Being fat is not in “your genes”
Some people believe that being fat is hereditary, that it is genetic and there is little or nothing that can be done about it. This is rarely true.
Yes, many overweight people are influenced by their families but they are more a product of their environment more than any genetic coding. When your parents are heavy and you are brought up eating the same diet then you will be heavy also. It is assumed that you are fat because it “runs in the family”.
The only thing that “runs in the family” is the tendency to eat the wrong foods. That was the case for me, and I proved that my ‘fat genes” do not have to control me.
How my weight problem started
My difficult relationship with food started in my teenage years as I gained weight compared to my friends. My attempts to control my weight led to disaster. After one heavy spell of dieting at the age of 17 (on a cabbage soup diet), I had no periods for about 6 months and found myself too weak to function. I actually fainted one day but, even then, did not see that this was not working.
My weight fluctuated dramatically depending on my mood, the time of year and whether I had a boyfriend. My weight was a constant noise in my mind and undermined my confidence. I tried everything to control my weight and became almost obsessed. I took up smoking and would drink as much coffee as I could stand to control my appetite. It seems so ridiculous now.
Hit the bottom
The situation got worse when I moved to work in a big city. Long hours and the constant demands of city life left me tired most of the time. When my body needed a healthy, balanced diet more than anything, I was seeking a quick fix through more coffee, sugary snacks, highly processed food, and fast food. I ate a lot of meat and dairy products due to convenience, habit and even addiction (cheese and ice cream were my guilty pleasures). These foods were making my body sick and low in energy.
My skin was clogged and dry, I developed premature wrinkles (at the age of 23!) and was relying on lots of makeup to look good. I always knew how to dress, so I managed to hide my huge weight gain with smart clothing tricks. But the makeup and clothes could not hide my poor health, low energy, and disappointment with myself.
My body started the alarm signals and I suffered back pain, bladder infections, regular colds, headaches, and sore throats. I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome which, as a friend said to me, really means “STOP”.
A moment of clarity:
A friend suggested doing an exercise to determine my core values in life. To my surprise, my health was number one. However, I realized that I was doing my best to destroy my number one priority in life. I was shocked and had a moment of clarity.
This exercise is so powerful, that I decided to share it with other people in my ebook “Mastery in Weight Loss”, which you can get for free when you subscribe to my website at www.becomethebestofyou.com
Doing that exercise has planted a seed. The changes didn’t happen overnight, but my journey to better health and life has started. It has led me to a new career that I absolutely love – helping others to change their habits and become a better version of themselves.
Losing the weight:
I lost almost 40 lbs in 3 years. So how did I achieve this? I’ll be honest – it was not easy and there were many slip-ups along the way. If I knew as much as I know now, the journey could have been so much easier. That’s why I love sharing my knowledge with other people and seeing them achieve the results quickly. I’ve created free video training series at www.lovetariandetox.com where I openly share everything that I did in order to lose 40 lbs. and keep it off.
I read everything and anything on healthy food and lifestyles. I had to sift between masses of contradictory reports and articles and work out for myself which ones were accurate. As I worked through an information overload, the path became clearer and I knew I had to move towards a diet that included far more fresh fruit and vegetables. When I look back 2010 seems a haze of articles, programmes, blogs, documentaries, and medical journals.
Changing the mindset
A big part of the change was mastering my mindset. My logical mind knew what to do, but other voices inside me could find reasons to sabotage.
There was still a voice in my mind saying that being fat was my fate in life, that it was in my family and that this was destined to fail. I had to do a lot of work with myself: read books, attend seminars, work with coaches.
The best argument I had against that voice in my mind was the changes happening in my body. By the end of 2010, my diet was mostly plant-based. The following year (2011) I moved to a fully plant-based diet and then to a mainly raw food diet. Giving up animal products relieved my digestion issues, sore throat, headaches, allergies, fatigue and sugar cravings. I felt light, energized and alive again!
The effects were amazing. The initial weight drop was the easy bit – the low hanging fruit in vegan terms. I had reduced my weight from 75 kilograms (165lbs) to 65 kilograms (143 lbs). I was happy and felt like a new person. My weight was stable and walking around 20lbs lighter felt like floating on air.
Taking health and fitness to the next level
As I had started working as a nutritionist and helping others, I decided that I should lose some more weight, clean up my diet, even more, tone my body and inspire others to get healthier and lose weight. I set myself an exercise regime (6 days a week) and stuck to it. Three months later I had dropped another 8 kilograms (almost 18 lbs). That was in early 2013 and I kept the weight off.
A year later I pushed myself further and dropped another few kilograms. At this stage I feel so good about my weight, my skin and my appearance and my energy levels have reached an all-time high.
I have learned so much through this process. The knowledge I have gained is not just about nutrition, diet, and exercise but also about the pain and the difficulties in making these changes. I have learned how to focus and how to change habits. I have learned the tricks the human mind will play to resist change and how to counteract them. Above all, I have learned how much I appreciate my body and how I would never go back to the lifestyle I once thought I enjoyed.
I have tried to be open and share the bad side as well as the good. I have also posted photographs of the old me and the process on my website. A picture is worth a thousand words. You can find them here: www.becomethebestofyou.com/journey.
Don’t give up
It is not always easy. There will be times when you just want to give up – don’t. There will be times when you plateau and feel it is a waste of time – it is not. Your mind will try to persuade you to stop. It will conjure up thoughts of the food that you have given up. It is just a subconscious reaction within your body to change, to be moved out of its comfort zone. It will pass.
When you reach these points say to yourself you have reached a wall. Keep pushing and the wall will fall and suddenly you will move forward quickly again. The longer you stick with it the easier it gets as you feel the benefits. Even if you only travel half the distance I have traveled you will be a lot happier within yourself.
If a girl like me, who had “fat genes”, hated exercising and loved food too much, could do it, then you can do it too! It’s worth it.
About the Author
Osha Key is a life lover, certified nutritionist, weight loss expert, the creator of the Lovetarian Detox (at www.lovetariandetox.com) and founder of www.becomethebestofyou.com. After losing 40 pounds, Osha is now on a mission to help women do the same.
In her FREE Weight Loss Video Training series at www.lovetariandetox.com, Osha teaches everything that has helped her lose 40 pounds of fat and keep it off.