Learn from your mistakes
WELLBEING

Learn from your mistakes

Sometimes the best way to learn is by error. Five slimmers share how they recognised their weight-loss mistakes, put them behind them and moved forward.

5 ways to learn from mistakes

 

MISTAKE #1. Skipping meals

Skipping meals isn't a secret weight-loss weapon. Quite the reverse, actually because it can lead to low blood sugar levels, which can result in cravings and overeating. High-school teacher Helen, 38, was well acquainted with meal skipping. “Skipping meals, and especially breakfast, was one of my biggest mistakes because this led to late-night cravings." Helen started her weight-loss journey after her weight increased to an all-time high. “Like many of us, I was eating out regularly, consuming too much food and not being active enough," she says. Weight Watchers taught Helen that weight loss is more successful when people swap their unhealthy habits for new, healthier ones. “Now, I eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, and I never skip breakfast," says Helen, who lost a total of 35 kilograms.

 

MISTAKE #2. Yo-yoing

Continuous cycles of weight loss and weight gain is called ‘yo-yo’ dieting. This pattern can affect general health over time, so it's best to slowly lose weight and keep it off with a sustainable lifestyle plan. Kylie, 34, had been a Weight Watchers member on and off for six years. “I would do well, then lose the plot over the festive season," she says, adding that she’d then ignore the problem completely, and end up right back where she started. Kylie’s last attempt was finally successful, losing 10 kilograms and keeping it off with a combination of attending Group Coaching sessions and making the most of WW's online tools. “My best advice is to throw away clothes that are too big. I’d never done that before, which meant as I gained weight back, I’d always have clothes that fit," she says. Now, without bigger sizes hanging in her wardrobe, when her size 10 shorts start to get tight: “it’s the trigger to learn from my mistakes and get back on track!"

 

MISTAKE #3. Starting next week

Sometimes the prospect of a fresh start just around the corner, is more tempting than trying to start right now. But when Monday rolls around, will you end up taking that first step? Sick of hearing, ‘Geez you've put on weight’, 29-year-old Jay decided to stop making excuses. "I ditched my attitude of ‘I'll start next week’ and started attending my local Weight Watchers Group Coaching sessions immediately," he says. Since losing 40 kilograms, a lot of things in Jay’s life have changed. “My daughter is very happy that I can play with her for longer and my wife is so supportive of what I've achieved,” says the proud father, who no longer postpones anything in life.

 

MISTAKE #4. Emotional eating

Eating in response to our emotions can compromise weight loss. If you're prone to emotional eating, it is possible to take steps to regain control. For Emma, a 22-year-old university student, feeding her feelings was common. “With Weight Watchers, I’ve been able to conquer my emotional eating through recording how I felt whenever I felt like eating something," she says. Tracking what her feelings were doing when she felt like reaching for food proved to be a successful weight-loss tool and Emma lost 31.5 kilograms to achieve her Goal weight. “I’m an emotional eater no more!"

 

MISTAKE #5. Zero exercise

Not only does being physically active make you feel good, it also boost your fitness and improves your energy levels. For Carolyn, 38, exercise simply wasn’t part of her everyday life. “I avoided physical activity like the plague and got extremely angry if anyone tried to make me do it," she admits. After losing more than 55 kilograms with Weight Watchers, Carolyn now understands why moving more is such a key part of living a healthy lifestyle. “It seems so obvious now. I must have had blinkers on back then." Now, instead of getting angry about doing exercise, Carolyn loves it. “Exercise is my new passion and I love running, pilates, rowing and biking."