6 Phases of Weight Loss

Looking back on my childhood in the UK I remember being subject to comments about my weight being too big, and being fat, and I believe that has had a massive impact on how I conduct myself today. The photos themselves don’t suggest that I was during my teens, and well most children have puppy fat during primary school and that’s just natural, but at the height of the taunting I would call it I was very lean. This was due to playing Rugby two or three times a week.

Even during college I was still very lean in comparison to my current body composition, which I would assess as obese and I don’t think it really hit me until I started consuming alcohol regularly and working in my first pub job. There was a period there where I over-ate consistently, as a kind of badge of honour, I guess brought on by the psychology of the aggressive taunting about my weight during secondary school.

Before leaving to go to University I identified in January 2007 that I wanted to lose weight and had set my target at 13 odd stone because of a 185lb weight limit for specific mixed martial arts competitions that I wanted to pursue. So I was working between 16-30 hours a week where I was always on my feet walking and travelling by foot to and from work (for the most part) before my bike was stolen I did cycle to work because of how long it took to walk in colder and wetter conditions.

I was exercising additionally two or three times a week (at peak) both in Stafford and in Birmingham at Gracie Barra Birmingham as I intended to lose the weight. And lose the weight I did: I dropped from around 17 stone (age 22) down to high end of 13 when I enrolled at Newman. However through my own actions and interests I lost touch with myself and developed a despicable attitude where I thought it was ok to continue to load my body with crap because I was training regularly enough. That’s true to an extent.

In my first year of Uni I trained two or three times a week both in Jiu-Jitsu and in Rugby. Then I got myself elected which is where the problems began. I created a life-style for myself where convenience was king and that I wanted to do everything in the quickest easiest way to create additional time for myself to focus on my elected role and further aspirations. In the end it was a double-edged sword because for every bit of passion I put into the role I gained at least 2lbs of weight.

Every time I brought success to the table I was also bringing a diet of disaster with bad habits that subsequently knocked onto my health, lifestyle and relationships. Three years on I believe that I am now in a good position to analyse and comment on the process that got me there the first time round in an attempt to make the steps understandable a second time round as I look to lose an additional six stones that symbolises my unhealthy commitment to an organisation that does not have the skill or experience to succeed, my ignorance of who I was and what meant most to me and most of all the end of days where I can be forgiven for eating badly without regular exercise.

Stage One: Rock Bottom

You have to really want to commit to the weight loss. It’s no good if you continue to placate yourself by agreeing that things will get better on your own. You have to be the change you want to see. Along with the mixed martial arts I was also severely conscious of my body image in relation to forming close and personal bonds with people, especially women, and it hurt me to think that if I carried on the same way that I would never experience the intimacy and connection that I desired at that time. Couple those drivers together and you get a pretty powerful reason to lose weight and it helps you in stage two.

Stage Two: Change

You have agreed with yourself that you want to lose weight. Now it’s about doing it. You have to commit to changing the influences in your life that contribute to you gaining or maintaining an unhealthy weight. For some this could be about kicking the chocolate out of their diet or intentionally losing their free pass to McDonalds. Whichever – this is where you vision what you want and how to do it, so that you can achieve it. I failed the first couple of times I tried this because I couldn’t cut out the crap out of my diet because of how much money I was earning, but learning what to pick out and being able to afford it made it so much better for me because I was then able to afford to eat properly and train.

Stage Three: Craving

It’s great that you’ve made the start but now comes the bitch. Everything you want, you can’t have. Everything you see everyone else eating you can’t have. It’s the most difficult part of my diet because you see people with everyday items like Coke or Chocolate and you have to be strong. Willpower is a part of this but it also takes having supportive people around you not flaunting stuff in your face. I used to go shopping with my house-mates and if they wanted special stuff I knew I couldn’t have I used to just meet them somewhere else after they had got their stuff. That way I was actively staving off temptation. If you have someone around you that doesn’t care about your goals then it’s likely you’re going to struggle a lot!

Stage Four: Acceptance

This stage usually comes a month or so into the diet where your cravings have subsided and you are in the rhythm of your diet / nutrition plan or whatever you want to call it. This is where you get along with it and nothing can stop you.

Stage Five: Performance

You start noticing the weight fall off and you keep going. This is when I introduced stuff that was bad for me, in very small doses, like one pint of beer every so often or a pizza or some ice-cream in my ‘treat days’ that I would do once every seven days. However I dieted for like 2 or 3 months before I got to this stage.

Stage Six: Target

Everything else has just fallen away and you’ve reached your target goal! Well done. Now you can, as long as you exercise, increase the treats you have in your diet more regularly but I wouldn’t do it so that you’re back to a normal eating day before you started your diet. That’s what I did and I put back on the weight I lost and the same again because of my last year at Uni and an unfortunate depressed state I was in for the last 6-8 months of my degree.

Sample Diet:

Breakfast cereal with milk

Fruit as a snack

Lean meat with salad, or potatoes, or pasta and sauce

Fruit as a snack

Lean meat with salad, or potatoes, or pasta and sauce

Drink plenty of water! 3 litres a day at least …

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