The pivotal C’s of weight loss

Lady on an exercise bike

By Natasha Liviero. Taken from Weigh-Less Magazine Sep/Oct

Anyone who thinks losing weight is easy probably never tried! But, the one thing we know for sure at Weigh-Less is that it can be done. Here, we pave the road to success by delving into three important aspects: learning to make changes, finding your courage and making the right choices.

Chasing Change

Successful weight loss requires changes to eating and lifestyle habits. And therein lies the hurdle. Change! A mostly unwelcomed verb that entails moving out of comfort zones and doing things differently. Let’s face it, it usually takes anguish to set change into motion. Weigh-Less Member, Kyleen Harichander, addressed her weight gain when it began to impact her everyday life. “I had gotten extremely overweight and was the biggest I had ever been. I needed to lose weight as I had no more clothes that fitted and I was always out of breath and tired,” explains Kyleen.

Likewise, Deidre Barlow realised she had to make changes when she felt like she couldn’t look at herself in the mirror anymore. “I didn’t like the person staring back at me and knew that I had to lose weight,” says Deidre.

Change needn’t be drastic. It’s best implemented with small adjustments and by changing the way you think about food. “Instead of giving yourself a long list of foods you are not going to eat, rather give yourself a list of foods you are going to eat in place of any junk foods or foods you are cutting out,” advises Nutritional Therapist, Megan Bosman. Simply swapping your favourite full-cream yoghurt for a fat-free alternative is a positive change. Weigh-Less Member Tammy Laumann’s biggest change was drinking water. “I never drank water before. I used to drink fruit juice or Coke and maybe 750ml of fluids a day. Now, I have my big water bottle (1.5l) standing on my desk and I know I have to finish it before leaving for the day!” says Tammy. Both Kyleen and Tammy also started exercising to support their weight loss efforts.

“My biggest change was starting to exercise. I found an exercise programme that is fun and really motivating (Turbofire) and, oh, staying away from ice-cream! Every time I get a craving, I have a cup of green tea instead!” says Kyleen. In essence, change is about ditching bad habits and establishing healthy habits to last a lifetime. “Whether it be no picking, no second helpings or preparing food for the next day – identifying bad habits and making changes lays the foundation for results. Repeating good behaviour, one day at a time for the rest of your life, is the true definition of change,” says Dietician and member of the Weigh-Less panel of experts, Heidi Lobel.

Claim your courage

Making changes to lose weight requires courage. The Greek philosopher Aristotle said: ‘You will never do anything in this world without courage. It’s the best quality of the mind next to honour!” Clinical psychologist, Joanna Kleovoulou defines courage as the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger or pain despite feeling fearful. That’s why we list courage as an important virtue; it enables a person to work through their fears of weight loss. This includes being fearful of taking the ever-important first step of joining a Weigh-Less Group or thinking that you cannot lose weight. So, how do we find our courage? Joanna suggests using your inner courage to make the initial effort to counteract any internal resistances you may have. “Think of times in your life where you were able to face your fear, whether it was to stand up to an unfair boss, sky-diving to face your fear of heights or telling the truth about something. All these examples carry courage. Every person has it. Visualise the feeling of courage, let it fill your mind and expand it to the courage needed to take the step towards a healthier lifestyle,” says Joanna.

You can also take inspiration from others. “I have a colleague who lost 40kg on Weigh-Less; and the success stories I read of ordinary people like me who struggled with their weight; seeing the before and after photos made me realise that I can do this too,” says Deidre. “People started to notice as the kilograms melted away and wanted to know what my secret was. When I felt unmotivated, it was these people, who I knew looked to me for inspiration, who also kept me going. As much as I felt I inspired them, they also inspired me to keep going.” Tammy’s health proved to be her motivation. “I drew inspiration from a health concern point of view; from my fear of dying prematurely and not living my life to the fullest,” says Tammy. “Sometimes, giving yourself a pep talk in the mirror helps when you’re salivating over the smells of Spur coming from across the road!”

Challenging choices

Long-term weight management is all about making healthy food and lifestyle choices and Weigh-Less makes it easy for you to make the right food choices with our Eating Plan and food range. “It’s not hard to make the right choice, you just need to remind yourself ‘why’,” says Heidi. “Making healthy food choices does not need to be time consuming. In fact, if you have time to eat the wrong food, you have time to eat the right food – it’s all about choice!” Furthermore, by choosing to address your weight you are also improving other aspects of your life. “I have become a more positive person. I have been eating healthier and that shows in every part of my life,” shares Kyleen.

Confidence is another perk. “Weigh-Less made me believe in myself. I know now that I can do anything if I set my mind to it. Nothing is impossible for those who are willing to try,” says Deidre. Remember, you and you alone are responsible for your weight. Invite family and friends to help you along by encouraging you to make healthy food and lifestyle choices. Take the first step to a healthier life today. Rise above your reservations and don’t look back!

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