50kgs Down….. From Size 22 to Size 12!
I’m sure this may sound so cliché, especially if you have been on what may seem like a life long quest to lose some weight. “You are what you eat!” Yes you read right, I went there, to that age old phrase…wait before you move on to the next article on the site, give me a few minutes…. I promise I will explain and this time it is for REAL. It’s all about weight loss.
Weight Loss. I’m sure you are wondering what I could possibly say to you that you have not already heard a million times. Could I possibly say anything revolutionary about the need to watch what we eat and the weight will disappear? Let me start by telling you about my journey that has seen me drop 50kgs to get to where I am.
In all honesty, when I was asked to share my weight loss journey I was initially hesitant because I knew I didn’t want to write the same script that we have all read and yes been inspired by, but I have the desire to share my story and impart the pearls of wisdom differently.
Like many of you reading this article and so many others, hoping for some form of inspiration on weight loss, I too had been overweight for many years and had tried quite a number of ways to lose weight. From going to the gym and working my behind off, to watching my portions, to seeing a number of top nutritionists in the country, all in a bid to lose even just a few kgs and most importantly keep it off.
However inevitably after a few weeks away from the gym or my usual workout routine or back to ‘normal’ eating but still watching my portions, all the weight I lost would come back with its friends to set up shop in my fat deposit areas once again, Lord how I wish that area was my behind..…SIGH.
I often wondered, was there something I was missing about weight loss; was there a secret formula that I was not privy to, and how to get a breakthrough. I knew I needed to lose the weight but was at a loss how to do it, where to begin. I had all but given up and told myself, “You know what? Maybe I need to just accept myself for who I am, and be happy and move on with life as a plus size 22 girl.”
Soon after making that resolution for the umpteenth time, I stumbled upon a Facebook page on Weight Loss …I guess old habits….the page was for a fat loss program and had a number of before and after pictures of women and men who had successfully lost a lot of weight and were sharing the stories of their journeys; I even moved on to their website and read as much information as I could. They talked about how hormones affected how we successfully lost and put on weight, and what we ate affected those hormones.
As I kept reading the angels singing Hallelujah in my head were getting louder, it almost felt as if I had discovered the Holy Grail. I was so intrigued by the notion that if one ate in the right way to trigger the right hormones to increase or decrease naturally, weight loss and more importantly fat loss, which is what we should all be striving towards, would occur. How was this possible and how had it remained a ‘secret’ all these years I have been struggling to lose weight?
I’m sure now I have the attention of many of you, right? Well it turns out the cliché is completely 100%…..no scratch that 1,000% right, we really are what we eat. I made a complete mental shift and lifestyle change. I fully understood and appreciated that what I ate ultimately affects several hormones in my body that either turn my body into a fat storing machine or a fat burning machine, the choice of which machine I would like to have working inside me was entirely up to me.
Our local food culture is heavily centered on certain food groups, for instance, we consume a high amount of carbohydrates on a very regular basis. We ordinarily have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in between meals. If anyone for example asked us not to eat carbs many of us would be at a loss of what else to eat. But what happens to all those carbs we consume?
We’d naturally very quickly answer that it is for energy our bodies need to function daily. Okay that is partly true, if I recall from biology class, carbs and sugar are broken down by the hormone insulin into glucose for energy. What the biology teacher may have forgotten to add is that the average adult only needs a small amount of carbs (about 200grams a day) broken down into glucose to burn as energy.
The rest of the unused glucose is stored away by the same insulin as fat, to be used another day. This would be carried out by another hormone called Human Growth Hormone (HGH), if we have taken in less than the daily recommended intake of carbs.
Therefore on a daily basis we continue to store fat, which our body hopes to use but doesn’t quite get around to it, because we keep bringing in more for storage.
I can almost hear the questions – So what does all this have to do with me losing 50kgs and how did it all happen?
First I will not lie to you, it took a lot of commitment, discipline and dedication. I really needed this to work out and set myself a herculean target to lose 48kgs…..I know right? Who does that in their right mind? I knew I was doing this in one shot, no re-takes so it was all or nothing.
I began to eat differently, mostly a protein and vegetables, this included breakfast and very little to no carbs or sugar to begin with, because I now knew the information I have shared above. This was to ensure that now my body with the help of HGH, could finally get to the stores of glucose A.K.A the fat and finally burn them up as the energy my body needed.
The effects of this were almost instant, my body had to work with me and the fat loss began. It was looking too simple and too good to be true, but every week that I got on the scale, I had lost something, even if it was 500grams. It was more than I had done in all my years of attempts to lose in any other way. Eating right had achieved this. By the end of the 1st month, I had lost 7.3kgs by the 3rd month 18.2kgs by 5th 28.1kgs.
It was not always an easy journey, because as creatures of habit, we love our ‘comfort’ foods. Mine have always been chocolate, cake and ice cream for those ‘hard to deal with’ days. I however couldn’t have those for the time being, and I had to learn to stick with it and now actually deal with the issues on the hard days. There were no cheat days.
But what about exercising? You are probably wondering, how I lost all those kgs without living in a gym. I can confirm to you that I did not live in a gym, I continued to walk 2 – 3 times a week for an hour in the morning with my walking buddy, who tried to get me to at least do something more strenuous like jogging.
I was worried I would injure my knees and resolved I would not even attempt jogging until I was below 80kgs.
My weight loss journey lasted about 11 months, it was not a quick fix and it took slow and steady fat loss, from 113kg to 62.5kgs that is a total of 50.5kgs. It is now almost 4 months after I completed the journey and I am happy to say I continue to keep the weight off. I continue to ensure that I eat in the same way, I still eat very little carbs and my meals consist of a protein and vegetables.
On the days I may over indulge I skip the carbs for a few days to ensure what was stored is used up. I encourage everyone to ensure they are eating more whole foods and to avoid any processed foods. There are a lot of hidden sugars lurking in them even in the low fat and fat free options.
To all those of you struggling with your weight, I am here to tell you, anything is possible if I could do it anyone can too. I wish you all the best in your journeys.