Here’s My Story
In late 2011, my body weight ballooned up to 94kg, my heaviest in my life, in my attempt to bulk up with diets entirely based on bro-science that promise kilos of muscles within months. It took me two embarrassing incidents to realize that I was not muscle-bound but borderline obese with a 42 inches waist. In the first incident, I hurt my back in a toilet cubicle because the cubicle was too small for me to move around. During another incident, I found out that I had a 42 inches waist in a class assignment for my Certificate of Personal Training course and, apparently, my risk of dying from a heart disease is very high according to The Heart Foundation.
After those two incidents, I decided to lose weight. I cleaned up my diet from all the foods that were supposed to help muscle growth such as milkshakes, burgers, and fries, etc. I was a chocoholic back in the days but I gave up on chocolate in the effort to shed my excess pounds. I also shift my focus on having more unprocessed foods in my diet. In addition to the changes in my diet, I included 3 hourly cardio sessions a week as a part of my fitness regime, which already included 3 weight training sessions, to lose the excess weight. Besides that, I was in a desperate position to improve my body shape as soon as possible before starting my career as a personal trainer.
With my consistent effort, I managed to lose 12 kg over 9 months but I was not happy with the way I look with a slight hint of muffin top still appears around my waist. I wanted a better result so I sought out help around. It did not take me long before the Iow carbohydrate diet was recommended to me. As my progress was hitting a plateau for weeks at the time, I was ready to give anything a try so I adopted the diet without much of a second thought. My initial plan was to stay with the diet for 12 weeks, hence, it was not a very difficult decision for me since I had been on my weight loss journey for more than 9 months at the time.
Even though it was a low carbohydrate diet, it was not exactly a keto diet because the focus was on consuming high protein instead of high fat at the time. The first 2 weeks with the diet were not a pleasant experience because I felt weak and tired most of the time. Due to my lack of energy, training sessions were dreadfully difficult but I fought on regardless. Besides that, I could feel like I was being swept away by tornado every time I turn my body around. Despite the challenges, I was not ready to give up because I was very curious about the end results by the end of the 12 weeks.
Fortunately, I started to adapt to the diet by week 3. By this time, I can feel that my energy was skyrocketing. To my surprise, I started to see the separation of my abdominal muscles for the first time in my life. Apart from that, both of my eczema and asthma conditions were also getting better as well. This is certainly not a piece of evidence that proves the low carbohydrate diet can cure any of these conditions but I must have removed some trigger foods in the process.
When I stepped on the scale for the first time at the end of Week 4 since I adopted the diet, I could almost feel that my jaw dropped to the floor. I dropped 7kg in 4 weeks. A feat that I was never thought possible for me. It was then followed by another 2kg drop by the end of Week 6.
At that time, I firmly believed that the secret of fat loss that could help many to lose weight is in my hands now. I became a diehard believer of the “low carbohydrate” diet and I developed a phobia for carbohydrates. I inadvertently adopted the low carbohydrate for more than 12 weeks. For the next 2 years, I was so afraid of having any form of carbohydrates in my diet apart from vegetables and berries. I also believed that the “low carbohydrate” diet is the solution to solve everyone’s health issues. The “low carbohydrate” craze at the time is making my belief in the “low carbohydrate” diet even stronger. I must say that it was not an easy lesson to learn that I was wrong years after my weight loss. Although I still think the “low carbohydrate” diet has its place to help people to lose weight, I also believe that there are other weight-loss diets that could help different individuals to lose weight effectively.
So what I experienced here may explain why many of the people who would get into many pointless heated arguments with others who disagree with them once they get attached to the diet that changes their lives. You could be one of them if you went through the same process.
The Struggles End With Affection
Falling in love with a diet often starts when you are in an “enough is enough” situation to make a change in your life to improve your health and wellbeing. You make the decision to make the change because you are very uncomfortable with your body weight due to one or a combination of the following reasons.
You feel embarrassed to look at your own reflection in the mirror. Also, you don’t like how you look in the more recent pictures because you look bigger than you thought. You may even feel uncomfortable when you’re standing next to someone who, by your standard, looks more superior than you.
