Some people realize that one diet does NOT fit all, some people realise that whats right for the goose, may not be right for the gander… me on the other hand, spent most of my adult life believing, truly believing, if a diet worked for X person, then it will for sure work for me. 30kgs later, I realised one diet fits all was a load of bullsh*t.
Yes, it was a light bulb moment, though, maybe not as sudden as flicking a switch, more like a slow-burning ember that gets a gust of wind and lights up EVENTUALLY, I am slow like that. Sadly, even though I fully realize that I AM an individual with individual body requirements, somehow the idea that one diet DOES NOT fit all did not dawn on me until I walked that path and paid dearly for it.
My journey started at over 90kgs the first time I took on RIDDING my body of FAT, it was a wholesome eating plan which got me on the right track and I lost 30kgs over a year, as I reached my goal I fell pregnant with my first child, 2 pregnancies later I was tipping the 90kg zone again. Slowly the weight crept up to 106kg. At this point, I decided that feeling like a wounded buffalo was not for me. I started following the same food protocol which I had successfully used before and started exercising 6 times a week. My weight did not budge and I resided to being FAT AND FURIOUS for life. I had OFFICIALLY given up.
A friend introduced me to a shake diet and I decided to give it a shot, I was desperate and had never thought my weight was an issue until someone I had not seen in a while saw me, their jaw dropped non politely to the floor, truly, I heard the echo as it hit the floor, and in an instant if the earth could politely have swallowed me up I would have gone without putting up a fight! I started the shake diet with MASSIVE SUCCESS. At age 39 I gained my body back, moving to a wonderful 65kgs over a 6 month period. I never felt more like a lithe cheetah, 40kgs lighter, happier and more confident than a second hand car salesman.
Then, LIFE HAPPENED, AGAIN – she does that…. This was an interesting journey, but one in which sadly I spent 5 years questioning my worth, value, ability and leadership skills. Life literally sucked it all out of me and I ate my way out of the hole I found myself in. In that time, I moved home, got divorced, gave up my Art Degree, lost both my parents in a matter of 9 months, lost the work I loved and thrived in for 7 years and beat cancer. It was a shocker and I carefully reminded myself of the mirror I broke a couple of years prior which may have caused the quagmire of bad luck, though some would say that I had thought it into manifestation, so made it my REALITY [a different subject and sadly I tend to agree for parts of it]. Regardless, this time brought me back to packing on 40kgs plus to my small frame.
Long story I know, but at around this point that burning ember sparked, I decided to make friends with food, [for the fatties like me out there, we AIN’T friends with food – do not try kid yourself]. I decided to do the Hormone diet, the Metabolic diet, the HFLC (High Fat Low Carb) diet, Keto diet plan, the Cinderella diet, the 14-day diet, the Blood type diet, etc, etc… I was determined to become friends with food, I ONLY got fatter. Now some would argue and state that I did it WRONG. Sorry to disappoint folks, I have actively worked in the health and wellness industry since 2011, coached people to rid their bodies of over 8000kgs of FAT in that time, I understood what it means to stick like a postage stamp! Now spending time for 5 years questioning ALL I AM, then failing hopelessly with my supposed BFF food… did NOT HELP. I had not found the answer in that relationship-building process. In fact, that BFF food, lied, undercut, cheated and abused me and hampered every possible means of progress.
Some people, you know who you are, have had massive success in weight removal in the programs above, some have even said to me you just need to do X, Y, and Z and just like that weight will melt off you based on above programs… YOU JUST NOT DOING IT RIGHT… ARRRRGHHHHHH – KILL ME NOW. At a point, I decided that exercise will be my only saving grace, my NEW BFF, bugger food, even though I have always believed you can NEVER outrun your fork. The minute this buffalo decided to start walking the proverbial sh*t hit the fan. Knees started swelling, ankles ached, and shin splints set in. “Let us exercize” they said, “it will be fun” they said… not for this buffalo!
Back to the drawing table, I went, these diets worked for EVERYONE, after all, one diet fits all!?? The more fat I ate, the fatter I got, the more variety my diet got the more my joints ached. Then I checked my blood type, I am a keen supporter of Peter D’Adamo of course, and my blood type told me to steer clear of Avo, Banana, Butter and chicken [which when you eat salads, chicken is a firm favorite in most food-based diets…] – all of these foods were top of my list when I followed the listed regulated diets above, excepting banana, when I effentually took a look at the blood type dieting guidelines, I realized, – WHAT WAS I THINKING!!? Besides the fact that with my blood type I basically had to survive on tofu and lettuce.
