Lose Weight; Own Your Body

How I lost 2 stone in 2 months…got it off, kept it off

My work was punishing, lots of international travel, always eating out, and no time for self-care.  The work was fun.  But the life was unsustainable.  Feeling blah, losing tone and energy, something had to change.  I hated looking at my naked body in the mirror.  I was getting pudgy and my skin looked grey.  I was not well.

I wanted one thing: to feel good in my body.  Easy right?  Yeah.  Said by an AFAB who wants a woman’s body. A fit woman’s body.

That means tone without bulk, lot’s of flexibility, not a single extra pound, and taut, plump skin.  Too much to ask?  Yes.  

This is an existential need for me. No body happiness equals big-time mental problems.

To fit into clothes not designed with a male physique in mind, and to feel comfortable in them, is a huge part of my self-identity–and one that I was losing control of. I needed to do something or I risked losing control of my life.

The steps I took were alarmingly simple.  And they worked.  30 pounds in two months, kept off, stayed off.  

What I ate

An awful lot of fruit and vegetables.  At one meal a day, usually lunch, I ate whatever I wanted because I wanted it.  That said, no desserts, no sugars added to anything, pretty much no dairy except occasional plain yoghurt.  For the main meal, I almost always started with a light soup, broth based.

I ate virtually no processed food, either eating in quality restaurants or cooking at home.

I allowed myself one alcoholic drink per day only.  Sometimes a beer, but more likely a shot of rum with a squeeze of lime juice.

When I ate—the meals

Breakfast was a fruit-only meal.  This and a cup of black tea.  Daily, first thing.

After that, I would allow myself one meal each day, either a late lunch or an early dinner.  If it was going to be dinner, I consciously ate less and tried not to make it late.

How you eat

I drank a large glass of tepid water before every meal, at least 30 minutes prior.  I also drank plenty of water between meals, but never during, and never for at least an hour after so as not to interfere with digestion.

Our bodies only tell us they have been sated about 15 minutes after they have.  That means it is important to slow down, but above all, to also stop before you feel full.  

Chewing matters, helps with slowing you down, but is the critical first step in the digestion process.  Take time to chew food thoroughly.  Less bloating, less hunger, better nutrient extraction

I also did not drink anything while I was eating, or even for an hour or so after.  It dilutes the gastric juices and interferes with digestion.

Exercise and Stretching

I did not work out or go for runs during this time.  What I did do was to walk at least 20,000 steps each day, always took the stairs, and stood instead of sat most of the time.  I also stretched for 20 minutes when I got up, and again right before bed.  Mainly hamstrings and glutes.

The Sun

I took care to get good daily exposure to the sun.  Please wear sun cream!  Sun exposure without burning is an incredibly important part of general wellness. This was not to tan, but for the basic healing properties of light–Vitamin D.

To be fair, I am slim and tall to begin with, and have been blessed with an active metabolism.  But I had forgotten to respect my body, and it was depressing me and wearing me down.  

I barely noticed the change process, but then I could feel my lower belly, right where my belt sat, loose in my jeans, actually sliding back and forth as I walked.  It was a delicious feeling, a great reward.  My body felt like a coiled spring afterwards, and I felt a lightness on my feet that was intoxicating.

My S.O. noticed it and couldn’t keep her hands off of me.  I noticed it, because I was much more alive to her touch.  My skin was more sensitive.

Over the years these principles have kept me in trim.  As I have aged, however, I have had to actively work at maintaining my figure. But there are few things in life that are worth more than self-care, and self care starts with your body…and care for your body begins and ends with what you put in it, and on it.

The beauty industry wants you to think it is harder than this, but it isn’t…diet and exercise, plenty of liquid, are all it takes.

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