The journey ahead

These last few days I have been gathering my thoughts and composing this post in my head. I know I should write things down instead of relying on my memory, which is not as sharp as it used to be. As I sit here and type this, I am actually drawing lots of blanks trying to remember those nuggets of wisdom I picked up from my 21-day weight loss experience. It will come to me, so just bear with me please.

Let’s break it down into bullet points. I like bullet points. It helps keep me focused and on topic.

:: Paul Coleman. He is not just a health coach. Paul offers coaching on so many levels that at some point I was beginning to think of our sessions as therapy. In a way, yes they were therapy sessions because he talks about weight gain/loss, food, calories and fat on a behavioural and emotional level. It’s not just about eat this, don’t eat this with Paul. He doesn’t tell you what to do. He talks to you about it, why do you want to lose weight, how much do you want to lose, what have you done so far and what are you ready to commit to in order to lose weight. And then he works out a program to suit you and your level of commitment, with a little bit of push built in so that you don’t get too comfortable and think it’s too easy. I’ve had people ask me how I did it and I said it was easy because it was built for me. It’s not a one-size-fits-all program. It’s me-sized. And if I fail that, then I have only myself to blame. Paul is always ready to listen and he amazes me with how much information he retains from our sessions. He would bring up something I said maybe two sessions ago and I’d have to pause and think, “Hmm, did I say that?”. I trust him though because his memory is way sharper than mine. If you want to lose weight without changing your lifestyle and without taking a handful of “supplements”, let me know and I will introduce you to Paul.

Side note: I am highly suspicious of any weight loss program which prescribes supplements which are supposedly organic, herbal and such stuff. I know because I underwent such a program last year and from the moment I saw the bottles of capsules and tablets, I knew something was just not right. With this program, the only supplement I am taking is cod liver oil. Clear, transparent capsules and you know exactly what you’re taking, nothing hidden. Even if I took these out of my routine, I am sure I will not gain all the weight back because it’s not the cod liver oil that made me lose the weight in the first place.

:: Affirmations. These are great little gems! I had no problem putting them on at night when I sleep. I put the volume quite low but just enough that I can still hear it playing. Sometimes, I even find myself reciting some of them when I’m not doing anything that needs a lot of brain power. I’m currently getting accustomed to the “I Love Exercise” one. If this works, then I’ll know affirmations definitely get the job done!

:: Lessons learned. I discovered that I am much more disciplined that I thought I was. In the past, the idea of going for seven full days with only 3 protein shakes a day and loads of water would have me running for the nearest McDonalds. It’s all in your head. I suppose I had the advantage of having an extra week to prepare for it. I knew I was going to be fasting for at least 18 hours a day so I conditioned myself to accept that there will be a drastic drop in my calorie intake. I admit I was worried about being able to function in the office, esp where it is critical to keep an eye out for small details. It was not a problem for me. In fact the challenge was to consume the protein shakes on time! I was always still full from the previous shake when I realize it’s time to prepare the next one. After the first week, colleagues were telling me they see marked improvements and they wanted to know how I did it and what I did. I told them as much as I could and by my second week, two of them started the protein shake and fasting. But I guess I didn’t do a good enough job because they are not doing the full fast. Still, they are consuming less calories than they normally would so I am certain there will be noticeable changes shortly. I do feel weird that they come to me and ask me for advice on whether they can eat this, or if they can do that. I don’t want to just pass on advice or information because I don’t know if it’s something that will actually apply to them. But it feels great being able to contribute.

I’m eating regularly now, well as regular as I can get. I still don’t eat breakfast. My first meal is at around 12.30 so in effect I am still fasting. But I am also not tempted to binge on all the wrong food like I would in the past. The 21 days I spent curbing the craving and teaching my body to use up its stores of energy has helped me become more disciplined about what I eat and how much I eat. People ask me if I ever get hungry. Of course I do! I just eat smartly now and not stuff my mouth with anything that’s put in front of me.

So, that’s it for now. I’m still far from anything that would resemble a true transformation. But knowing that I can chink away slowly at all this and take off 5kg at a time means that with patience, dedication and perseverance, I can win this battle.