I didn't tell anyone. I just did it. I didn't want to be nagged. I didn't want to defend myself. I didn't want my program to be a concern of others. I decided that I needed to take personal responsibility for what I eat, regardless of what food was available. I needed to hold myself accountable. Of course, it quickly became obvious to my wife. I think she would have liked it better if I had made her more a part of the program, but her need to control things is one of the problems, not the solution. I needed to be in control of myself. I wished that my wife could have been more encouraging, but in some ways, having to do it myself probably worked to my advantage. I am actually still hurt by many of the things she has told me and does tell me. It is totally ironic that she rarely complained when I was overweight, but now that I am slim, she complains about it all the time. Jealousy, probably.
Part of it was that I did not want to "go on a program," or "go on a diet." I knew that was pointless. I needed to still be able to eat things I love, yet make changes that I can sustain for the long term in how I do that.
I don't find that having someone else to be "accountable" too is at all effective. It is actually counter-productive. The only person I am truly accountable to is me. If someone is looking at me critically when I eat a bowl of ice cream, it just makes me sneak it when they aren't looking, and then I eat more of it. I can't be feeling defensive about my choices - I just have to be in personal control of them.
My quiet example though has inspired many people around me to get healthier too. My wife, my son, his wife, my mother in law, people at church, people at work; all of a sudden, they have seen what I have accomplished (lost 60 lbs and am now basically thin), and they have decided that they can do it too. They have started exercising more, eating less, losing weight and getting in shape. I don't tell them to do it, or urge them to, or tell them how to do it. In fact, I tell them everyone is different and everyone has to find their own way. What worked for me may not work for them at all, and what works for them might not work for me.
I think that one of the biggest reasons for my success has been my decision to quietly make my own decisions about what I put in my mouth and how I exercise and to not be controlled by those around me. That has been difficult - sometimes it has been the hardest part, but the challenge may have been what made me succeed.
- 4/14/2009 11:42:46 AM