I read this this morning and my DD and I had just been talking about this very thing. I had a slight gain at weigh in this week and rather than be discouraged I thought of all the things I have accomplihed since embarking on this weight loss journey.
Poll: How Soon Do You Expect to See a Change?
By: Nancy Howard : 3/11/2009 2:28:12 PM : 88 comments
I am a fitness magazine fanatic. Just ask my postal carrier. Each week I receive at least two publications which are reviewed and studied cover to cover before the end of the day. I love reading everything I can get my hands on from Shape, to Oxygen, to Women’s Running, to Runner’s World, and my all-time fav, On Fitness, a magazine geared to personal trainers.
But one thing that drives me crazy is the number of ads in many of these publications featuring models who claim to drop a size or more within a very short period of time by just taking—you fill in the blank. And let’s not talk about the by-lines on the covers claiming total body transformations in just 4 weeks time. Having been on this journey as long as I have, I know it takes much longer then that.
But why is it the minute we do not see a drop on the scale we look at our actions as a failure? Trust me this is far from the reality. The change our bodies must undergo will take time and if we have the patience and fortitude to not allow the scale to determine our success or failure then we all will succeed.
We all must be aware of that every change within the body must begin within the cells themselves. While we never ‘lose’ fat cells when we lose weight, we do lose free fatty acids within the fat cell. In other words, we cannot change the number of fat cells when we lose weight; we just shrink them by the release of free fatty acid to give us fuel, which eventually makes the cells smaller. I like to equate this like a a water-filled balloon losing water slowly out a pin point hole. The balloon is shrinking, just like our fat cells, but it is going to take time for the water to be drip out of the hole.
On the other hand the mitochondria, the tiny organelles within the cell which turn our food and oxygen into energy are getting larger in size and more numerous in number. The mitochondria are what drive our metabolism and give us the energy to get through a workout. Therefore, as we develop better cardio-respiratory endurance and do some sound resistance training, the cells are forced to make these powerhouse mitochondria bigger and greater in number to fuel the new activity. Once again, this takes time for the changes to occur.
This is why when you look at losing weight you need to view this as a lifelong endeavor and not just a quick means to reach your goal weight only to go back to the way your life used to be. It takes time and patience to get results. I like to say that it takes faith and courage to start this journey and patience and determination to stay on the path.
Do you believe the ads or programs that promise results in 6, 9, or 12 weeks? Do you become frustrated if you aren’t getting results as quickly as you expected? Does it help to know that the changes must begin at the cellular level before we can see them in the mirror?