It’s 2005 and my weight keeps going up. It has rocketed from 73kg to 96kg in just a few months and I feel terrible.
Here’s how my weight increased in just a few months, and what you can do if you’re also experiencing unwanted weight gain.
My body fat percentage increased from 7% when I was racing triathlons competitively, to 30% by early 2006.
I went from a 30-32inch waist to a 36inch waist and had to buy a whole load of new trousers.
My thighs rubbed together whilst cycling and I got chaffing and real discomfort on my bike.
My ability and inclination to run was hit hard because it was such a challenge being 23kg’s heavier than I was used to but also because I hated the way I looked.
I went from being confident in my sport and running with friends to running on my own, at night when no one would see me and where I could go at my own pace.
My mental strength dropped and my energy and enthusiasm dwindled in all aspects of my life.
What Did I Notice About Gaining Weight?
- Body weight 73kg to 96kg
- Body fat percentage increased from 7% to 30%
- Waist grew from 30-32 inch waist to a 36 inch
- Thighs rubbed together whilst cycling leading to less exercise
- No inclination to go running or exercise
- Hated the way I looked
- Reduced confidence in all aspects of my life
- Reduced mental ‘strength’
- Lack of energy and enthusiasm in all aspects of my life
Why Did I gain Weight?
Being competitive in triathlon since 1999 meant I was able to eat a lot of calories. Not necessarily eating the right things, but certainly lots of calories. The calories I consumed matched my lifestyle though so I stayed lean.
Like many triathletes my diet included lots of pasta, bread and sports drinks. I was lean because of all the activity I was doing.
Then I noticed a hair follicle on my shin had become infected. Despite seeing a doctor I became ill – I had septicemia throughout my body.
Doctors prescribed me drug after drug for months on end to kick this bug, but it took 6 months before I was better.
My activity levels dropped significantly and so did my calorie needs. My appetite remained as a matter of habitual and emotional eating because I was feeling low. The result – my body fat rocketed.
If You’re Struggling To Lose Weight – Give Yourself A Break
I empathise with you.
I know how easy it is to put weight on. Life is not an easy ride, but don’t believe that because you have xyz problem that you can’t still improve. You can work towards reaching your potential.
This time in my life taught me that its quite easy to regain health, it just takes support, a plan and purposeful practice to learn food skills.
Give yourself a break.
Take the pressure off.
Focus on one thing that you find bearable that is supportive of your weight loss, health and performance goals. Once you’ve got it, make it easier. Let’s say for for example that you find yourself staring into the fridge when you get home from work, and eating the first tasty morsel that you find. And then the next, and the next.
With this example what could you do?
Could you prepare a snack in advance so you don’t overeat?
Could you eat lunch so you’re not famished when you get home?
Could you make sure you sit down to eat with a plate of food?
Could you eat what you want but slow down?
Could you ensure you don’t have xyz food in the house – if it’s there you’ll eat it. Eventually.
Imagine in this case you just focus on eating whatever it is SLOWLY. This is actually a very effective way to lose weight because it gives your body time to realise it is being fed. It allows for proper digestion – which begins in the mouth – so you’ll get more nutrients from your food. It also allows you to FEEL FULL. Importantly it allows you to NOTICE that you feel full, and stop when full.
What will happen if you do this? Think about it for a minute.
Set a time goal. Eat what you want – that chunk of cheese if you like, that bag of crisps. Come home ravenous, grab your comfort food of choice and… eat it slowly.
Take 20minutes to eat the cheese.
What? There’s no way I could do that, I hear you say.
Ok, make it EASY. How long could you aim for?
No – It takes me about 20 seconds to scoff a chunk of cheese!
How about 4o seconds? Could you take 40 seconds to eat a chunk of cheese, chew it, taste it and notice what’s happening?
Pfff, of course. Easy.
That’s it! Pfff is the sound you’re looking for. Pfff means the habit is doable. Start with whatever Pfff habit you come up with that is in line with your goal.
Starting with a Pfff habit – a habit that is so EASY that you cannot fail – means that you will be starting on a WIN. Focus on just that. Just one easy pain free habit. Log your success every day for 2 weeks. Did you get 90% or more? Did you take at least 40 seconds to eat your home time snack 90% of the time for the last 2 weeks? If you didn’t that’s fine, make your habit easier. If you DID win, develop your habit OR add a new habit.
Give yourself a break. Take your time. By making small wins you are doing just that – winning. This feels amazing because we’re so used to being put down or failing at health related goals.
Once you see a glimmer of a win, you can build on that.
It’ll kind of snowball. You’ll find yourself winning more things more often.
Your motivation will get a boost because motivation is ignited by taking action (not the other way around).
Keep practicing, but take your time. TAKE YOUR TIME. Make things EASY and add habits slowly. This way you are far more likely to win.
You can win the weight loss battle. Work on your skills, like eating slowly.
Have a great day, Nico.
If you need further support surrounding your nutrition, I can teach you the food skills that will lead to better health, performance and body composition (weight loss).
You might be interested in learning about Online Nutrition Coaching where I’ll guide you through an entire curriculum designed to get you away from the diet trap by developing weight loss and food skills.
My client resources are all over at in the members area where members can log in. Joining gives you access to the entire skills coaching curriculum. Everything from pillar habits and the fundamentals, all the way through to supporting habits and advanced nutrition. Take a look at how online weight loss coaching or the One Habit Fit club can help your reach your goals.
Not quite ready to join? Why not get started with the weight loss cheat sheet below. If you’re stuck as to where to start, this resource is a super quick check-box style cheat sheet that will allow you to start building some skills immediately.