2 years ago today, Maggie and I changed the way we ate forever.
No one intends to become considerably overweight, Sumo wrestlers aside, it just creeps up. You don't become obese overnight, but through years of eating too much of the wrong foods.
There are many reasons why a person will eat more than their body requires, and “greed” is an easy catch-all term that doesn’t in fact tell you anything. We are bombarded with hard-sell, high pressure advertising to consume foods that our body has evolved to crave – those high in fat, sugar and salt. We are taught from a young age to clear our plate, regardless of whether we are full up. We can suffer from food addictions without knowing it. Throughout our lives we associate sweet and fattening foods with times of celebration, so turn to them for comfort in times of pain and distress. We get into habits of consuming the wrong kinds of food at the wrong times of the day. And some of us even have chemical delays in the stomach letting the brain know it has eaten enough.
Many people become overweight and some become very overweight. And for those who become very overweight there can be several of the above reasons at play, so it is not as straightforward as saying “well just don’t eat as much then.”
Diets don’t work. Diets can never work because they are temporary and do not address WHY the person was overeating. Consequently, as soon as the diet stops, they go back to the same eating habits that caused the weight to go on in the first place, which is why between 95% and 98% of people who go on a diet end up putting all the weight back on within 2 years.
2 years ago, Maggie and I reached a point where we truly realised that our health was suffering, and that if we didn’t do something about it, our long-term future was in jeopardy. We decided that we wanted to be healthier.
On February 15th 2005 we began to eat healthily. This meant eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, cutting out as much processed food as possible, eating brown and wholemeal instead of white, and replacing snacks of sweets and crisps with fruit.
The primary aim was to be healthier; the side effect of this was weight loss.
And although there have been hiccups along the way, the overall effect has been dramatic. My starting weight was 19 stone 9lbs (275lbs) and in the 2 years since we started I have lost over 96lbs (almost 7 stone). And while a gentleman will never divulge his wife's weight, suffice it to say she has made a similar journey.
I am still overweight by about 25lbs according to the height-weight charts, but it doesn’t worry me that much now. I will continue to eat healthily and my body will eventually settle at whatever weight it will.
For those who are interested, you can track my progress from about week 35 through to week 104 on my other blog, Losing a Hundredweight, but I thought I would mark this 2nd anniversary with a few pictures.
The first was taken in January ’05, the second in June ’05 and the third was taken last September.