Eight months ago, I was ready to give up.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I used to feel like I had tried every possible trick to lose weight. Nothing worked. Paleo, keto, baby food, Atkins: none of them let me reach my goals.
If I did lose weight, I’d gain it back and more! It felt like every weight loss and exercise programmer knew me by the time I was thirty, because I had visited so many people trying to find a solution.
And don’t even get me started on the pills. Pills, to lose weight! Whoever thought that was a healthy idea? All they did was drain me of energy and leave me feeling awful.
The thing about being a mother is that time is a rare commodity. Now, I wouldn’t change being a mother for all the world, but there’s no denying that every stage of motherhood comes with its own stressors.
When you’re a new mom, you’ve got far too much on your plate trying to keep your new, tiny bundle of joy alive to think about much else!
Then later there’s the school rush, the health scares, the personal dramas… even just trying to keep them entertained without letting them spend half the day watching some YouTube channel is a battle!
With my three kids, I hardly ever get the chance to take some time to myself and relax. That’s not a complaint; it’s just a fact.
You can imagine, then, how much my desperate quest to shed the pounds was affecting me! I was constantly tracking numbers – carbs, days, money spent… it took over my every waking thought.
The little time I used to have to myself was suddenly taken over by all manner of complicated regulations and calculations.
If that wasn’t bad enough for my emotional health, there was the shame. It seemed like everybody was finding some kind of success except me: Instagram, Facebook and mommy blogs were all full of “after” pictures and glowing reports of how well some new fad had worked for them.
These days, I suspect a number of them were exaggerated or fabricated, but at the time it seemed like there were hordes of moms with no issues with their bodies. Then there was me. I was thirty-two years old, and no secret miracles were coming my way.
The miracle, it turns out, was that there was no secret.
Last year, everything changed. It was an evening like many other: spent judging myself in the mirror while frantically Googling potential new strategies. My brain was full. My stamina was empty. I was… done. The search results pages were full of purple links – evidence of all my previous failed attempts.
Then, like a voice whispering to me (not from the heavens; not from some weight-loss fairy; not from anywhere other than my own sense of self worth and determination) I realized what had felt so wrong for so long.
The body isn’t a puzzle. It’s not a Rubik’s cube, or an old mansion full of secret passageways and hidden keys. It’s just a body. It’s your body. It’s my body. My belly wasn’t responding to fancy tips and tricks because it didn’t know I was using them!
All it knew was what I was putting into it, and how much energy I was using up. The cause of my failure wasn’t using the wrong algorithm. It was treating myself like a math textbook and assuming success would come with a catch-all solution.
Instead, success came with motivation. Motivation came with simplicity. Between the school-rush and domestic responsibilities, between my career and my relationships, I had never had the mental energy to keep up any fancy regimes long enough to see a difference.
All I was doing was exhausting myself and focusing on other people’s ridiculous advice instead of my own health and well-being.
I knew what I had to do. One simple plan. A rule or two. Something that suited me. It was all very well to juggle idea after idea and eventually come up with something vaguely cohesive, but it wouldn’t work with my lifestyle.
Instead, I focused on what I knew: to lose weight, you had to take in fewer calories than you worked off. To be healthy, you had to take in enough nutrients to help your organs function.
Your organs need fats, sugars and vitamins. Cutting out what’s good for you in order to obey some arbitrary rule isn’t going to help anyone.
So, I figured it out. I focussed on wellbeing. I followed a simple meal plan and exercise routine, one that let me feel good physically and feel good about myself. My motivation increased. I had more energy. I was looking after my mind and body properly for the first time since I’d embarked on my weight loss journey.
Not only that, but it worked!
I, a thirty-two-year-old mother of three lost thirty-seven pounds in sixty-two days! Honestly, I would have thought that my scales were broken if I couldn’t see the evidence of my progress for myself.
My belly, which had been a source of insecurity ever since the birth of my first child, finally slimmed down.
Suddenly, I could fit into dresses that would have been unattainable on me – what once bunched in all the wrong places suddenly hung off all the right ones!It was far more important than the number pounds; I felt and looked so much better.
The lesson here is obvious: don’t get bogged down by fad diet trends and complicated requirements.
I lost the weight I wanted to; you can do it too. With my help, and the simple tips I have picked up, you can slim down without driving yourself up the wall.
I know it can be comforting to conform to strange regimes, but “more difficult” is not the same as “more effective”.
From my own experience, I can offer you a simpler, easier method of losing weight that will let you make the most of your body and your time.