Opinion

Stepping down the weight ladder

By James Bennett

Although Greater Shepparton City Council's Get Mooving Challenge is officially over, it doesn’t mean we should stop stepping.

As someone currently going through a personal weight loss battle, I'm surprised with how easily I can hit 10 000 steps per day.

Walking to get lunch is an easy 3000, so all it takes is a walk after work to hit the goal.

My new challenge will be 15 000, then hopefully 20 000. This, I know, is going to slowly become achievable thanks to us passing the winter solstice.

What is hard is breaking bad habits and molding a new routine.

Losing weight is not just about exercise, you also need to eat healthily.

That's something I'm not good at, but I'm getting better.

Portion sizes are reduced, I've barely touched a drop of alcohol, I'm consuming fewer carbs, and fasting between 8 pm and noon the following day has been introduced.

And it's producing results, because in the first month of my health kick I lost 10 kg.

I am the first to say that some of it was water weight and the more difficult part of the journey starts now.

Many moons ago I returned from a month in Europe only to discover I'd lost a fair bit of weight.

It got me wondering about the old cliche of putting on weight when on holiday, because my experience was the complete opposite.

Then again, when you're pretty much walking everywhere, it's perhaps not that surprising.

After the initial shock of being lighter, I thought ``why not keep it up?''.

I got down to 90 kg and 100 compliments an hour: ``Oh wow, look how much weight you've lost!”

But I could never dip below 90 kg — although everyone around me said that was because I have a huge body frame, so I shouldn't worry about it.

But frustration grew. I felt betrayed by my own body. And I thought, ``stuff it, go back to being happy: eat what you want and drink what you want.”

This time, that won't be happening. A new routine will be strictly followed and instead of falling back as easily as I did into "living happy", the plan is that I will continue to be happy with myself.

I won't be one of those people who has to tell everyone the "I'm feeling positive within myself along this journey" type of crap.

Once the bad habit of eating food that is delicious and completely body-destroying is overcome, hopefully it's all downhill (weight-wise) from there.