What happens to your body when you get fit and lose weight

Pretty much everyone wants to lose weight to look better. But hardly anyone talks about the changes in your body that can make you feel better when you start to get fit and lose weight after years of, well, sitting on your arse.

So let me talk about a few of the changes I’ve experienced.

I sleep better. I used to suffer from the three a.m. nasties. You know – waking at three in the morning, and not finally falling asleep again until ten minutes before my alarm was due to go off. These days a proper night’s sleep is the default, not the exception.

I’m in a better mood. My family and friends are less likely to catch grumpy me, and far more likely to catch serene, content me. The difference is striking.

My skin and allergies are better. I’ve struggled with asthma, allergies and eczema all my life. These days you wouldn’t know it. Rashes are rare, I don’t need an inhaler (unless I come across a dog or a rabbit), and I barely touch antihistamines. My eyes are no longer puffy and red in the mornings either.

I don’t get earwax buildup any more. An odd change, but really noticeable.

I don’t get tartar build-up on my teeth any more. Another weird improvement. Go figure. I always thought tartar had something to do with water quality and getting old, but apparently it’s bodily wellness. Who knew?

I’m looking okay these days, for an old bird. I’ve more improvement to make, but I’m on my way to wellness.

Change comes from persistence. As does wellness. We don’t become healthier from one meal, or one “good day” but from real transformation repeated daily, over and over again every day of our lives.

We can get better. Those of us who are obese can become fit and well again. The slide into poor health and misery is not inevitable. It takes commitment and support from family, friends and groups such as Overeaters Anonymous, but we can do it. We just need to believe in ourselves, and believe we are worth the effort necessary to change.

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What does abstinence in Overeaters Anonymous look like?

For a long time I struggled with abstinence. I didn’t know how much to eat, or when.

I didn’t know what “normal people” ate. Correct portions were a mystery to me.

As time has gone on, I e got a handle on this. I’m learning why I’m overweight, and am learning how to remedy that.

Im learning to slow down my eating. Dinner used to be about how fast I could eat. I always finished first, and then was looking around for more.

I’m learning to enjoy the experience of eating. Savouring each mouthful, and enjoying the look, taste and texture of my food. I used to eat so fast I barely tasted it!

I’m learning to have fruit and vegetables with every meal again. Did you know that even at McDonald’s you can swap out the fries for a side salad at no extra cost? So a “value meal” of burger, fries and soft drink can become a reasonable meal of burger, salad and water. And if you can “healthy-ize” McDonald’s, you can make pretty much anything healthier.

I’m learning that exercise isn’t frightening. I’ve joined a gym, and am going regularly again. It feels good. But I’m also walking more, moving more.

None of this is rocket science. It’s all pretty obvious. But I needed to climb out of my rut and do it.

I’m doing it. I’m feeling better.

Daniel Fast: Day Two

This doesn’t feel like fasting.

I’m eating lots of fruit and plain veggies, and drinking water and tea, sometimes with a little lemon juice in the water.

Plain oats are good too: I just put boiling water on them and have them like that. They’re quite delicious, once you get past expecting there to be sugar and milk.

I’m also having miso soup. I don’t know if that’s “fast acceptable” or not, but it works for me. This is, after all, about weaning myself off the sweet stuff and the greasy stuff. Miso is neither.

Tea-wise, I’m very much enjoying Moroccan mint tea. It’s nice and refreshing. It’s my staple at work at the moment.

So that’s where I’m at. Day Two.

See you on Day Three 🙂

Daniel Fast: Day 1

I’ve started the Daniel Fast.

Today’s breakfast was just a glass of metamucil, to clean my system out a bit.

I then had an apple and a banana for morning tea, plus a cup of Moroccan mint tea (black).

Now I’m on lunch, which is: oats made with water, a mandarin, and a cup of miso soup.

I’m actually enjoying the simplicity of it…so far! I can’t say I’ll feel the same way in 10 days time, let alone 21 days if I go through with it that long. But for now, it’s good.

