Weight Loss Journey

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Losing weight is a journey that many people embark on at some point in their lives. It can be a tough and frustrating process, but it is achievable with the correct mindset and approach. In this article, I will share my personal weight loss journey, including the challenges I faced and the strategies that worked for me.

Starting Point

  • I have fought with my weight for as long as I can remember. I was always the chubby kid in my class, and my weight continued to creep up as I got older. By the time I was in my early 20s, I was significantly overweight and unhappy with my appearance.
  • I knew I was required to make a change, but I wasn’t sure where to start. I tried various diets and exercise plans over the years but always seemed to fall off the wagon after a few weeks. I was trapped in a cycle of losing weight and then gaining it back, and it was taking a toll on my mental and physical health.

Turning Point

  • In my mid-20s, I hit a turning point. I was struggling with depression and anxiety, and my weight was adding to my feelings of hopelessness. One day, I woke up and decided that enough was enough. I was tired of feeling unhappy and unhealthy, and I knew I needed to make a real change to feel better.
  • I started by setting realistic goals for myself. Instead of losing weight quickly, I focused on making small changes to my diet and exercise habits. I started by cutting back on sugary and processed foods and incorporating more fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins into my meals.
  • I also began to exercise regularly, starting with short walks around my neighborhood and gradually increasing my activity level. Setting small goals and tracking my progress helped me stay motivated and focused on my weight loss journey.


  • While I was making progress, my weight loss journey was challenging. One of my biggest obstacles was social pressure to eat unhealthy foods. I often felt pressured to indulge in high-calorie meals and snacks when I was out with friends or family, even when I knew it wasn’t in line with my weight loss goals.
  • I also struggled with emotional eating. I would turn to food for comfort whenever I was stressed or anxious. Breaking this habit was one of the most difficult parts of my weight loss journey. Still, I found that mindfulness techniques such as meditation and journaling helped me stay focused on my goals and avoid emotional eating.
  • Another challenge I faced was plateauing. Sometimes I diligently followed my diet and exercise plan, but my weight would not budge. These plateaus were frustrating and demotivating, but I learned to trust the process and keep pushing forward.

Strategies That Worked

Despite the challenges, several strategies helped me achieve my weight loss goals. Here are the most effective ones:

  1. Tracking my progress: Keeping a record of my weight, measurements, and fitness level helped me stay motivated and on track.
  2. Meal planning: Planning my meals and preparing healthy snacks helped me avoid impulse eating and stay on track with my diet.
  3. Finding a support system: Surrounding myself with supportive friends and family members who encouraged my healthy habits helped me stay motivated and accountable.
  4. Incorporating fun activities: Finding fun ways to exercise, such as dancing or hiking, helped me stay engaged and interested in my fitness routine.
  5. Celebrating small wins: Celebrating small achievements along the way, such as fitting into a smaller size of clothing or completing a challenging workout, helped me stay positive and motivated.

In conclusion, beginning a weight loss journey is not easy but worthwhile and rewarding. Losing weight not only improves your physical health but it also improves your confidence and self-esteem.

  • The journey toward weight loss requires discipline, consistency, and patience. It involves lifestyle changes, such as a healthier diet and increasing physical activity. With dedication and the right mindset, anyone can achieve their weight loss goals.
  • It is necessary to note that weight loss is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Each person’s body is individual, and what works for one person may not work for another. Finding a weight loss plan that fits your needs and preferences is essential.
  • It is also crucial to remember that weight loss is not a quick fix. It is a lifelong journey that requires ongoing effort and commitment. Celebrate your achievement, no matter how small, and use setbacks as learning opportunities to push yourself further.
  • Finally, always remember to prioritize your health above anything else. Consult with a healthcare professional before beginning any weight loss program to ensure you take a safe and healthy approach. You can achieve your weight loss goals with enthusiasm and hard work and lead a happier and healthier life.

Here we discuss this with Dr. Alicia, a physician, to get her thoughts on this topic.

