From previous blogs you would know that I’ve struggled with my weight for years and gone from diet to diet — vegan to Dukan to fasting to practically anything that would work. But none of them did work — in the long term that is i.e. after a month I always gained back the weight.
I talk ‘on being gorgeous’ because I think the most beautiful people in the world are the ones who take care of themselves, develop themselves to their full capacity, love themselves and, arguably, have self control.
Reaching your full capacity includes, dare I say, looking your best physically. Have you ever seen a successful person appearing shabby? Ok maybe the Uruguayan President Jose Mujica likes to walk around in Reefs and rolled up, farm-smelling dress pants (which is tres cool btw). But MOST highly respected folks highly respect their appearance.
One thing that has frustrated me as I failed time and time again to lose weight is that I just didn’t feel my best, my optimal, and there is nothing worse in life than living it half-arsely.
SO, after sucking at any diet that involved deprivation and sticking to strict rules, which usually led to me binging after a week, I have come up with a diet of the mind — because at the end of the day it is ‘mind over matter’ and self control, although it has a bad name and is usually paired with ‘oppression’, is one helluva important trait to have if you want to be good at life — at all.
I call it KIND — Kicking Indigestion’s Nuts Diet (because all digestive difficulties are a result of poor eating habits, flatulence at any age is a terrible thing to have and in the end — the point at which this diet becomes habit — you find yourself to be a kinder person).
HERE IT IS…
In 17 easy steps (in no particular order)
- Only go into the supermarket or grocery store when you know what you want and have already planned a list in your mind. It is the most dangerous thing to saunter into a Tesco with two pounds in your pocket and a clear mind. I promise you chocolates and Haribo will fill that empty space — and your thighs.
- When you buy things with low nutritional value and high sugar or salt content e.g. Haribo, Cadbury, Snickers, McCoys, anything Walkers, Kettle Chips, yogurt-covered raisins, Pringles, all the nom-nomish stuff, only buy them in SMALL packets i.e. a single serving — which is like 16 almonds (amounting to 200+ calories). There are packets of nuts and chewy sweet stuff that are less than 100g, buy those if you have to but please note a tiny tube of Fruit Pastilles is 350 calories!!!!!!! BEWARE of the pastilles.
- If you DO buy a large packet of diabetes make sure you share it. Sharing is caring and it is also SPARING (spare-ing). Think about it, if you always get in the habit of sharing large packets of snacks your colleagues (if they are anything like mine) will devour them before you can say die (in diabetes). Boom.
- This is a GOOD one. NEVER — and I mean it in a fun way — eat while in motion or in transit. I had this terrible habit of eating while I walked — try sneaking some Vietnamese Style Noodles in your mouth while rushing to the tube without feeling a spicy upset. And NO you aren’t nullifying the calories by walking and eating, you are most likely confusing your body into poop trauma. Also, it is unpleasant to eat in front of the ten people staring at you on the tube while you try to catch the half of the rice cracker that you are gorging on that then falls into you bra. Unpleasant. If you cut that out then you reduce the number of possible pigging-out hours by at least 2 per day AND you will avoid much unnecessary indigestion.
- Stop eating like you will die tomorrow or like you will actually be put on the desert island in Desert Island Discs (have I told you it is my favourite show?). Even on that island people don’t ask the BBC to give them Chinese buffet. Listen, there will be food tomorrow, which you will eat, and you will not starve — well 99% of the people who read my blog won’t. I have had no money and still food was available. There are more obese people in the world than starving. There is food available, so put down the plate and don’t go for your fourth serving. Great.
- This is an important one: only weigh yourself once a week. Weight fluctuates. You weigh less in the morning and more after a salty meal or large water intake. It really is confusing and sometimes depressing. And all scales will be different. I know that makes no sense but somehow I weigh up to 10 pounds different depending on the scale.
- Oh and that brings me to another point. Stop looking at yourself and scrutinising every part of your body in the mirror every day. It is similar to weighing yourself, mirrors are deceiving. Actually the less you look at yourself in the mirror the better you can gauge your progress because you aren’t assimilating yourself to the fatter version of you — that is right, if you look at yourself too much you get accustomed to looking the way you do and perhaps start to accept it, while simultaneously feeling REALLY uncomfortable in your jeans.
- Ok, I am copying everyone else here but this is a fundamental truth of being healthy — eat small portions often, preferably five times a day. I will say no more as we have read this many times.
