What’s the Secret?
I’ve lost over 60 pounds. That’s a third of my former body weight. And – in response to one of my patients who caustically challenged me – yes, I’ve kept it off for over a year.
I don’t think there’s much magic involved in weight loss. There are no special combinations of food with fat-burning hidden qualities. There is no silver bullet.
Now, a lot of people don’t like to hear that. They want a silver bullet. And so they fail. They wander from one charlatan to another. And, amazingly, they come to the conclusion that they are failures. That is so wrong. And it is so sad.
Reality = Choice
Once you realize there is no silver bullet, once you realize there is no magic, there is freedom. Freedom to choose. Freedom to be responsible. To win on your own merits.
It’s basically a matter of accounting. Add up the calories you take in, deficit the calories you expend and what ever is left over is how much you store. Use up more than you take in and you have to get the extra from your “savings” – your fat stores. If you do this over time, you lose weight. If you take in more than you need over time, you gain weight. It’s about that simple.
The big problem for most folks is that they don’t have a clue about the nutritional value of the foods they eat. This should be something we learn as we grow up. We should be taught to pay attentionto the information that is readily available on the product label of everything we buy at the store.
Somehow we have decided, as a society, that giving notice and import to this information just isn’t “normal” behavior. But it should be! Everyone should know how many calories are in a cup of pasta, or a hot dog or a glass of milk.
The beauty of programs like Weight Watchers is that they give you the tools you need to learn the calorie count of the foods you eat. It’s a simplified method of calorie counting. But it’s more. It rewards you for healthy eating behavior.
Then it’s up to the you to apply this knowledge and stop eating the extras when your body is sufficiently fueled for the day. Not many people have a natural knack for sensing how much they need to eat – or drink. If we just had cravings for what our bodies needed, none of us would have a weight problem.
Learning what I had to know to eat right took a lot of time and effort at the beginning. You have to invest in the learning curve whenever you want learn something new.
Now I can look at a plate of food and estimate fairly accurately how many calories it contains, how much fat, how much fiber. This knowledge gives me the power to control what I eat and make the choices I prefer.
Sure, I love chocolate. And I eat it. Listen, because this crucial: A sense of deprivation leads to failure!
But when I do indulge, I don’t throw up my arms and say I can’t do it. I don’t proclaim myself a failure.
I simply accept the fact that I have to compensate for it somewhere else. Either I cut back on my other calories later or I exercise a little more. There’s no cheating nature out of its account balance. You can fool yourself. But you can not fool your body.
The support I’ve derived from the Weight Watchers website has been invaluable, perhaps crucial, to my success. Even now, over 2 years since I started this journey, I still sign on everyday and “talk” to my virtual friends. My circle of friends has expanded from just those who helped me with the weight loss to include my current group of running pals. I’ve discovered that, like myself, some of them play in both arenas.
Used wisely, the World Wide Web is a wondrous source of support, encouragement, and wisdom.
Thank you, my friends! Thank you.