How Do People Embark On A Weight Loss Journey?

NourishDoc: Hello, everyone. Well, we all want to lose extra five pounds, but for people who are obese, how do they embark on a weight loss journey? That is the topic of discussion today with Dr. Shelley. Dr. Shelley is a physician and MD focusing on obesity and family medicine. Thank you so much for joining me, Dr. Shelley.

Dr. Alicia: Thank you. It’s an honor to be here to talk about how people can get back on track with their weight loss. I lost 80 pounds, regained the weight, and lost the weight again. So, I understand how it is when you’re like trying to get back on, and you’re just feeling really discouraged and just feeling having that sense of shame. So, I’m so happy to help people get past that and get to their optimal, healthy selves.

Five Secrets Of A Good Weight Loss Journey

NourishDoc: Well, that’s amazing. I didn’t know you had lost 80 pounds and gone back and forth like a yo-yo. So, this is a great, great example. So, let’s talk about, you talk about five secrets, right? And, let’s go through that journey of what you feel, and then also references to your journey.

Dr. Alicia: Yeah, so a lot of times, especially when you have lost weight, regain some of it back, and then or trying to lose it again, it can be very discouraging, there’s much shame, there’s much doubt that can you do it again and so, I would say the first secret to getting back on track with your weight loss, number one, is to stay positive.

Many times, we think of the last diet that we did and how it was not successful, or we may have been able to be successful with it. However, then, we gained the weight back. We got discouraged, and so, what I found even in my journey is that if I stay positive and have a positive outlook on it, it helps me keep going. You may say, well, how do you say positive, right? You have that mindset. Well, number one, I use powerful thoughts.

So, I use power thoughts as affirming thoughts that help you stay encouraged, stay positive, and win that negative thought that comes through. So, the one I like to use for myself is that you can do this and do hard things. I remind myself that even if I don’t feel like exercising, I don’t feel like eating, the healthy thing, I can do hard things. I can push through this, which helps me get through that particular period.

Another reason that helps with staying positive is knowing why you’re doing it. Making sure that it’s strong why. Now, a good example of this is when one of my patients came in for a consultation, and I asked her, hey, why are you here? Like what is it that motivates you to lose weight? And she instantly said, oh, my doctor sent me here, and I’m okay. Well, I’m glad that you’re here.

Let’s talk about what we can do in the conversation; we brought up the fact that she was drinking many sodas, and so I said, well, one thing we can do is maybe cut back on the sodas, and she shut me down. She’s like, nope, not doing it. Not cutting back on the sodas, not at all, and I felt then we went on with the conversation, but in the end, it ended up, she never came back. She never was able to lose weight because her why wasn’t strong enough.

So a good why or a good reason when you have a good reason for losing weight is when somebody asks you to do something as simple as cut back on your sodas or exercise 30 minutes a day. You don’t shut them down because this is why you’re doing it. So I had another patient who was told that she had to lose forty pounds to get her knee replacement. Even though she had back pain, she had knee pain; she was like, I’m exercising an hour a day in the chair doing chair exercises. After about nine months, she lost not only 40 pounds but 56 pounds.

So, having that strong why is important, and then next is just trying to stay positive even when you don’t feel like it. So, that’s secret number one. Secret number two is having realistic goals. So, when we have us, we’re starting a weight-loss journey or a certain diet. We have a lot of unrealistic goals. like, okay, I’m going to exercise two hours a day. I’m going to eat all these different healthy foods. It can be overwhelming, especially if we haven’t been doing this to start.

So seeing how many times we’re busy. We have responsibilities. We’re at work; we have at home; we have our children; we have our families to take care of. We may be caring for our elderly parents. So our schedules may not be as open as when we were young. Having realistic goals, maybe focusing on one healthy implementation and just nailing that and then starting another healthy habit, maybe the way to go, especially if you have a busy lifestyle.

