We’ve heard it all: exercise more, do this workout, don’t do that one, eat less, count calories, eat this, eat that, take those vitamins, avoid those foods, sleep at this hour, use those products … Who doesn’t get lost in the jungle of tips our wonderful WWW (world wide web, in case you wonder, or Mr. Google, as some call it) has to offer?!? Type ME in the comments if you often feel confused.
My moment of truth: For about 18 years, my weight was very stable. Ever since I turned 12 and reached my adult height (5’5” or 165 cm), my weight only fluctuated for about 3 kg or less than 7 lbs. I’ve always been sporty, some would say athletic, that’s for sure and it certainly helped to keep my weight stable. I never thought I could see a 5 instead of 6 as the first digit on the scale (in kg, in case you wonder). So I never tried, mainly because I simply did not believe I had anything to lose.
This is me in the summer of 2016—do you find I had (lots of) weight to lose?
Let me know in the comments below.
Yeah, that’s what I thought. However, what happened last year was that I “had to” almost helplessly watch my weight melt like snow in April (or May, if you live in Canada). I saw 2 lbs and I thought “that’s ok, it’s normal”. Then it went on to 4 and 6 and 8 lbs, and I started wondering “is this still ok?” Don’t get me wrong, I don’t usually step on a scale very often, just once in a while when I’m curious. However, when my pants started getting loose and people were giving me compliments, I began to pay attention too. When after the summer, the scale showed over 10 lbs lost and continued to almost 15, I started panicking. I was questioning if I was still healthy and—you know about placebo effects, right?—I actually started feeling sick! Until I put 1+1 together and solved the puzzle!
For almost two decades, there was little to no difference in my weight. And then, over a period of about 6-8 months, it was 15 lbs less, I went from M to XS. Today, I can present you the three main reasons for my weight loss:
And no, I didn’t work out more, eat less, and work … uhmm … all the time ...
I started questioning everything. And I really mean EVERYTHING!
Let me break it down for you:
1. Exercise: I started karate when I was 8. It was my passion, a way of living, a lifestyle. Until one day, I asked myself: “Do I still LOVE it? Or do I keep practicing it out of HABIT?” And THE scariest question of all: “Who am I without karate?”
I wondered if there was something more, if there was another part of me that was not expressed. After 22 years of regular practice (I had never ever missed a session), I decided to put karate on pause and engage in different types of activities. I went from hard-core training almost every day to moving my body about one hour per day, often with walking and yoga only—which I would usually do on my rest days only.
Conclusion: I challenged my habits. Exercising LESS did the job.
2. Nutrition: During my training to become a health and life coach, we were offered to participate in a group cleanse. One occurred in May and the other one in September. Unlike with most other detox and cleanse programs, during this one, you are not starving your body. I ate properly AND I was losing weight! However, I did question my habits and dared to experiment.
In the end, it is truly not about the quantity but about the quality. And there’s no one-size-fits-all diet, simply because there are no two bodies that are the same. I found out what works best for me, which foods make me feel good and which are less beneficial.
Conclusion: I challenged my habits. Eating MY way did the job.
3. Work: This is a bit trickier, yet a simple one at the same time. Loving what you do and doing what you love will make you lose weight. So super simple, isn’t it? It took guts to quit my well-paid and secure executive assistant position, yet I followed my heart. I could have been comfortable and followed the habit of doing the same thing every day, whereas now, it’s different every day.
When I started the smooth transition in May, I didn’t know what would come out. On some days, I still don’t know. But one thing is for sure: Doing more of what I loved made me—or at least helped me—lose weight. Feeling lighter, in turn, helped me focus better on my work.
Conclusion: I challenged my habits. Doing what I LOVE did the job.
Which one shocked you the most? Which one would you like to work on first? Share below.
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