Research claims that two-thirds of Americans have attempted some weight loss program. I won’t be surprised if Singapore matches – or even exceeds – those figures, despite the fact that many Asians are already blessed with genetically petite frames. An attempt at getting back into my clothes three years post-pregnancy provided me with some valuable life lessons.
No one plan fits all, but get one
It’s always easy for the one who’s already successfully slim to have all the answers. But no one knows your body better than you. Not an advocate of slimming programs, I thought exercise would do it, but struggled to even find the time, much less the energy. Going vegetarian made me hungrier. A light lunch made me gorge a heavy dinner. The stress from it all induced snacking. I needed to know what I could realistically accommodate in my schedule and understand my body and appetites, eg, wasting food makes me cringe, so to eat less, I need to start with less food on the table.
The same with work-life: Different experts will expound the right way to achieve balance and “have it all”. Ultimately, we need to know ourselves, stop making excuses, take personal responsibility, and start with whatever works for us; but don’t just sit there and sulk!
Getting started is a challenge, but maintenance is what’s key
Once I found my “winning formula”, keeping the weight off was the real challenge. I dropped 5kgs in 2 weeks, only to gain it back in one. To ensure our good intentions and enthusiasm don’t fizzle out, keep the ultimate goal in mind. I retain a couple of my favourite outfits I’ve “outgrown” to remind me of why I’m attempting to trim down in the first place! Regularly standing on the bathroom scales also alerts me of the slightest weight fluctuation so that I can remedy it immediately.
There are always warning signs when your work-life gets out of sync with your intended outcome or values. Scheduling brief but regular times of reflection or allowing a mentor or life coach to ask you the hard questions will ensure you stay on track in living the life you desire.
Have an ambition, but don’t get too ambitious
The end goal needs to be inspiring enough to motivate you to get off the starting blocks, but once you’re off, you need smaller, intermediate goals to keep you fuelled. My dream is to drop 10kgs, and the only way to get there is 1kg at a time!
So start with small and achievable work-life goals. Perhaps it might be as simple as taking a minute each day to pause before opening the front door in order to switch gears from a hard day of work.
Help is always helpful
Support is so necessary. I am thankful for a loving husband who regularly compliments me when my legs look a little slimmer, my arms leaner or my face thinner. Of course, he’s good with his words; but I’d choose him anytime over a husband who remarks that his wife is fat even when she still fits into sizes 2 times smaller than mine!
It’s good to have like-minded people who share your work-life pursuits and desires. But not all of us have the good fortune to be in the same boat with people who understand what you’re going through and try to work with you instead of rowing the other way. So find a trusted friend – not a know-it-all – who can offer you the right amount of sympathy and challenge.
I’ll let you know when I get back into my old clothes!