Benedita Figueiredo is 30 years old and is the author of Diary of an Ex-Obese. Her weight problems began as a teenager, but she lost 30kg and wants to help other women follow the same path.
She knows she was obese but “totally” disagrees with the theory that there are no ex-obese people. But for this to happen, it is important to understand obesity as a physical and mental illness, and to treat it from both sides: " If we opt for the easiest and quickest ways to lose weight - such as operations, crazy diets, pills, starving ourselves - and we don't learn about how to nourish the body and be healthier, then it will be difficult for us to stop being obese. But if during the weight loss process - I prefer to call it "health gain" - we understand why we are making certain choices (food and lifestyle), then we will find the emotional and physical balance to stop being obese."
First-person tips are our way of getting your message across, because we also want to help women be healthier, more confident and happier with their lives!
1. DON’T BE IN A HURRY. YOU DIDN'T GET WEIGHT FROM ONE DAY TO THE NEXT, SO DON'T EXPECT TO LOSE WEIGHT FROM TODAY TO TOMORROW.
Think about your health and leave your desire to lose weight aside. If you lose weight quickly you will be making efforts that will make you unhappy. You'll go hungry, stop going to programs just because you're afraid it won't suit your eating plan, you'll stop eating everything you like. And for what? To have a slimmer body for a certain period of time? Yes, because if you are in a hurry and want quick results, believe that the results will also disappear very quickly.
The problem with strict diets is this yo-yo effect. This effect happens because you surely take so many nutrients from your body that it will go into deficit and the day you get tired of suffering, it will grab everything you took from it and hold on to it for fear of it disappearing again. And then? You gain weight again and your body is less and less healthy! So please don't want to lose weight too quickly, and remember that everything comes back to you as soon as it goes.
2. FIND A NUTRITIONIST TO TEACH YOU ABOUT FOOD.
The key word is "learn". Don't just look for a diet plan to lose weight. Look for someone to help you with your diet, but also to teach you how to understand it. When you learn you become more confident and more capable of making the right choices. And only then will you be able to become independent in the future.
Look for a professional who knows exactly what your body needs to be strong and healthy, and remember that each body is different, and each person has different energy and nutritional needs.
3. BELIEVES IN FOOD RE-EDUCATION
If you want to lose weight consistently and stay at your ideal weight, you will need to re-learn your diet. You will need all the nutrients and it is not through strict diets that you will find your balance. Change to a lifestyle that you identify with and believe in. I promise you don't have to go on diets, you just have to understand food and look at food in a way that nourishes your body. Your body will thank you for being healthier and as a reward you will feel much better.
4. LOOK FOR A PERSONAL TRAINER WHO WILL HELP YOU WITH YOUR TRAINING PLANS AND WHO KNOWS WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT FOR YOUR BODY.
Don't kill yourself for hours on end on the treadmill just because you'll sweat and feel like it's working. I remember doing more than 1 hour of cardio a day, and the results weren't showing. When I started training under the supervision of a professional, everything changed. I started training less time but with more intensity and the results continue to appear. And it wasn't just aesthetic results. My back was very arched, and after a year of training correctly, my posture is almost perfect.
Regarding strength training (hypertrophy), I'm not going to lie: I was very afraid to start because I was afraid of "getting big". Until I trusted the professional (of course!!) and lost a lot of volume and fat mass.
Choose a PT that gives you confidence and with whom you feel empathy, and trust their knowledge.
With consistency and patience, the results appear.
I promise that when you can stay focused on your health and stop categorizing foods as “fattening or not” but rather as “healthy or not” you will be happy, in mental and physical balance, and you will know how to make your choices.
If we look at foods as “this makes you fat” or “this doesn’t make you fat” there will always be a day when we think “now I don’t mind gaining weight, I’m done with it” and the snowball starts. But if we start looking at foods as “Healthy or not” I don’t believe anyone will think “I don’t care about my health or my future” so they will always be in balance.
But of course there are also days when we feel like something less healthy. And what's wrong with it? Nobody gets healthy by deciding to eat a salad one day, right? So no one becomes less healthy by eating a pizza one day. As long as it is done consciously and we know how to enjoy it, everything is fine. No food is prohibited and no food is mandatory.
And as my nutritionist would say “Not always, not ever”.
A former obese woman,
Founder of the page @b_healthyPT
"Diary of an Ex-Obese"