Many people who struggle with their weight look for that magic diet or pill and try all the newest fad diets to lose weight. I've been overweight most of my life, and learned how cruel people can be based on how you look. I've lost and gained hundreds of pounds in my life. I've lived the life of an overweight child, teen, and adult. Feelings of pain, shame, guilt, and failure go along with a lifetime of failed diets. I've had the feeling of wanting to lose weight so badly, even planning my next diet while overeating on unhealthy foods.
The last diet I followed, I lost 101 pounds. Within a year I'd gained it all back plus more. I decided to be overweight and unhappy for the rest of my life. I was beating myself up on the inside with my negative thinking and self-talk and nearing 250 pounds. The idea of weighing over 250 pounds was terrifying. I was already having a hard time getting around. This was not the life I wanted for myself any longer.
I knew how to lose weight. I decided to take a bit of everything I had learned over the years and make a plan to help me live a healthy life. I needed to make a plan I could stick with forever. So, I took out my old diet journals to see what things had worked in the past and which things I could stick with. I began reading and taking classes again to learn more about living positive life, eating healthy foods, making the right portion sizes, and to exercise. I learned a lot and am still learning a lot of healthy ideas and tips to guide me on my new journey.
I decided from the start there would be no deprivation, eliminating food, or punishing workouts. When you are overweight or have been overweight most of your life as I had been you have already spent enough time being punished and beating up by yourself and the "well-meaning," unsolicited comments you often receive.
I started to add positive and healthy things into my life every day. I started to think positive, be more active, and eat healthier foods. I wanted to create new healthy habits and have them slowly replace the old bad habits that were slowly killing me.
I totally changed my internal dialogue and how I talked to myself. I started telling myself I believed in myself and believed I deserved to lose weight and be healthy. I told myself this every day. When I would have a negative thought I would question it. Instead of automatically believing it was true, I would turn it into a positive thought.
I started walking, too. In the beginning I felt embarrassed to walk so slow. I actually started walking in my backyard where no one could see me. At first it was just around the backyard a few times. Then I worked my way up to the front yard. Eventually I started going down the street. Before I knew it, I was walking around the neighborhood and even to the park. The feeling of pride and of accomplishment took over myself—it felt great.
I think walking is one of the easiest exercises for anyone that is overweight. What is so great about it is that you can do it anywhere. You can begin with just five to 10 minutes a day and work your way up. You don't have to work out for hours a day or join a gym to be a person who gets regular exercise. Just start with walking for five minutes, two or three times a week. You can add more days and time to your walking routine as you grow stronger.
I started adding in healthier foods to my diet, too; lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. I found as I continued with the positive self-talk it was affecting me in all areas of my life. I believed in myself again. My walk time and speed increased, and I made healthier choices too.