Given my own place in the world, right at this moment, I think it’s time for another ‘Tips for Idiots’ segment. The last time was Blogging Tips for Idiots, something people still seem to enjoy when they read it. I hope this segment is just as amusing and useful as the former. I intend to make things as simple as possible because, frankly, this is me putting down everything I wish I had known from the beginning.
When it comes to weight loss, everyone says it’s a matter of willpower. I call BS on that shit! Willpower doesn’t exist. If it does, it has a limited supply and you’re Shit-Outta-Luck once it runs dry. Hope you packed a parachute to use once you fall out of the sky. It’s a long fall, but we all have time.
When jumping into the topic of ‘Weight Loss,’ I think there’s something about the phrase that’s not all that friendly. The idea of losing something brings to mind the idea of finding it again. When it comes to “weight loss,” the idea shouldn’t be about losing weight as much as it is ‘shedding’ the pounds from our body. We’re getting rid of the weight, of the fat, and the purpose of this is to be healthy. It’d be counterproductive to regain the weight you “lost” because the program’s done and over with.
One of the first things I would have liked to know, when I started looking into getting healthy, and shedding the weight, was the fact that weight loss and fat loss are two entirely different things. I learned this little fact from a bodybuilder. I was surprised to learn that weight loss centers around losing the weight that makes us “overweight” without putting an emphasis on where the weight we lose comes from. It’s overall weight, not targeted.
Fat Loss, on the other hand, targets fat. It’s intentional. This sort of “weight loss” aims for the excess fat hanging off the body while also working on keeping whatever muscle we may have hiding beneath all that fat. And there’s muscle, there. It has a shit-ton of padding on top of it, terrified of being found out, but it’s there.
When it comes to losing weight, you want to target fat. You want to keep the muscle you have because it’s vital to your body. The muscles of our body act as a defense system. They support the skeletal system of our body (providing padding for our bones), the nervous system (which is tied into the bones and muscle alike), and general health overall. Weight loss is a dual-faced fiend that I’ve come to learn is actually a complex subject.
Losing only fat requires knowing how to eat:
- Lots of Protein
- Healthy Fats
- Non-Starchy Veggies
- Moderate Nuts & Fruits
- Soluble Fiber
- Low/No Carbs
- Lots of Water
This is what I can think of off the top of my head. Info may not be totally accurate, but this is what works with me. I eat a lot of protein (but not as much as I used to), I add healthy fat into everything, I’m working on the veggies and the nuts and fruits, I try to stay away from carbs when I can, and I’ve upped my intake of water (the hardest thing, really). This is all about the nutrition behind shedding the weight and keeping it off.
It doesn’t matter how much you work out if you don’t eat right. The body needs fuel, and it needs the proper fuel to run. Candy and soda and tons of milk chocolate and ice cream aren’t going to help (I have issues with the soda, myself, but that’s something I’m working on).
When it comes to losing weight, it really is Mind-Over-Matter. You are what you think. If you start the day by thinking, “I can’t do this,” then you’re setting yourself up to fail. The mind and the body (and the spirit) are all a part of a complex, intricate structure. What you think has an impact on your body and your soul. Your overall health impacts what you think about yourself. Your view on spirituality does, too, but that’s a whole other ballpark that’s difficult to explain on a good day. Impossible on a bad one.
I would say each of us can look in a mirror and see something we don’t like. I know I can say as such – I hate my gut and neck and back. There’s extra weight hanging around there, chilling out as I go about my day. Holding me back, mocking me when I try to find something cute to add to my collection.
Sometimes, on my bad days, I think, “I’m ugly.”
I see this excess weight, I see how my gut hangs, the slight bulge of fat on my inner thighs, the rolls of fat under my bra-line on my back, and I’m so unhappy that I get pissed off. I see all these fit women, all these ladies whose thighs don’t touch and their upper arms aren’t fat and saggy, and I see a few of them glancing at me, their noses scrunching up. Finding me lacking.
Then I’m smiling as I think to myself, “Skinny bitches, you don’t know half the battle I’m going through. Don’t fucking judge me.”
Yeah, I know I’m overweight. Sure, I don’t have many “cute” outfits. I’m a loner, I hate gyms, and I’m self-conscious when I’m walking next to a goddess. What normal girl wouldn’t be, in my shoes?