Needless to say, I felt like a total failure. Self-esteem shattered. Confidence equivalent to a teenagers first kiss. Broken. Now the embers spark was well lit. The light bulb moment.
I started my investigation and realized that both the diets I had resounding success in was 50% Carbohydrate- GOOD ONES ONLY [Check out my course on Coach : no diet in which I explain the constant companions], 30% Protein and 20% GOOD fats and fiber. Both the diets required eating breakfast [intermittent fasting, I forgot to add that to the list above, but this one goes out the window if I look at my success dieting history]. Both required a large quantity of water a day. What I realized, not being a lover of cooking and baking, preparing and weighing [sorry Mom, I am no good at it and love foods starting with ‘RESERVATIONS‘ of a table for you Madam?], that the choice of my shake diet was the best way to go. The interesting thing about this diet is I helped all sorts reach success with it. Possibly the reason being that it IS BALANCED nutrition, 3 to 4 meals a day, with the correct fiber and water balance for your body. It was also not only shakes but food so it covered the best of both worlds.
Sadly I needed to go through the wringer to get back to it. I had to walk journeys highly recommended by all as “This diet will work for you, it works for everyone after all!!” Then failing, feeling that failure, QUESTIONING MY GENE POOL [Possibly alien, the verdict is still out according to my children] and fattening up in the process. I am one of the lucky few in my opinion that found the RIGHT RECIPE for me. Some never find it and do literally GIVE UP and GET FATTER. Fat not being the problem of course, the health challenges as a result of fat, now therein lies the TRUE problem. The second TRUE problem is our perception that one diet fits all. Herein lies the failed attempts, the yo-yo dieting, the health compromise, the breeding of low self-esteem.
Hear he, hear he, hear he… take note of the punters, the converts, and the believers and the naysayers, listen only to your heart when making your choice to go fat to fab, [and listen to your gut as well, it will let you know in possibly unflattering ways] YOU will know what is working if you gaining fat be weary. Look closely at your regulated dieting history – it tells a story. Look closely at responsive emotions over your lifetime, some may have a direct impact on your gaining and losing of fat. Draw a timeline and look, more stress, less stress, more sleep, less sleep, more exercise, less exercise, YOU GET THE PICTURE. Then, like a puzzle piece, put it all together and chances are you will be able to identify what regulated diet would be the right course of action for YOU, not your sister, brother, mother or bestest friend, but rather for you. ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL! Bugger the latest science, use it as a guide but tomorrow they MAY tell you how grass-fed cattle are killing you too…
How do you know what is the right diet for you, simple, IT WORKS, YOU WILL MOVE FAT OFF YOUR BODY... Whether you drop size, centimeters or kilograms – SOMETHING WILL MOVE!
Take a special page out of my flabby book, it is NOT about the diet, it is NOT about the diet being to blame, it is our closer inspection AND introspection of WHAT WORKS FOR US that leads to a regulated diet success!
If there was a slight chance that I could keep my body ticking on lack of sleep, maybe one hours sleep an evening, I would take it… but what and who would suffer in my life?
Spending years coaching people in better health and trimmer waistlines led me to understand just HOW important sleep glorious sleep is! Lack of sleep is a health risk to be taken seriously – if you said that to me at University, I would have laughed! Some people function optimally with as little as 5 hours of sleep and some swear they need at least 9 hours to be coherent at a days work. Like our fingerprint, each person has their magic time frame of optimal sleep, but sleep we must, and preferably enough.
There are some interesting and quirky reasons for good sleep and one which tickled me pink due to my overactive imagination was; when else could the brain elves do their e-filing, sifting and sorting, deleting, processing, archiving while simultaneously making dream suggestions to avoid being micromanaged by your consciousness? Can you imagine if besides EVERYTHING ELSE we do daily, we still had to micromanage this administrative nightmare!??
Let us take a look at the BIG 5 reasons (based on the fact that this is a health blog, and I believe that sleep is as important as the amount of water we drink every day, it will be a subjective top 5) WHY sleep is a MUST DO on our list of living and how lack of sleep just ain’t cool.
THE BIG 5
DUMB AND DUMBER
Yup, you heard right, as I was pulling through nights at University to gain intelligence, little did I realize I was significantly affecting my cognitive processes, my ability to be attentive, alert, concentrate, reason, and problem-solve. Little did I know, I just needed to sleep more! There is a reason for EVERYTHING in our body, including sleep cycles, one of those reasons is the consolidation of memory and without sleep, memories disappear… now, this may not be important at Uni but when we start reaching 60 or 70 years of age, and the word Alzheimer’s keeps popping up in conversation with your children, then you may start realizing the importance of memory consolidation – and sleep.