So, that would be secret number two. So, secret number 3 is just getting started. Start with the exercise. Start with eating healthy chews. One thing that you can start to do and then go that. As I mentioned, we often want to do everything because we have unrealistic goals and may not have that time. So, you can start slow and gradually build your way up. You don’t have to do an hour, seven days out the week of exercise, but you can start maybe with 30 minutes, three days out the week, and then each week increasing it and being realistic with what time you have.

Many people may have one or two, or three jobs they have to do. It’s sometimes overwhelming to kind of exercise. So, at least having certain realistic goals makes it easier, and then the secret number three is to start, just to start. Now, the one thing you mentioned too is about sugar addiction. So, secret number four is choosing more quality foods over quantity foods.

So when we look at the quality of food, it means a lot because many times, if we look at an apple, which is real, unprocessed, they take that same apple. They make apple sauce. They take that same applesauce. They can make an apple pie, and the very healthy apple has now become more processed, so studies have shown that when you eat less processed foods and healthier foods, it helps. Also, when you think of sugar addiction, when you think of it many times, you don’t realize it.

However, when we are eating a lot of processed sugars, our body gets used to it, making it hard to break, and we find that you’re craving all these different processed foods. Now, you may be asking, what’s processed food?

A good example of that is your cookies, your donuts, gummy bears, and candies, sometimes these are extremely processed when you think of where they were to start with, and so, many times, breaking that sugar addiction is by number one, changing the type of foods that you eat instead of eating more simple carbs or simple sugars like your donuts and your cookies, you eat more complex carbs like your fruit which is a complex carb.

However, it’s still sweet; watermelon tastes great. So by your body being more used to that particular sugar, you will find that when you go back to eating that more processed sugar, that donut, you’re like, oh, this is too, this is too sweet. I’m not used to it; this is too much sugar in you. So, your body will change as it gets used to more of a complex carb or more complex sugar, and so that’s secret number four.

So choosing more quality foods over quantity and then secret number 5 is to stay consistent and have fun. The biggest thing with the weight loss journey is that people quit too early. You often get discouraged because, in your mind, you thought you would lose 20 pounds the first month and may have lost ten, and because you didn’t hit that goal, you’re like, well, well, this is not working. When in actuality, you just needed to give it more time.

When we think of weight loss, weight loss is not like, is not very linear. So, it’s not like a curve where it’s just that you keep losing every single week. However, when you lose weight, you may lose a couple of pounds the first week, gain a pound the second week, then lose four pounds this third week. Then maybe plateau, you’re the same weight, the fifth week, and it doesn’t mean it didn’t work.

It’s just that, the way our body is, it’s not just, you’re losing every week, and so, many times, people get discouraged when they don’t see it. I remember I had one client, and I was asking her about her past weight-loss journey, and she’s like, oh, I did this, but I stopped. I’m like, oh, well, why did you stop? And she’s like; I didn’t see a difference.

Well, I was like, well, how long did you do it for? Oh, one month? And I was like, well, that’s not a long, that’s not enough time. When I see people who are more consistent with their weight loss and continue those healthy habits regardless of their weight, they lose in the end. I remember I saw one lady. We didn’t do any medications for her, she just changed how she ate, and she was; you gave her self-compassion, and she ate a little bit more one day.

She didn’t beat herself up about it; when she returned after three months, she lost 30 pounds. I’m like, oh my gosh, she lost 30 pounds, and I didn’t mention that she was seventy. So it’s a little bit harder to lose weight. When I got older, I asked her what it was. She’s like, well, what? I just stuck to the are stuck to healthy habits, and then, I just was consistent.

So, being consistent is the key, and sticking to it because you may be surprised by the weight you lose when you continue to keep going. So, those would be the five secrets. Stay positive, have realistic goals, start exercising, and eating healthy habits, choose quality foods over quantity, stay consistent, and have fun.

Weight Loss Process

NourishDoc: I think that’s amazing. I just had to ask you one question. You said you lost 80 pounds. I mean, that’s incredible. How long did it take to lose that weight, and then you said you gained back some of it? So talk to us briefly about the process and what a typical meal looks like for you in one day.

