If I’ve Learnt Anything About Weight Loss
I’ve lost 8 kilos since the start of the year. It’s not something I did with a clear goal, it’s more of a consequence of some “lifestyle” (boy I’m starting to hate that word) changes. To be honest, I’ve always struggled with my weight, well, since I became an adult I’ve struggled with my weight. […]
I’ve lost 8 kilos since the start of the year. It’s not something I did with a clear goal, it’s more of a consequence of some “lifestyle” (boy I’m starting to hate that word) changes.
To be honest, I’ve always struggled with my weight, well, since I became an adult I’ve struggled with my weight. As a teenager I was very active in sports at a pretty serious level. But, illness and injury right at the end of my teens meant I packed on weight. In my mid twenties I got fit enough again to play football, but then the weight crept, then hurdled on in my late twenties. I moved to London and the change was brilliant, my weight shot down to ideal for my height/build/age and I celebrated my 30th in good condition. In the first year in India I was unhappy and inactive, but my weight started to go down fast once I took up golf and became adjusted to life in Delhi. The last months of my time in India, the weight crept back on again because of injury and the stresses (and temptations) of Hong Kong meant it kept going up.
That biography teaches me two important things – first that my eight fluctuates in relation to exercise. Second, that it fluctuates in relation to happiness. I say happiness, rather than stress or busyness, because this year, for example, I’ve been quite stressed and busy. My life is also much less cluttered now, which is another interesting factor as I look back on the last years.
I write all this because it seems important (and maybe obvious) to me to connect weight, health and feelings about life. The patterns may be different for all of us on this issue, but for me there are clear patterns. Unhappy and inactive, weight goes up, happy and active, weight goes down. It’s not genetics, it’s not voodoo, it’s right there if I’m courageous enough to admit it.
Beyond that there is also a question of food and here I must be blunt. Without portion control, healthy choices and a willingness to feel hungry from time to time, the weight never comes off. I’ve written already about Michael Pollan’s test – only buy the things your great grandparents would have recognised as food. Well, this year it has worked for me. I was reminded of this looking at yesterday’s shopping basket – fruits, vegetables, raw meats, ham, milk, cheese, butter, bread. Enough for four meals.
I’m not casting stones or claiming to be some health guru. For me, weight is a struggle. But, if I’ve learnt anything about weight loss it is all rather simple and homespun, nothing to do with diets or fads. Eat well, eat less, exercise, don’t fear hunger, watch your emotional well-being, clean up the clutter.