Sometimes I wonder if gaining and losing weight is all dependent on how you think and the amount of stress involved at the time. Lots of stress = gain weight : relaxed = lose weight.
I have no scientific study to back up my hokey pokey itchy witchy self made theory except my own experience.
(a) When I lost weight initially in 2005, I didn't count calories or do any cardio. I just 'watched what I ate' (cut out the junk food) and did 15 minutes of strength training 6 mornings a week. I wasn't stressed at all about losing weight. It almost happened by itself.
(b) When I trained with Liz for my competition, I just did what I was told. I didn't have to plan or question if things were going to work, I just did the prescribed program. Again no real stress.
Conversely the three times I have gained weight back have been quagmires (love that word) of stress and times when I expected to gain weight.
(a) gave up smoking - fully expected to gain weight (and did)
(b) toured away from home for 7 weeks without a gym or access to a kitchen and my job was extremely stressful
(c) coming out the other side of comp - fully expected a rebound (and boy have I had one of those!)
So how does one (or how do I) find that stress free place where one (I) can drop this extra fat?
1. Find an eating plan that doesn't drive you crazy. I am still looking ... my 4 day on 3 day off was a disaster, my low days were far too low ... I am 2 days into a new (I know I know) approach but won't mention it yet because it is a little controversial in some circles (that's got you all busting with curiosity I bet)
2. Train because you enjoy it not because you have to. I am trying to find other things to do rather than go to the gym all the time because I am a bit bored with it at the moment and I still have a dodgy arm (wrist and shoulder). I don't want to feel forced to train or guilty for not going. That is adding another stress.
3. Meditate or pray or listen to music. I am thinking that spending 15 minutes a day in complete stillness, calming every cell in my body may be one of the carefully guarded secrets of losing fat.
4. Think and learn about things besides nutrition and training. I am trying to focus my mind on other things that don't create so much angst in my life. Learning about conflict resolution (ironically) or Buddhism lets me escape to a 'happy place' when my mind is not obsessed with doing whatever I think I should be to lose weight.
5. Laugh, be grateful, appreciate nature, have sex. Find ways to get endorphins activated without having to run or cycle until I hurt.
6. Learn to Act as if ... I act as if I am lean and strong naturally and effortless ~ Act as if my soul matters the most ~ Act as if I always have energy, lightness and vitality ~ Act as if I love myself ~ Act as if my spiritual energy is constant and joyous ~ Act as if eating crap is self harm and damages my soul more than my body ~ Act as if my physical and emotional well being are my full time job ~ Act as if I am stress free, relaxed and happy.