Tuesday, November 27, 2012
(I'll warn you up front that you might not like this post. Feel free to walk away right now. I won't be offended, honest.)
The scale goes up.
The scale goes down.
But it mostly goes down.
And it will do that if you are trusting in the right process and are committed to making the change in your life.
Perhaps you are having difficulty losing weight. That is not an uncommon situation. Ask yourself these three questions:
1. Do you have a reasonable and thoughtful net calorie target to hit?
If you are using something like sparkpeople.com to arrive at this value, I think the answer is going to be yes. The calculator here is good. Now I've posted an exhaustive post on how I arrive at my net calorie target value so I won't rehash that here. I'm not always successful hitting that but I try to get close. Sometimes I'm a little below that target for the day. If it is around 100 calories short at the end of the day, I don't sweat that.
If you don't have that net calorie target, you're going to have difficultly losing weight. How do you know how much to eat? You can't go off of feel, I believe, because if you're like me, you've been overeating for years, maybe decades. It takes less than 5 minutes of your life to figure out that number. Take the time.
2. Are you being honest and exact in your food tracking?
So you have a net calorie target. Great. Are you being honest with yourself in what you are eating? Are you being careful to get as close an estimate on your food intake as possible? Notice there's an implied "You are tracking your food." here - you can't analyze what you don't measure. We are terrible estimators. Studies show that we are horribly bad at guessing how many calories or how much fat or carbs or sodium is in a given plate of food. Take the time to measure things out. It doesn't even take 5 minutes. Soon enough you'll be really good at measuring things.
And more importantly, are you being honest? Maybe you had 6 cookies today and are embarrassed by this. You need to track it anyway. You are not alone here. Changing habits is hard. Want to feel like you are not alone? I've blown it before and done boneheaded things like stop on the way home from work and get a big soft pretzel and two - not one, but two - bags of licorice and eaten it all on the way home. Not proud of that but it is reality. Track that food. You'll never learn from the mistakes you make and try to sweep under the rug.
3. Are you trusting the process to work?
It's easy to get frustrated because of unrealistic expectations. It's easy to get frustrated when you feel like you are not progressing at the rate you think you should. Stop that nonsense. Either you trust that the process will work or you don't. Look - giving up is what you've done before, I bet. I know I have. You have to give it time.
Remember something - you didn't put this weight on overnight. Why would you think it's going to come off overnight? That's just silly. Don't be silly. Be committed.
If you can answer "yes" to these three questions, great! Keep on doing what you're doing!
If you answered "no" to one or more of these, you've got a decision to make.
Is this going to be the time things are different or is this just another halfhearted attempt to lose the weight?
I'm going to meddle a bit here. You might not like this part. I warned you... there's still time to walk away.
Do you recognize that your obesity is killing you? KILLING you. It is putting stress and strain on your body. It is clogging your arteries. It results in diabetes. It results in heart attacks and emergency heart surgery. It results in blood clots. It results in excess wear and tear on the joints and bones. It is diminishing your life. YOUR LIFE, folks.
Do you care?
Have you given up? Why? Why would you give up on something that can absolutely be accomplished?
Look, there are kids right now in Memphis, Tennessee at St. Jude's who want more than anything to live. Through no fault of their own they find themselves at death's door. Doctors and researchers are doing everything they can to find a cure to save these kids. And the sad fact is that some of them won't make it despite the extraordinary efforts being taken. They are doing whatever it takes to save a life. Fighting diseases that are difficult to fight. Fighting diseases that are difficult to cure.
And there you sit. Shoving that donut in your mouth and having a pity party about how it is too hard. How you don't have the willpower. How you can't do it.
(I told you you might not like this part.)
Look, you can change your life - CHANGE YOUR LIFE! - today. You have the ability to do this. You have the ability to improve your health. A tiny percentage of you might - MIGHT - have a legitimate medical condition that is causing your obesity. The rest of you - including me - are this way because of choices made. Take ownership of your obesity and your life. Take responsibility for your actions.
Stop it now. You can change right now. RIGHT NOW.
The question is... do you even want to?
Look, I'd love to be able to make that decision for you. I'd love to be able to keep you on the straight and narrow. It's just not possible. You've got to do it yourself.
Unlike those darling precious kids in Memphis, you and I can change our lives simply by having the commitment to do so. By "keeping calm and carrying on", as the saying goes. By caring about ourselves more than about that crap food we're shoving in our mouth.
Why wouldn't you want to be healthier? Why wouldn't you be committed to do it?
Maybe you think you aren't strong enough.
That's ridiculous. You're strong. Stronger than you think.
Is weight loss hard? Yes, absolutely. But you know what? It is something you can do.
You can change your life starting today.
The question is... will you?
You might not like my posts. You might think I'm being an opinionated jerk. Honestly, I think I'm dead on about this. I don't shoot from the hip much. And this post is written as a reminder to me primarily and to you if you happen to read it. You might not like that I don't coddle you much in my posts. Tough. You need to hear it straight just as *I* need to hear it straight. I'm trying to encourage you to save your life. If you're offended or frustrated by what I write, ask yourself "why?".
Make it a great day!