This is basically a rant, so my apologies in advance…..
Despite my better judgement, late last year I agreed to help a family member lose some weight. I was hesitant to offer my help at first, not because I did not like them, but rather because I felt that my time and energy would be wasted on them. I had lost count of how many times I had heard them make the pledge to get fit and healthy. There was always plenty of talk, but very little action.
It’s been almost 3 full months since I agreed to offer my assistance, and I am sad to say that I have spent more time talking to them on the phone about going to the gym and exercising, than actually carrying out said activity! I know losing weight is hard, and I am trying to be understanding of her circumstances, but I honestly believe I have been more than accommodating. I have cleared entire days off my calendar to work around her schedule, spent hours waiting at a gym of her choosing only to be stood up and left a little further out of pocket….
I never thought it would be so hard to motivate someone to achieve their own goal….
I can’t speak for everybody, but I think for the majority of us I can safely say losing weight is no easy task. It’s not quite as easy as simply eating less, and moving more. Sure if we were robotic in our thinking, this would work great, and we would all look like fitness models, proudly taking Instagram selfies for the world to see.
But the fact of the matter is we are human beings. The physiological and psychological drivers that are tied to the bad habits which got us into our fat dilemma are strong and very real. Food cravings are one such manifestation of these drivers, and many who have experienced them will tell you they are incredibly hard to resist, no matter how strong you believe your will power to be.
The good news is that with time you get better at fighting these negative habits. The problem is, most of us never try long enough for this strength to develop. This is why I believe that having a strong support network or community to engage in during your weight journey is so important.
They provide a source of inspiration, and support to help get you back on your feet when you fall over. And trust me, you will fall over. The more you immerse yourself in a community or culture of weight loss, the more successful you’ll be.
It’s just common sense. If you want to increase your odds of succeeding, surround yourself with people who have already done it.
But I hear you ask, where do I find myself a community of people all wanting to lose weight? Easy. The internet.
Online, there are hundreds of groups of all possible demographics, niches and interest all trying to achieve weight loss and health. You don’t have to pay anything to join up to most of them.
Personally, I use Myfitnesspal. It happened more by accident than anything else. It doesn’t matter which group/website you sign up to. Simply find one that works for you. And this will sound like a cliche. But remember, the more time and energy you put into your community, the more you’ll get out of it.
I’m starting to feel hungry again, and I’ve already managed to deplete my pre-packed rations for uni. I have at least 4 hours to go before I can head on home and food choices on campus aren’t exactly complementary for the waistline.
At the moment, I’m weighing up whether I will be able to endure a 3h international finance lecture with the tummy grumbles. Experience tells me it will be tough. Maybe I should just take the hit and eat the rubbish they try and pass off as “healthy food” here on campus.
I don’t blame the uni for not providing better alternatives. It is a capitalist society after all, and sugar high, fat dense monstrosities sell well. Really well in fact, particularly when you tell the consumers they’re making a “healthy choice”.
Blah. I want to eat, but I know even the healthiest alternative I make will likely equal the calorie equivalent of a proper full sized meal…. I guess it serves me right for not planning properly. Oh well, live and learn I suppose. That is why I’m here at University after all. 😛
A Hungry Student..
Let me start off by saying that I think the majority of food in moderation is OK. The problem lies in the fact that as a society we are losing the ability to moderate our intake, and distinguish what foods we need to nourish ourselves. To put it simply, we at eating too much junk food… Period.
So why is this the case? I believe part of the reason is due to advertising. Everywhere we look, we are constantly bombarded with advertisements promoting junk food. I won’t name any specifically, but I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. The advertising has become so perverse and effective that you literally crave their product.
Yes, ultimately you decide what you want to eat on a daily basis, but when they have designed their advertising to exploit your insecurities and subconscious mind, I start to wonder if we really have that much of a choice at all.
Obesity rates all over the world are skyrocketing, and weight related deaths and diseases top the charts in almost every developed nation in the world. I’m all for free enterprise, but its becoming increasingly clear that big businesses do not have a moral compass. The majority do not care about society or the social good. All they really care about is PROFITS.
Now I know some of you will say that its not the responsibility of businesses to care about the social good. That’s the role of government. Well to that I ask, what do we do when the government is no longer able to act freely? When corporations have infiltrated the ranks so deeply that our Governments are no longer serving for the good of the people. They are serving the interest of BIG BUSINESSES. Acting as mere puppets to the masters that helped put them there.
I know I sound frustrated, and truth be told I am. You know why? Because I think we deserve better than to be treated like livestock. As human beings we should not exist simply to help big corporations make fat profits. We deserve fair advertising practices, that give us facts, instead of selling us false dreams and promises. So how do we change? How do we stand up against the Goliath?
My suggestion. Start by learning about nutrition and eat more fresh produce. Often the best foods for us have no label or brand.
Original Image was adapted, and photo credit goes to: Magalie L’Abbé via photopin cc.
When I say I know it’s hard to get started, I say it because I was fat for the large majority of my life. It is hard, and you know what, it will probably take more than one attempt to finally get it done, and I’m not ashamed to say it is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
Losing weight is the easy part, addressing why you got there is a whole another battle. Figuring out where you went wrong is hard. Admitting that perhaps you are partly at fault is difficult. For me, it was heartbreaking to admit that I was the weight I was because of the choices I had made. It was hard to accept that responsibility. But you know what? By accepting responsibility, you gain something back. You gain control, and you begin to believe that it is in your power to change. To shed the weight and live the life that you want to live.
So for those of you that need some sign from the universe to get started on this journey.
Consider this as THAT SIGN.
You are capable, you deserve better, and it is possible.
Good luck 🙂
I’m currently making my way back home from university. It’s around 8:00pm and I’m contemplating whether I should go to the gym or not. I’ve been working on losing weight for a long time now, and this goal I’ve decided is truly important to me. But…. I’m tired, a little frustrated with life, and if I’m honest I really don’t want to go. I figured to make the decision easier I’ll let a coin decide my fate. Leave it all to chance.
But as I took out my coin I came to an important realisation. If I had a choice, I would not let chance dictate my happiness, or the successes of my life goals. They are simply too important for me to leave it to fate. So why would I let chance decide today?
Yes I admit that one gym session does not seem all that significant, but it all adds up. Success I’ve reasoned does not stem from a few massive life decisions that you make one or two times in your lifetime. It is an accumulation of hundreds of thousands of tiny decisions that you make every single day.
So the short answer is yes. I will go to the gym. Because even though I don’t feel like it now, somewhere, someday, I’ll be glad I had enough foresight to see the bigger picture, and realise that in life, it all adds up…
I’m going to be honest with you.
If you quit, you’re never going to reach your goal. Success doesn’t happen by accident, it is a series of very intentional actions.
It is OK to fail, to fall over, make mistakes, and even cry… But quitting is not an option. Not if you truly want to achieve your goal. So keep on pushing for what you want, let your heart carry you when your legs no longer will, and wake up every damn morning with the belief that if it’s going to happen it is up to you.