Maintaining a healthy weight is vital for good health. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, it not only lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure, it can also reduce the risk of many different cancers.
Here at Ondol Clinic, we are so proud of our colleague and good friend, Alice, who has been on a life-changing journey to become healthier, fitter and more alive. So, we asked her some key questions. Here is her story.
1 What was the turning point for you in deciding to get healthier and lose weight? Tell us about what was happening in your life at the time.
When I was at Uni, I was pretty stressed with all the work and study. I had let my exercise, diet and nutrition slip as I just tried to get through and manage the workload. When I finished Uni, I felt like a different person. I had more time and felt less guilty spending some time exercising instead of doing Uni work. I thought I could give myself permission to focus on my health instead of the next assignment that was due.
2 What helped you get started and start this new life?
Acupuncture helped me recover after a stressful five years at Uni. I didn’t realise the damage it had done to my body. Acupuncture gave me somewhere to come and undo the internal and emotional damage.
I also had a fantastic trainer and other support around me. They all held me accountable and helped guide me by being realistic about what I should be doing compared to what I was doing.
3 What were your biggest challenges?
Perhaps my biggest challenge was being scared of stepping on the scales each week and learning to be proud of whatever it said, no matter the progress.
Another challenge was understanding food better, knowing what I was putting into my body, and how it was either helping me or hindering me. I also needed to understand my body better. I needed to recognise how I was feeling, why, and how that related to what I was eating and exercising.
So many people regain the weight they have lost, so living a new life, forming new habits of exercising and recovery, and eating well is the key. It has to be a new way of life, not just a short-term goal that you reach and then returns to how you were.
4 What was the time frame for your weight loss?
It’s been two years of hard work. Losing weight for good is not a short-term thing. It needs to be a longer-term commitment. I gave myself breaks throughout that time, like Christmas and birthdays and holidays. Still, I always kept myself accountable and understood the food I put in my body.
5 What kept you motivated?
I was motivated by having a team, tracking progress, making little goals, and being competitive with myself. Let me explain:
- Team – Having a group of people holding me accountable, encouraging me
- Progress – knowing each week I tried my hardest and seeing it pay off
- Little goals – having an outfit to fit into or increasing my weights/speed/ progress in the gym
- Being competitive – I am very competitive, so out-competing my sisters was important
6 What advice would you give to others on your journey?
I felt much more capable of maintaining motivation once my stress levels were down, so reducing the stress in your life is a really good place to start.
I had extra support from a knowledgeable team I surrounded myself with. So making sure you have those people around you who can guide you, keep you motivated and celebrate your successes is really important.
7 Tell me more about how acupuncture played a part in your weight loss
Acupuncture played an essential part for me. I love that the whole philosophy of East Asian medicine, and acupuncture specifically, is to take a holistic approach to health. It aims to restore balance in the body by influencing the flow of energy (Qi) in the meridians to achieve homeostasis for optimal health. So together, we looked at my diet, my quality of sleep, my levels of stress, and my energy levels. Everything worked together to improve my overall health, which really helped me with my weight loss and overall well-being.
8 What did you learn about yourself along the way?
I learned so much. Perhaps the most important have been:
- It’s easy to lie to yourself and pretend you did everything you could. Being honest with yourself is the first step.
- Undoing the image and idea I had in my head of myself was difficult. I don’t have to be a certain way my whole life, and if I want to change it, I can do that.
- Sometimes I can’t do everything by myself; I need to actually take on board what other people are suggesting to me, especially when they are more experienced than me in this area.
- The image in the mirror isn’t essential if you enjoy how you feel in your body.
In the words of Dietitian Fiona Sutherland, the director of ‘Body Positive Australian’ and ‘The Mindful Dietitian’,
“Body confidence is not about changing our bodies. It is about changing the way we relate to our bodies.” It’s about no longer feeling you need to change the way you look in order to enjoy your life.
9 Thank you for sharing your journey with us, Alice. Your insights are really enlightening.
That’s a pleasure – I hope my thoughts can help others in their goals to live a healthier life.
If you would like to book an appointment with Alice or any of our practitioners here at Ondol Clinic, contact us here. We can help you take your first step on your journey to a healthier you.