Several months ago, I stumbled upon this comment on reddit:
One of the most helpful things I read in my own person weight loss journey was something like “it took you ___ years to reach your current weight, it’s okay if it takes you a long time to take it back off.” Rather than try and overhaul your entire diet in one fell swoop, take small steps and be proud of yourself for achieving them. You have a lot of habits to unlearn, be patient with yourself! Below are some steps you might take, choose any order, just remember anything you do is a positive change.
S/he then listed seven of these easy steps, which can be better seen as an infographic below:
While this inspired me the first time I saw it, unfortunately it did not motivate me enough to take action. But last Monday, while I was looking through my old drafts to find something to write about, I stumbled upon this comment again. In order to feel inspired once more, I decided to visit the same page and reread through everything. This time, however, what inspired me to take action was not just the comment itself but the actual post that the said comment was made for.
The post was titled, “How do I power through the pain while morbidly obese?” in which the OP (short for original poster) asked how s/he can stay motivated to lose weight while being morbidly obese and having arthritis. I may not have arthritis, but I am considered (according to my body mass index) morbidly obese, and one of the major reasons I tend to give up after every attempt to lose weight is because I still feel miserable about myself even after putting a lot of effort.
Losing weight may be easy, but motivating yourself every day can be really difficult, and this is quite hard to explain to people who have never been obese, but I will still try to.
The “Fat” Life
While I may not have a painful condition such as arthritis, I do feel the effects of being morbidly obese and they are uncomfortable. Even though these discomforts are small things and seem insignificant, they still cause a harmful effect on my quality of life.
One of them is difficulty in breathing. I think I have almost gotten used to it that I barely notice how hard it is for me to breathe. However, there are times when I heave a deep sigh. This does not always mean I feel depressed or whatever, but because when I inhale normally my chest and tummy feel tight and air doesn’t seem to get to my lungs.
Second is the bloated feeling especially after breakfast. I feel heavy and all my clothes feel tight when I put them on, but as the day goes by I feel comfortable in my clothes.
The third is, of course, my looks, or better yet, how I look in pictures. What I see in the mirror looks fine, but when in pictures I have this whole other shape that I do not recognize at all. Is there such a medical condition to explain this? Because my friends love to take pictures and I take selfies to send to Jacob every day, I learned how to pose in such a way that I won’t look as fat. However, that is not enough.
I want to look and feel pretty. I want to be more comfortable when I sit or when I walk long distances. I want to stop being a target of my coworkers’ fat jokes. I have been wanting all of these for so long, but what’s stopping me?
Fear, probably, of failing again, and not being able to get back up; of other people noticing and what their reactions would be; of working hard and not being satisfied with the results that I’ll give up again.
However, my want is a little greater than my fear, and I think that following these seven baby steps will help me get what I want without making a change radical enough for anyone else to notice. With other programs I did before, I lost 2 to 5 lbs. a week, which can be obvious to many. But with these small, but habit-building actions, I could achieve my goal of losing weight and feeling and looking better slowly but surely.
What’s next after publishing this post?
Step one, of course. I have been off soda for a long time now (okay, I drink one occasionally, but still) and I put less sugar in my coffee, and request for non-fat milk, no whipped cream in my occasional Starbucks order. My real challenge for this is to quit juice and just switch to water. I will also aim for drinking at least 8 cups of water a day since I noticed I drink less now. To possibly curb my cravings for juice drinks, I will add lemon and cucumber slices to my water, but I have never done it before so we will see how it works.
Aside from taking small steps to eating healthier, I have also started working out again. Today, I walked 3.5 kilometers, which is a lot for me since I haven’t done that in so long. I will try to do this when I don’t have work, and on the days that I do work I will make do with spending at least 15 minutes on the stationary bike. Wish me luck!
Have you tried quitting soda or fruit juice, and were you successful? If yes, how did you manage to do it? If not, where do you think did you fail?