By Assunta Ng
Northwest Asian Weekly
People often say I look fit. Beneath the surface lies the secret of my struggles with maintaining a steady weight.
Despite the compliments, I was 10 pounds overweight several years ago, which was a lot for my small frame. As a journalist, it’s not in my character to conceal my eating habits and consumption of unhealthy food, filled with sugar and carbohydrates.
Between the truth and denial, I chose to confront the facts. Trying to lose those extra pounds revealed many painful endeavors and repeated mistakes. It is a lengthy self-discovery process, which involves emotional, physical, and mental changes, to achieve the right formula for my body.
Many have paid for a coach for weight control. I did not have the time or patience to do that. I became my own coach and chef, preparing food for myself to maintain my ideal weight. I have been doing that for the past five years. With my tips, you can design your own formula to lose weight.
The right attitude
I had an ongoing weight problem 20 years ago. I didn’t join Weight Watchers or any of those groups. I didn’t binge, take any pills to curb my appetite, or try a crash diet. You see, I have always been a foodie. It would kill me to pass up delicious food. It took me five years to lose fat.
I learned that vanity can only go so far. If you diet just because you want to fit in a size 6 instead of an 8, it won’t last long. If you want to impress your friends at a wedding with your figure, and go on a diet months before the actual event, you will likely gain all the weight back later. If you know you can keep up the diet for only two months, you shouldn’t even start it in the first place.
The goal is not to look slim or shed a certain number of pounds. It should be achieving overall health, maximizing your energy and vitality, and feeling fantastic. Maintaining a healthy weight is just one of the benefits.
The point is, there are no shortcuts. If you read the New York Times, you will find that many participants in NBC’s television program, “The Biggest Loser,” have gained back much of their weight.
If you weigh yourself every day, you set yourself up for failure. Fortunately, my scale broke during my “fat” days, which turned out to be a blessing in the long run.
So don’t rush it. Be patient. Don’t be hard on yourself if you weigh the same as you did during the first year. You have to understand that it is a process, but do work on it every day and you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Exercise vs. diet
Several studies have shown that simply going on a diet is not as effective as exercise.
If you can do only one, pick exercise, according to health experts.
The sin of modern life is inactivity — sitting too much and too long — watching TV or browsing the internet. If you have to work in front of a computer all day, schedule breaks so you aren’t sitting all the time.
However, many people are unwilling to exercise, even though they are aware that exercise is important. So how do we motivate ourselves to work out?
Look for part 2 of this blog in next week’s issue.
Assunta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.