What causes most people to be overweight is because they tend eat because of stress, boredom, loneliness, sadness, or feeling powerless. During these recent year, my weight too had started to creep back. For me, my weight is always in direct correlation with my work demands. If I find work to be stressful, I would crave sweets or fried foods. Perhaps I tried to use the food to ‘forget’ about work or to console myself.
About 3 years back during the time I quit my corporate job, I could eat heaps of carbs, peanut butter and mayo and yet not put on weight. Only thing is that I focus on eating those food during breakfast or lunch and then stopped after lunch. But I still took chocolates after lunch….and got away with it. When I went back to corporate work, within a year I still ate big portions and the weight gain came but was slow.
After the first year, my weight slowly crept back in. Till now, I am at the second year, I have to accept that I am back to my old weight. Worse, the tape measure showed that my hips and stomach’s measurement were few inches more than last time! Gosh, this was a wake up call.
Why I am sharing this is because I know many others are also experiencing weight issues. I don’t really mind so much the weight but I have no inclination to shop for bigger clothes- my skirts are tight and my pants could no longer fit. It’s tragic 🙁
But I am not going to sit around and feel sorry for myself. Regardless of weight, I still continue to exercise- by default climbing about 8 flight of stairs up and another 8 flights down during working days. And my car is almost parked furthest away from my office.
When we are trying to lose weight, it helps to read about weight loss success stories of others, seeing the before and after photos… this will motivate us towards action.
I’ve learned there are common pitfalls to all of our weight gain that we may not be aware of. The ones listed below are those mine:
1. Exercise alone is not enough- must must watch food intake.
If you are an active teenager who are into competitive sports, you can eat whatever you want and get away with it 😉 But for those of us whose age had caught up, and have moved on to stressful life and jobs, and eating for comfort, it’s hard to burn away all that indulgence in an outing dinner, comfort snacking.
I’ve noticed that successful people who took the healthy route towards weight loss all had one thing in common- they exercise AND control their food intake to a certain extend.
2. Watch those empty calories in drinks- something that many people don’t see coming
Having a cup of iced lemon tea, bottled orange juice or Coke to go with lunch add up in calories. During the bubble tea craze with free delivery to office, I’ve noticed my weight and some of my friends sort of ballon up. My daily intake of coffee was not helping either. The calories in the premixed coffee and tea do add up. If you buy from the store it is even worse- with evaporated milk, condensed milk and tonnes of sugar to make it delicious.
Actually, it is not that difficult to quit. At first, when my friends ordered the drinks, when I did not order and saw the bubble tea arrive, I would so regret for not ordering. So, I always ordered with them. Till one day when I feel sick and could not drink. And some got more weight conscious and stopped ordering. After a while, it gets easier not to get tempted to drink.
A slim colleague of mine had learned from young to take her favourite teh c (tea made with evaporated milk) with no sugar. I still cannot bear to take my coffee and tea with no sugar, so I am learning to keep the portions down.
3. Craving for sweet food after meals and giving in to them.
That innocent looking crossaint or mini doughnut may be deceive us into thinking there isn’t much calories. But they do- and these delicious but sneaky indulgences would cause fat to be deposited to parts that you initially may not notice- arms, hips, butts, thighs. Gosh, by the time you know, it’s ahhhh! Too late- too much damage done.
And you know what’s the worst part, it’s hard to stop at only one. These food digest so fast (high Glycaemic Index) that would leave you craving for more. Especially if you are prone to emotional eating. I’ve read somewhere that if we feel craving for something sweet or fried after meal or when we are not hungry, it is due to emotional or stress triggered craving. It’s not real hunger.
So, please don’t make the same mistake as me. I’ve started the habit of eating desserts (usually unhealthy ‘comfort’ foods) and find it hard to stop. And once the ball starts rolling, I would just sit down on my desk to eat more. I’m lucky that I still could wear my old clothes at the rate I am eating.
But I am making the decision to choose more healthy options as desserts. I don’t think I can give up having something sweet after meal- so today, I’ve replaced dessert with fruits.
4. Eating more unhealthy or ‘comfort’ foods causes lethargy, tiredness, low energy levels whole day.
When we choose the diet that consist of white bread, pastries, cookies, cakes, noodles- that are usually available everywhere, our body had to work very hard to deal with all these food that is almost zero in nutrients. I myself also turn to these type of food because they are easily available and do not require much preparation.
In the success stories that I’ve read, when they were much overweight, they always felt tired and have no energy to play with their kids.
And when they regained their energy and regained back their lives when:
- they drastically reduce processed or junk food, and eating more vegetables and fruits,
- start exercise- some who never run much started jogging and eventually training in marathon
They zest and boundless energy they feel was enough to motivate them not to go back to their old ways.
5. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and sometimes easier to give up.
But I now, I would not. If you are like me and feel like giving up, google online on the success stories of others. You would feel motivated to embark on your journey 🙂
When I think back of a lot of things I’ve managed to learn, at first the task at hand felt like a mountain. But with one day at a time, eventually, I could reach there
- I’ve learned a lot of Thai conversation through listening to the CD when driving to work. The first time when I heard the tape and the sentences, I never thought I could speak them. But it got easier with each try
- this blog and few other blogs had grown to contain hundreds of posts. Sometimes I wonder how I could have done it- but hey, it’s not overweight- one post at a time and we all would get there 😉
If I could have done those things, why I could not do for my own weight. It’s not going to be overnight. We may not see much change within the first few weeks but hang in there. I know for a fact that those discovered layers on my butt, hips, thighs and stomach took about few years to build up. So it’s impossible to expect them to drop within a week.
Here are some success stories that I’ve found to be quite motivating. It does have an effect on one after reading the extraordinary achievements from what seemed to come from those who were in similar situation as us. If they could do it, we can too…
- Eda Fuzi- lost 25kg and now runs marathons
- Aravind Teoh- from 120kg to a ripped and muscular 67kg
- More weight loss success stories from KevinZahri.com
- A Facebook photo (tagged by a friend) motivated Sarah Russello to kick her smoking habit and shed 40 pounds
- Huffington Post: I Lost Weight: The Most Inspirational Weight Loss Success Stories Of The Summer (So Far)