Every journey to weight loss and a healthy lifestyle is unique, and coming to this understanding will ease a lot of frustration and lack of results on this weight loss journey. 

I’ll be sharing the peculiarities of my own journey, how I got rid of certain mind blocks, how I have been able to work around them to achieve results, and my moments of pain and frustration on this journey. I’ll also like to emphasize that I’m not sharing this as a weight loss expert, rather I’m sharing what works for me with the aim of encouraging every individual on this journey to find what works for them and not necessarily follow my steps. 

One of the things I quickly settled into after my marriage and relocation was food blogs/vlogs and of course baking and cooking. A kid and Forty kg later, with little or no exercise, the quest or zeal to lose weight, which wasn’t necessitated by the fact that I could no longer recognize myself, but for medical reasons, came up during my second pregnancy. 

Based on my previous experience, I could attest to the ‘work out’ options (including going to the gym), but domestic responsibilities remained a key challenge. I have a job, a business and a family. 

So, here are the steps I have taken, the challenges I had with them, and the progress I have made so far. I have amazing results to show for it! 

FIND OUT WHAT WORKS FOR YOU: 

We often don’t understand that not every weight loss strategy works for everyone and not every weight loss coach is for everyone. One of the challenges I have is that I love Nigerian food and there has been this misconception that losing weight while eating and variety of Nigerian food is a joke. 

People have told me, ‘Oh, you are eating garri while trying to lose weight, you never start. I’m the sort of person who considers where and how my Nigerian food will be available before I travel out of my comfort zone. 

In finding what would work for me, I made a list of the foods that I enjoy, the ones I could give up and the ones I just couldn’t. The important thing to me was to make my weight loss journey a fun lifestyle that would fit into my routine and produce results. 

I remember DDK saying that ‘whenever the student is ready, the teacher appears’. On the top of my list was eating Nigeria food with very minimal variation so that I could share the same meals with my family to take away the additional pressure of preparing two different meals every time. ‘Lose it Nigerian’ eBook was my answer to this. 

So, I would cook soup that will last for a month, fried rice and whatever else on the recipe book, store these in the freezer and get on with other things. I still found a way to eat what I love to eat, prepared in healthier versions in a reasonable portion. Win-win, right? 

I see a lot of weight loss coaches coming up with these ways to cook Nigerian meals and still achieve weight loss. Before you sign up with that coach, ask specific questions about what to expect. 

When I stumbled on the ketogenic diet pages on social media and saw the ‘before and after ’pictures they always shared, I immediately got on the wagon. Anything to produce results, abi? This did not work out well for me for many reasons. 

The diet menus meant I had to cook every meal per time, and I had to cook my meals separately. So, I would wake up, feed my family and on top of everything else, cook my own tailored meal. I also had to keep hunting new food ingredients to prepare the keto variations of meals and I was literally exhausted. The very low carb meals dropped my energy levels so much that I would struggle to cope with my daily routine. 

At some point, the WhatsApp weight loss subscription to weight loss groups became popular and I did not waste any time. I had a recurrent subscription for months. My challenge with that was having to shop every week and prepare a different meal every day. 

Because of my commitments, shopping once a month works better for me. The pressure of having to post my meals every day on the group, video my workout every day and all was stressing me out. Don’t get me wrong, accountability is good but in my own case, the effect was pressure. 

If you are in that place where a support group, like an online class would be best for you, please ask questions. Find out if the shopping list for the entire duration will be released at the start of the class or in weekly batches. Find out if your favourite foods (within reason) are on the menu. 

Can you cope with eating vegetables and fruits all week or is it going to be predominantly smoothies? Don’t be afraid to ask! Any food allergies? If yes, how many times do those foods appear on the menu and are there favourable substitutes? Bottom line, don’t be afraid to ask the right questions before you pay, to avoid wasting resources (time is at the top of my own list). 

THE TRUTH ABOUT INTERMITTENT FASTING: 

This seems to be the trending topic in the weight loss and fitness space, and while it works, there are a few things I would like to share. Most of us on this journey were already doing it without realising it. When we learnt to eat dinner by 7 or 8pm max, they only forgot to use the term “IF”. 

I have tried the 16:8, 18:6 and 20:4 variations and one thing stood out. I got so hungry at night any day I had dinner before 4pm! I can fast in the morning until 1pm but that early dinner, MBA! 

What I then did was to structure the fast in such a way that I eat dinner by 6 or 7pm and then start with brunch or lunch the following day. So again, find out what works for you. That way, you are not suffering and smiling. 

GIVE YOURSELF TIME 

One thing I picked from the weight loss interview with Lisa Bevere on YouTube, among other things is to love your body. Stop obsessing about your weight. Stop weighing yourself countless times. Weight loss is easier when it comes from a place of self-love and acceptance as opposed to frustration. 

When I started my journey, I gave myself a timeline of 9 months. I just wanted to see steady progress without the pressure. When you aim to make healthy living a lifestyle, it stops being dependent on what the scales are saying. Finally, drinking water does not hurt you. Keep drinking and keep living. 

See you on my next one 

With Love 

Written by XTRALARGESHOES 

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