There are lots of reasons why weight loss is so difficult. We sabotage ourselves, can't find time to prepare food or exercise, etc. One of the biggest problems is the projectile-vomit-like information that has been coming our way since we were little. There are health experts, doctors, personal trainers, gurus, self-help experts and plain ol psychos telling you how you should lose weight.
On top of those people, you've now got people like me who regularly spout about their progress and what they're doing to lose weight.
The problem with weight loss is: One size fits one.
People ask about what program I'm doing. I've asked about programs other people are doing. But what fits me isn't going to necessarily fit you 100%. You might need some alterations. A hem here and a seam ripped there. Maybe something in a different fabric or color.
This is why I don't log all my foods publiclly or write out each and every workout and exercise I do. This is MY way of doing things, MY size, and I don't want others to think if they do it the same way that it will work out the same.
So how do you determine what size you wear?
- Ask around. Just because you shouldn't follow someone's exact plan to the grain of rice doesn't mean you can't ask people about their experiences. Be open minded, ask what they like and don't like about their eating and exercising programs. See if you can relate to them, or if it is completely foreign. For example, I can talk to vegetarian fit bloggers all day long, but I love my meat, so their size and my size will never match. And vice versa.
- Ask yourself. What kind of foods do you like? What kind of foods do you hate? What exercises do you like or hate? If you don't know, then just try different things. For example, I learned that I'd rather work out in a climate controlled gym rather than working out outside in the sun, rain or snow. Others would rather poke their eye out before staying on a treadmill for an hour. Figure out what you like and stick to it.
- Ask your body. In addition to what you enjoy, what does your body react best to? By this, I mean what kind of foods fuel it best and how is your energy level with them. Some people can eat lots of healthy grains and oats and feel fantastic on them. For me, they put me to sleep and make me bloated. Some people aren't affected by sugars in their diets. For me, I become a sleepy (but raging) bitch. Have I always known this? No. I had to try different food combinations, recipes and diets to figure out what I felt best on.
- Ask your lifestyle. If you work 60 hours a week and have to do lots of client meetings, then going for a vegan (for health reasons only, not ethical- completely different) might not be the easiest plan for you to try out. Don't commit to a juice fasting program (as I once did) if you don't have access to lots of fruits and veggies at reasonable prices, and have the time to cut them up and then clean the juicer before the pulp dries. Have kids? Try not to be so extreme where you're not able to enjoy meals with them or feel tortured because you can't eat what they do. Find a balance.
- Try again. It takes a while to find a combination of diet and exercise that works for someone and their lifestyle. If you are completely miserable, then try something else! Keep the things you like and work on those you don't. There is no failure in tweaking.
I hope this makes sense. I started thinking about this when I read through the comments from yesterday's post about the scale and how it affects my emotion. Some people need it daily. Some people need it weekly. Some people never need it. It's really all up to the individual and what works for them. My weekly weighing isn't doing good things for my mental fitness, so I'm going to try again and see if 1 month intervals are better.