Tonight’s dinner will be some salad (cruciferous vegetables) with some Japanese sesame dressing. And maybe another miso soup.

I’m not sure if the sesame dressing is strictly to the Rules, but it’s not sweet so I’ll assume it’s okay.

For a long time I’ve wanted to improve my diet, get off all the crap, and start treating my body better. OA is helping with that, but so long as I keep eating processed foods, I keep craving them. The goal of the Daniel Fast – for me – is to simplify and de-junkify (is that a word?) my diet, and just start looking after myself a whole lot better.

I’m just feeling happy doing this. I don’t know how long it will work for, but hopefully a while.

Daniel Fast: Starting tomorrow

I’ve decided to do a Daniel Fast, starting tomorrow.

What is a Daniel Fast? It’s refraining from all meat, dairy, sugars, alcohol and processed foods. Traditional lengths are 10 days and 21 days.

I’m going to aim at 10 days, and then possibly extend to 21 days depending on how I feel.

As I’m one of those people who enjoys routine in my diet, I’m going to base my eating on the following food plan:

Breakfast: oats made with boiling water, banana

Lunch: oats made with boiling water, apple, nuts

Dinner: salad with sesame dressing, miso soup, fruit for dessert.

I’m doing this to get more settled in my eating, and to get closer to God. I’m hoping it will help me understand my trigger foods and what makes me eat.

Once I’ve done the fast (with 10 or 21 days, depending on how I go) I’ll add back in meat, fish and eggs, and possibly a little alcohol (sake maybe).

I hope to straighten out my food and eating, getting back to basics again.

So: here’s to tomorrow, day one!

Minimalism, OA and me

I’m a minimalist, which I love.

Minimalism looks different for different people. Some focus on a particular style of minimalism (e.g. Marie Kondo) while others do their own thing.

I’ve been doing a capsule wardrobe for about ten years now, and haven’t looked back.

I also minimalised my makeup and skin care routine, as well as the items I own.

I find owning less – and buying less – helps me manage my budget and my free time. I have less to clean and maintain, and when I do but things, they’re good quality and will last.

Minimalism ties in quite well with OA, because both are about restraint. They’re about learning to use (or eat) what we need and nothing more. They’re about finding a sensible life, where we don’t depend on buying or eating to be happy and fulfilled.

I think restraint is vastly undervalued and underutilized in our society. We’re all about more, bigger, flashier than we are about moderation. Minimalism and OA are both teaching me about finding balance in my life. I’m thankful for that.

Still working the steps at OA…

I’m still attending meetings twice a week, still following the steps.

My miracle has started too. I was addicted to pepsi max, drinking up to 4 litres a day of the stuff.

Now I don’t drink it at all. But that’s not the miracle. The miracle is I don’t even want to drink it.

Not one bit.

That’s one miracle. Another is my addiction to chocolate. I was eating several family sized blocks of chocolate every week. I’d eat it so fast I barely tasted it, or remembered eating it afterwards.

I don’t do that any more. I still feel like chocolate would be a problem if I bought it and brought it into the house, but now I don’t want to buy it. And I’m able to walk past it in the supermarket and not buy it.

Then there’s the junk food drive throughs. I made a rule for myself that I could have junk food any time I wanted it but I had to dine in.

Now I’m no longer a regular at the drive throughs.

I know these all seem like tiny, baby steps. But I’m feeling happier and healthier because of them.

I’ve just worked on these addictions a step at a time and now they’re gone.

The next thing I’m working on is no snacking. I want to get to the point where I have 3 sensible meals a day…and nothing in between.

I’m not there yet. But I know I will achieve this goal. I have faith. It’s only a matter of time.

OA is working for me! 😃

Day zero – Abstaining

While I fast, I will abstain from all solid foods.

I will drink only the following: water, soda water, unsweetened teas.

