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Weight loss is like anything else...


...if you want it bad enough, you can do it.  I recently got sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I felt fat and bloated all the time.  My family has a history of heart disease and I'm 45 - a few years younger than my father was when he had a devastating heart attack.

So I decided two things:

I was no longer a person who overindulges, andI am not a monk and won't eat by some back-and-white code.

The first point is key.  If you truly believe it then you don't need willpower to stop over-eating.

Why don't I steal? Because I do not do that.

Why don't I overeat? Because I do not do that.

It's that easy.  There is no internal debate, no room for argument.  I Do Not Do That.  Until you're willing to say that and totally mean it, don't bother trying to change your eating habits because you'll fail.

The 2nd point is important in that if I want a piece of cake, I'm going to eat it.  I am not going to deny myself the occasional treat.  Contrast this to my previous habits which included lots of potato chips daily. And chocolate. In fact, I'd eat lots of anything.  Also critical is that I do not go hungry, ever.  I am primarily modifying what I eat, not how much I eat.  If I want an extra helping of grilled veggies, I'm not going to deny myself.

So, changing habits is kind of hard and when it comes to nutrition, I know nothing really.  So I decided to pick some low-hanging fruit, so to speak

First thing, I went to the doctor and got a long-overdue checkup.  He put me on cholesterol and blood pressure meds.  My eating habits had been making a mark in a bad way.

Then I gave up soft drinks.  Give me a break, they have no redeeming attribute.  Sodas are loaded with sugar. I don't need it. I don't want it. I've been known to wear a tin-foil hat and don't like the idea of franken-sweeteners so I never drank diet soft drinks.  Not an option.  Now I haven't had a soft drink in 5 months and I haven't missed them at all.  Why not

Because I am not the kind of person who drinks them.

3rd, the next thing I had to lose was potato chips. I never met one I didn't like.  I really REALLY love them. They are a serious comfort food. But they also have no redeeming features. Time to grow up some. Gone baby gone.

Both sodas and chips also have tons of salt which my doctor told me to avoid.

So I can't help but win!

4th, my wife and I started dining out less.  The portions are enormous and I can't control the fat and salt.  My wife really stepped up and started cooking more healthy more often.  I started cooking a little too though I'm pretty limited.  We avoid processed foods as these are loaded with salt and sugar.

A side effect was that since we cook more, there are healthy leftovers. Now I go out for lunch less often, saving a ton of money. All because I chose to eat well.  WHAT A DEAL. Seriously.  By being sensible I just keep rolling 7's.

Since December I've lost around 20 pounds; I'm right at 200 now. I weigh less now than I have in 15 years.  It took no willpower and cost nothing really.  I will re-evaluate my weight loss goals once I lose another 15.  I think I'd look and feel good at 185. (I'm a sturdy-framed 5' 10" male.)

Next step - exercise.  Ugh. OMG I hate it.  I have never felt good or energized after working out - It makes me feel terrible every time.  But that's another story, later. 

Shared by TheHandOfChange on 5/8/08

Wonderful ideas. Thanks so much. Tammy, I hope you're at least willing to try the suggestions. I once heard an interesting quote that went something like this: Our minds can be a wonderful slave or a terrible taskmaster. Good luck all.

  • By Karen40
  • on 5/17/08 1:08 PM EST

Dear "TheHand" --

I could not agree more. "Self-talk" is really important. My sister and I have lost lots of weight, but of course still pay close attention, and she routinely says stuff like, "We are not a chip family." I have to say to myself: "I do not eat off my kids' plates" -ugh!- and, harder, "I am not the kind of person who pigs out when stressed." In fact, I am trying to convince myself that I feel slightly sick to my stomach when stressed and that the last thing I want to do is eat. That's what my husband says about stress so I am telling myself I'm that kind of person.

Exercise: How about telling yourself something like this: "I am the kind of person who is active as part of his usual routine." Meaning, you walk to the store, you go for a walk with your wife after dinner in order to connect, your bike is dusted off and ready to ride, you rent a canoe at the lake on Saturday afternoons, your vacations involve hiking or swimming. I think that the more you get outside and enjoy just plain activity, the more you will be able to say to yourself "I am an active person" which is a heckuva lot better than saying, "I am a person who resentfully slogs on a treadmill 20 minutes a day."


  • By manitou
  • on 5/13/08 3:18 PM EST