When we see amazing before and after weight loss transformation pictures (usually advertising some kind of diet product), one thing we all want to know is, how long did it take?
We want results quick and love hearing about people who have done it, the quicker the better!
It’s fair to say my transformation is a little shocking, (mostly due to the weight loss rather than the change of hair colour), so naturally people take one look at it and want to know how I did it and how long did it take.
There may be a date between these two photos but before I explain how long it took, I want to share why the timescale thing is overrated and why quick weightloss isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
I’m a firm believer in happiness being found in the journey, not just the destination. In the Size HH book we explain why telling yourself you won’t be happy with your body until you reach a certain weight or number on scales doesn’t work because, what happens when you finally reach it? Well it’s either a new pressure to maintain it, or you find that you don’t actually feel much happier at all. You may even find other flaws you don’t like.
Aiming to make consistent healthy choices that leave you feeling happy with your body is way more effective! Sounds simple of course, but what often stands in the way is the habit of wanting too much too soon, tempting us into trying all sorts…
Quick fixes and cutting corners are extremely tempting, heck I have been there myself many times! I even shifted a bunch of weight through trendy diets and weight-loss products (as well as basically eating next to nothing) but did the weight-loss make me happy with my figure? No. Not at all.
What my before and after pictures don’t show is the journey in between, the hard work, sweat and tears in between. The battles with liking myself in between.
I’m not trying to put you off wanting to lose weight if that’s what you want to do health wise, I’m just being brutally honest about fad diets and quick fixes. From a wealth of personal experience and experiences of any women around me, here is what they don’t tell you about weight loss diets, even when the marketing tactics, testimonials and photos look amazing;
- You may be consuming less nutrition than your body needs to function normally let alone at best. This can stunt your performance in every area of life within days of not giving your body what it requires. You may find side effects to be low energy, bad skin, mood swings, headaches and no concentration.
- Dieting, going without food for long periods, or binging, can seriously mess with your metabolism. This can easily lead to hormonal and thyroid problems, weight gain when you stop dieting, and problems with menstrual cycle.
- Hair loss and thinning, tooth decay, bad breath, diarrhoea and sagging skin are all side effects from getting by on minimum food in order to lose weight. Nice.
Do these sound like problems you want for the sake of losing a few digits on the scale? Not exactly a vision of health and hardly the stuff we think about when starting an exciting new diet!
If you want to see and feel physical changes without sacrificing your health or wellbeing, try these 3 simply rules that have helped me find balance and sustainable results;
1. Eat! Focus on fuelling yourself with the foods that will benefit you, instead of focusing on the things to avoid. Listen to your body and how certain foods make you feel after eating them. You will soon see the difference of how you look and feel after filling up on fresh fruit and veg, rather than being stuffed and lethargic from processed foods with little or no nutritional value.
2. Move! Our bodies are designed to be active and every move counts. The most important thing is to find an activity you genuinely enjoy and that suits your lifestyle. Over stretching yourself with unrealistic goals and costs will just give you more excuses not to keep it up. We all have to start somewhere, keeping it up is the hard part, so don’t try reaching the top of the stairs by jumping half way up them, start at the first step and work your way up. You know the story of the turtle and the hare right?
3. Socialise! Surround yourself with supportive, positive people that want you to succeed. Being around other people with similar health goals will inspire you to keep going, even pushing yourself to levels you never thought possible.
Of course, there is no money to be made from these rules, they don’t make a good clickbait blog or magazine article. It’s what we all know deep down, but the loud influences of the media seem to drown it out. There is no quick fixes really. If I see a fabulous before and after picture, to me, the quicker the dates were between the two, the more likely the results won’t last, or be without some of the nasty side effects we talked about earlier.
It’s not about how quickly I lost the weight, the most important part of the transformation for me was the change of mindset, the setting of new standards for myself and embracing a healthier way of life, not just for me but for my family too.
If you want to learn more about how your mindset and making small habit changes that will lead to big changes, give Size HH a read this afternoon and you could be making a start on your own story today.