Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Weigh Down: Part 2

To read Weigh Down: Part 1, click here:

Forty pounds. Ten shy of half a hundred. One pound equals four sticks of butter, so one hundred and sixty sticks of butter that used to pad my body are gone. It has been a learning experience as well as a spiritual journey. I don't plan on writing about this again, but it has consumed so much of my life in 2014. As the year comes to an end, I'll share briefly a few pointers for anyone else who may struggle with weight issues.

I can't endorse any specific weight loss product or plan. You may be like me and just have to figure it out on your own. I learned that if I gave up or at least really limit carbs, the pounds melt off. Bread, (even so-called healthy bread or wheat) pasta, and cereal are not in my diet. Carbs hide in fruit and vegetables so you can't avoid them. But do some research and you'll find where they lurk most heavily.

If it comes in a box or can it's loaded with sugar, salt and fillers offering little or no nutritional value. Basically, those products are empty calories, same as fast food, which is from the devil. Most fast food restaurants offer a couple healthy options but since eating at those establishments was never a weakness for me, I just avoid them completely. If I ate an order of fries now I'd be sick all day. It would sit like a brick in my stomach and I'd practically feel the grease clog my arteries. Sit down restaurants way over serve portions. One dinner is enough for two or even three meals. You get used to consuming less calories and food stretches a lot further.

The scale will deceive you. It's hard for those of us trying to slim down not to obsess over the number. In fact, I got so irritated with my old scale that seemed pitifully inaccurate that I bought a new digital scale. If you are losing fat while working out, you gain muscle. Muscle carries more weight than fat. You will notice the difference in the way your clothes fit, but the scale won't budge.

Speaking of working out, I don't. I thought about getting a gym membership and going after work, but I know myself too well. After work I want to do one thing only. Go home. I even dread stopping at the store. When I'm at work, I'm always thinking in the back of my mind what I need to do at home. I just move more and walk more.

Often, after someone compliments me, they follow up with, "I wish I could do it." Of course, you can! There's nothing special about me. If I could bottle the attitude, the mindset, the determination I'd give it away. (You thought I was going to say sell it and get rich.)  You have to want it more than you want the Oreos and that doesn't come in a pill. No pill in the world will make you lose weight if you aren't willing to change your lifestyle.

We are fortunate to have access to food. In our culture we don't just eat for survival anymore. We eat for fellowship, for emotional reasons and out of habit. We don't listen to our bodies and eat only when we are hungry and stop when we feel comfortable. We are not starving as a nation like the pictures we see coming out of Africa. We should use our abundance wisely. We don't deserve it. We are blessed. Our relationship with food needs to change in order for us to be healthy.

Maintaining a weight loss is as hard as losing it. If I get sloppy for a few days, I notice it. I know this is how I'll have to eat for life and I'm ok with that.

click to enlarge: