I have spent most of my life being overweight, and whilst i'm not saying that it's necessarily a bad thing per se (apparently I was even considered more attractive by some people.. ah well!), i'm happy with the transformation. Disclaimers: I'm not a doctor, or a nutritionist and for all i know the things i did will cause me to drop dead tomorrow. Use any of this advice at your own risk :)
If you haven't already read my previous article, you can check it out on Caroline's blog here: http://carolinefashionstyling.com/2016/03/diet-confessions-of-food-aholic.html
It's funny how used to things the body and the mind can get - when I saw that photo on my Facebook feed, i know it was me but then again i was surprised at how unconnected to that "me" i was. I think it's important to always keep things we did, people we love and other stuff that change our lives close to us, and also to constantly remind ourselves where we came from.
Since I shared that memory, many people commented or spoke to me in private about their problems and challenges where weight is concerned and barring cases where genuine medical issues might make it harder (or impossible) to lose weight you need to remember two things.
1. That guy in the picture was happy, he didn't feel attractive to the opposite sex (my demons, maybe not yours) but you don't have to be thin to live a happy life.
2. For me, the biggest challenge was in my head, and food (like alcohol, or other drugs) is addictive and should be treated with the same level of respect.
I'm going to group & answer some questions i received:
1. Did it take you 7 Years?
Not even close - looking back at my Google Fit data, i was hovering around the 110kg mark late in 2015. By June 2016 i had already hit 81.5kgs, it then took me until June 2017 to go to my (roughly) current weight of 72kgs. So in a nutshell, i lost the bulk of my weight in around 8 months, that's not really that long :)
2. You must have exercised A LOT!
In the beginning, not really. I was blessed that i had a super amazing team (CCBill Architecture!) who were into sports and they enticed me to join gym & running sessions over time. However keep in mind that whilst exercise is good for you and fun in so many ways (when you're not fat, when i was fat i hated it - i was heavy, i got tired, i sweated like a pig... this all changes trust me .. except the sweating :D) it's the diet that plays the biggest effect on my weight. Just to give you an example, a few months back i was training for The Grid Sprint, we had training sessions (which i used to run to from the office) and i would do training on my off days. So in these months i was literally training at least once (some times twice) a day - and my weight DID NOT GO DOWN. I was eating more, i was becoming stronger and more muscular but if i used this as an excuse to indulge in cake - it still showed up on the scales.
So in a nutshell, ace your nutrition game and then if you can exercise - great! if not focus on exercise when you are already on your journey
3. Did you live on salads?
Mornings i usually start off with a protein shake a couple of times a week (especially if i'm training) and a coffee. Around 9am, i attack out kitchenette and harvest 2 or 3 fruits which i will eat before 12:00 noon
Every day, lunch is my biggest meal (i personally like this) and i eat whatever we have on the menu at CatenaMedia (we have an awesome kitchen team there who cook everything from veal ribeye, to tuna, grilled octopus... i digress). If you see my plate, it's pretty loaded. I personally find that i need 2 main things in my plate - Protein (could be anything: chicken, eggs, pork, fish, whatever) and bulk. "The bulk" makes me feel full without adding too many calories and it's quite easy - just fill your plate with low calorie, large items (usually vegetables or some salad). At lunch times i try to get some carbs on my plate too.
Evenings i tend to remain a bit light - usually i have a fruit or other snack (protein bar/ nuts/etc) around 4pm and a light dinner around 8pm. Dinner usually is made up of indian dals, or frittata - something with some light protein (usually egg whites) and spicy vegetables.
4. Are you really suggesting eating cake to lose weight?!
Yes. Being on a diet where foods are not allowed (excluding medical reasons) is stupid. Conversely having huge cheat days where you eat a whole bakery is equally pointless and just likely to make you lose your rythm.
If you look at my photos on Instagram (usually on stories) you will see an equal amount of healthy food and .. well.. things like this slice of awesomness from Danny's:
The trick here is to space these out. Say "Not Today" rather than "No" because by knowingly add fun meals into my week i am able to remain a foodie and keep my weight where i want it. Typically the system i use i that when i have a fun meal on one day, i just eat a little less the following day or two and possibly up my exercise a tiny bit. The most important thing is: DON'T CALL IT A CHEAT MEAL, YOU ARE DOING NOTHING WRONG. Just like when you buy something from a shop - you pay for it.
5. This is a marathon, not a sprint
Even though you will see results very early on, the main thing to keep in mind is that you just need to set your self up into a rhythm you can sustain for the rest of your life. Therefore you have to adjust accordingly. IF you absolutely cannot control late dinners with the family for instance, portion size is something you can easily adjust
Going back to the 15th of July (Cheesy Chips day) -
My next weigh in was on the 17th - 2 days after. Remember when you have more food in your body, this doesn't just magically disappear - it takes time for it to.. ahem.. exit. To complicate life, on the 18th of July i was scheduled to visit our Belgrade office and the food in Serbia is really, really, really good. So over the week, i enjoyed myself within reason and then when i arrived back in malta, i went back on my rhythm and as you can see from the last 2 dots - we are back on track.