When I got back from New Zealand last year... I was uncomfortable with myself. In particular - I felt chubby. Kind of in-denial chubby. In a my jean size had gone up several sizes and I was wearing maxi dresses as standard kind of chubby. In my head, it wasn't **that** bad. I was still loved, I still did all the things I wanted to do and my weight didn't get in the way of anything. Except... I hated being in photos. I was uncomfortable with how heavy my body felt. How my thighs touched when I walked. I worried about how my arms looked in t-shirts and how I was unconsciously holding my tummy in all the time.
I think that's pretty standard thinking, when you're uncomfortable with yourself. We pick ourselves apart and are our own worst critics. I hid behind that for a while - I was just picking myself apart and really I was fine, and just needed to get on with it. Life was for living! I wanted to drink all the wine and eat all the things (burritos and cake and cheese) and just have a great time, devil may care. I was all about the freedom of convenience - eating crap food and doing just enough exercise to make myself feel good without actually doing a workout.
That was right up until I got back and I couldn't fit into my favourite pair of 'fat' jeans. Uhm. Awkward.
Here is what I looked like, at that time.
No so bad, right? That was the worst bit, it wasn't how I looked but I how felt. I got on a scale then and was disappointed. I tried running. I tried 1200 calories a day (and that sucked). I was struggling with the best way to lose the extra chub I'd gained and was disheartened. I was looking at it from a purely weight point of view, and it was a terrible struggle.
Around that time, I'd read about a book - The Four Hour Body, by Tim Ferris. Essentially, it was a diet I could do to lose weight while never really feeling hungry and not doing any exercise. Uhm, what?
Fun side note - this post isn't sponsored, there are no affiliate links. This is purely because it helped me.
The Four Hour Body has five easy rules:
1. Don't eat white carbs. Meat + vege are the way. 2. No sugar (including fruit) and no dairy. 3. Don't drink the calories. Drink water. 5. Eat the same meals over and over. 5. Every seventh day - have a cheat day.
Pretty simple. It was overwhelming at first, but as you go through the book it explains the science behind each rule and the best ways to mitigate any difficulties.
I lost 2kg in the first week and steadily lost weight all the way through to now. It's pretty obvious too, in my face, in my body. I cycled back through all the jeans I'd outgrown (which I LOVED - being able to wear my old favourite clothes again felt magical) and generally just felt better about myself.
Now, here's the thing: I got into it because I was approaching this from a 'my weight is the problem' point of view. My weight wasn't the problem though. I didn't realise it at the time but the Four Hour Body forced me to understand how much shit I was putting into my body - how much crap and sugar and unnecessary processed yuck I was eating.
I learnt to eat clean, I learnt to like water. I was eating bucket loads of vegetables and switched to organic food. My skin cleared up, my energy levelled out throughout the day and I was sleeping better. There was loads I was learning about cooking and what food does to you. You really are what you eat, and I had no idea.
Here's me now:
Still, that's not say it was easy - even with a cheat day it was difficult. Eating out became tricky, dinner parties and generally any socialising that was done around food or drinking. But the outcome was worth it, I'd say.
Now, I'm not trying to get down on anyone. If you're comfortable with yourself - high five! That's the aim here, right? Love yourself, love your body. I just wanted to share that 4 Hour Body worked really well for me, and helped me get back into the mindset of what was healthy and what wasn't.
Have any of you tried to 4 Hour Body? Got any tips for me?