YOUR CELLS AIN’T HEALING BUDDY
Let’s take on the obvious. EVERYONE knows that not enough sleep is linked to chronic diseases, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, high blood pressure, and the list goes on and on. Simply put, sleep better, feel better. If you are not sleeping properly, your body is not resting and recouping. We do not shut down when we go to beddy byes… In actual fact, we WAKE UP. At this point your body has to clean up the mess of the day, fix and repair, meet-up, digest what’s still to be digested, consolidate memory, report back, medicate, get in the pest remover, breath, boost immunity, grind your teeth, keep your heart going AAAAANNNNDDD make some dream suggestions. I could go on, but you may have got the point. It takes a lot physically to keep you on the straight and narrow, to keep you together. And if this does not happen… CHRONIC DISEASE becomes an added checklist item for your bodies troops to keep tabs on. Besides the quality nutrition we put down the pie hole, sleep allows cells and systems of the body to get back on track and repair – you cannot always blame the boss!
YOUR SKIN GOES TO POT
Lack of sleep has an impact on your hormones. And this has what to do with your skin? Well, limited sleep = body under greater stress and therefore = cortisol, our stress hormone is released in a copious amount which then = a break down of your skin collagen – yup, the protein that they are trying to mass sell to all who are willing to buy it, to improve skin texture and elasticity. JUST GO TO SLEEP! IT IS HEALTHIER & CHEAPER. It is after all, as shared in point 2 above the only time your body has time to do tissue repair! The dark circles under your eyes are not just from the physical LACK OF SLEEP but also from the LACK OF REPAIR.
LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX BABY!
Sadly so. Now let’s blame the boss, with your increased stress levels you arrive home, having had little to no sleep based on a deadline that needed meeting the previous day, frolicking with your partner is possibly the last thing on your mind. At that point, you have zero energy and increased tension, both of which do not count in your partners’ favor. As mentioned earlier in this blog, lack of sleep has its impact on your hormones, studies suggest that testosterone is one hormone that IS impacted by too little sleep. I find that generally speaking too little sleep is also stress-induced so between low testosterone and stress being high, a romantic evening with benefits will not be on the cards.
WE GET FAT! and WITH THAT SAD…
The last and possibly the MOST IMPORTANT one of the big 5 if you have a desire to live a long, happy, healthy and vibrant life. Lack of sleep in my experience has a massive impact on weight. (And weight has a massive impact on sadness too).
When someone mentions that they are using sleeping tablets, (please don’t, there are other ways which in which you can get your beauty sleep without numbing your energy) the first thing I do is check their waistline as surely the ONE AND ONLY reason for poisoning their vibe MUST BE to reduce their waistline, possibly they have tried every diet on the market and this is the last resort…
Studies have been done to reflect the fact that lack of sleep and resultant obesity are friends. Not enough sleep, (more time to eat – just saying) leads to an increase in hunger – more likely HANGER – why hanger, well firstly, there is this little peptide called ghrelin, (sounds like gremlin right!!?) that demands food from you like a teenage son. The minute you don’t sleep enough, ghrelin comes knocking. Get enough sleep and the peptides leptin hang around, which is in your favor, this little one signals satiety to your brain – what a beaut if you are into reducing your waistline. The second reason for Hanger… no sleep = you have more chance of craving and demanding the super-sized, bad fat, bad sugar, generally widely accepted (and ordered) bad food at bad fast food joint, than the cup of warm milk your mom always offered you.
There is sound science to back how lack of sleep impairs how our very own fat cells interact with insulin… problems in this department lead to metabolic disorders, weight gain, and diabetes just 2 of them.
Get on to the ‘Sleep-Diet’, it works! I can say, there are scores of times I would sit with a client, who thinks sleep is irrelevant in comparison to exercise and nutrition… TRUST ME… it ranks right up there (with oxygen and water) as RELEVANT in fat loss!
Sit quietly and assess when last you had a good nights sleep. One where you felt like a warrior when you woke up. Chances are, that was a long time ago. Then assess what health concerns you have, maybe you are on chronic medication, possibly you are short-tempered, or on the depressive side of life, or maybe it is just the early sign of wrinkles that has your earth tilting off its axis at the moment. No matter what you are facing, start with the basics and get that right FIRST. Get a good nights sleep tonight, and every night after that to live a vibrant life that I am sure you deserve.
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