How did I achieve weight loss and an ideal BMI? My story
“This one book entirely changed my life”
I tried many times in the last 5 years to achieve a healthy weight but it always seemed a lost cause, an impossible feat. How a new person emerged out of me in a matter of weeks after reading the book? How I lost 12 lbs of weight with that straightforward strategy? This story deserves telling. I hope it helps someone like me out there in his or her pursuit.
Last year in Oct I decided solemnly that I m gonna lose up to 10 of weight. So I started working on it. Searched on the web as most people do. Came across some tips, and started doing the same shit like dieting, gym, or workout. Those “ motivational speakers” convinced me of the plan to change my life upside down, non-livable, literally making it hell, at least that’s how it sounded from their word of mouth. So I started that usual aggressive weight loss technique. But soon I figured out this ship was destined to drown like the titanic. Severe muscle cramps, killing food cravings, frequent hunger pangs, and worst of all there was no concrete change in my fitness, health, or weight ( as I discovered later, it was never meant to be.). I lost my way probably within a week.
The motivation faded away
I was baffled. What happened to that motivation of looking smart and keeping a healthy lifestyle? What about the precarious, ultimately lethal consequences of being overweight (not to mention the family history of hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease which I have unfortunately)? This phobia of what will happen once you strike your forties was crushing me but the impetus was just not enough to get my ass off the bed. I was not willing to leave my lovely, delicious “aalu paratha” the potato paste-filled paratha, homemade sweet baked bread( each small piece of this special bread up to the size of a biscuit contains roughly 150-200 kcal), “Halwa poori”, let alone sweets, cakes, and other bakery items which I used to devour almost every night.
This book retrieved my hopes
In all the despair then comes a promised messiah. I had all the fuel and energy needed on this journey but believe me or not James Clear’s ATOMIC HABITS provided the ignition.
I needed the push off the cliff to take flight, I had to take a leap of faith, and this book instilled that “faith”. It’s recommended for you guys, like really if you haven’t read it, you have to try this special recipe for success. This book gave me the basic layout or way forward to accomplish the goal of a healthy lifestyle and the body mass index(BMI) within the desirable age bracket.
How it all began?
I lost all the motivation to lose weight and even almost forgot about the fact that once I made an effort to control overeating and working out. It was an afternoon, and I was scrolling through the books on my iPad. Atomic habits popped up on the “want to read” list. I was bored, there was no internet in that area at that time, and I had nothing to do. The book I was already reading was tiring me out so didn’t resume that one. I tapped Atomic habits and started reading it. It was one of my staff who knocked at my door when I glanced at the clock. I was reading for the last 30 minutes straight. I was so caught up that I lost the track of time. That 1% better everyday theory worked for me at least in the true sense.
So 1% better every day
I started lowering a small number of my daily caloric intake. The difference was as small as 20-30 calories per day or 250 kcal per week. I first and foremost quit added sugar in my daily milk tea/coffee. After a week I started simply walking daily for 15-20 min. After a day or two, I began brisk walking for the same duration. For days I gradually increased the distance covered per day. I downloaded an app to measure the total distance walked daily along with the calories burned. I brought up a major change in my diet with breakfast after two weeks. I started taking a cup of milk tea without sugar and two boiled eggs in the morning. From next week onwards I worked on my lunch meal. Within 2-3 weeks I was on fruits for lunch and a black coffee in the evening. Now the dinner needed to be pruned.
Things started falling into place ultimately
I started at the end of Oct and by the second week of December, I had already lost 3kg. My starting weight was 68 kg. Now I paced up my workout. The daily walk started from 2km per day(two rounds of the one-kilometer track) and was advanced gradually over time to 8km per day ( right rounds a day) and almost 550-600 kcal burned. In Jan, I checked my weight and I didn’t believe my eyes. It was 62 kg. I lost 6 kg without knowing. What changed me was surprisingly simple.
I questioned my belief in success
I never felt hungry during the course. There were no food cravings of any sort. My daily walk routine was perfectly set. I even had my cheat days more than often to have my favorite “aalu paratha” and “Halwa poori”. How was that even possible? Well, the problem lies in our definition of success or achievement. We want everything overnight. Since the birth of social media and thanks to platforms like TikTok, our attention span has declined to an alarming degree. We simply can’t wait to get things done. Change takes time, and it’s the due course to be tangible or meaningful. So I developed patience by telling myself that I can’t lose weight over a day or a week. I have to increment my efforts by “one percent” continuously with perseverance to reach the outcome. To change your belief you first have to challenge it. And I did no different.
Decreasing 20-30 kcal a day is almost imperceptible. It won’t make much effect on your fitness. But doing the same for a considerable period can shift the scenario. One may argue that I just didn’t reduce calories, I worked out as well with increasing intensity. I admit that I augmented my process every time, an improvisation on my part because I found it enjoyable but you can take a less steep strategy if that suits you.
Pushing to the limits is outdated
In just four months, I have developed many habits that I used to admire. I walk around 9-10 every day, I learn something new, improve my English and Persian language, and last but not least write every day. Building a habit is difficult only when you don’t know the very science behind it. Life is a challenge. That’s why it’s beautiful.
- Equip yourself with something resourceful each passing day for a better self.
- Reading books certainly makes you a better well-versed, and open-minded being.
- Try to achieve that one percent with persistence. That slight improvement in some time will create a completely changed soul.
- There is a latent period during your struggle along the way (trust me if you go slowly but consistently you won’t be even struggling), during which your efforts seem fruitless. You just need to be patient at that moment.
- After a period you’ll discern an almost sudden burst of the outer core or layer of the bubble and things will be transforming visibly.
- Pushing yourself to the limits is outdated so keep slow but keep going. And do read Atomic Habits.
- You’d say that I didn’t do anything differently from what most people do, as I described earlier “same old shit”. So where does the difference lie? it is your belief that makes the difference. That’s how habits dwell deep into the personality. Go read that book to change that belief.
- But the specific plan I followed for diet and workout, was totally different from the people like me with a busy and high-stress job pursue.
And finally the diet and workout plan. I m gonna reveal that plan in a separate blog, but one thing I am confident about is that once you master the science or psychology of habit, you start feeling in control over your life. Making a new habit doesn’t feel wearisome, and so does leaving the bad ones. My journey started with the resolution of losing weight but that milestone is just the beginning.
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