Since 2007, I have lost over 12 stone (76 kg) without dieting. I often get asked how I lost weight, so here is my story…
As a child and then into my teens I was always very skinny and acutely conscious of that fact. After I joined the army at age 16 I started to put on weight and from then I have always had an issue with both controlling my weight and sustaining any weight loss I did have.
There were periods in my life where I was at a healthy weight but for the most part I was overweight.
At around the age of 40-44, I was at my heaviest and weighed over 27 and a half stone (175 kg).
Up until that point the diets I had tried to control my weight (and there were many) never worked. Yes, I would initially lose weight but it would always come back on because I couldn’t or didn’t want to sustain it. I wasn’t willing to let go of the foods, like bread, pasta, chocolate, alcohol, cakes etc. that I knew to be the cause of my weight gain.
- How food truly affects my body,
- Why I choose to eat these foods,
- Why I choose to eat the quantity of food that I was eating,
- When I choose to eat these foods.
I had never been presented with this knowledge before and so with this understanding I was able to start making changes that truly supported me.
It wasn’t easy at first as I had to undo over 30 years of neglect and abuse. One thing that really helped me was to use ‘bridging’ as a tool. I knew if I came off a certain food ‘cold turkey’ it would be very hard to continue so, for instance, with something like coffee (I loved my cappuccino with chocolate sprinkles). I first started with decaf coffee, then after a while I went onto soya milk, then no chocolate sprinkles and then eventually no coffee at all.
Apart from alcohol, which I stopped straight away, I found that I could substitute all of the foods that didn’t support me and eventually come off them altogether. Trying to control my weight loss or sustain it wasn’t even a consideration at this point, it was more a choice to start to love and support myself in a way I had never contemplated before. Naturally, as a by-product of this new change the weight started to fall off.
What was also a big revelation for me was the fact that because I had started to express more and say how I truly felt I was losing even more weight. I wasn’t holding onto stuff as much so therefore my body could let go of it.
It has been 7 years now and when people find out that I have lost all this weight they are very surprised, mainly because I don’t have any sagging skin that is associated with a large loss of weight. I am able to share with them that the way I lost weight and kept it off it has been done gradually. I also share that if I had seen it as a diet then it would have become goal orientated and as soon as I reached my intended weight I would have wanted to celebrate, which would have resulted in going back to the foods that put the weight on in the first place.
I also share that I lost the weight without having to go through any rigorous exercise regime. My only form of exercise was walking at a normal pace for a minimum of 15 minutes and occasionally I went to the gym for weight training.
My weight at the moment is just over 15 and a half stone (99 kg) and the weight loss is an ongoing process.
So when I am now asked how I lost weight, I can express that I feel diets do not work, and that only by making it a ‘way of life’ can you truly succeed in controlling and sustaining weight loss.
By Tim Bowyer, Age 51, London Bus Driver
You may also be interested in:
How to Lose Weight (Unimedliving.com)