Do you ever watch those shows like Biggest Loser or Extreme Weight Loss? If you are overweight and trying to lose, they can be very inspiring. On BL, in just six-eight weeks, people who haven't been able to lose any other way, lose incredible amounts of weight right before our eyes. On EWL.....it is even quicker. We can watch a year long journey in just 90 minutes and the results are usually pretty phenomenal. It leaves you feeling inspired knowing that someone that has struggled like you, can have such amazing results.
However, if you really think about it, both shows are very unrealistic for the average Jane or Joe. Why? Because in reality, when we lose weight, we are not allowed to take time off from the real world and real world stressors such as family, jobs, finances and having to balance all of that and eat right and exercise too. These people have nutritionist, personal trainers and time to do nothing but focus on their one goal.....weight loss. Quite frankly, if we were given a 1200 to 1500 calorie/day quota and had a personal trainer working us out 4-6 hours per day, we all might lose a lot of weight in a short time. The question though is does that weight stay off when the camera's are gone and they have to go back to real life and all that implies? Sadly, if you look up many of these weight loss "winners," when left to their own devices, within 2 years many of them have put a lot of their weight back on. They lost their weight in an unrealistic way and they weren't taught how to lose weight while actually dealing with life. Once it is up to them, only those with the most dedication will maintain the weight loss because once off the show, they have to take what they learned and make it work for them in a setting where working out all day and having someone cook for them is no longer a possibility.
Let's face it, life happens. It happens all day every day and for those of us who aren't on TV, if we want to lose weight, we have to be our own chef, psychologist and personal trainer. We have to mix all of this in with kids, spouses, jobs, house work and all the other million little things that we have to do every single day. Most of all, for those of us who are emotional or stress eaters, we have to learn how to manage our food urges and to redirect bad habits. For many of us, our weight loss journeys are often slow and tedious and there is no 90 minute quick fix. In fact, there is often no 6-8 week fix either. Sometimes it just takes us hacking away at those pounds 1/10th of a pound at a time over a long period of time to actually reach our goals. Weight loss is not for the faint of heart.
I have always been someone with little to no patience....especially where weight loss is concerned. I wanted instant gratification and if I couldn't lose 80 lbs by lunch, I literally punished and sabotaged myself and my progress by binge eating on anything and everything in sight. It was a very skewed way to look at weight loss and in the end I would only be frustrated, disappointed in myself and in many cases, just add more weight. It was a vicious cycle for many years and the more stressful my life was, the more unrealistic my weight loss goals were and the more I self sabotaged.
Today I am 11 weeks into THM. While the first 6 weeks were relatively easy because I had truly made up my mind to stay focused and stay on plan, the last 5 weeks have not always been such a piece of cake. Life has been a bit more challenging with family and those million little things going on. I have stayed on plan, but some weeks the losses were very minuscule. This last week though has really been my most make it or break it week. We have had some pretty significant changes in our world and those who call me Mom and Grandma, have needed much more than usual from me. My days have started way before the sun was up and they have still been going long after it goes down. I really worried that I might completely lose my weight loss track and take a hit this week due to CRAZINESS! I did not.
A huge NSV for me happened this week. For the last 10 weeks I have kept a journal of every bit of food I ate. It helped me to stay on track and gave me an overview of where I might have gone wrong if the scales decided to be hateful. This week though, my mind is now so utterly programmed to THM, that there seemed to be no need to keep track any longer. There definitely was no time. My inner body clock let me know when three hours were up and I needed to eat and without thinking, I could throw together an E or S meal in minutes. I even have a good majority of the THM family favorite recipes memorized, so all I have to do is make them happen.
Still, I worried that without mirco-managing myself that I might screw up and fail. I did not. I will admit that no dedicated exercise was done, but I think over the week I climbed my stairs at least 200 times, lifted my 90 lb son at least 50 times, mowed the yard for cardio and basically never stopped all day any day, so I am really not sweating the lack of an elliptical and weights work out this week.
So how did I do dealing with real life, no food journal and no gym time? I lost 3 lbs! The weight continues to come off and I continue to choose me, my health and healthy choices over self sabotage and frustration. I am now just a few pounds away from my next goal and I hope to be at that goal in the next three weeks.
There are no quick AND healthy weigh loss fixes. If you truly want healthy weight loss, you have to be prepared to be patient, make yourself a priority and most of all......remember that you are worth it. I promise though, with THM.....weight loss is possible...... and I am living proof!