Sunday, May 22, 2011

Expectations & Realizations (part 1)

So, you want to lose weight?  Yes, of course, would be the response of most of the individuals that I know.  I, too, want to lose weight, and over the past 8 weeks, I have lost several pounds and inches, and I have learned a lot.  I have had many expectations, both in the past and now, with my eating, exercise, and weight loss.  I have also had many realizations from what I used to do, to what I do now, and what I have learned through it all.

Many of the expectations I used to have about weight loss, working out, and eating have gone out the window.  I have completely changed the way I think, act, and live, which has helped me tremendously on my journey to becoming a better, healthier person.  In turn, I am recognizing that many things I used to think were bad, are not (but, some still are), and I am arming myself with the knowledge to create a healthier, more fulfilling lifestyle for myself, and hopefully, for others as well.

Expectation #1: I am going to lose weight quickly (over night, in a week, or in a month).
How many times have you jumped straight ahead, full force into a new diet plan or weight loss regimen?  Too many to count, right?  Well, that used to be how I was.  I used to think that the fat would just "melt" right off of me (as you so often hear in commercials about weight loss pills, equipment, or videos).  But, then, a few days, weeks, or months into this new program, I would give up because I was not seeing results.  Has this ever happened to you?

Realization #1:  Weight loss takes time and effort, and results are not seen immediately.
Results will not be seen overnight.  As a matter of fact, depending on your size and how much weight you want to lose, you may not see results within the first month or even a couple of months.  But, trust me, if you are eating right and exercising, the results are there.  Many times you will feel the results more than you will see them.  You will feel stronger, healthier, and happier for sticking with it and changing your life.

Expectation #2:  I need to eat a low-carb (or fat, or sugar) diet to lose weight.
How often have you jumped on the newest fad diet, such as the low-carb diet, the low-fat diet, or the high-protein diet?  How often has this worked for you?  Not very often, huh?  This is because when we restrict ourselves too much, we will want everything that we are not eating, therefore failing with our diet plan because we are eating foods that are considered restricted with the plan we are on.

Realization #2:  I can eat carbs, fats, and sugars.  I just have to eat them in moderation and eat the right kinds.
Carbs and fats can be good for you, if you are eating the right kinds.  Complex carbs fill you up and turn into energy to help you maintain daily bodily functions, while most simple carbs turn into sugar, which in turn causes you to gain fat and weight.  Complex carbs are brown rice, wheat bread, and vegetables.  Some simple carbs that can help you lose weight because they help you fill full are fruits and dairy products.  To read more about why carbs are good for you, check out this article.

Expectaion #3:  This is going to be easy b/c I know what I need to do and how to do it.
So, you think it is going to be easy in the beginning.  But, as you progress through your diet plan or weight loss program, you start to lose motivation and struggle while working out.  You really want to give up, at this point, but you shouldn't.  Everyone goes through struggles and wants to give up at one point or another, even me.  To read about some of my struggles, check out this blog post.

Realization #3:  Changing your life for the better may not be easy, but it will be worth it.
So, you had some struggles, you ate something you shouldn't have, or you skipped your workout today.  This means you should just give up, right?  Absolutely not.  Just because you slip up, don't quit.  You have to motivate yourself and push through the slip ups and mistakes.  Never give up.  Read this blog post to learn more about slip ups & staying motivated.

*So that this blog post does not get too long, I am breaking it down into more than one post (note the title), and I will continue to post my (our) expectations & realizations about weight loss, dieting, and exercise.*

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