"Man vs food" used to be my fight for many years. The food kicked my butt each and every time, and the types of questions I found myself asking were, "How badly can a chocolate bar set me back?" or "Why am I so hungry all the time?"
Now keep in mind, I am a 31 year old female with minor medical issues. At this level not life threatening, but why wait until they are, right? I was diagnosed with poly cystic ovarian disease about 10 years ago. Finding out about this at first was like "Yeah, whatever," but as I started to see the side effects of unwanted facial hair, acne, and weight gain, I got nervous and frustrated.
I gain weight so easily and it takes that much more dedication and willpower to lose it. I am at high risk for diabetes and have a very low chance of ever getting pregnant just to name a few of the things I fear the most. And, when it comes to trying to lose weight, I have tried it all, from diets to working out, and from starving myself to just praying and wishing something will happen.
I focus on the good instead of the bad and try to stay positive and driven. I try to take one day at a time and not stress myself over the little things. Stress levels are a major factor in weight loss. And in my life, like so many others' lives, there's more than enough stress to go around!
Fortunately, I have an amazing brother who happens to be a personal trainer possessing years of in-depth knowledge on health, fitness, and effective long-term weight loss. Basically, he's a complete exercise and health nut, which is like the complete opposite of me!
When I finally decided to ask him for help, he really got involved. He went and learned all about my particular weight loss challenges and dedicated himself to improving my lifestyle and eating habits. Although, he lives in New York City while I live in Florida, he still manages to exert his influence and help me the best he can with my weight loss goal.
He calls me about two to three times a week to make sure I stay on track, and while at times the extra attention has been annoying, it's also been incredibly useful...actually, I should say invaluable!
Being that we are siblings, at first I fight him on almost everything, but I have to say, without his input I doubt I would have been able to achieve the results I now am so very thankful for. I greatly appreciate his expertise and wisdom. He gives me faith and motivation that I sometimes lack because I get so mad at myself when I fail at something. Especially, when I strive so hard for results.
Come on, who would really choose a salad over some nice, greasy, tasty French fries? Or why would someone choose running a couple of miles on a treadmill over taking a much needed nap? I know I am not alone here, and maybe some of you are thinking I am lazy or just not motivated.
Maybe you're right, but speaking for myself, I live a very robotic lifestyle and I think most Americans do the same. Anything out of the ordinary, like a new eating plan or exercise routine, usually messes up my whole day and causes things that would normally get done not to get done.
I know every morning I wake up and go to the bathroom; I take a shower, fix my face, put my clothes on, and go to work. When my work day is over, it is already late in the evening and I'm tired, so I go to bed. Very simple, right?
Well when I want results and I don't get them fast, I tend to blame everything and everyone else other than myself. For instance, my job is so demanding; I only get an hour break and work about 12 hours a day. When do I have time to work out? How do I have time to eat three balanced meals a day? The LONG answer I received from my brother was...
"Many things need to change, but you can NOT do it all at one. You need to get organized and plan small changes into your daily routine...mastering one new change gradually overtime before introducing other changes.
Do NOT try and do it all at once; you're body and mind are not ready for all that change so quickly - it's not practical or realistic to expect that will ever work. You must be patient with yourself and give yourself time to adjust to new, healthier habits - you're creating a new life, not going on a diet."
It's funny that even the simplest of answers are so complicated for me to grasp. I must say, after every failure I have had with fad diets and totally being defeated by food, I realized I needed help. My brother was that help. He educated himself on my health issues and designed a long-term weight loss plan for me...a plan that factored in my extremely hectic work schedule. A plan that basically nullified my number one excuse of not having enough time.
Later on I will write about the details of the plan and how it worked. Right now I just want to focus on the main point, which is, without my brother's influence, I'd probably still be struggling.
I am stubborn, and he needed to reinforce the plan for me several times a week. He stayed on top of things...and continues to!
I understand now that it wasn't the diets and exercise routines themselves that caused me to fail countless times, but rather it was me lacking an intelligently designed long-term plan to effectively apply diet and exercise methods into MY particular lifestyle...in ways that worked realistically for me. As the saying goes, failing to prepare is preparing to fail!
Lack of proper planning is never a good ingredient in obtaining a life goal. But once my brother developed eating and exercise strategies for me that were not too overwhelming or difficult to implement, that's when my weight loss results really started to flow.
I am thrilled to say that for over an entire year now, I have managed to keep off 30 pounds. I have a better outlook on life and feel like I have accomplished something...and I am happy with my results.
I changed my lifestyle and made better decisions about my health. I didn't put myself on a "diet." Rather, with the help of my brother, I systematically made small changes to my habits gradually over an extended period of time, consistently.
And these new, healthier habits are now also part of my robotic routine :) I don't have to think about it; I just do it...and it all flows practically effortlessly at this point...which is why it actually works!
My end goal is to lose 20 more pounds and keep it off...so I still have a goal not yet fully reached, but I have made tremendous progress. And progress leads to more motivation, and I'm happy to say, I am in fact motivated!
Some people can do it by themselves; but others, like myself, may need the help of an external resource. I wish that everyone is fortunate enough to have someone like my brother who can be their guiding light.
Help is good! Find some today and create the body you've always wanted but may have never thought was possible. Don't let doubt get in the way of what you want and never give up trying. There are others just like you and I out there who are going through the same ordeal day after day.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of them don't realize how important it is to seek long-term solutions which lead to lasting results. Rather, without any help or much thought of their own, they haphazardly throw together a highly unrealistic plan and try to muscle their way through it hoping to lose weight quickly rather than gradually.
And that method fails 100% of the time because even if it does result in weight loss, it only lasts for a brief period before you go straight back to the way things were before. It sucks! I know because I've done it that way practically all my life, until I finally learned to implement a long-term weight loss plan instead of a short-term one.
Please always remember, changing your body IS possible...especially with the help of someone who can see your day-to-day patterns from a completely objective viewpoint; and be able to see where and how you can fit in new, improved ways of doing things while still preserving the same basic lifestyle you are familiar and comfortable with. Thankfully that person for me was my brother.
So, in conclusion, I highly recommend to anyone who is serious about achieving their fitness goals that they seek someone who can help them! Whether that person simply be a resourceful family member or friend, a mentor, a personal coach, personal trainer or other fitness expert, it really doesn't matter...as long as they are competent, have an authentic desire to help you, and have a realistic game plan which you feel is achievable. Then, just go for it!