Dr. Alicia: Yeah. So, many times. So, for me to lose that 80 pounds, it took years. It wasn’t something that I lost like this. It was implementing healthy habits, and I focus on five to 10 pounds at a time, and I work on that. I work on making sure that I have my exercise, making sure that I have my diet correct; I struggle just like some people; you have those cravings where you want, I want fries or I want this, and trying to get to that healthy habit, I was a meat eater for a long time.

Then I decided to transition into more of a plant-based diet, and I saw that that helped me a lot. I felt like I had more energy. I could keep going, and I felt good, but sometimes, that plant-based diet is difficult. For me, and so, I attended to go back to the need and come back, and so, as I kept kind of yo-yo-ing, eventually, I could stick with a vegetarian diet.

So, it took years; it was something I could only accomplish in a short period. You don’t necessarily want to lose weight in a short period. Like, let’s say you lost 80 pounds in 4 months. The reason is that when you return to your old habits, your body will eventually regain that weight. So you see many people who do that yo-yo diet where for example, they’ll do the lemonade diet, and they won’t eat anything, and they’ll lose so much weight, but when they start putting that food back in, the weight comes back.

So, you do want to lose at least one to two pounds per week, and even there will be some weeks where you don’t lose any pounds. But keep going because what happens is your body adjusts. Science has noticed that when you lose weight, your body wants you to return to that old way. It wants to be at that set point. It was very happy at that heavier weight, and so what it does is it decreases your metabolism and increases your hunger hormones, so you eat a little bit.

So, many times it makes it even harder to kind of breakthrough, but if you keep going, keep being consistent, what you’ll find, you’ll be able to break through that plateau. You may have to change up what you’re eating, and you may have to change up a little bit as far as your exercise, but you’ll be able to break through that plateau.

Not Adding Meat to Our Daily Meals

NourishDoc: Wow, that’s amazing. So, what do you eat on a typical day to keep fit?

Dr. Alicia: Yeah. So, I like to do plant-based during the week. Then on the weekend, I do vegetarian or vegan during the week, and then I do vegetarianism on the weekends. So, I usually have a piece of fruit with a plant-based yogurt with granola for breakfast. I’m trying to get some protein there, and then, for lunch, I’ll usually have a nice salad with garbanzo beans. I like a little bit of sweetness.

So, I put some mandarin oranges, cravings, and cranberries to give them a little color. Some of the garbanzo beans have protein. So, that’s usually for my lunch, and then for my dinner, I’ll usually have something plant-based. So, I have a vegetable, like some beans or protein, and then a little starch. Depending on my mood, I may have a bit of rice or couscous. So, you make it that way during the week, and then on the weekend, I allow myself a little bit of dairy and no meat.

NourishDoc: No meat. Absolutely no meat, right?

Dr. Alicia: Yeah, no meat; it’s so funny. It was a year, and I’ve had one year without meat. So, yeah, it works for me, and I feel good about it. So, as long as I’m feeling good, I’ll keep going.

NourishDoc: Wow, inspiring, and it’s an inspiring story for many people who are thinking of embarking on this journey of weight loss, and we know that the research talks about recent are associated with so many other current conditions. We don’t want to go there, but today’s idea was a quick 10 to a 15-minute session; what can you do to your point? A positive mindset and the five points that you talked about are key for us to start on the journey. Right? Anything else you want to add before I wrap up this evening’s session?

Dr. Alicia: Oh yes, I would say stay encouraged. You can do this. You have done this before, and you’ve lost weight before. So, you can do this but stay encouraged and know that you can and start. Often, it’s just planning what you’re going to do and then doing it in your schedule. Just do it.

NourishDoc: Well, thank you so much for all this inspiration. Everyone else, keep supporting us. We bring these 10-minute wellness tips daily to keep you motivated and embrace a holistic lifestyle. Have a good evening, everyone, and happy Friday for tomorrow. Thank you.


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