Your current weight poses a few health issues to you such as high blood pressure, asthma and joint pain. A decision to make a change, such as change in diet, to improve your health could be more than a life-changing solution because it could save you from premature death.
Due to your weight, you may also have some unpleasant experiences in your day to day life such as feeling out of breathe when you take a few minutes stroll, tearing a hole in your pants in the public and feeling your midsection pressed against you when you bend over to tie out your shoelace, etc.
Many of your life experiences with the excess weight have become so unbearable for you. As a consequence of that, you are going to do anything in an attempt to lose the excess weight so that you can have better life experiences and, most importantly, regain your confidence. One of the first things you would do after making the decision to lose weight is to change your diet.
Changing your diet is not an easy feat but the pain of living in your current condition is much harder to endure. Therefore, it is a “whatever it takes” circumstance at first. This is also where your perseverance plays an important role. Without your perseverance, you will go back to your old self before you reach your end goal. This is because of the pain of making the change will feel harder for you than living in your old self, especially when the pain is amplified by obstacles and failures you met in the weight loss process.
Assuming that you persevere until you see some changes, you will develop an affection for your current diet. This is probably because you went through many ups and downs with this diet. By sticking to this diet, you overcame your unhealthy relationship with the foods that you connected emotionally in your old diet. In the process, you hit a plateau from time to time as well but you get through these plateaus and see more positive changes happen. These ups and downs are the driven forces to connect you more deeply with the diet you adopted for your weight loss. Therefore, you will also start to believe that this is the only diet to save many from their health problems because it gives you a new life. The bigger the changes, the more invincible the diet becomes. Before you know it, you’re in love with your diet after all the struggles for a healthier life.
Brand New Life Unleashed
When your appearance starts to show signs of weight loss, you will start to receive compliments about your change in appearance from people around you. You will also no longer be ashamed of your own reflection as a result of the showers of compliments you receive from your colleagues, friends and family members. These compliments will, in turn, skyrocket your confidence level to a new high you never know existed.
Besides, you will also have newfound energy to be more physically active after your weight loss. Alongside with your newly gained new confidence, you will be more willing to take on challenging physical activities on the gym floor driven by your desire to get more recognition. This same confidence will also drive you to take on more challenging tasks in other parts of your life such as work and family duties.
With your new aesthetically pleasing physique after your weight loss, you are comfortable in your own skin around other people. You will also have people look up to you because of your transformation. In addition to that, you will have a complete wardrobe change to fit your new body. That piece of nice outfit you always want to fit in is finally fitting you.
The diet completely changes your life for the better. Because of this brand new life, your affection for the diet becomes so strong that you will unreasonably oppose anything that does not follow the rules of your diet. Consequently, you firmly believe that your diet is the best diet in the world and it is the only diet that could save the world from the obesity epidemic.
The Pattern Of The Changes
The pattern is very similar when many individuals like you who fall in love with their diets. You could be starting the diet due to reasons ranging from improving their appearances to surviving from the verge of an obesity-related deadly illness. Throughout the process of following the diet, you go through many ups and downs to reach your end goals. Some of these ups and downs are very personal experiences. Such experiences include
- getting rid of foods that have some form of emotional attachment to you,
- seeing a number on the weight scale you have not seen for years,
- reaching your personal best lift or running time in the gym,
- hitting a disappointing weight loss plateau over a longer than expected period of time regardless of the amount of hard works are being put into the process to move the scale down.
After your perseverance through obstacles, you are rewarded with what you want. You gained a new better life with not only improved health but also a better appearance and improvement in many aspects of your life. You are possibly ended up adopting the diet longer than your intended time frame. This is because you are confident that you will be able to maintain the success with the diet and you are too afraid that you are going back to square one at the same time.
Due to your success, you wholeheartedly believe that the diet should help others to change their life for the better. Unfortunately, everyone has their own diet preferences to help them improve their life. Some may work better with a keto diet, some may work better with a vegan diet. The rest may work better with other types of diet available out there. Therefore, you have to understand that there are a lot of underlying reasons why your diet is not the solution to others to achieve their fitness goal such as weight loss.