It’s those thoughts that keep me back. I get upset over some other woman and how pretty she is. I see what I want to look like, but I don’t consider the fact that those other girls have different bloodlines than I do. Their DNA isn’t the same as mine. Their metabolisms aren’t the same as mine.
I don’t know their stories, but, in my own misery, I’m judging them as they judge me. The only difference is that I’m nice enough to not clue them into what’s going on in my head. Between them and me, at least I’m polite.
Fun Fact: The Fat Don’t Care!
I don’t own a scale. I always thought you needed a scale when trying to shed the weight, but, then, I learned that the first 15-20lbs is often water-based or related to not drinking soda. More weight can come off if you cut sugar. The first 15+lbs come off easily, slipping away with little effort, and then, suddenly, we hit a boulder. Face-First, no brakes involved.
Concussion Central, everyone. It’s not a pretty place
When people hit that wall and can’t seem to lose anything else, when their weight stays the same, this is when people give up. I’ve been there many times. I was there last year. Then I got stressed and starting doing all the bad things in excess and got even heavier than I was before. I hit 250lbs.
However, the best way to track your progress isn’t a scale. It’s your clothing. When you’re shedding fat and adding muscle, you slim out but your weight may fluctuate because, you know, muscles are heavy.
When clothing is looser, when the paints start falling off, when a once-tight shirt starts getting baggy – you know, then, that you’ve lost the fat. You’re thinning out while also keeping the muscle (or adding it in) like you should have been doing years ago!
However, what other things we can do to help us along? There are a billion things we can do. There’s so much that can be done to help. Knowing how much you eat a day is good. Then eating under that limit, just a bit, helps the body become aware it needs to start burning fuel. It’s in a ‘shit, my tank’s almost empty, I need to hit the reserves’ mode.
Think about it this way. We are vehicles with two fuel tanks. The first tank is everything we eat and drink. When we take in more than we should, the extra gets turned into excess that is placed in the second tank. The longer we eat more than we should, the more fuel that’s added to the second tank.
Eventually, that second tank becomes so full it starts to swell and spread out along our body. It creates layers of fuel (fat) that hangs off of us. Our body is being told we need the extra energy because we’re storing it for difficult times. Like a bear getting ready to hibernate for winter, we eat and eat and eat. All that food turns to fat, which clings to the body, and then sticks around as we keep overeating.
The first part of dieting is learning how to eat and turning all that fat into fuel for the body to burn. Learning to gauge our food, know what to eat and to avoid the icky stuff, is key.
However, I did promise tips! So here’s what you can do:
- Drink LOTS of Water
- Consume more protein and healthy fats
- Cut down on carbs (and avoid wheat as much as possible)
- Eat your greens!
- Eat berries
That’s about the gist of it. It’s not all that complicated, once you boil it down to the basics. Part of the goal is making sure you don’t overeat and stop eating before you’re full. The best way to trim the pounds is by burning more calories than you eat, which means exercise!
For those of you who don’t like working out, start small. Go on walks. Get a couple of handheld weights from the store. Carry them with you when you’re talking a walk around a few blocks. If you have dogs, take them on a hike first thing in the morning. Then later in the afternoon and again before bed.
If you like snaking, then replace all the carbs and candy with something healthy. Eat an orange or a few strawberries. Maybe some nuts and raisins. A cup of oatmeal and half-a-glass of milk. Pick healthy options and, once a week, have a cup of ice cream or a candy bar. Don’t deprive yourself of your cravings. They’ll come back twice as hard. Which means twice as much weight, twice as much frustration, and that inner voice bemoaning a bad choice. I’m sure we’ve all been here:
“Why did I do that? I know better!”
I did that yesterday. I ate an entire box of Cosmic Brownies. Maker, it tasted like heaven and hell smashed together. Hurt my teeth something fierce. I was depressed, however, and I wanted comfort food. So, brownies. And four cokes. And three giant slabs of pizza. Yesterday was a bad day.
Today, though, I’m back on the bandwagon. I’ve drunk water, ate healthier food, cleaned up my living area, did some laundry, strapped some weights to my wrists, and went about my day. I at a bit of pizza, yeah, and had a soda, sure, but I didn’t overdo it. I’ve done more research on nutrition, on working out, and have started setting up a meditation and workout corner in my room. It’s all about small steps that lead to huge progress!
If I can do it, so can you!
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