I will abstain from: all news, all social media (excluding this blog). This should be easy, as I’ve been off social media now for the best part of the year. I’ve been off Facebook and Twitter even longer – I think it’s been three years for both, and I don’t miss them.

I will abstain from all unnecessary shopping.

I’ll try to walk at least an hour daily.

I’m scared of fasting for this long, but I’m also looking forward to it.

Now I’ve decided to fast, I want to just get on with it! and start.

I’ll wait. I start tomorrow.

DAY ZERO

I’ve decided I’m going to do a long fast.

I’ve done several shorter fasts before (five days or less) and I think I’m ready to tackle something bigger.

So tonight will be my last meal for a while – a piece of salmon, and some vegetables. Then I’ll start proper fasting tomorrow.

I’ve decided to document how I feel as I progress through the fast. I’m aiming for 40 days, but will see how I go. I’m a bit scared, to be honest – it’s a huge undertaking, and I think I’ll be stretched to my limits.

Whether I make it for that long or not, I intend that the next 40 days will be days of reflection, prayer and meditation, and light exercise to help me focus on my spirituality and on caring for my body properly.

Still losing weight…still doing OA

Here I am again, about 15 pounds lighter than when I started late last year.

OA works. However, what also works is OA with a combination of meal prepping and portion control.

Portion control is that butt-ugly phrase that nobody likes to use. All the diets keep on claiming eat as much as you want and lose weight!

It’s not true. What is true is that modern-day portions are mindbogglingly huge in comparison to what people ate in the past, and that’s a big part of why we’re all getting fatter.

I’ve had a big wake up call recently because I bought a meal prep book that provides easy keto recipes in controlled portions. The book is Easy Keto Meal Prep by Aaron Day. It not only makes meal prep easy, but it takes the guesswork out of the big question: how much should I be eating?

(I’m not getting a kickback for mentioning the book…it’s just an awesome resource that deserves to be shared.)

At first I was stunned when I saw the size of the portions. I thought, “That’ll NEVER keep me full!” And I was right. At first it didn’t. But now I’m adjusting to smaller portions and it’s enough. Adjustment took a couple of weeks, but I’m doing fine now. And my weight is dropping fast.

So that’s where I’m at. OA is providing the emotional and spiritual support I needed, while meal prepping is giving me a common sense path to eating well.

Life is good ☺️

Still doing OA – And it’s working!

I’ve been in Overeaters Anonymous for about 8 months…and it’s really starting to work.

I’ve lost a fair amount of weight, and am feeling a lot better and a lot happier.

I’m starting to nail down the Elephant In The Room – portion control.

I’ve started really weighing, measuring and tracking what I eat, and I realized my portions were WAY outsized – much bigger than I thought.

So I’ve dialed them right down.

I’ve also been doing a lot of meal prep – bringing my lunches and preparing my dinners in advance. Occasionally I’ve been eating pre-prepared boxed meals too, when I wasn’t organized enough. Having them in the freezer has meant I’m less likely to go for junk if I don’t have dinner sorted.

So it’s all starting to work for me.

I’ve been going to my meetings religiously, and getting my exercise in with lots of walking nearly every day.

I can’t even begin to explain how much better I feel.

So that’s where I’m at 🙂

What’s wrong with me?

Over the last few weeks, I’ve completely lost the cravings for sweet stuff and junk food.

This is very different for me.

Overeaters Anonymous said that if I kept working at it, the “miracle” would happen, but I never really believed it.

I figured the miracle would happen for everyone except me.

But, somehow, I’ve lost the desire to eat rubbish. I’ve been wary about posting about this, as I thought the moment I write anything, it’ll disappear and I’ll be back to urgency cramming my face with garbage.

However, I can’t deny that OA is working for me.

I’m slowly losing weight, I’m starting to feel better, and I’m not obsessed with food.

I started OA last July, so this has not been quick. But I have hope and faith it will be permanent.