1. There is a recipe for weight loss…but it’s different for everyone.
“There is a ‘custom made’ recipe for everybody, but the difficult part is, you have to make up the recipe yourself, otherwise it won’t stick. It has to fit your lifestyle, and it has to be in a way you are content with, so that you will stick with it for the rest of your life.”
—Nadia Taarup Nielsson, Facebook
2. You don’t have to give up anything you don’t want to give up.
“After many failed attempts at trying new diets or working out like crazy, I finally started making small changes. I didn’t have to give up soda, but I did want to drink more water, so I did that and soon enough I didn’t crave soda, but I know I can still have it if I want. I also didn’t want to cut out all my favorite foods so instead I found things I could cook on my own that were healthy and that I liked.”
—Danica Che, Facebook
3. Make sure to distinguish between other people’s experiences and legit facts about weight loss.
“Don’t listen to loads of different opinions from folks online and then be annoyed if it doesn’t work for you. Beware the curse of ‘online facts.’
Check your sources, consult a nutritionist, a doctor, or someone at your gym who can give you general facts or advise the best places to find out info.”
—Michael Ellard, Facebook
4. Taking lots of “before” pics will help you see your progress.
“My biggest regret is not taking enough pictures of myself when I was fat. I shied away from cameras because I was so uncomfortable with myself, and now all I have to show how far I’ve come are some numbers on a scale.”
6. And even if you’re not seeing results as soon as you’d like to — other people might be.
“People such as co-workers and family would compliment me and I would assume they were only saying they could tell I lost weight because they knew about my diet and were trying to encourage me. After more and more people began noticing, I realized that they were telling the truth and I actually did look different. Take the compliments.”
—Marieke Zaffron, Facebook
8. You can eat that fucking dessert after all.
“I always thought that people who ate healthy had great self-control — and that I did not. But the truth is that people who eat healthy eat things that make them FEEL GOOD. So, eat what makes you feel good. And if it happens to be a cupcake one day, then let yourself truly enjoy that fucking cupcake and stop when you know you won’t feel good anymore.”
—Anna Stawicki, Facebook
10. Your weight loss journey might be unpredictable and that’s OK.
“Weight loss isn’t linear. Sometimes you won’t lose anything. Sometimes you’ll lose a ton. How much you lose and how fast you lose it isn’t the most important thing. It should be about loving yourself, not hating yourself. You should focus on FEELING better rather than meeting a certain number. You are more than a number.”
—Tristen van den Berg, Facebook
11. Consistency is the best “diet.”
“There are tons and tons and tons of different diets … and it really doesn’t matter which one you choose as long as it’s one you can stick with. Make your health and fitness regimen work for your current lifestyle instead of just trying to completely overhaul it and you will see lasting results.”
—Oli Blomquist, Facebook
13. Not everyone will be super supportive of your lifestyle changes. Don’t let that get you down.
“I wish I had known how differently certain friends would treat me. I’ve had to part ways with a few who seemingly only liked me when I was miserable. Others act almost offended that I’ve lost so much and am happy with myself.
I may have lost 80 pounds of fat, but I’ve also lost about 700 pounds of assholes.”
—Shannon Chad, Facebook
14. Know that losing weight won’t necessarily solve all your problems.
“Losing weight won’t make your life better if self-esteem issues are what is moving you. The gloomiest and saddest days of my life were when I was my thinnest.”
—Mosi Simão, Facebook
15. Or improve your body image, for that matter.
“You won’t automatically love your body just because you’ve lost weight. Losing weight and loving your body is a complete journey that takes a lot of time. Losing weight isn’t an automatic ticket to self-love.”
—Grace Henning, Facebook
16. When you stop thinking of exercise as a punishment you realize it’s actually great.
“It helped me lots to think of exercise as something good I do for myself, for weight loss or maintenance, to remain limber as I age, to keep heart and lungs healthy, to help alleviate stress, to work off stiff muscles from sitting at the computer for work, to just feel good in the skin I am in, to enjoy movement and be in touch with what my body can do.”
—Michelle Martin Corson, Facebook
17. This whole process will probably take some time.
“I wish I had known how slow the process would be. My goal is to lose 25–30 pounds, which I thought would take three months; nope. I eat healthy, calorie-counted meals, and I work out 30–45 min every day, but I still only lose about a pound a week. It’s going to take me about seven months at the rate I’m going. But just because it will take me longer doesn’t mean I am not doing it right or should give up! I still feel so proud of myself when I go to bed every night knowing that I am sticking with my plan and feeling stronger and healthier.”
—Katy Daviscourt, Facebook
18. But you definitely don’t have to do it alone.
“I’m with a program through a local hospital network where I’m monitored by doctors and other professionals. For the longest time, I was too proud to do something like this because it felt like cheating and I wanted to get there on my own. Now I wish I’d tried this years ago.”
—Marieke Zaffron, Facebook
19. Hang in there because it might even become FUN.
“I wish I knew how easy it gets after the first few weeks. Those cravings go away, and you learn to eat when you need to. Exercise becomes fun to the point where rest days are a pouty experience. You’ll learn you love foods you thought you hated or just tolerated. It gets to where the idea of ever going back seems so silly because it’s so much easier to do, once you’re past the first hurdles.”
—Megan Doupe, Facebook
22. You might learn that weight bias is even worse than you thought.
“When I was big, I was invisible, no doors were held open, things I dropped were never picked up for me. Now that I’m not as big people acknowledge my existence…men hold doors and don’t hesitate to help if I’m carrying something large or heavy. In general I am a presence in society, not invisible anymore. How disappointing it is to know that your physical appearance means so much in how you are treated.”
23. Positive self-talk > negative self-talk, always.
“I used to wake up and say, ‘Go workout, fatty’ or ‘You’re so gross you need to lose weight!’ I hated myself and would crumble every time I would miss a workout or fall off the clean-eating wagon. Now I focus on loving myself. I say, ‘You’re perfect! But you can be healthier!’ I’m losing weight at a healthy pace and I don’t feel like crap about it.”
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24. Trial and error isn’t the same thing as a setback.
“I went though three months of thinking a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle was best for my diet, when really my body didn’t like that at all. I would add food and take away food items all the time; it’s about finding what foods your body wants and doesn’t want.”
27. Buying new clothes every few pounds might get costly, so do some saving and thrifting.
“I lost 70 pounds and I wish someone would have told me to save up more money for clothing to wear as your weight is transitioning. I kept having to buy smaller and smaller pants every few weeks. I ended up buying thrift store jeans during the process and then once I met my goal weight purchased a new wardrobe.”
29. Don’t ever forget: You are perfect right now.
“No matter what you weigh, what size you’re wearing, where you are in your journey, no matter how much you hate comparing yourself to the magazines — you’re perfect.”
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