So I’ve loss my first 5lbs within my first month of Chalean Extreme (this is my second round of the program and it’s always given me succcess when I use it properly). It’s got me thinking again about weight-loss as a bussiness and how it often fails the customer by first being unrealistic and second making the ‘science’ of weight loss sound more complicated than it is. While Beachbody has great products for home exercise and fitness, even the infomercials play on unrealistic expectations. Often people with HUGE weightless and significant success have done the beachside programs for more then the first 30, 60, 90 days.
People say weight loss is hard under natural means and it’s more slow than hard. The doing is hard, the creating habits itself is hard, and the waiting is hard (if you’re over 200lbs like me, you can’t expect to look like anyone’s super model on anyone’s 60-90 day program), but understanding how to make weight loss happen isn’t complex. There isn’t one weight loss “miracle” out there that isn’t using either the theory of reducing calories or increasing activity which is something anyone CAN do on their own with the right commitment and ideally the best ‘results’ you can get use both. Yes, even the magical gastric surgery simply makes you eat less. Which is why I refused it when the doctor suggested it. I was 280 lbs at the time, I’m currently 248. Yet people are constantly astounded when I tell them that’s all I do for weight control, count calories.
Anytime I’ve had successful weight loss I’ve counted calories, every single calorie I put in my mouth from a packet of ketchup to every ingredient in my home preped foods. The thing is, you have to count something, usually, to control food. I don’t really care if you use weight watchers points system, order food through something like nutrisystem, put that Sensa stuff on your food, or use some fancy online diet creator. At it’s core, all of them are reducing the amount of excess calories in your diet. Ideally, to lose weight it you need to take in less than you burn, that’s all. What I don’t like about things like nutrisystem and Sensa is, What do you learn about controlling calories once you cross over from weight-loss mode to maintaining mode? This is why people gain weight back. When I gained weight back, I knew what to fix without running back to a crutch and I like that. I don’t mind the weight watchers system so much as it teaches you to count something. Unfortunatly, I will never be a thin person ‘naturally’ (and I don’t want to be a stick figure, I just want to be a healthy size). So that’s what I fight for, a healthy size and I will easily overeat if I don’t control my calories just like I’ll overspend if I don’t balance my checkbook, I know this is my reality so I don’t care what anyone says about it. To get to the weight I want, I have to monitor my food intake.
Now activity is usually increased by exercise. How much exercise one fits into their life, I’ve found, is up to them. Everyone is busy, very few people have a free spot in their life ‘just perfect’ for scheduling in exercise. Exercise is completely inconvenient for me, I get up at 3am on days I have to be to work early to make sure it’s the first thing I do. For me, it’s as necessary a daily activity as my bath or brushing my teeth (I do at home video exercising to make this easier). I have trained myself that my daily heath is failing without exercise, because it is. But that 30 or more minutes of focused ‘exercise’ isn’t my end all be all to increased activity. I ask myself, constantly ‘how far can I walk without dependence on a vehicle?’ Yes, I take the bus and don’t have the option of a car, but I know bus riders who would rather sit and complain and wait for the bus for an hour before they’d consider this question. I also know people who increase activity and daily calorie ‘burn’ points by seeking to park as far away from locations as realistically possible. Unless you are picking up a heavy object or a handicapped/ older person do you really need to be right at the door of that store? Also making the choice to take stairs instead of an elevator or escalator will lead to your body burning a few extra calories. In fact, it’s a rule of mine to take stairs whenever they are as conviently available as other options (some stairs have been so out of the way as ‘emergency exits’ that they really weren’t worth the trouble of finding them). Activity, I’ve found, can be discovered in a thousand little ways throughout the day. Besides, as Chalene Johnson says, fit people do things for themselves – they don’t wait for others to do it for them. Yes, I use home exercise videos, but if I buy the video and let it sit on a shelf for 90 days it’s not doing me any good.
I know, we like to ‘do’ less (even Siri exist to save us the effort of lifting a hand to actually touch our phone) . Don’t get me wrong, I like my toys (I’m typing this on a wifi only Android tablet – my trade-off for giving up a smart phone) , but ask yourself whenever you encounter these conviences or even weight loss ‘tricks’ and ‘miracles’ are they really hurting or helping goals of weight loss, if you have that goal. Weight loss, as I’ve encountered it, is a series of daily small decisions to ‘eat less’ and ‘do’ more.