- 1). Step 0 is to accept the fact that you may not be able to tackle these steps on your own. You may need the assistance of some sort of support group, whether formally, or with a few close friends. You may also need to seek some sort of professional therapy or counseling. This article brings up some very difficult issues that must be faced and overcome.
- 2). First you must be aware of and willing to accept your current weight for what it is. You don't have to beat yourself up over it, but you have to get out of the mindset of saying things like, "I'm just big boned," or "I've been retaining water lately," or "Being fat is all I've ever known." You must start from the standpoint that you're at your current weight, and you will work towards losing some of it.
- 3). You must fully believe the fact that you are capable of losing weight, although the attempts you have made so far have not been successful, at least not permanently so. You must get passed all of your notions that you are genetically programmed to be heavy. It is simply not true. Certainly losing your last 20 pounds may be extremely challenging, if not seemingly impossible, but that is not the point. The point is that you definitely can move in the direction of losing weight, and keeping off the weight that you are losing.
While it is true that some people have naturally faster or slower metabolisms, there are things that you can do to speed yours up, namely exercise, and in any case, it may just be that losing weight will be harder for you than someone else. However, that is no different than saying that doing math or playing the piano is harder for some people than for others.
Absolutely no one is genetically programmed to be heavy (again, I'm not talking about the last 20 pounds), unless you have a very specific medical condition which only effects a small percentage of people. Almost everyone is overweight simply because they eat too much and exercise too little, but obviously if you have a special medical condition you should do precisely as your doctor instructs.
- 4). You will need to fully come to terms with any and all anger issues that stem from your history of childhood overweightness. As you struggle with losing weight it is extremely easy to become angry that you ever got to your weight in the first place. It is easy to feel anger toward your family for not doing more to intervene while you were young, or perhaps for not being good role models, or perhaps for even encouraging your overweightness whether consciously, subconsciously, or completely unintentionally.
Many painful memories may come to the surface, perhaps of not being able to participate in sports like your peers did, or being teased for your weight, and so forth. You need to begin your weight loss efforts from the standpoint of acceptance and forgiveness so that you can put all of your mental efforts into focusing on your weight loss plan.
- 5). You must brace yourself for the fact that your family, especially if overweight themselves, may actually not be as supportive of your losing weight as you'd like them to be. If unhealthy binge eating is a big part of what you typically do with your family, then objectively speaking you will not be all that much fun to be around while you are watching what you eat.
Your family may give you all sorts of flawed advice and ideas such as, "Oh, just eat and enjoy! All the women on our side of the family have always been big," or "I read in a magazine that if you eat a lemon after you finish your meal, it will burn all of the calories that you just ate," or "I heard that if you walk around the block after you eat, all the food just comes right of you, and it's like you ate nothing at all," and so forth. Much of this advice may be exactly the same that they gave you since childhood, which is probably part of how you became and remained overweight. You must accept that this was almost certainly not done maliciously, but done out of ignorance.
Your family will also likely ask you to share all of the details of the diet and exercise program that you are doing, and will go on and on about what works and what doesn't work, etc. Once you have established your eating and exercise plan you will simply have to be strong and stick with it regardless of what everyone around you says.
- 6). You must realize that although overweightness boils down to calories eaten versus calories burned, in your case what is much more important is changing your eating and exercise patterns. You will simply have to break the mold that you have been in since childhood. That is extremely difficult, and it's something that you'll do very gradually. You'll just have to push yourself in that direction. You'll have to get right back on track when you get off it. Once you change your patterns and your mindset with regard to food and exercise, you'll see that the weight will simply start coming off on its own. You will automatically know what to do. You will become increasingly aware of your body, and how to be healthy with it.
- 7). It is important to understand that if your family was always overweight just like you were, at some level there may be some feelings of jealousy as they see you start to lose weight. That can be a natural human subconscious reaction. It doesn't mean that your family doesn't love you, or wants to consciously sabotage you, or anything like that. It's just that you'll be accomplishing something that they have always had trouble with themselves. Just make sure that you don't get derailed by any statements that may be made by your family on the matter.
- 8). The good thing that comes out of having been overweight in the past is that you've already figured out what doesn't work. Supposedly when Thomas Edison was asked how he felt about failing 1000 times when inventing the light bulb, he replied that he successfully discovered 1000 ways to not make a light bulb. Try to apply that positive way of thinking to your situation. Start thinking in terms of what will work for you in your weight loss efforts, realizing that there is no reason to repeat any of the things that didn't work.
- 9). You'll need to stop playing the role of the stereotypical fat person. Don't use screen names of "fatchick123" or "hotbbw69" or things like that. Don't make self-deprecating fat jokes. Don't think about the things that you could never physically do, and can't do right now. You're working toward being able to do those things. Don't see yourself as a fat person, or even a person with a history of being heavy. Just see yourself as a person who is making an effort to lose weight.
See the Resources below for other articles of mine on this subject that may be helpful from a logistical standpoint. Constantly remind yourself that you can do it. You can lose weight and be healthy. If I can do it, so can you. ?
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