As I slowly tell people what I am up to with my book, many are curious and ask a few more questions about what the main philosophies are based around and I always reply, “the summary is… doing what works for you.”
For so long, the common message has been that there is one right way and if you are not doing it, then you are wrong. The impression given is that if you can’t do it, then you must be hopeless, useless, have no willpower, have no discipline, you are lazy etc, which is far from the truth. It’s just that the advice given doesn’t work for you.
Then they throw studies and science at you – ‘do this, try this, this is the new way that works, and these experts have proven that this works, so do this,’- so even thinking that this particular way may just not be suitable for you, is not even an option.
And so you try it and fail, and you try something else and fail and feel pretty rotten in the process. It doesn’t help either when people say to you, “just a little bit of everything, all in moderation.” Or “less calories in and more exercise. It’s not that hard.” Unsolicited advice comes from everywhere and it annoyed the bejesus out of me, how about you?
And you try and try and you keep polishing off a whole packet of chocolate biscuits, berating yourself for you lack of willpower. Or you really hate the gym or boot camp but everyone else seems to love it.
But guess what? It’s not you! It’s just that this advice doesn’t work for you. Full stop.
A friend Jenny in the USA runs a gorgeous website called www.floppycats.com and she told me her story of losing 50lbs (25kgs) from April to September 2013. Jenny had gained her weight from having a hyperthyroid disease called Graves Disease and eight years of being on her anti-thyroid drugs had caused a tremendous imbalance in her body.
Once she was in remission, she tried traditional methods of losing weight, however nothing was working. Jenny experimented a little and found a way of eating that suited her, which was only to eat dinner. Sometimes she would have a small snack of homemade protein bites before going out for a walk or going to play golf. But that was it.
Now I can hear everyone screaming, “but you can’t do that, it doesn’t work for this and this and this reason.” It may not work for you, it definitely wouldn’t work for me as I need to eat every couple hours or I freak out, but what a revelation for her!
She explained that it was slow process of elimination and she found that eating breakfast just didn’t work and eating lunch made her really tired and physically weak and so to maximise her energy levels and do all the walking and golfing that she does, this really suited her. And obviously it did, as her body just really responded to it and as she said, “I wasn’t even trying.”
This is when you know you have found your secret magic formula because it will be effortless, if you have to try really hard, you a going the wrong way. It doesn’t mean you don’t take any action at all, but you select the things that you like to do and thus find them easy.
She further advised that people keep asking her what is her secret and family members ask, “how is your diet plan going?” Or, “are you worried that it will all come back?” Doh! Where is the support, guys? I think people don’t even realise they are being dismissive. This is why it is really important to not concern yourself with what anyone else thinks and do what feels good to you. Way to go Jenny!
Another friend Mary told me the story of her sister who also only eats one meal a day and yet is still overweight and about a size 18 in clothes. Clearly then, this way of eating doesn’t suit her, because if it did, she would shed the excess weight and her weight would stabilise back to a normal healthy range. We discussed that perhaps she was afraid to eat more often lest she puts on more weight? Not sure, but I hope she reads my book or finds something else that can help and finds her way.
People are so, so different. Some are lactose intolerant, some have IBS or Crone’s disease, some like me just go berserk if I eat processed sugar or anything with sugar in it and can’t stop eating no matter how hard I try. So for even this little list of people which probably covers at least half the population, the standard ‘eat a little of everything’ advice is really bad advice.
So my suggestion is, don’t listen to everyone else out there, listen to your own body and it will give you signs and signals along the way to let you know how you are going. If you are overweight and don’t want to be, then it is just a signal that one or more of the things you are doing are not quite right for you.
Let’s get experimenting! Now where’s that recipe for protein bites?