blame. I was destined to be fat. That was just the way I was made. It was in my genes. NONSENSE. I can be slim - I have photographic proof! And I will be slim again.
From initially not wanted to look at the photo because it reminded me of how far I had let myself go, it is now the catalyst for a brand new determination to reach the same level of fitness, and then surpass it. I can't wait!