Best Diet Is The One That Works Best For You
When you pick a diet for your fitness goal, you are most likely going to pick the one that allows you to maintain a high level of adherence without being stressed out. There are many factors that dictate the choice of your best diet such as
- General lifestyle.
Everyone has different lifestyles. Some of you will have the freedom to break your daily food intake into 3 to 5 meals a day while the rest will most likely be able to have 2 meals a day due to a busier work schedule. Therefore, it is very important to consider how easy it is to fit the diet around your lifestyle. Besides, you are more likely to be comfortable adopting a more drastic diet approach for your weight loss if you are already a health-conscious individual compared to individuals who just started out in their fitness journey.
- Cultural background
Depends on your culture, some of the foods in a certain diet may not fit well in the ways of life in your culture. For example, eating meat in some cultures for breakfast, in general, does not appear to be very appealing while eating meat for breakfast is the norm of many other cultures. Therefore, the keto diet will work better for the latter.
- Food preference
While this is similar to cultural background, some people just prefer to have a plant-based diet without the cultural influence.
Human beings are usually drawn to social interaction unless you’re an introvert. Therefore, you are most likely going to eat with friends and family regularly where foods are beyond your control. In this case, you just have to learn how to use strategy to avoid food overconsumption, recognize your fullness cue and say “No” to more foods when you’re full without sacrificing your social life.
- Food budget
Some diets cost considerably more than other diets to maintain over a long period of time. Besides, some of you may have other priorities when it comes to budgeting, hence, that may affect how much you’re going to allocate your budget into foods.
- Time frame
Some of you may only have a limited time frame to reach your fitness goal such as getting ready for your wedding. In this case, you are more driven to take on a more drastic diet approach to reach your weight loss goal. While some of you may not be ready to be overwhelmed by big changes in your diet, a longer time frame is more likely going to be more helpful for you to improve your health.
This is why what works for you is not necessarily suitable for others. Therefore, you should always be mindful and respectful of other’s choices of diet. Besides, it is never an effective approach to force your way of thinking into others to change their diet.
On the other hand, this is also why the best diet is the one that works for you because the factors described just fit well for you to persevere through the most defeating obstacles in the process until you reach your desired goal.
Conclusion: You’re Half Right. Diet Is A Tool Not The Key
Your success of weight loss always starts with taking the necessary action to make it happens because you were very uncomfortable with your life experiences as an overweight individual. One of the action you take is changing your diet. Changing your diet can be a very personal experience for you as you will have to get rid of many triggered foods that establish an emotional connection with you. During the process, you will have some small wins. Apart from the wins, your efforts will also be met with frustrating obstacles and disappointing plateaus throughout the process. Therefore, you will develop a strong attachment to your diet when you successfully lose the undesirable excess weight. After the weight loss, your new life will become very different from the one you used to have. In this new life, you will not only look better in your appearance but feel more confident and more energetic to take on more challenging tasks at work, gym and home. This new life will also, in turn, leads you to become a firm believer that your diet is the best diet to solve everyone’s weight problem.
The diet that works for you is no doubt helping you to reach your weight loss goal. However, it will not be the solution for everyone due to many factors. These factors include lifestyle, cultural background, food preference, environment, food budget, and time frame. These factors will influence the level of adherence of different individuals to their chosen diet. Your chosen diet that leads you to your weight loss success is just the right fit for you to consistently maintain your adherence to it.
This is how the best diet works. The better the diet fits into your life, the more consistent you can adhere to the diet. Therefore, the easier for you to persevere when you meet obstacles and the more likely you will reach your goal. As a conclusion, the best diet is the one that fits your life well and have rooms for you to maintain your adherence consistently. This consistent adherence is the key to the success of your weight loss while your diet is just your chosen tool to accomplish your weight loss goal. For everybody else, your tool may not be the best tool for them so they will have to pick their own tool to win their weight-loss battles.