In 2012, I pretty seriously injured my back and whilst it will never been the same again, things can always improve so I decided to lose weight in order to regain mobility (and generally stand up straight) using a mix of Personal Training and diet. Thanks to my sister's obsession with the internet I have - apparently - lost the weight equivalent to a elephants heart (20kg) in four months. Don't worry there are no before and after photos . No mean feat but I'll be honest - there's plenty more hearts left on me. I've been asked a fair few people how I did "it" so here are five things I did that I thought i'd share in case it helps anyone else.
1) Measure, measure, measure : Tape measures are one thing but photos work better (save them in a new folder). In addition to this I downloaded My Fitness Pal (which I swear by). Perfect for calorie counting, weight loss tracking and changing your work out regime. It helps you make better choices and keeps you on track. The barcode scanner makes it easy to track as does the multitude of entries for restaurants etc - stick to it, become obsessed. It helps you. [DOWNLOAD]
2) Do 30 before 30 : This sounds gross but the science is compelling (and argued as most things with weight loss are). Basically eat/drink 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up - this triggers a protein synthesis burst for about 180 minutes - read: you feel full, aren't weighed down with carbs and your body is working to build muscle. I do a morning protein shake but equally you could have an egg-based breakfast should that be your thing.
3) Don't deprive yourself : This was key for me - pizza remains my crux. After previously smirking at the phrase, I now truly believe "abs are made in kitchen" - eating whatever you want is ok if a) you don't quick results or b) it's not every day. In essence, it's a crap truth but you have to commit but don't punish yourself - you'll only go overboard at another time.
4) Don't buy it, can't eat it : This is key - you have to make your home "safe" - if you don't buy it you can't eat it. I find buying food online easier in general but add in the smells, impulse buys and going to the supermarket can be deadly if you are trying to lose weight - especially as it gets colder.
5) Find a good protein bar/snack : As with exercise, foods etc - everyone has something to say about protein bars - I chose one that tastes good, had low carbs and high protein and use them sparingly - these aren't meal substitutes but they are handy when all you are surrounded by are Pret, Eat and other fast but terrible choice outlets. Carry one at all times.
6) BONUS! Take 15 not 5 : Some meditate, others read the news, I chose to do nothing for 15 minutes - commit to the time, block everything out and just be - this really helped level the day and start it out calmly. Not only does this lower the cortisol (stress hormone) levels but it helps you maintain a good me-me and work-me balance. It's not for everyone and takes a bit of time but do this every day for a month and I guarantee you'll feel better for it and have better eating habits as you will be calmer, more focused and organised.
NOTE 1: I needed to do this for back injury issues mainly but I know the PT helped me lose chunk - three (well mostly two!) times a week . I really recommend this if you have a chance. I firmly believe I would still be in a similar position weight wise had the PT been less but the effect on food consumption is powerful as there's a huge financial/social contract incentive for me not to let him or myself down.
NOTE 2: Some quick things I found that worked : Drink more water but know this only gets you so far, write stuff down (use the My Fitness Pal - can't stress it enough - get addicted to it), buy a piece of semi-expensive clothing that you want to fit into and tag a piece of paper on it with a date - then put this in the place you'd get it out from - losing money etc is a good motivator. Get stuff tailored - not only does this help with motivation but it also enables you to see the changes happening. Avoid bad booze - this means (sigh) ditching sugary cocktails, instead go for gin/vodka with lime and soda.
I would like to thank my family for their constant "ooohs" and "aaaaahs", my sister for listening to be rant, my friend Darika for introducing me to 30 before 30 (and god knows what else), Anita and Tony for their advice/inspiration, PT Michael for being uber-flexible and all the other people who have shared their stories and encouragement. It is appreciated. Here's to the next bazillion hearts...
[Full disclosure I am no expert, doctor or anyone that should have advice taken from as gospel - this just works for me. You will likely need a different mix. Consult your Doctor before doing anything fitness/diet related etc etc.]