How I Changed My Mind and Lost 90lbs
I was going to share a whole backstory, full of reminiscing about how I put on weight after puberty and wound up as a 266 lbs university student, but that’s boring.
So, straight into it.
As soon as the realisation hit that I’d gotten way too fat and that my eating habits had been out of control for years, I knew I had to make a change. I slammed on the breaks and took a new direction. There was no ‘moderation is key’ method or Dr. Oz cutsie tips to help me out of this one, it was all my fault and I needed to fix it.
The food wasn’t the issue, it was the replacement.
Throughout puberty, I had been using food as a replacement for friends. I had schoolmates, sure, but living out in the countryside, you get bored pretty quickly. So after school, I’d snack. After dinner, I’d snack. On weekends, I’d spend my allowance on the treats that I was never allowed to buy before – Mars bars and Coca Cola.
Pretty quickly, I’d become addicted to the high that food gave me. This didn’t stop.
When there was a lack of a hobby, a friend, a movie to watch, there was food. When I didn’t quite have anything to do, snacks gave me something to fill my time (and mouth). Food was a crutch and I didn’t give it a second thought.
There I was, standing on the scales, seeing 266 lbs. I was shocked. How did it get so bad? What’s the next step? Could I just diet? I keep reading about these dieters who ‘have tried everything and nothing works’. Ooh, what about thermogenic diet pills that increase your metabolism? No, of course not. They’re not medicine, they’re a nonsense non-science ploy to separate you from your money.
I had to change my mind. Not just a change in opinion, but to come to the realization that this wasn’t about food at all, but my relationship with food and what I was using it for. Of course, I stopped eating all the garbage and started to measure calories-in vs. calories-out because that’s how it works. Eat more than you burn, you put on weight.
Burn more than you eat, you lose weight.
Once my mind was made up, I understood that if I took the power away from food and used it as fuel, I was free to work on the other areas of my life. While losing weight, I’d go on walks, which turned into runs. Clothes would fit better, so I could go shopping, instead of be bitter that I didn’t look good in anything. I’d have more drive to be outside and so, started to open up to the idea that I could meet people.
A few years later, and the weight continued to come off steadily (apart from over Christmas of course), but I don’t rely on filling a gap in my life with food. Sure, I like to have a treat now and again, but only if I deserve it. I don’t mean ‘I had a salad earlier, so I can have a tub of ice cream’, I mean that I can have a glass of wine if I have had a healthy few week, filled with productivity, fresh air, and a balance diet (again – calories in vs. calories out).
On those days where you really want to lounge in bed and eat a pizza and ice cream, just ask yourself – what are you using that food to replace, and will it fix anything?
Questions? Opinions? Let’s chat in the comments section below or on Twitter – @JamesRCS