As I said in my previous post, there has to be an internal switch that flips on when you make the decision to change your physical appearance. For me, it was a picture of myself, making dinner over the stove that was my Final Straw – YIKES – but for others it could be the smallest of details or a personal goal to set for yourself. I knew I didn’t want to be more than 200lbs going into my 25th birthday too, so that was a major part of it.
There are a LOT of tools out there to help get you there, but some just don’t know where to start, get overwhelmed and then fail because all options seem to work for everyone but you, you get discouraged, and then binge eat the Twinkies due to emotional eating… I promise, it’s not just you! There are some outdated suggestions and “rules” out there that just won’t work for anyone, and if you’re reading this and asking yourself: “Jaycie, what do I do?!” this is the post for you.
The top five things I’ve found that just aren’t true and sometimes downright ridiculous, are the following:
1) MYTH: If I sign up for Weight Watchers, I’ll be skinny in no time!
FACT: Weight Watchers has some REALLY great tips and tricks. They have helped me gain an understanding of portion sizing and mind over matter and they have a carefully planned out point system to help those who have a hard time reading nutrition labels– BUT - please take into account that if your daily diet still fits pizza & beer into your points for the day (8pp per slice & 5pp per 12 oz. beer), you probably aren’t going to drop the weight as fast as you'd like. Your body needs fuel – just like a car needs gas. Losing weight isn’t going to happen if you keep filling your dietary fuel tank with garbage instead of premium.
2) MYTH: I signed up for a cleanse, and this other diet fad I heard about on that reality show with the sisters! I’m set!
FACT: Diets are psychological prisons. Like a lot of overweight individuals, I’ve been on my fair share of “diet fad” plans. I did no-carb, low-carb, 1 week cayenne water only, and others. Not only are these plans “restrictive” in making a life change surrounding food intake hard to grapple with, they force you to ignore your body! It’s all based on numbers and math to fit the pre-determined amounts of calories, carbohydrates and fats, per meal per day. Add the already ever present sugar cravings and it’s all too much stimuli - It’s exhausting! Those who tend to count up all these numbers become tired and/or forget will end up failing at no fault of their own and wallow in failure and binge, only to start the whole process over again.
3) MYTH: If you set a weight goal, you’ll get there faster!
FACT: Goals are a necessary part of this journey, but if you set the goal too high, you’re not going to see the progress you’ve been making. You will only see the end goal you want, and perhaps won’t even see it anymore, as you’ll feel it’s too far away and lose sight.
Humans are creatures of instant gratification now in society – we all see the celebrity moms who can drop all of their baby weight in a matter of weeks, postpartum, and we shame them if they haven’t done so in a significant amount of time there after (do we remember the Kelly Clarkson debacle and those weight shamers? Ugh, so stupid). They are under the microscope – YOU ARE NOT (well, maybe your own). I had a girlfriend I was working out with for a matter of ten to eleven months, both on similar paths, and I was losing and dropping inches, and her scale/waistline hadn’t budged in four months. She was devastated and it was all she could do not to quit. If you set multiple goals along the way, they will feel like milestones when you achieve them and set into place all the more motivation to keep going! She did and eventually hit a milestone shed set along her journey. Just give it a little time, and tweak it if you need to.
4) MYTH: I don’t want to lift weights and “get big”. I’ll just do cardio every day- I’ll be skinny in no time!
FACT: Cardio is great for you! It builds endurance, keeps you moving and pumps blood through your body – you’re lapping everyone on the couch! However, if you don’t lift any weights in the gym, you’re wasting your time. Back when I was on Weight Watchers, I used to do 45 minutes on the elliptical every day before I went to work. I sweat a lot and felt great, but it wasn’t the best use of my gym time. If you really truly wish to see results, you have to build lean muscle in order to displace the fat you’re getting rid of. If you build muscle, according to Dr. Michael Roizen (MD):
“Adding muscle to your body burns fat because, well, muscle needs energy to survive. A pound of muscle uses between 75 and 150 calories a day (remember, it's working and using energy), while a pound of fat only needs 3 calories a day (fat does nothing to help your body, the ingrate, so it doesn't need energy to maintain itself). Maintaining that friendly, fat-burning muscle mass only takes a few minutes—10 minutes, three times a week, to be exact."
5) MYTH: I just won’t eat breakfast – that way, I can eat more the rest of the day, worry free!
FACT: Can you eat like this? OF COURSE. Is it Healthy?? NO WAY! It hurts your metabolism and wont sustain healthy habits in the future.
'Crash diets are unlikely to result in long-term weight loss. In fact, they can sometimes lead to longer term weight gain. 'The main problem is that this type of diet is too hard to maintain. Your body will be low on energy, causing you to crave high-fat and high-sugar foods. 'When you finally give in and eat those foods, you will often eat more calories than you need, causing weight gain."
The worst thing you can do for your body is deprive it of the things it needs to continue to be functioning properly. I used to take it for granted, but your body is the only vessel you get in this one life, so treat it well, and it will treat you well in return.