My biggest secret to a healthy waistline!
“The BIG question” – What is your focus when it comes to weight loss?
Are we not all striving to get that dream body at certain point in our lives?
A lot of people are trying to lose weight and sometimes the journey can be really hard. Not getting the desired results can cause people to start obsessing about the process and frustration sinks in. We can become obsessed with all the methods, counting calories every day, weighing yourself on the scale twice a day, or maybe setting a goal to lose a certain number of kilograms in one week! All of these tactics ‘weighs’ in heavily when it comes to weight loss and your health, which I would love to explain to you now.
Everybody’s goal is different, you are unique and I truly believe that everyone out there is destined to achieve their dream body status.
Let’s create a scenario, which might sound familiar to you…
Ok, so you came to a point where you just can’t cope anymore and you are desperate to do something. Lucky you, your best friend came up with this brilliant new way, a 21 day challenge, which she spotted somewhere to shed those unwanted kilograms. It doesn’t sound that difficult, it is not that long and the pre- and post results that you have seen of women posing with their results looks amazing. This is a huge marketing tactic. So now you are set, best of all you are not alone in this thing; your best friend is by your side. And off you go, on autopilot, determined to lose the excess weight.
On day 5 you are so tired, hungry and deprived but you are determined to finish this, after all you cannot disappoint your friend by dropping out. Some women never make it to the finish line. It would actually be interesting to see the statistics on these kinds of challenges, how many participants started out, what their goal were, how many of those finished the challenge and how many reached their goal. Maybe you were lucky and made it to the end, congratulations if that is the case. But now what?
After the first month off the challenge, the weight is creeping back on, and maybe you even got sick along the way, emotions are high or low and you feel gutted after all your efforts. Are you considering another challenge at this stage?
The truth is, you have been a victim, victim of let’s call it a FAD body challenge
If I recall my childhood experience about food, everything was about food. We were and still are a foodie family, we ate to celebrate, we ate when we were sad and there was always something sweet in the house. Food was our way of life! I remember when we dined at a restaurant; my mother always ordered just a starter or even something from the kiddie’s menu, when allowed, as her main meal, just so that she could order the biggest dessert on the menu later on. What was wrong with that? All we knew was that she loved sweet things! Even when we had a big family dinner, she always prepared a dessert, and we were obligated to have some of the dessert, because that made her happy.
As a teenager my source of information on food and a healthy diet or lifestyle, was our local television network and magazines. If you really think back 10 or 20 years ago how limited the information was and how today we have access to a wealth information globally by means of the internet, this is a great time to be alive if you know how to select the right source of information. So, there is no room for excuses anymore. Today we are in charge and able to be in charge of our health, our lifestyle and destiny. We are able to empower our own health by the choices we have, by the wealth of information readily available. We need to take action.
When it comes to our waistline, a very sensitive subject to a lot of women out there, the truth matters and sometimes the truth really hurts.
With my health/waist journey, I unfortunately learned the hard way. I landed up in the hospital a few too many times, and my weight was best described as a yo-yo, throughout my student years and early career. Although I have always been fairly active, my food choices were the culprit. After yet another scare visit to the hospital, I instantly knew I had to change my lifestyle, I could not continue like this. Too much stress at work, eating unhealthy food, always on the go and not making time to prepare my own meals, or even going hours without eating because I often travelled for work, loading up on coffee, not enough sleep, too much alcohol and the list goes on. Not, even to mention all the diet challenges in between to try to counter the yo-yo effect!
I remember while being in hospital with fever, my doctor said, Lise-marie, your insulin count has skyrocketed and you are bordering on Type 2 diabetes an autoimmune disease diagnosis big scare! (By the way, an autoimmune disease can be reversed, click here to find out how.)
My body was busy telling me: you cannot continue like this and it became evident that I was failing my body with my lifestyle choices.
My discovery and journey to health:
I refused to accept that this would be my fate, to be dependant on pharmaceutical drugs to keep my body functioning; I was desperate to find answers, all I knew was that things had to change. In my quest of answers, I spent a lot of time on research to find a better approach to be healthy, to have a good waistline and luckily for me it paid off.
[The Big Answer] It all came down to this little truth: I had to change my focus!!
In a nutshell, I believe that the number one problem with these short-term challenges is – it’s a SHORT TERM focus.
In my mind 21-days, or 28-days or 50-days is short-term if you compare it to the number, your age. What this essentially means is, it is the number of years you have been making the wrong choices for your health and your weight, which got you to where you are today and got you to the point where you have decided that it might be a good solution to jump on a ‘so-many-days’ challenge. The truth is, these challenges, with the main focus to just lose weight fail to take your general health into account, ALERT! You are probably being misled. It is not sustainable in the long run, because it fails to address key issues surrounding your health. So please let me stop you right there in your tracks before you even consider jumping onto the next challenge.
How can you change your focus?
1. Make time for yourself and plan according to your lifestyle
We live in a fast paced world; it feels like everything today is on racecourse. How do we keep up?
You have to focus on yourself first, take time to eat healthy meals, make time to prepare food for yourself and your family at home. Plan according to your job schedule, for example if you travel a lot, prep your meals in advance, or make sure you know where to find a healthy meal on your way.
