Catching sight of my reflection in the bathroom mirror of our motorhome, I sighed as it seemed life on the road was making it even more difficult to lose weight. I felt I was doomed to end up twice the size I had been. My weight just seemed to keep on steadily increasing since the change-of-life hormones had dictated a slowing of metabolism.
Although I have a degree in nutrition education and also spent several years as a medical education officer, I found the knowledge gained from conventional nutrition wisdom could not help me to shed weight without starving myself. I was not prepared to do that – retirement is meant to be fun isn’t it?
Being a ‘shortie’ meant larger-sized clothing looked awkward on me and this, plus my extra bulk and tiredness, together with a limp from an arthritic hip, made me feel about 100.
When I heard about The Gabriel Method from a friend, the words, ‘no strenuous exercise’ in the blurb on the book of the same name, immediately lassoed my attention. Its author, Jon Gabriel had, incredibly, lost more than 99kg and has kept it off for 10 years.
You do have to find something that makes sense to you and with my knowledge of nutrition I knew that slimming diets are either not sustainable or incorporate aspects which are unhealthy in the long term. This non-diet was not about limiting foods, nor was it about promoting the use of meal supplements. In fact there were no unhealthy or difficult aspects. It was all about giving your body the nutrients it needs and deserves. No counting calories or counting or tracking anything. It was about enjoying your food and relaxing and it didn’t require strenuous exercise.
While I recognise that some people really enjoy rigorous exercise, I was not one of them. And if your mind connects the process of weight loss with suffering and negativity then failure is practically imminent because who wants to suffer voluntarily? This program seemed easy and so I was more than ready to review this method and give it a try.
By the time we’d reached Geraldton new, smaller clothes were required
In my case, hormones and the limiting belief that I was doomed to an ever increasing girth were responsible for my weight retention and steady gain. Other really common causes can be chronic stress, past trauma and poor sleeping patterns, as greater weight can be the body’s way of trying to protect you.
However, I am thrilled to announce that not only have I achieved my goal weight, but also that it was easy. As an added bonus I inadvertently ended up with a trimmer husband. A recent photograph taken in the distortion mirror at the Ceramic Break Sculpture Park (a fascinating place near Warialda, NSW) reminded me of this fear of becoming twice my size; a fear that has now evaporated.
By the time we reached Darwin in early September – leaving Brisbane in mid May – I had lost 7.5kg. Although some people lose it much more quickly, for others it may take three months before the weight starts to fall off. My slacks and shorts were becoming loose, but I had hoped for a more dramatic result at this stage. Then George pointed out that this equated to 7.5 of the one-kilo yoghurt tubs that we buy to enhance our breakfasts. That was a most encouraging way to look at it. I’m glad he hadn’t chosen tubs of margarine or lard as a comparison.
With the Scooby Doo crew, Movie World, near home in Brisbane
When we reached Geraldton, George had to take all his shorts in to ‘Vinnies’ and buy new ones. He had dropped two sizes and he wasn’t even actively trying to lose weight. I had to buy new shorts in Perth and by the time we reached the area around Denmark, WA and explored Elephant Rocks, I no longer felt like an elephant. Then, when we arrived in Albury/Wodonga in mid December, it was time for a new outfit. I had now shed 12.5 kilos and George had lost 9kg. People really noticed when we returned home and couldn’t help commenting on our trimmer bodies.
To my great relief, the trend of steady weight gain has stopped. Since then I have lost a further 7kg and, as my body finds its new ‘set point’, it will keep me there automatically. My waist measurement now falls under that determined by the healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) standards and that is what’s important. As an added bonus, my skin is smooth and supple, I’m not constantly tired, I don’t get sick and the only time I limp now (just for a few steps) is if I rise from sitting in an awkward position. I smile now when I reflect on the chagrin I felt when George had dared to suggest that my hip problems were possibly aggravated by the extra weight I was carrying.
HERE’S HOW EASY IT WAS TO SHED THE KILOS:
If digestive enzymes are lacking (and they do diminish as we age) your system will not be able to extract all the nutrients from the food you eat so you will continue to be hungry while your body seeks adequate nourishment. Aging bodies mean that some vitamin and mineral levels (e.g. B6) also diminish, again, partly because the enzymes dwindle, and many are interdependent. So you could be eating a lot but still be nutritionally starved with your body making you hungry, seeking more nutrients.
A large factor in our successful weight loss was switching to having lunch as our main meal. Avoiding going to bed (when your metabolism slows) with a full tummy is important. If you must eat later, try to stop at least three hours before bedtime. No matter what you eat, the only stipulation is that you include a luscious and colourful salad with it. So there’s little use in a smaller plate as you need to fit a large salad on as well. The more colour you can incorporate into your salad the more nutrients you are providing.
Two dishes are prawn salad and salmon with salad
The next important aspect is to visualise your success. Sports and business coaches use visualisation constantly to improve results and it’s important to get an image into your subconscious of the look you wish to achieve. You visualise your goal and imagine your success. To assist in this, find a photo of how you would like to look. I chose a photo of myself at 28. Put the photo in a prominent place (I used it as my phone wallpaper) and look at it often, especially first thing in the morning and last thing at night. You need to get the message to your body, that this is how you want to look.
Consider just how many functions the body carries out without your direct intervention; heart beating, valves opening and shutting, breathing, digestion, fat storage, etc. Visualisation reaches the body at the subconscious level and thus achieves the goal of letting your body know it’s safe to let go of any extra weight.
The next important step is to address any stress in your life. Your body works properly and heals well when relaxed so you need to find methods which work for you to de-stress. Meditation is excellent and music can help as can walking or dancing. The body can’t be in stress mode at the same time as when you are having fun and being relaxed and happy so stress chemicals won’t be coursing through your body then and any extra weight will just gradually dwindle. The GM website has free aids to help with this but you may be able to find your own method, so do what you enjoy, relax and have fun.
Tags: Weight Health Exercise Food Salad Travel
Written: Mon 01 Sep 2014
Printed: September, 2014