This is a repost from 2013 when I was teaching in Asia
“Mr. Matthew, you were fat!” -1st grade student
The 1st grade teacher at our school is on pregnancy leave, and I am the long-term substitute for her English and Reading classes. It’s always exciting. The first week I showed them some pictures, including this one:
That’s when one student kindly informed me that I was fat. I smiled. But not because I was fat. My weight has been a life-long struggle. I got made fun of all growing up: “Fatso,” “Fat-Matt,” and “Chubb-chubbs” are a few of the names I still remember. If you are one of the cruel people out there who make fun of fat people, I encourage you to keep your mouth shut. Your words hurt. If you, like me, have struggled for years with your weight, I encourage you keep struggling and grow confident that you can win.
Here are 5 thoughts on weight-loss:
1. You can lose weight and keep it off. It may be cliche to say, “If I can do it, you can do it,” but it’s true with weight loss. My metabolism was (and is) very slow. I can look at a brownie and gain weight. The key is to view your genetics as a reason to fight harder to win, not as an excuse to give up in defeat. Tip: Determine to win.
2. Weight-loss takes time. You didn’t gain your extra weight in a day or a week or a month; don’t expect to lose it in a day or a week or a month. The hardest part about losing weight is not eating right and exercising. The hardest part is waiting for the results to come. Patience is essential to weight-loss. Tip: Determine to wait.
3. Eating right is more important than exercise. Don’t misunderstand me – both are important, but eating right is more important than exercise. It’s easy to convince yourself that eating right is only effective if you exercise. That is a lie. Eating the right amounts of the right food (even with no exercise) will, over time, bring tremendous results. Tip: If you fill your fridge with healthy food, you will eat healthy food. Shop when you are not hungry, and buy healthy food. Think lots of fruit and vegetables. They taste better than you think.
4. Exercise is still very important. Yes, it’s true. Exercise burns calories, stimulates brain activity, puts you in a better mood, and trains you in self-discipline. The key is not what or when but that you get moving. I personally prefer running or cycling in the morning. It’s a time to think, pray, listen to music or podcasts, and get prepared for the day ahead. Do what works for you: walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, and/or anything that gets you moving. Tip: Track your steps and try to get 10,000 steps a day. Take the first step.
5. Now is the time to start. You are going where you will be. And you know how to lose weight, but it’s not easy to erase the distance between knowing and doing. Every day is new opportunity to take small steps towards losing weight. There is not one giant step, only a lot of little steps that adds up to measurable change. Actions, not intentions, make the difference. Tip: Start today. You won’t regret it.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. -Lao-Tzu