We are now done with the first two months of 2009. How are you doing with keeping your New Year’s resolutions? What were your New Year’s resolutions this year? Were they the usual: quit drinking or smoking, be more healthy, maybe lose weight?
I stopped making New Year’s resolutions a while back because setting out on a new, more disciplined direction in the middle of the festive season sounds, to me, like setting myself up for failure. Instead, I set resolutions any other time of the year, whenever inspiration strikes.
Still, for those of you whose New Year’s resolutions, this year, include becoming more healthy and loosing weight, I would like to share something that helped me tremendously, when I too had similar goals.
To give you a little background, I was clinically obese for the better part of my life. At the age of 24, I decided that lugging around so much weight no longer served me. I felt: if I intended to do all the things that I dreamed of doing in my life, then I needed to be more lithe and energetic. This is how, after an exhausting mountain climbing experience, I began to go to the gym regularly.
Exercising regularly made a great difference in my life. Almost instantly, I found myself stronger, more energetic, and more vital. Unfortunately, exercise alone did nothing to reduce my body weight. Although I felt great, I still found myself 36 kilograms overweight, a few months before my 25th birthday. That fact alone might have never propelled me to action (I guess I had learned to live with excess weight), but when I started to outgrow my size 20 clothing, vanity required that something be done.
At first, all I wanted to do was to fit back into my clothes comfortably. When I started to see the weight drop off fairly easily though, through minor adjustments to my diet, I began to get a little more ambitious. I figured: why not go all the way and end my weight woes once and for all? Why not lose weight until I was within the healthy weight range for my height? It seemed like a stretch, because I had been overweight for over 15 years, but somehow I was willing to try.
Six months later, I had successfully shed 15 of the 36 kilograms that I intended to lose. I was pleased with the weight loss but was emotionally fatigued by the weight loss journey. Six months of constantly paying attention to what I was eating and how much exercise I was getting had taken a toll. Still, not one to give up, I was determined to succeed. I was going to lose the remaining 21 kilograms…I just needed it to happen a little faster. As I do whenever I need something seemingly impossible to happen in my life, I turned to God and prayed.
The next morning, it occurred to me to try a weight loss regimen that had worked for me when I was a teenager in high school. I had found the regimen in a book called Fit for Life, and during one summer holiday, I had lost weight, quite easily, without much stress. I headed to Textbook Centre at Sarit Centre to see if, perhaps, I could find this book again.
I did find Fit for Life, but as I was browsing through the health and fitness section at Textbook Centre, I also spotted The Eat to Live Diet: Lose 20 Pounds or More in Six Weeks - Safely by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. At first, I scoffed at the book primarily because of its title. It sounded like one of the many get-thin-quick gimmicks that I knew were very unlikely to yield results. Everyone knows, after all, that it’s virtually impossible to lose that much weight in such a short amount of time, right? Still, after looking through the book and reading its back cover, I decided to buy it too. In fact, when I got home, it’s the book I decided to read first.
I read The Eat to Live Diet, and it seemed to make a lot of sense. Still, I didn’t think that the kind of diet it espoused would be one that I could follow easily. It advocated eating a lot of vegetables (particularly leafy green ones), fruits, nuts, and beans almost to the exclusion of all else, especially during the first six weeks of the regimen. Although I was keen to lose the remaining 21 kilograms of weight that I still had to lose, I was not willing to do so by being uncomfortable and constantly hungry. I went to bed that night thinking that The Eat to Live Diet, though theoretically interesting, was not something that I was going to try out myself.
The next morning, The Eat to Live Diet was still on my mind. On a whim, I thought: let me try it out for a day and see how I feel. In the morning, I did nothing different: I had my usual bowl of fruit salad which was acceptable on The Eat to Live plan. At lunch though, instead of my regular meal, I decided to have a big plate of cooked spinach (I had lunch at a canteen near my workplace so had a limited selection of vegetables). I was sure that I would be hungry again within two hours or so. Wrong! I didn’t think about food again until 5:15 p.m., right before I left work that evening. On a plate of spinach? I was impressed.
Somehow, one day led to the next, and I found myself practicing The Eat to Live Diet for several months. In this time, I was never hungry on the regimen and the results were astonishing (Is this where I should stop and thank God? Thank you, God!). Within 3 months, I had lost another 15 kilograms, in half the time it had taken me to lose the first 15 kilograms. Honestly, these were exactly the results I wanted but had never dared to hope for.
But that’s not all I gained from following The Eat to Live Diet. Although I am telling you about The Eat to Live Diet from a weight loss perspective, the diet itself is geared towards providing maximum health to those who follow it. During the time I was on The Eat to Live Diet, I had increased energy (never suffering from the common afternoon post-lunch slump) and cannot remember suffering from ailments such as the common cold. I was in very good health overall. Another unexpected (but pleasant) side effect of The Eat to Live Diet for me was increased financial health. Yes, that may sound surprising, but since fresh produce, which is what I was predominantly eating, is a lot cheaper than processed foods in Africa, my bank account was also happy that I was eating this way. All in all, The Eat to Live Diet, was a real blessing.
Five years after the fact, the 15 kilograms that I initially lost through The Eat to Live Diet have still not returned. Those who have battled with the bulge know what a feat that is. All in all, loosing the 30 kilograms I mention in this post, truly changed my life for the better. Furthermore, now that I know exactly what it takes to shed weight healthily, I don’t live in fear that one day, I might wake up to find myself as overweight as I once was.
If you are currently battling excess weight and have no clue what to do to win the fight, then get yourself a copy of The Eat to Live Diet and learn how you, too, can quite easily (with a little discipline) bring your weight under control. I got my copy of this book at Textbook Centre, so that is a great place to start looking, but most likely, you’ll be able to find a copy of this book at any bookstore near you (or online).
When you do, let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.
Until the next time,
P. S. By the way, I did reach my goal of losing 36 kilograms. To be precise, I lost 38.5 kilograms!
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