Monday, 13 February 2017

Live in Balance: A matter of choice

I finally figured it out

As I got onto the scale Sunday, yesterday, morning, I had been less apprehensive than all the previous times this year. Not because I knew I lost another kilogram, I didn't, but I realised that I got this weight-loss thing sorted. I knew exactly where I went wrong during the week, and why my weight was exactly the same as last week.
Linzé Brandon, Live in Balance, Goals 2017, online journal
So the week ahead is already planned out, and the goal for the week - dropping 1 kg - is in the bag. I just have to do the things I planned, including finishing reading a book I promised to review. More about that later.
What is interesting, though, is when you tell someone you are busy working on losing weight everyone and his friend has the world's advice to give to you. Do this diet or do more squats, or fast.
I ignored all their advice since I know what my medical and physical issues are and no matter how well intended, people just don't know what will or won't work for me. But the fasting thing threw me for a loop.

Fasting - really?

I am familiar with the concept but in a religious or spiritual environment. I know of friends that have fasted to gain clarity or to seek answers for a problem they struggle with, but fasting to me has never even entered the realm of losing weight.
On a personal note: no matter what my religious beliefs are, I cannot fast. The risk is too high that I can pass out, due to blood sugar issues. Since I drive where I want to be, safety cannot be ignored.
Now, I did read about fasting diets, purely to understand why someone would do such a thing and how it would work. Some of the article writers mentioned that they entered a once-a-week fasting regime - no food for 24 hours - to help them gain focus and to be more creative. This to me made sense - while it might not be for a spiritual reason, the fasting process helped them to address an issue in their lives. Only they could say if it really made a difference or not.

I choose the sensual pleasures every time

Source: www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/category/healthy
The people who were fasting for weight-loss baffled me. If you could be disciplined enough to forego all food for 24 hours, once or some even twice a week, why can't you be disciplined enough to follow a healthy, calorie-restricted diet every day of the week?
There are many studies, and websites, that tell you that you can learn a new behaviour (or fix an old one) in a matter of 20 to 30 days. So why deny yourself the sensual pleasure of food, for the sake of losing weight? You have to eat, there is, unfortunately, no getting away from that if you want to be alive and healthy.
No matter what they tell you about not over compensating the next day, or binging on chocolate after denying yourself, does a more balanced approach not sound more attainable? And more rewarding over the long term?
I don't know. While some of the medically based studies say there is no health risk to fasting one or even two days a week, to me the denial of such a basic need seems contrary to the human experience of life. But that's just me.

Adapt or die trying?

To honest, I haven't changed my mind on my weight-loss regime, and nor am I likely to. I had a good hard look at my behaviour around and attitude towards food. I found what was wrong, and I am working on correcting that. Will it happen overnight? It hasn't so far, but 6 weeks into my Live in Balance goals, and I know that I am doing better than any previous attempt to do the same.
It is not up to me to tell you what you should do if you want to follow a weight-loss plan, or getting into shape plan, or writing a book for that matter.
What I do suggest is that you:
  • decide first on what you want to achieve,
  • figure out what of your own behaviour is standing in your way,
  • and how you are going to hold yourself accountable in working to achieve that goal.

The hard choices will come

Make no mistake, nothing worth striving for will come without sacrifice. But if you want it bad enough, no sacrifice can be too great to achieve it. And you don't have to do it on your own. Whatever you want to do this year, there at least ten other people who want to do the same. Find them in your area, on Facebook, or at work, and join forces to help and support each other. Achievement of a goal is so much sweeter when you can share them with people who have been with you on that journey every step of the way.

I wish you only success with your journey!