I'm working on losing weight. Chris has been a douche about it but whatever. Twice he's done this to me where he declares that we are going on a diet because he wants to lose weight and so I must diet with him, and thus everything I try to eat gets patronized as being wrong. This time I decided, "Fine. Fuck this. You want to lose weight? Fine, I will, too. And I'll really do it. Fuck you." I know how to be healthy. It's not as if I was skinny and magically became fat and I continued to sit around on my ass thinking, "Huh, how did this happen?" I'm not dumb. I understand how I gained weight. And I know what it means to be healthy and in shape. I've just chosen not to lately because I've had more to worry about than what my weight is. So I found an amazing website (www.sparkpeople.com) and started actually trying to lose weight for the first time ever. Yay me.
Let's talk about SparkPeople. It's a super awesome website. If you are trying to lose weight, I STRONGLY recommend it. Here's why:
1. SparkPeople recognizes the issues with fad diets. Diets like Adkins, South Beach, Acai whatever, and all else that comes and goes don't work. The issue with these is that it makes you lose weight fast, get the goal you want, and then you're done. Easy as pie. But then after that you go right back to what you did before and *surprise* you gain back all the weight you lost and a little more. The next diet you try doesn't work as effectively, at least not as fast, but it does the trick. You end it, go back to your old life style and *gasp* you are back to your original weight and then a little more. Every time you start a new fad diet, it is harder to lose the weight. 98% of all people who do these diets gain back all their weight and then some after ending it.
The SparkPeople Solution:
Yo-yo dieting doesn't work. If you want to change your weight, you have to change your lifestyle. If what you're doing isn't working (which, obviously, if you are unhappy with your weight, look, etc. it's not) then you need to change it. The first step to change anything is to know what it is you're doing.
2. Sparkpeople gives you a means to look at what you're doing and makes you aware of what you should be doing differently. They don't say, "Oh look at you, fatty!" or, "Fuck, you're eating that? No wonder you don't lose weight!" or "Get off your ass and do something you lazy, good-for-nothing cow!" SparkPeople knows that no one is perfect. The way to get somewhere is through encouragement, not yelling and harshness that condemns your every behavior. That doesn't work. So if you know that what you are doing isn't working for you, then you need to know what exactly it is that you are doing.
The SparkPeople Solution:
SparkPeople gives you a way to look at what it is you do. They provide the means to put in how much food you eat a day, how many calories it is, how much fat and protein and carbs are you taking in, how much you work out a day, how much water you drink, how much sleep you get, etc. If you can begin to see what you do, look at it objectively, and be aware of what you are doing, then you can begin to change it. Again, how can you change a problem that you don't even know what's causing it?
3. It gives you pointers, ideas, and support. So once you know what it is you are doing, how are you going to change it? Do you know, based on your size, weight, and gender, about how many of these nutrients you should be getting daily, how much sleep you should get, and how much water you should drink? Do you know where to begin? What about what kind of food is good to eat, what exercises burn the most calories, and what works best for your body?
The SparkPeople Solution:
SparkPeople provides hundreds of articles for you to read that are all health related. They also give ideas on how to stay motivated, recipes for good food, ways to work in exercise into insane schedules, and other tools that you can use to help you reach the goal you want to achieve.
4. All of the support. Spark people has thousands of people who use it every single day. And these people all are struggling with the same kind of issues. Me personally, I'm in different groups based on my needs. One is focused on motivation. It's a group that constantly pushes one another to do their best and know they aren't alone. Another is for 20 somethings. This group looks at people my age and different life issues they go through and how it can challenge you and your determination to lose the weight you want to. Another is a group for ex-dancers/cheerleaders/gymnasts. This is for those hardcore athletes who had amazing bodies who, once life got crazy, couldn't do it anymore and don't know how to get back into shape without going through the extremes of athleticism. And yet another is for those who are targeting losing stomach fat, because sometimes, if you just had a smaller stomach, you know you'd look better. The fact that there are so many different groups for so many people, all supporting each other, driving one another, and holding each other accountable is incredible. It gives that extra boost that you need to get going and keep up with it.
Anyone can go on a diet, but it's hard to keep at it, especially without support. Something hard for me is that people in college tend to not give a shit about their body because hey, we're in our 20s. Who gives a fuck? Support is lacking, and honestly, if no one else cares, why should I? SparkPeople has helped me get tools to know what I'm doing, realize what needs to be different, and given me the support to stick with it. I've lost 7lbs already, and I plan to lose another 20. If you need help and haven't found anything that works, try it. It's awesome.