Sensible Approach to Losing Weight
I receive a lot of great e-mail through the blog — I’m going to start sharing some of it (with permission, of course) every Saturday morning.
Some e-mails have questions. Some e-mails have advice for me. Many simply tell a story of another person’s weight loss journey and a thank you.
This Saturday will be the story of Jeff in Minnesota:
I have wanted to write you for some time now but writing about one’s obesity is not a desirable thing to do. Two months into yet another diet I ran across your story and website from CNN. Like you have mentioned, I too dreaded beginning another diet for fear of the usual outcome, failure. Been overweight most of my life and managed to slim down a few times. Once attaining a goal weight, my flawed mind always saw that as the end and that celebrating was in order. One bad meal led to another and another and before long, I found myself twice as big.
Two years ago I ended up in the hospital with a gallbladder that needed to come out and an inflamed pancreas. They had me in bed for a week with no water or food and fed me through IV. When I was discharged from the hospital, I had lost quite a bit of weight and since I could now eat without pain or issue, that is exactly what I did. Two years later I was pushing out of size 50 pants and pains were returning to my abdomen. So this prompted the diet again but when I read your story, it changed me and my flawed thinking. I read with great interest about how you still enjoyed some of the foods you crave and even occasionally in quantity. This made sense to me but not as a way to pig-out on a diet but rather a sensible approach that gives you the motivation to stick with your diet new way of eating. I have been on this plan for three months and lost three pant sizes down to a 44″ currently.
My entire outlook on food has changed, I do not stress and think about the foods I cannot have or am missing but rather look as food as sustenance. If I do indulge, it is not near the way I used to eat, for example, the other night we ordered a pizza for the first time since on this plan and I ate three slices. I was feeling a tad guilty but quickly shrugged it off and told myself, tomorrow is another day. I cannot tell you how many pounds I have lost because in the past the scale has de-motivated me enough to abandon diets. I am a very impatient person and I would see no or minimal movement on the scale, become depressed and go back to heavy eating again. I will weigh myself someday but for now, seeing the smaller me and smaller pant size and other clothing is working for me.
I know there are many that would disagree with my decision to not weigh myself but my outlook is entirely different this time and I am sticking with what works for me. Soon I will be able to buy clothes from any stores racks and it has been a long time since I have done that. I have had to buy my clothes from J.C. Penney’s big and tall section online as I couldn’t stand to be in the stores.
I still have a long way to go but I have never had the mental outlook that I have now, it’s like a switch was flipped inside my head allowing me to finally understand why I am this way and how I kept myself here. Your approach/strategy to eating was of great insight and help to me Tyler. It was like telling a small child that yes you can still have your candy but not everyday and not all at once. Such simple thinking yet it came as new thinking to me.
I do not find myself craving or lusting after food, I look at eating good, low-fat foods (many from lowfatdietplan.com) and eating portion sizes that sustain me and still achieve weight loss. Prior diets I always was waiting for that next meal and deep down, was waiting for myself to fail, not the case today. I am proud of my success and my mind is in the right place, it gets it finally and I am not looking just to reaching a goal but find myself thinking of how I will sustain that goal once achieved. Exercise is still not near as great as you are doing, I have always hated it. I walk and use a stair stepper but not as often as I should. I realize the weight would come off faster with more exercise and that is the next thing to ramp up. You see with the obese pounds I have been carrying, each step I take is like aerobics but it is getting less and less each week so I need to get moving more.
Oh one more thing I also have done for myself with this new life plan is to stop drinking alcohol. Many years ago I was a 2 pack a day smoker and woke up one day, saw on television the first surgeon general’s report on how bad it was for you and quit that day, never went back. I hope to be just as successful with alcohol. My last statement might give you a clue as to my age, I am a 52 year old man. I am married with two son’s aged 20 & 18 and thankfully they did not get my gene’s as far as weight , they are both a skinny size 34.
So now you know yet another story and I hope you take from this what I intend it to be, one great Thank You Tyler. Your contribution to my new mindset is huge to me and I will follow your page as long as you update it. I know this letter is long and I will not fill your mailbox but maybe someday when I reach my goals, I will drop you a (shorter) note. 🙂
Thanks for the e-mail, Jeff. Congrats on the weight loss! I’m really glad to know that you’ve found moderation is the key — not elimination (at first).
That’s what I’ve been trying to tell people!
I’d also like to point out that you’re 52. Yes, I know you’re aware of this, but many people look at my weight loss story and think that the math (calories in versus calories out) doesn’t work as we get older.
You’re proof that it does whether we’re 24 or 52.