Getting in Shape Is a Wonderful Feeling

hy3A lot of people are unhappy with the way they look and their overall health, but starting to exercise and diet can be a really frustrating and difficult thing to do. The negative motivation people have to face is not enough to make them start doing what’s right for them, and that has quite a simple psychological explanation. The old proverb involving the carrot and the stick tells it like it is. Basically, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, or in other words, if you find a positive motivation to your actions, you will be more determined to do what is best for you. For me, getting in shape is a truly wondrous feeling and I am excited to tell you about the positive changes in my life that have happened since I started caring about my weight and my overall health.

 

 

My tests came out much better than expected

Since I was, at first, motivated to get in shape by the disastrous state of my health, I can now say, hand on heart, that it really feels amazing to see your latest test results and witness what a long way you’ve come. My doctor was really serious when telling me I had to lose weight, so I had no choice, if I wanted to live a long, healthy and happy life. After losing weight for a while now, I went back to take some health tests and I was almost jumping with joy when I got them back. My cholesterol levels are much better now, which means that my health is slowly getting back in shape, as so am I. My blood pressure underwent a makeover, and now I have less to worry about being hypertensive. Of course, I still have a long way to go, but I am confident that I can climb this mountain, now that I am seeing results.

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Everything feels better

While tests show me how things are from a medical point of view, I must say that I am quite impressed with how great I feel overall. First of all, I sleep much better at night, which is a great plus. As an overweight person, I often had sleep apnea episodes which, as you may well know, are bad for the heart. Now, I woke up through the night less often, which works wonders for my energy levels throughout the day. Another thing I used to have a lot of problems with was experiencing back pains. Things have worked for the better in this area, too. Ever since I got more active, my back pains are less frequent and less intense, and that makes me feel pretty good.

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I am proud of myself

Getting back in shape is a long journey, but I am enjoying every minute of it. Losing weight lately has worked wonders for my mood, and I am no longer depressed when I wake up in the morning. Taking a look in the mirror and seeing the great progress I’ve made motivates me to work even harder. I am more confident in my powers now and that influences other areas of my life, as well. Doing this proved to me that I am up to any task and it is in my power to change things, if I put my mind to it. I work better and I lead a more fulfilling life. People around me have noticed the change, too, and they are constantly complimenting me on it, which gives me more motivation to continue and get healthier. Plus, exercising gives you natural endorphins like nothing else, so I am feeling really great!

When food threatens to kill you

The main reason for which I’m writing this blog is because I’m trying to slim down and I’m having a hard time doing so. I believe that sharing my experiences with others  would help me track my progress accurately and motivate me more. But let me tell you how it all started…

fatloss1Exactly 1 month ago I visited my doctor to pick up the results of some tests I had undergone the week before. Upon entering her office, she sat at her desk with my file in front of her. Her facial expression revealed that the tests were no good. She told me quite frankly that with my current weight and lifestyle, my life expectancy was at best 10 years. I stared blankly at her. I just turned 44 last autumn. I couldn’t be dying before i retired, could I? She pointed out that my weight (152 kg at that time) was putting my heart and other organs under severe strain.  After another 30 minutes of going through gloomy predictions, she handed me the number of a dietitian. “You have to lose at least 50 kg.”, was the last thing she said.

I had my first appointment with the dietitian 2 days later. We immediately started working on a plan to help me lose weight in a sustainable manner. He wanted me to start walking at least 4km per day. No sugar beverages anymore, but green tea and water. The menu was mainly consisting of:  lots of vegetables, wholegrain rice or pasta and lean meat and fish. We made up a menu for the coming week and he even printed me the shopping list. On my way home i stopped at the supermarket to buy groceries. When I got home, I cleaned out my fridge and tossed away all unhealthy food, which was kind of all there was in there (at least according to my dietitian). Bottles fatloss2of coke, potato chips, frozen pizzas, bags of frozen French fries and other snacks to fry… They all went into the garbage bin. Although I was motivated to lose weight, I wasn’t fully convinced I would be able to get through the day without my bottle of coke. That day I went for my first long walk. Although I walked at a moderate pace, my knees started hurting halfway through. I was used to sitting in my car, in my couch or at my desk. The longest walk I took on most days was the one from the car to the elevator that took me to my office on the 32nd floor. I had a deeply relieving feeling when it popped into my head that the dietitian could have demanded that I used the stairs instead of the elevator.

The first week went better than expected. Although I did experience the withdrawal effects of sugar, my motivation was high and my family, friends and colleagues were aware of my plan to lose weight and supported me. I kept to the diet and managed to cook healthy meals every day, although it did sometimes take willpower to do so, especially when I had to work long hours. I even started enjoying my daily walk. At a 10 minutes driving distance from my home, there is a small fatloss3lake and I went all the way to that place every afternoon. It was actually quite relaxing. Sometimes, I listened to music or an audio book. I got myself a couple of audio books on World War II history (that used to be one of my reading passions in the past, but about which I completely forgot when I began working extra hours) to catch up with the latest discoveries and studies on the subject.

A month has passed since I was forced to change my lifestyle. I kept losing weight; I weigh 145 kg now, which means I lost 7 kilos in one month. Even with these satisfying results, it is still challenging at times, I admit. At work, I sometimes feel envy when I see my colleagues eating candy bars and drinking soda from the vending machine. Apparently it doesn’t make them fat. But all in all, I know I am fighting for my life now and I am aware that if it wasn’t for this decision I would probably enjoy my every afternoon audio books in a hospital bed.