Want to lose weight and not gain it back? Read this!
My second semester at uni started two weeks ago. Now, not only do I have to plan a study timetable, I also have to fit in a comprehensive training schedule to prepare for two major Taekwon-Do competitions in September. (It’s only a month away so I’m freaking out!)
On top of that, I found out I broke my middle knuckle joint from training nearly two months ago! At the time, I just thought it was sore and would take care of itself in time but when it was still painful after a few weeks, I went to a hand therapist. They put my hand in a finger extension splint and told me not to bend my middle finger. Trying to let my injured hand rest while also training hard for my competitions is going to be challenging! But that’s life in a nutshell - no journey worth taking is going to be easy. The path leading to our dreams is full of thorns, but if we can persevere, the process will be rewarding and more meaningful that we can imagine.
My broken finger in a splint. (Source: me)
In my last post, I mentioned my goal of losing 7.5 kg before my Taekwon-Do competitions. So far, my weight loss progress has been steady and I can already see how it’s benefiting my training and fitness. I still look like a potato but already I’m feeling stronger and more energetic. I even noticed that I don’t get as tired during my days off from training.
On a happier note, even though I’ve only completed one semester in Occupational Therapy, my uni studies are already contributing to my work as a personal trainer. Using what I’ve learned so far, I’ve been able to design customised training programs for my clients, whether they are aiming to lose weight, training for a specific sport or just looking to increase their body strength.
Recently, I came to an interesting revelation about weight loss because of my studies and the advice of a nutritionist. It’s an easy enough conclusion to reach that I can’t believe it didn’t occur to me before. What was my revelation? It was simply this: I can’t skip meals for the sake of losing weight. Why not? Food contains calories, don’t they? If I skip a meal, I’m eating fewer calories. Therefore, I will lose weight, right? Yes and no.
We live in a society that values appearances and rewards slimness. Look at those skinny, toned Instagram models who get paid to look great in new clothes. It’s natural to envy them and want to look like that but don't be duped by these posts that reflect very little of real life. Social media has been criticised for its detrimental effects on our body image and mental health.
I know a guy who gains and sheds weight almost as quickly as you could squeeze a sponge dry, but his weight loss is drastic and is caused by stress and lack of food and sleep. He has been doing this for years and it has taken a toll on his body. In his late twenties, he already has high blood pressure and kidney issues. He is always lethargic and has aches and pains all over his body.
Crash dieting causes an unbelievable amount of harm and places a lot of stress on our bodies. Both skipping meals and crash dieting result in fewer nutrients entering our bodies, compromising our immune systems. We may lose weight in the short run but in the long run, we fall sick more easily. And once we stop crash dieting or skipping meals, we gain the weight straight back. Would you rather be sick constantly and have your weight fluctuate or be out and about doing all the things you love? I know what I would choose. Ask me a million times and I would choose health every time. With my health, I can achieve sustainable weight loss through exercise and a balanced diet.
Remember: when in doubt, consult a professional who can provide educated advice. It will avoid a lot of future problems.
Be a smart doggy, not a silly potato like me. (Source: Mark Hodgson Photos)