An article was written by
Furry Foi, Clinical Psychologist
Edited by: Dr. Ajaz Qureshi
How to motivate your own self to begin the weight loss journey.
I am writing it just because people in my surroundings often insist on me for helping them lose weight in a healthy & easy to follow way. I am sharing a few simple & tried tips for beginners :
Don’t avoid seeing yourself in the mirror. Overweight people often tend to avoid the mirror, it’s a sort of denial. You have to observe yourself critically but this is not to make you feel low or bad. No, it’s actually the first step towards your journey, you should identify & realize the fact that how the fat covering your body is destroying your beauty.
ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE
Weigh yourself & note down ur current weight.
No need to feel hopeless & helpless at all. Believe me, you can shed it off. Just make up your mind to take the first step. The first step is the hardest thing to do, once you take it, then nothing can stop you & you can reach your target with Allah’s help & your determination. Make up your mind, feed it to your mind that ” I CAN & I WILL DO IT ”. These are not just words, these are the keys to determination & motivation. Don’t feel low if someone says ” leave it, you can’t do it, it’s impossible ”. No, you have to be stubborn in this regard. You‘ll have to prove it wrong & show others that you can do it. Accept the challenge.
REALISTIC GOAL SETTING
When you have made your mind for it, then the next step is to set your target weight, set an achievable target, in fact, the wise strategy is to divide your major target in chunks. For example, your initial target should be to reduce 2 kgs & then 5 more & after reaching that target you can set a new target until you reach your desired weight. The desired weight should be calculated according to your age & height. For that, you can get help from Google where BMI charts are available.
Weigh yourself every day to keep a check on your progress
CELEBRATE YOUR MINI TARGETS
Reward yourself with something good when you hit your first target. The reward can be a new dress, shoes, movie, or any other non-edible object.
Never compare yourself with others, focus on your own body. Everyone has different metabolism so don’t get frustrated if you see others losing weight more quickly than you. Just stay focused on your own individual goals.
Learn to manage your stress effectively. Don’t take refuge in food.
LEARN TO MAKE SMART CHOICES
Learn to develop healthy eating, learn to have food in social settings sensibly. I mean you can go for BBQ & salads instead of biryani qorma-type items while attending social gatherings. Learn to make smart choices. Pick less with less caloric content. Portion control is very important too. Never go for a second serving.
Develop the habit of exercising regularly at least 5 days a week. Your workout should be for 30 minutes daily at least.( I m talking about beginners, later you may increase this time ). Any type of exercise you like can be the best as long as you can do it persistently.
WORK ON YOUR COGNITIONS
Never feel sad or deprived. You have to work on your cognitions too. Don’t feel gloomy, that you can’t enjoy your favorite foods. Instead of thinking this way you should develop a positive thinking pattern that ” I am strong, I have control over my mind & taste buds, I love myself, I want to live a healthy life, I want to look good, I‘ll never let my taste buds win over my mind ”. Remember gratification of taste buds is a temporary pleasure, just for a few seconds or minutes, but its after-effects are long-lasting. Don’t sacrifice your health for these temporary pleasures.
SUPPORT GROUPS / WEIGHT LOSS BUDDIES
Get connected with people who are also struggling with weight loss. Make a group with them, exchange your ideas, discuss the health hazards of loads of fat on the body. Motivate each other.
LEARN TO HANDLE WEAK MOMENTS
Whenever you feel, you are losing hope & about to get derailed, take a big glass of water, practice deep breathing exercises & distract yourself in some other activity.
In the end, I am going to break good news for you all . You can have ONE cheat meal every week but remember only ONE. It can be any food of your choice. This way you won’t feel deprived at all. Friends! The first few days or weeks can be tough but believe me, as you‘ll start seeing the needle of your weighing scale moving down, you‘ll feel more & more motivated to reach your target. It’s going to be a sort of fuel for weight watchers. Plus the compliments you‘ll get for ur transformation, by people in your surroundings b another compelling driving force for you. Appreciation from others is a reward too.
Remember weight loss journey requires a lot of patience, persistence & determination. Keep in your mind that ” you cannot eat the whole camel in one go ”. You should & you must know how to do it smartly, chunk by chunk. Be smart, be innovative & be patient.
Don’t wait for tomorrow or Monday to start it. Just start it now. You can do it & you will do it with Allah’s help & your strong determination. Never underestimate yourself !!!!