The Goal to Lose Weight
Losing weight can be a hard challenge. It can also be the most motivating and inspiring thing to happen in your life. When I began to really focus on my health and wanted to lose weight in college, I was determined. I was tired of the past ridicule, I was tired of not being able to date the type of women that I enjoyed company with, and I was tired of not being the person I knew that I could be. So I began my fitness journey while I was living at my fraternity house (we’re not all beer guzzling Neanderthals, just a few of us), altering my diet and creating a workout plan. 6 months later, I was 55 pounds lighter.
When you’re overweight and don’t feel good about yourself, the first thing you’re most likely probably say to yourself is “eh, I need to lose a couple of pounds”. Don’t worry, you are not alone. In fact, Americans have been spending over 120 billion on weight loss products in 2009 and it’s only on the rise1. Diabetes become a national health concern for millions of Americans, not including the other diseases associated with being overweight.
So I decided to write this blog post to inspire you, to tell you that losing weight is not impossible, you just have to know and feel what you are doing is right. These are some tips that I have gained and still keep to this day.
1. Stick To The Basics
This is one of my favorites. I’m not a fan of fad diets at all. There is always a new way to lose weight. What about the old way? Fruits and vegetables (go organic, hey if your gonna do it, do it big and do it right!), exercises such as tai chi, yoga, soccer, swimming, good rest, correct portions of food, cutting back on the mickey-D’s (the slang word for McDonalds), soups and salads. I think instead of focusing on new products on the market and focusing on different ways to motivate yourself, your weight loss efforts will be doubled. Hey, I know sometimes we may get bored of doing a single exercise, eat the same food everyday, going to the same gym, so switch it up!
One last tip on new age remedies. Learning is a ongoing process, so new concepts that you learn that can be beneficial to your health can be positive. For instance, as acupuncturist we educate our patients on not consuming foods that are too cold, instead to eat warmer foods or have the right balance. In Chinese medicine theory we believe to lose weight you want to move your qi, keep it circulating, and heat does that. If you consume something too cold we believe it slows down the body metabolism. Soups and salads go great together because they balance themselves out. Drinking room temperature water can help you in your efforts. Do you have to buy the newest weight loss gimmick to apply this to your life?
2. Get Help
You’ll be surprised at who will be willing to help you achieve your goals. Let your family and friends know so that they can support you, and who knows, you might even gain a workout buddy. But remember, you are doing this for yourself. There are many healthcare and wellness professionals here to help you such as doctors and nurses (conventional medicine and holistic), personal trainers, registered dietitians, coaches and so forth.
3. Stay Positive
Stay positive! I say this for everything, for weight loss, for diseases, for financial problems, stay positive. Life will work it’s self out if you just put in the work and have a goal in mind. Yes you may cheat sometimes, yes you may have a few days where you didn’t put in your all, but get back on that horse and keep riding. Even if you fall off, the sooner you get back on, the easier it will be to get back to your routine.
4. Use Goals and Measurements
There are many weight loss goal trackers and ways to measure your progress. The one I had used was from www.fitday.com over 10 years ago and it is still around. I was able to track my calorie intake, carbs/fats/proteins (especially if your diabetic is good to monitor your carb intake), my workout and calories burned on average. Then I was able to look at the data weekly and monthly to track any trends I may have. This is very important because it’s too hard to track your food intake by just using your memory. Having data on hand will give you a new perspective, and if you do it once, you’ll have a better idea of how to eat just in case you can’t track your food intake. Just google fitness tracker try the one that works best for you.
5. Realize It Takes Time
It took some time to put on the weight, and now it is going to take time to take it off. Unfortunate it may take more time to take of then it did to put it on, but that’s life. Losing weight is a transformation process, and through that change it’s important to reflect on yourself and realize that all this hard work is coming from you, nobody else but you. So when you hit your goal weight, you can say to yourself “I did this”, “Look at what I did”, “I can do anything you mutha…!”, ok maybe the last one was extreme but you’ll feel that way when you succeed. You shouldn’t lose more than1- 2lbs a week, otherwise you’re just asking for trouble and most likely will put the weight back on.
You can do it. Just put in the effort, love your life and appreciate yourself no matter if you’re in shape or not, and always stay positive.
Remember to consult with you primary healthcare provider before starting any health or weight loss regimen.
Carlo St. Juste II, MAOM has a background in acupuncture with over 10 years of clinical experience and over 16 years in the Martial Arts. He has worked with various organizations to implement employee wellness programs including The City of West Covina, The City of Brea, Broadcom, USC, American Suzuki, and Pomona College. He is dedicated to promoting integrative health and has seen the benefits of knowledge and implementation first hand.