For years, I struggled with being overweight. I eventually lost 40 pounds but the journey wasn’t easy. I had to find my way through a maze of confusing and often contradictory information. I tried and failed many times along the way. Above all, I didn’t succeed until I learned how to manage myself.
I had many bad habits: I drank too much caffeine, I smoked, I was a little too fond of wine on weekends, I didn't get enough sleep, and I leaned on processed sugary snacks for energy. My reliance on chocolate, cheese, ice-cream and bread had made me heavy, sick, low in energy and feeling desperate. I tried drastic diets aimed at restricting my calorie intake, which inevitably lead to binge eating, and to even more serious health problems.
I hit rock bottom in 2010 and decided to get healthy. My life today is beyond what I ever dreamed of. I have not only lost weight, but I’m also full of energy. I'm healthy and happy. And what makes me most fulfilled is sharing my knowledge with others and seeing other people end their struggles and get amazing results.
Therefore, I’d like to share the insights that have made the biggest impact on my journey to health:
1. I dropped the idea that I had to deprive myself.
I strongly believe that the biggest factor behind my success was dropping the mistaken idea that, in order to lose weight, I had to count calories, track carbs, and restrict myself.
While restriction and deprivation might work short-term, it only makes the body fight back in the long run, creating binge eating patterns. Plus, what fun is it to live under constant stress worrying about food? No, thanks. That’s no way to live.
Today, I thoroughly enjoy my delicious plant-based food, and eat as much of it as I want. Having switched to whole, natural foods, I find that anything processed and chemically altered just looks gross to me. I also realized that those same foods were addictive to me, driving me to eat more.
2. I re-programed my mind.
My reading, research and life experience have convinced me that what we believe shapes our reality. I now see clearly that one of the biggest reasons why I used to fail in the past was that, deep down, I didn’t believe I could ever reach my ideal weight and maintain it. I was convinced that being fat was in my genes.
I had to work very hard to change this limiting belief, and I succeeded. The moment I got rid of it, I was able to start achieving the weight loss that had previously eluded me. Like everyone, I am a mixture of genes. Now I feel that I’m in control of which genes get expressed, and which ones are suppressed.
3. I realized that detox is a way of life, not an occasional torturous life-event.
I used to believe that in order to detox, I had to just fast, do the “Master cleanse,” or some other extreme torturous program. Turns out, that’s not only unnecessary, but could also be dangerous, especially if you go back to the old way of eating after your detox is over.
What's far more effective is building new healthy lifestyle habits that support your body’s natural detoxification system. That’s why I make sure to hydrate my body with water, lemon water and green vegetable juices every day. I also eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables that are high in much needed vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.
I want to share my hard-acquired knowledge and experience with others, to help them succeed in transforming their lives in the same way that I did. I have, therefore, created a free video series in which I teach everything that helped me to lose 40 pounds and keep them off permanently.
If you’re struggling to lose weight, I want you to know that you can achieve what you’re aiming for! Forget the idea that deprivation will get you there. Abandon the belief that genes have total control of your body. Instead, build new healthy habits, re-educate yourself, and make sure you enjoy the ride! It’s less about the destination than about the journey. So make every moment count!
Photo courtesy of the author