Sunday, October 28, 2012

Variety and balance are key to sustainable weight loss

Weight loss success is not formulaic. Or is it? I have successfully shed a bunch of weight three times in my life. Each time, it was a bit different, but when I look at the methods they all include a balance of an exercise lifestyle and a nutritious diet free from excess sugar and junk food. Looking back at my successes (and failures) I believe I finally understand that, in the end, variety and balance are key to sustainable weight loss.

This me and that me are one and the
same. Difference is, one undersands
the importance variety and balance.

The first time was during high school. I lost about 35 pounds when I moved to the D.C. suburbs and was living a primarily pedestrian existence. My step-mother cooked extremely healthy food, which I ate at home or packed most days instead of eating out. Plus, I played soccer and was forced to run at practice about 15 miles per week.

The second time was during a drop-out phase from college. The stress of balancing my studies, full-time work, coming out of the closet and dealing with the drama of my first romantic relationship led me to gain more than 100 pounds. I was able to drop 70 pounds in part by becoming vegetarian and using Barley Green as a daily supplement. I also got around on foot, mountain bike or, after moving to South Beach, by Rollerblading.

This most recent time I have also relied on a nutrient-rich balanced diet. And while I haven't been getting around as a lifestyle pedestrian so much these days, have infused hiking into my lifestyle. I have also been swimming, using the medicine ball and going to the gym in order to get the additional exercise I used to get without really trying. Tonight, I even broke out the Rollerblades once again.

In short, I suppose weight loss is a bit formulaic, but the elements that you plug into the formula can have great variety. Personally, I think variety is the spice of losing weight as an adult. And I know being conscious of the need to infuse variety into my routine will be key in helping me keep the weight off this time. Hiking is great, but what happens if life decides to play a cruel joke on me and move me back to flat land? Well, I that's where biking, rollerblading and commuting on foot will come into play. It's all about variety and balance after all! 

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