ALERT! This is the most crucial step where everything goes wrong for so many people! I have heard this statement a million times: “I just don’t have the time!” To be really honest – that is the unhealthiest and most overrated statement ever. It will be the absolute number one reason why you gain weight and get sick! [You see the truth hurts big time!]
2. Be realistic
It has taken you 10, 20, 30 years to get to the point where you are now with your weight and health. You can’t expect to change everything in just 10, 20 or 30 days. It is going to take time to heal your body. And it is different for everybody, the timeframe will be different, your dietary requirements differ and your body responds differently. You cannot compare yourself to anybody else. Focus only on yourself.
3. By focusing on your health first, you will reap the added benefit of an amazing waistline.
[The BIG answer] – This is really the truth and my biggest secret and could be your biggest secret to an amazing waistline and your health.
How do you focus on your health?
When I choose something to eat, I ALWAYS asks myself this question: Is this good for my health and body in general? Of course you have to make a little effort to read about or study food groups, but it is really easy and once you know the basics, your are good to go. Remember, you always have a choice. If you keep on focusing on losing weight you are going to make the wrong food choices, you are bound to SHORT TERM goals.
The best way for me to explain this is by means of an example. You are thirsty and want to buy a cool drink; do you choose a diet drink with zero sugar, but with added artificial sweeteners, or 100% fresh squeezed juice? So, when your choice is driven by the goal or challenge to lose weight, the obvious choice will be the diet drink, because we believe there is less sugar in the diet drink and that means less calories right? ALERT! You are being misled by the information provided by the industry.
When you are focusing on your health long term, the better choice will be the 100% fruit juice, diluted with sparkling or natural filtered water. The diet drink is loaded with preservatives and artificial sweeteners, which in the long term is damaging your health and slowing down your metabolism. On the other hand, the juice is packed with nutrients, it is natural fruit sugar which is much safer and better for your body. But we have been bombarded with information about how fruit contains too much sugar and carbohydrates and will lead you to gain weight. ALERT! You have been misled. Just be sure not to drink too much juice at one given time. I promise you, it is healthier for your body and a better Long Term Choice. (Changing your Focus)
4. You have to adopt a healthy lifestyle that you can maintain, can afford and can implement in your busy day and socially
It is really easy to make these choices once you know your options. Make it work for you; everybody’s schedule is different.
[Secret] My guideline for healthy food choices that supports my long term goal of being healthy is:
Everything that mother earth produces tends to be a better food choice. In other words, unprocessed and unrefined food and almost everything that comes from the earth can be enjoyed in its natural state. Anything man-made is processed and either went through a chemical process, loaded with preservatives and artificial ingredients, stay away!
5. You have to implement the healthy lifestyle into your whole family
I promise you, if your husband, wife or partner keeps on ordering junk food you will give in, the whole family has to be on the same page, making food choices that benefit their health. If you keep on stocking sugar treats in your kitchen for you children, you will not be able to keep them from eating those or asking for it. It is like an addiction. Trust me on this.
6. Detox your kitchen cupboards
I know everywhere in the world food has become so expensive. So of course I won’t force you to throw out all the processed food at once. Make a list of all the healthy food options before you go to the shop and slowly start to re-stock with better food choices that fits your long-term goal and focus. It is just a human factor that we need to acknowledge and be aware of and we cannot ignore it. If you have a secret stack of sugar treats stashed away somewhere it will stay in the back of your mind, and on a let’s say for example busy emotional day, as sure as I know, you will make an excuse to dive into that stash – we are human and bad habits will just creep in once again. So, make it easy on yourself, if there is nothing secretly stashed away somewhere in the kitchen, you absolutely have no way of falling off the wagon on a bad day.
7. Find an exercise routine that you like, which you commit to, which is good for your body
You always feel better after a workout. We are getting less and less mobile as we get older. We are sitting way too many hours behind a desk doing our jobs. Get moving and get your heart rate up. There are a wealth of exercise videos and routines online today; you don’t have to go to a gym to exercise.
I like to mix it up and alternate between HiiT-workouts, strength training, running/walking and conditioning exercises within my weekly routine. Like I mentioned earlier, each and every one is unique, you need to find a routine that is best for you, that you can maintain and know you will be able to reach your dream body status.
Two of my favourite apps that I use, click on the icons:
There is absolutely no excuse for this one. Think back to your childhood or even if you have children, look at how the are bouncing and running around the whole day, full of life and burning energy. We just lose that when we get older because of our lifestyle choices.
Here are some added benefits with the new focus on your health and not your waistline:
- Better sleeping patterns (crucial for weight loss and to maintain your healthy weight)
- A glowing skin
- More energy
- Saving money on medical bills
Today, I can honestly say that my weight has been constant for over 12 years. Of course, there are times where you might stress more at work or you went on a beautiful holiday that you felt you had to indulge and explore the food culture of your destination. Life is happening and things get out of control, but you know you have a solid foundation of making better choices and it is easy to bounce back to your long-term focus. The ultimate focus that is the key to achieve the dream body status.
By changing my focus, I have not only reversed my Type 2 diabetes status, but have a healthy body and a great waistline. I have changed my status of being the misled ‘challenge victim’ to be a victor of my own health and waistline. You can do this too!!
So, are you still considering that 21, 28 or 50 day challenge? I certainly hope not…
Let me know your thoughts and please leave a comment.