Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Day 170 "Your weight loss is good, but have you tried what my Aunt Louwanda did?"

Day 170

“Your weight loss is good, but have you tried what my Aunt Louwanda did?”

It doesn't matter how many times it happens, I never get tired of hearing someone say, “hey, you've lost a bunch of weight, huh?” Today I stopped into a convenience store to pay for my gas when this very thing happened again. It was a convenience store I use to frequent all the time when we lived in our old house, but since we moved across town, it's just not convenient anymore. And when a convenience store stops being convenient, that's when I stop going there. We moved last June, and since then I've probably darkened that doorway twice. Right when I walked in today, I was greeted with “Wow, you've lost a bunch of weight!” I told the clerk, “yes...over 120 pounds so far!” And then the question came. “How are you doing it?” It's amazing how this question is always the first question 99.9% of the time. I understand it's a human nature thing. It's so ingrained in our minds that losing weight must be a “secret,” or some kind of magical mystery code cracked, or it must be some amazing new weight loss pill or program. Sometimes people look genuinely disappointed when I tell them “I'm eating smaller portions, counting calories, drinking plenty of water, and exercising.” I've even had people hear me say that, and then they'll still suggest or tout a product, pill, or program that “my Aunt Louwanda lost 57 pounds on.” I'm usually in too much of a hurry to debate the reasons why my plan is better, so I just nod and smile, and say thank you. Unless I feel like I could help that person by taking the time to explain the “secret,” and how it's really not a “secret” at all. If I said it once, I've said it a million times in this blog. You can lose weight on just about every product and plan out there. But if it doesn't address and include real world everyday food choices, how to make better choices, and really teaches about portion control, then it's just a temporary thing. If it doesn't require a person to gain a deeper understanding of their habits and personal psychology that made them fat in the first place, then it's just a temporary thing. Whenever I hear the words “meal replacement,” as in bars or shakes, I just have to “shake” my head and “pound” the bar. It's amazing to me that billion dollar companies have been built on plans that include “meal replacement” products. I don't know about you, but I like real food. I wouldn't want to eat a bar for breakfast and a shake for lunch everyday for the rest of my life. But I do plan on eating real food for the rest of my life. When the goal is met, and a person becomes another “meal replacement success,” Their success inspires others to try it, and the cycle and money machine continues to roll along. In the meantime, the first person who met their goal weight is facing real food again, and since they didn't address their old habits, they just replaced them, they go back to the same old behaviors and gain back the weight and often times more. Some might say “Sean, are you being a weight loss snob?” No way! What's right is right. And when a person stops searching for a quick fix or magic solution, or something to do it for them, and they start doing the mental exercises, confronting their habits and emotions, they start eating better and smaller portions, and they start moving again, they end up discovering that they can have success without spending a fortune on special plans or products. Now, let me say this: I've had many friends and family who have gone under the knife for weight loss surgery. I'm not talking about that in my above commentary. You ask any of them who've had it, and they'll tell you, it's not an “easy way out” by any stretch of the imagination. They have to work hard everyday at controlling their intake and managing their cravings, and they have to do it or else they suffer tremendously. I completely understand the feelings and emotions involved with making that decision. At 505 pounds, I was at the point of hopeless desperation, it's not a real fun place to be. So I empathize with anyone making that desperate decision. I looked into weight loss surgery for me at one time. The time I spent last year between June 10th (the day I was told how desperately dangerous my weight had become) and September 15th, (the day I actually started this journey) I discovered that my health insurance wouldn't pay for a surgery and I was really ready to just accept my fate of dying young and morbidly obese. Somehow I harnessed the strength to be honest with myself and confront this crazy brain of mine that somehow thought it was ok to eat a half gallon of ice cream in two settings. If you haven't read from the beginning of this blog, go back in the archives and read from Day 1...It's been a battle my friend!

Tonight we walked the trail for a “hard” two miles before the big “Lose To Win” Seminar. My goal for the last ½ mile was to increase my pace enough to catch up with my wife and daughter. As we got closer and closer to being done, I realized the only way to catch them was to...brace yourself...jog! If you've been a regular reader, you know I've been very careful not to do anything I think may be dangerous or hurt me in some way. So it took a lot to make myself try this again. The last time I tried to jog was during the Anderson Family Christmas Day 5K, and back then I spent the next mile trying to recover. Tonight was different. I picked up my feet and did my best impression of a runner. My form was tight! I think. It felt like I was doing it properly anyway. It felt good to “run.” Well, alright, it felt good for about 30 seconds actually, but that's all it took to catch up with them before the finish line. If it would have required any more of me, I probably would have stopped short. I'm telling you, I need to make a video of me might be surprised. I was arm pumping and rhythmically breathing like an athlete. To the cars driving by on 5th, I doubt that's what they were thinking... “wow, look at that athlete out there running...check out his flawless form, that's impressive.” No, it was probably more like “is that guy trying to run? Is he wearing jeans? Bless his heart. Get the video camera kids, cause he's bound to fall any second, and we could make $10,000 from a video like that!” Oh well, I don't care what other people think anymore, in my mind I was training for the Olympics!

The “Lose To Win” program seminar tonight was awesome. Registered Dietitian Sandy Gifford presented a fantastic talk about making good choices and evaluating our past behaviors and choices. She provided interesting hand-outs that really helped us follow along with what she was saying. I really enjoyed the part when she asked everyone to close our eyes and imagine a trip to our own fridge. It was a fantastic way to illustrate a wonderful point. Yolanda Trant and a couple of other Jazzercise instructors put on a wonderful demonstration on the benefits of Jazzercise. It was very interesting to watch! This program is exciting for many different reasons.

I finished the day with almost two hundred calories remaining. It's just two late for me to feel good about eating anything else, so I'll just hit the hay. I should have had an extra snack today, but didn't...that's why I'm short, no doubt. It's alright, I did have almost 1,350 calories today, that's not too little, but I still feel like I cheated myself out of a snack. Oh, don't feel sorry for me, I did have two low fat ice cream fudge bars today! In fact, another short “On The Go” video is posted about that below. Good night and...

Good Choices,

It's little treats like this that keep me happy, healthy, and in complete control!

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