For most of my life I was chubby. I can barely remember periods when I felt pretty enough to show my ankles or arms. During summers, I would wear long pants and long-sleeved tops, even though I was hot and uncomfortable. I tried lots of diets and recommended eating habits, went to aerobics classes, took some supplements promoted to melt fat, and ate only once a day. Some things worked, and some didn’t even show any results on my body. I was never told I was beautiful or at least I can’t remember, but even if anyone did tell me so, I wouldn’t believe them.
And then it happened a few months ago. You might have already guessed the prelude of it – I was diagnosed with insulin resistance, a pre-diabetic state. And there’s nothing more powerful to wake you up from your pity party and self-loathing than the notion that you might end up developing a serious condition which can cause organ failure, impaired vision, cardiovascular disease and even death. Quickly I started being proactive, changing my lifestyle and eating habits, and I started losing weight in a healthy way and at a healthy pace.
You don’t have to have the exact same problem to change your life. You can look great and still develop conditions because of bad habits and misguiding diets. Maybe some of my experiences will help you see the first signs of trouble before they cause any serious issues. But I hope they’ll inspire you to change your eating habits and enrich your life with physical activity and healthy diets.
Ridiculous and insane diets
Any diet that you choose by yourself has the potential to turn bad and even really harmful. For example, in the early 20th century, one method was highly recommended – the tapeworm diet. As the name says, you eat a pill containing this parasite and it starts growing in your body. When the desired weight is achieved, then infested person would take the medicine to eliminate the worm. Although forbidden, these pills are available even today and there are documented cases of women, even young girls, admitted to ER with problems caused by the tapeworm infestation.
There’s also the soup diet where you only eat cabbage or chicken soup, depriving yourself of nutrients. The Baby Food Diet was created by celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson and includes eating 14 jars of baby food per day, and then having regular dinner. Since baby food is low on calories, the effects are undeniable, but it also lacks the nutrients an adult body needs. There are also the Prolinn Diet from the ‘70s where you only drink a 400-calorie potion consisting of slaughterhouse byproducts; the Kimkins Diet, where you intake only 800 calories and take laxatives; the Tongue Patch Diet, where a device is surgically inserted into your tongue which makes eating painful, and so on.
Change your habits
To use a well-balanced and healthy diet, you should visit a nutritionist or doctor, and try to create the best plan for you and your body. But you won’t get far if you don’t change bad habits which will only hold you back. The first and most important step is to clear your pantry of junk food and under no circumstances eat it under the notion “Just this one last time”. Then start prioritising your products by replacing the junk food you got rid of with veggies and fruits, so they are always available for a snack.
Create your menu
If you want to lose weight in a healthy way, you must be moderate and have a balanced intake of ingredients. Use extra virgin olive oil for salads and grapeseed oil for cooking, for example. Don’t buy and consume products with saturated or trans fats. Instead of all-purpose white flour and its products, use whole grain and black, red and brown rice. Don’t avoid carbohydrates, just reduce their quantity and increase the quality. Consume foods which are a good source of protein like meat, fish and mushrooms, but be careful when it comes to types since some animal produce can contain a lot of fat and are bad for your health, like chicken skin, for example.
Don’t be a slacker
Without physical activity there’s a possibility of developing cardiovascular conditions, musculoskeletal disorders and depression, to name a few. So working out is not only good for weight loss and toning, but also for leading a healthy and fulfilled life. If you regard exercising serious, you can try supplements which will help you achieve your maximum at the gym and supply your body with energy and nutrients like true creatine powder or protein shakes, for example. If you are not comfortable with going to the gym or jogging outside, do exercises in your own home. You have a variety of options, from Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred to Leslie Sansone’s Walk at Home programs.
You have no excuse not to try to eat healthy and to exercise at least three times a week. I know because I was once in your shoes. It was never the right time to start. And I won’t lie to you, even when you start you’ll have to cheer yourself on because it will be hard and will require a lot of dedication. But after a while, you will want to exercise and you’ll feel excited about the healthy meal you’re about to have. It’s never about the way you look, it’s always about the way you see yourself – so change it.