Don’t let your hypochondriac tendencies get the best of you. Often when I start a diet and begin to lose weight I freak out, weirdly, I know, really weird. Basically I start worrying that I am becoming anorexic, never mind I, at that point, probably only lost 5 pounds and it is hardly noticeable, but I get an intense fear. All of a sudden my wrists are abnormally bony. Stop that. Hypochondriacism is the party pooper of our lifetimes. Be happy, you’re slimming, you’re achieving your goal!
- OMG I am so sorry to leave this for so late but it is pretty obvious to you by now right, even if your parents neglected to teach you — eat healthy. What does that mean? Five a day fruits (apples, bananas and oranges are cheap and cheerful), vegetables which have some essential vitamins and nutrients that you will not find anywhere else (carrots, broccoli, celery), legumes (green beans and green peas), slow-release carbs (potatoes are awesome) and lean protein (turkey, beef and chicken breast). And play with your food, that is, make eating healthy fun by adding colour and trying different things together. There are so many ways to cook veggies, you just have to find the one you like the best.
- WALK or cycle instead of taking the train/bus/car/escalator/lift. If there is an escalator let no gremlin catch you on the right side with the sleepers, WALK on the left — work those Maximus butt muscles. NEVER take lifts unless you have to go more than 10 floors, and even if you do I challenge you to walk it — unless you are late for a meeting of course. Brisk walking is preferred and is often fastest when one is terrible at being on time — that has particularly benefitted me. Whatever you do just please don’t sit or stand unnecessarily.
- Take your lunch breaks at work and go for a walk, preferably the route that is more hilly. Lunch breaks are also essential for your mental health. Amen.
- Only eat your meals (non-snacks) when you have put everything aside and decided it is meal time. And eat slowly. It is SO important to taste and savour your food and not be distracted by the never-ending spreadsheet while stuffing mashed potato into your nostrils.
- Eat in plain site. Stop sneaking munchies into the toilet to eat in private or waiting until no one is looking to swallow a chocolate bar whole! If you are too embarrassed to eat it in front of other people then you shouldn’t be eating it at all.
- Share food as often as possible. I know I said this before but this diet is supposed to make you kinder, primarily with food. Giving away your favourite food will not only make you more loved — I have seen the tremendous, pre-meditated impact it has had for my constant food offerer employee, but it will also reduce the amount you eat in that moment. Also, give that 450g packet of nuts to the homeless guy at the station, just give it, same rules apply, especially if you feel inclined to feed a hungry man/woman.
- Exercise. DUH. Strenuously at least once a week. Do abs, push-ups and squats at least four times a week (these are the magic exercises and a gift to all looking-gooders). Exercise. DUH.
- AND… I know I said that they weren’t ranked, but this one is the absolute most important. LOVE YOURSELF AT ALL TIMES. Yes it is true that your appearance makes a difference in your success and people’s response to you. But what is most important is your confidence. Sometimes you won’t look your best and sometimes you will, but if you don’t love yourself at all stages then people won’t love you at all stages and they may even lose respect for you. If your love for yourself is conditional on how you look then why would anyone else’s be different? Who you are inside is the MOST important thing. If you are an ambitious person like me you are happiest when you are thriving and you don’t want to stop until you find your A game, 50% just isn’t enough. If you are like me you’ve been sometimes giving less than 100% and part of the process of being on your A game is learning how to give 100%. If you are like me, all of the points above will be challenging because they involve a change in HABITS not just practices. But if you are like me what makes you gorgeous is your relentless desire to see yourself at your best.
I covered all of the points that I thought were most important. There are some other things you could do. A champion pole vaulter I once knew told me he used to look at a white wall and recite to himself that he was great and the best at pole vaulting and it became engrained in his mind. Feel free to do this. To be gorgeous you must first believe that you are gorgeous. I mean God made you, you are a fabulous piece of art.
And another thing… if you don’t lose weight in the next few months, or if you lose weight but then put it back on, or you have a period of eating healthy but then fall back into binging on snackies, don’t hate on yourself. It takes time. Habits don’t change overnight. It is the effort that counts. It is the commitment to that effort and to the goal that will get you there, more than what you do. Don’t EVER hate on yourself… that’s the UNKIND diet — ain’t nobody got time for that.
Good luck. If you adopt any of these please write to me and tell me your experience.