My weight loss journey was not easy, but with guidance from my nutritionist and sheer determination, I kept going. If you are serious about making healthy choices for your lifestyle, then you can do it. You, too, can lose the weight you need to however, you need to really want to change and not for anyone else but you. Once I made the changes I needed to, it just became a life choice for me and eating healthy became a natural part of me. I do have my cheat days and allow myself some chocolate or wine once in a while; these cheat days however were only introduced once I was comfortable with my new way of living and knew in my heart that having these cheat days won't set me back.
What works for me may not work for you as we are all unique in our own way, our bodies work differently, and therefore you need to find the plan that works for you. Having said that, I will still like to share the path I went on to give you an indication of what my food plan and exercise habits look like to assist you on what may or may not work for you.
When I first went to see my nutritionist, she advised me to go on an anti-inflammatory diet, and this was to help me manage my chronic nerve pain. This diet consisted of eliminating food groups that aggravated my symptoms. These food groups included; white carbs (rice, pasta, bread etc.), red meat, sugar and alcohol. I also chose to eliminate dairy; this is not inflammatory; however, eliminating it was easier on my body.
My meals consisted of 80% vegetables and 20% protein. The first two weeks on my new eating plan, I lost 4 kilos. I was so excited to see the weight drop that it inspired me to keep going. I then lost a steady 1 kilo/week. I kept my calorie intake to 1200 per day for the first 3-4 months; I then increased this to 1500 calories per day.
Following this plan, I lost 36 kilos in 8 months; when I reached my goal weight, I relaxed with the calorie counting. I knew with my exercise regime, I was burning enough calories to be more open with the food groups I was able to introduce into my plan. I began to introduce sauces into my cooking and an occasional dinner out. Regardless of my relaxed method, I still stuck to the basis of my plan and continued with the 80 to 20 rule.
Even though the food was the major contributor to my weight loss, if I didn't incorporate an exercise regime, I would not have achieved my weight loss goal at the steady pace that I did. I also feel a lot more fitter and have much more energy to run around with my boys.
Like eating habits, you will need to find the right exercise routine for your body and lifestyle. I began my routine very slowly; I was actually scared to exercise as I did not know what effect it would have on my pain and my body as I had not moved for over two years.
My nutritionist advised me to begin with 6,000 steps a day and slowly increase this to 8,000, then 10,000 steps. Getting these steps were easier than I initially expected; I started with a 1 x 30 mins walk a day; I then increased this to 2 x 30 min walks a day.
Once my body began to walk, I became more confident, increased this to running and then aerobics exercises. I now also do yoga or Pilates twice a week as long it's easy on my arm. All this I did on my own or in front of a youtube video; I am not a big gym person; I rather do it in the privacy of my own home; yes, I know that's an anomaly! Do what's right for you, what motivates you, as long as you are moving. Start slow, find your rhythm, then push yourself; if you don't push yourself, you will never know what you are capable of.
"Find your inner strength, believe in yourself and never give up."