Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Wishful weight loss resolutions Part 2

As noted in part 1, the bottom line to why most people won't lose weight or succeed in their other resolutions is because they approach it from the perspective of magical, wishful thinking.  They want the result, but they aren't really willing to do anything of substance to accomplish it.  They think that wanting something is all that it take to accomplish it, but they have no realistic plan.

It's like a person saying, "I want to climb Mount Everest", who knows nothing about climbing mountains.   We wouldn't take such a person seriously, because we know that it takes experience, and training, and planning to climb Mount Everest. Of course, it sounds rather rude to tell an over-weight person that he or she will similarly not succeed in weight loss because that person doesn't have a plan, and doesn't have the training to know how to lose weight effectively.  Rude or not, however, it happens to be the unvarnished truth.

Also, if your "plan" is to "hire a trainer" or "join a gym" then that is just pretending to have a plan and hoping that the act of wasting money will somehow burn calories.  Nobody ever got thin just by spending money. And if they aren't even willing to do something simple, like change what they drink, they they certainly aren't going to change how they eat or exercise.

As far as exercise, this needs to be addressed too. Many people who aren't even willing to give up sugars and fried foods still vow that they will undertake Herculeanian exercise routines, and that this will allow them to lose weight, while still eating garbage.  It is yet another urban myth that you can exercise weight off without changing your diet.  You can't burn enough calories with exercise to make up for eating all those double-quarter pounders and super-sized fries.  Those few who even try will be too sore to move the next day and that defeat will provide a ready excuse to return to one's old food addictions.

BTW, you may be wondering what the hell I could possibly know about this subject.  Well, I have never been overweight, but I put on a few pounds a year for almost 20 years after high school until I was right on the verge of being obese.  Then, this summer, I decided to do what I know I always should have been doing, which was to cut out carbs, eat way more salads (no dressing) and drink water or tea only.  The result is that I lost 40 pounds.

Everyone I knew was shocked.  "How did you do it", they all wanted to know.  The answer sounds boring, because all I did is what every health professional has always said to do.  I did happen to know some things about health, as it turns out.  My parents always made sure I ate healthy, organic food growing up and I have been a health teacher.  I have tried diets in the past, so I know what the popular systems were, but I never really stuck to them or felt that I needed them.

That's actually the second thing that everyone told me.  "You didn't even need to lose weight".  Well, technically that's not true.  I was way over the weight that I needed to be.  Besides, should I really wait until I put on another 40 pounds and I feel too old and fat to deal with losing 80 pounds.  There isn't a special moment that one needs to wait for to start being healthy.  You can start it any time.

Furthermore, it's not really about weight.  It's just about eating things that contribute to your health and not eating more than you need.  Even though my cholesterol wasn't too high, and my blood pressure was borderline, and my glucose levels were good, I didn't want to wait until they got bad in order to get off my butt and do something.

Of course, the hardest part isn't losing the weight, it's keeping it off.  I may address that in Part 3.

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