Part 2: Why am I putting on weight?

March 4, 2010 § 1 Comment

Let me start by saying that I absolutely do not think you have to be preoccupied with weight and weight loss, and I feel a little strange even going down this path – but I also know that it can make a big difference to your life being happy and content with your physical appearance, and sometimes feeling like your outer body reflects your inner health can boost your self-esteem immeasurably.

I try to remember: ‘become healthy to lose weight’ rather than ‘lose weight to become healthy’.

So what’s the underlying cause of excess weight gain? Unfortunately, it is different for everybody – but here are a few things to think about.

How’s your thyroid? Many many weight problems (especially in women) can be due to an under-active thyroid, making it nearly impossible to shift weight no matter how hard you try. Perhaps this is something to consider if you feel like you’re at your wits end; order a blood test.

Got the hormonal crazies? Hormones play such a huge role in regulating the body and it’s systems, and can inform whether your body will store fat, or burn it, and where it will end up. I believe you can help get your hormones in check just by doing things like reducing stress in your life, getting enough sleep, eating well (and foods that are going to stimulate the metabolism and not wreck havoc with your hormones). As always, seek help from your GP if you think this could be a problem for you.

Binge eating and guilt. This was a big big big one for me. Compulsively eating out of boredom late at night would leave me feeling completely ashamed in the morning, and vowing to either eat less to make up for it, or give in entirely and roll on with the cravings. I just felt so out of control with food – and any positive change I did make would not be sustainable, because it was based on guilt and negative self-image.

You know, I still struggle with the binge eating and even though i’m in a better place than ever with my diet and i’m eating healthy foods for the right reasons, every few weeks I just get the munchies and I see a little of that obsessive, eating-for-the-sake-of-it monster reappear. You know how I deal with it now? First of all, there are so many delicious health foods that you can ‘binge’ on, and sure, it’s all calories, but at least it’s healthy! Secondly, I don’t beat myself up or make stupid promises to ‘fast’ the next day to win back calories. I feel like sometimes my body needs to eat more…you have to throw your metabolism some curly ones sometimes, to keep it on it’s toes. I also recognise that I have a bit of a compulsive streak in my personality. Nobody’s perfect and the mentality that ‘i’ve ruined everything with one night of terrible eating’ is more destructive than the food you physically consumed.

I wrote an earlier post about breaking habits, and this is one I continue to struggle with, but it ultimately becomes a little weaker everyday.

‘Health food’ does not equal ‘puffed air’. Ie. you cannot eat as much healthy shit as you want, just because it’s healthy. If you have problems with weight, then you still need to eat within reason. I always go for 3 meals a day that will leave you satisfied and some small snacks in between. Unfortunately if you are trying to lose weight, there are times when you have to say ‘no’ even though you may be able to fit more in. Sorry folks, that’s just the way the cookie…goes straight to your thighs.

Are you drinking soy? I’ve already given soy a hammering in this blog, but seriously, if you have been drinking soy milk as a ‘healthy’ alternative, yet have noticed simultaneous weight gain, maybe you should check out your other non-dairy options.

Precious sleep/r & r. You need enough sleep each night (7 or 8 hours) so that your body can repair itself, heal, and do all that boring bodily admin it can’t do during the day when you’re running around like a mad thing. Regular, consistent sleep nourishes your body and facilitates weight loss mechanisms. I go by the ‘nanna’ philosophy…early to bed, early to rise. It’s also important not to stressssss because, as i’ve mentioned, stress can produce a hormone that causes your body to gain weight amongst other nasty things.

Ok well, that’s all I can think of right now, however this info is underscored by the fact that we are all awesome just as we are but if you’re empowered by the pursuit of changing your appearance/health, then by all means go for it too! Installment 3 on it’s way!

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