The Secret to Weight Loss

Saturday, October 12, 2019
The other morning, as I was unproductively scrolling through Twitter multiple times in a day like the millennial I am, I came across this tweet:
What a time to be alive. This tweet literally summarizes about 80% of what I’ve been trying to do this year. In specific, I’ve been trying to sleep better, drink 2-3 liters of water every day, consistently workout, walk around my park, eat fruits, eat veggies, watch Hasan Minhaj's show on Netflix and read. By read, I really mean briefly read twitter headlines, and by veggies, I mean like, potatoes and stuff. Just kidding. I started eating cauliflower rice this year and adding other veggies to it, like kale and peas. That’s three whole vegetables. As a result of these activities, I’ve been losing weight. It’s just been melting off of me. (Important to note that I’ve combined these activities with counting calories and portion control. I use the MyFitnessPal app to track what I’m eating.) 


These are tips I had heard about my whole life. Everyone always said, “Cut your meals in half!” “Go to the gym!” “Stop eating junk food!” “Portion control!” But I never listened. Everyone said that losing weight was a matter of healthy eating and exercise. But what does that even mean? What is healthy eating and what is exercise? Who am I? Why am I here? Is there life in other planets? I just want buffalo wings with ranch followed by dessert, preferably that Molten Lava chocolate cake from Chili’s. 

But what does being healthy really mean? What’s the secret to weight loss? How can I get away with eating buffalo wings and still lose weight? Not only did I ask myself these questions, but I also expected an answer. Deep inside, I believed there was a magic answer, a secret diet, an easy solution. So I WAITED. I waited 28 years of my life to somehow be gifted with the secret to weight loss. Was it Weight Watchers? Was it surgery? Was it diet pills? Was it keto? Was it Nutrisystem? What the heck was the secret? 

One day it occurred to me that maybe I needed to start looking for the answers myself. That maybe, just maybe, the secret to weight loss was to stop waiting for the secret and just try. Try something I hadn’t tried before. Whatever “trying” meant. To try, fail, and do it all over again, as many times as I needed to. To find my own answers and stop waiting for someone else to give them to me. Here’s my secret to weight loss: 

Mindset. Commitment. Consistency. Willingness. Positivity. 

My secret to weight loss was deciding to do something different; even if I didn’t know what that meant or how it would look. To start the kind of habits that would make feel hydrated, and stop overworking my pancreas, habits that would make me dodge diabetes, or maybe even walk for more than a block without losing my breath. I figured that if I created healthy habits, I could improve my life in all aspects. Then these habits would just become part of my life.

My secret to weight loss, ironically enough, was not focusing on the weight itself, but on the choices I was making. Like maybe chill a little on the 8-foot Philly cheesesteak sandwiches with extra mayo or the chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A all the time. Do it for your health, but also for social justice and human ri- wait, are we talking about crispy nuggets or grilled? because my ethical code depends on that. 

When I read that tweet above, I realized how the answer to what I once thought was a complicated and stressful question was so simple. It was right in front of me. Now, it should be said that counting calories has also helped a lot. And yes, counting calories can be annoying and tedious, but that’s when you figure out just how much you want what you want. 

How many excuses are you going to make before you realize that sometimes all it takes is giving weight loss a real try, with no excuses. Granted, sometimes we try our hardest and things don’t work out. But if that’s the case, then maybe your approach is not for you. Maybe the secret is to try another approach, or just to change your habits and make healthier choices in your life. 

It doesn’t take sweating buckets at the gym every day or living on only broccoli, kale and eggs to start seeing a difference. I didn’t even have to cut carbs from my life. Weight loss doesn’t mean starving yourself or hating the food you eat, it means finding a healthy balance of nutritious meals and activity – even if that activity is walking 20 minutes a day. Literally. 

I know everyone is different, and this approach might not work for everyone. I can only speak to what’s worked for me. I hope that if you’re reading this, you take something important away from my experience. Don’t wait for the magical solution to come to you in your dreams or to be posted on your Twitter feed. If you want to see something different, make a change. Start doing something differently and you’ll start seeing new results.

If that’s not what you got away from this blog, at the very least, I hope you got away that I eat my buffalo wings with ranch and not blue cheese. Because that's how you are supposed to do it. Blue cheese is trash. Thanks for coming to my TED talk. 

Be kind to people. 
(Except if they seek to oppress your basic human rights.)

-Cabi

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