As I mentioned to us in January as part of the “About me story”, my weight went up two dress sizes after my second child, not only from post pregnancy fat but majorly as a result of my diet. I anxiously wanted to start wearing my newly acquired dresses which made very anxious to lose weight. So my new dresses served as a sort of motivation and a major goal to achieve as far as losing weight was concerned.
My Journey To Weight Loss
My journey to weight loss started the hard way. I denied myself of every pleasure you could consider. I stopped eating little to no meat all, even fish sometimes. I was eating mainly “ponmo” (cow skin), which is even toxic on its own. but let’s leave that for now.
As per food, I would eat one or two slices of bread with only lettuce as the filling (bitter, boring sandwich). You could barely see yam, rice, plantain or swallow in the plate. It was that bad.
My major source of protein then I am sure, was coming from beans, which on its own was grossly inadequate, especially for someone who was “supposedly” on a weight loss program. I knew nothing about “Tea Tea All The Way” then, and I can’t remember I took up to eight glasses of water in a day, because some “wise” people like me at that time believed that water was fattening; so too much of it would give you extra inches. Can you see the ignorance?
I also did some religious fasting in between. Although not for weight loss purposes, but each time the need arose it came, I took advantage of it. For me, that was another opportunity towards achieving my goal.
What about my stew? My stew was mainly Mint or Basil or Scent leaves (efirin in Yoruba, Ikani or Nchanwu in Ibo) blended with fresh pepper, cooked and seasoned, of course, I couldn’t miss out on “ponmo” and few pieces of dry fish. For those of us who really want to lose weight, this is one recipe I strongly recommend. Apart from its countless medicinal benefits, scent leaves taste really nice, especially if you add meat, chicken or fish, not ‘ponmo’ like in my case. Blending it with fresh pepper enables you to consume it in large quantity, plus, it doesn’t have any known side effects, except that it will help your bowel movement in the morning. You can use it to eat any type of food; you can also take it as often as you want.
Things I Did Wrong And Things I Didn’t Know
1. I didn’t know I needed more water or healthy fluid, for example, tea, natural juices, etc. to aid my weight loss and also keep me hydrated.
2. I denied myself of healthy fats and oil, like avocado, fatty fish, extra virgin olive oil, dark chocolates, cheese, nuts, whole eggs, and so on, which are not just healthy, but fun to eat.
3. I didn’t know about the power of fiber or roughages or even foods that contain them.
4. I didn’t know about sweet potatoes, which are a “must have” in my kitchen store today.
5. I didn’t know much about veggie smoothies, fruit smoothies, and other countless numbers of vegetables and their goodness.
6. My knowledge about supplements was not as versed.
7. Though I stopped frying, my stews and soups had plenty of oil, courtesy of my Yoruba cultural background. ( the more the oil, the better the soup or stew)
8. My vegetables were wrongly cooked. Cooked to the point of losing color and flavor.
9. Finally, I was too hard on myself.
Yes, I lost all the weight. Yes, I achieved my goal. But you know what? I will never ever recommend any of those unfriendly processes, which many, like me then, still indulge in out of share ignorance. Eventually, I was able to slide into my new dresses, which was one of my motivations. In fact, they became too big at some point. I could remember how shocked a friend was when she saw me, because before then we had a bet, and she said nothing in this world would make me put on those dresses. Of course, I proved her wrong.
Was I Hungry?
Yes! I was always hungry. Three rigid and colorless square meals would most likely give anyone hunger pangs, morning and night. Not too long after a year or two, I became fed up with all the crazy restrictions and self-denials. Naturally, I started to make adjustments and in no time, I began to gain the weight back again. I lost the battle, but I didn’t lose the war.
I hated the fact that I used to see my tummy each time I tried to look down, but I made up my mind never to be discouraged, so after some time, I registered at the gym. But by this time my knowledge about food and weight management had improved a bit, so I was not always hungry as I used to in the past. I ate better and I was consistent in my daily exercise, to the point that I began to notice six packs in my tummy. I was very happy and I wished it would remain like that forever. Alas! while I was still basking in this euphoria, I lost it again. I was back to square one. There was something I was not doing right. Weight loss is a combination of many factors: KNOWLEDGE IS NUMBER ONE.
What Will Extreme Weight Loss Do To You?
1. You won’t be able to sleep well at night.
2. You will be hungry most times
3. You will be dehydrated
4. Your joints will lose their strength
5. You get tired easily
6. You will be restless and agitated
7. Your vision might be blurry or cloudy
8. You will feel lonely and alone, especially when you are eating out with your family and friends. You want to avoid everything; from tasty foods to drinks.
9. You may look visibly haggard, especially if you have crossed age 40 because at this stage your natural nutrients are fast depleting. I was lucky in my own case, I was in my 30s.
10. Finally, “a hungry man is an angry man”, keep that in mind.
The Things I Did Right And Still Do Right
1. I stopped buying fried foods. I also stopped frying at home. Fried plantain, for instance, is calorie dense, so I stopped eating it completely till date. I opted for steamed, boiled or grilled foods. If I must fry eggs, I only grease the pan.
2. I never joined my colleagues to buy unhealthy food and minerals during lunch breaks. I always had carrots or cucumbers and sometimes, bananas with me, but these should never replace a full meal for longer than necessary.
3. I changed my plate size to a smaller one, so I ate one-third or half of what I would normally eat.
4. I stopped taking carbonated and fizzy drinks.
5. I opted for low-fat milk.
6. I stopped eating unhealthy late night meals. (Although, I wished I knew I could eat fruits and veggies, if I must eat late, rather than going through the hunger pang, as I did.)
7. I did daily indoor exercises. My guide was a book which my husband bought for me.
8. I completely cut off white sugar.
Today I eat with my knowledge and understanding, not my eyes. Health comes first before taste in every food I eat. I am now very witty with food. Not only do I have so many varieties to play with, especially from our Nigerian markets but I can also confidently tell you that I now eat my food with much fun and pleasure. I don’t have to sentence myself to unending painful exercises at the gym. I no longer crave six packs, yet I’m happier with my weight, which is now very stable.
You too can achieve your Dream Weight with little to no pain.
If I could do it, you can too. My friends, go out there, have yourself a healthy and rewarding week.
Thanks for reading
Hi, I am a compulsive optimist passionate about the woman being a blessing to her family and her immediate and intermediate environment in all ramifications. I am happily married to Kingsley Uranta and blessed with two children, Bob and King. By the way, I am 53 years old.