Since beginning writing this blog seven years ago, I have come to a new understanding about my weight and how to control it. I have put all the elements in my weight control success onto the Page How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off.
Regular readers are familiar with my rather short weight loss journey. When we started the blog I weighed 165 pounds, my lowest in 15 years. I thought I had the handle on weight control. However, in the process of writing for the blog, I got into studying diet, nutrition, the function of the brain and five years later, I sit here at 153 pounds, my lowest weight since high school. It’s true I ride my bike nearly daily here in Chicago, a four season city. But, back in 2001 after I got divorced and retired from my job, I was also riding my bike yet I ballooned up to 225 pounds and wore size 42 waist pants. I wrote about it last January. So, it’s not just the bike riding that took it off.
Getting back to the question of whether it is possible to get control of your weight, statistics show that for most of us the answer is no. Some 60 percent of us are overweight and fully 30 percent are obese. I wrote about how dangerous obesity is last May. You can read it here.
As I lived in the overweight group for much of my adult life, I will relate how it worked for me. I like to eat. And, I really put weight concerns on the back burner for much of my life. I pretty much ate what I wanted and as much as I wanted. Every so often I would get a guilt attack and start a diet or make some trips to the health club. That usually lasted a couple of months or so, followed by my losing a few of my extra pounds. Then it was back to overeating. I think what happened in my mind was – I concluded that I could take off pounds when I wanted to, so I didn’t have to worry about it any more. Of course, as soon as I thought that, I would start to packing on the pounds again. But, I didn’t worry because I had just proven that I could take them off if I wanted to. I am not proud to relate those mental processes.
Writing the blog got me off that weight gain roller coaster. I became focused on living healthy through diet and exercise. I started to practice what I was preaching in the blog. That became my priority, not the fun of eating a lot of good cheese, or sumptuous Italian bread soaked in parmesan cheese and olive oil and similar taste delights. I now pay attention to everything that I consume. John asked in a blog post if it is possible to eat perfectly healthy. I certainly can’t eat perfectly healthy nor do I know anyone who can, but I am able to control my weight through intelligent eating, calorie counting and daily exercise. The issue isn’t eating perfectly, it is eating attentively. I realize that everything I eat becomes a part of me. So, I don’t just eat because it tastes so good. I like to think I eat fuelishly not foolishly. Don’t get caught up in excuse-making, like “No one can eat perfectly healthy – so why bother trying.” Make changes not excuses.
One last key concept I got from writing this blog is that of portion control. I practice strict portion control. You can learn more about it by clicking the portion control tags at the right. One serving of pasta is not a plateful of pasta. It will benefit you to know the difference.
Exercise is the second key to my new found weight control. I make sure I get in exercise every day. I do it for three reasons. First, to work my body because I believe that the law of the body is to use it or lose it and I don’t want to lose my remaining powers. Second, I want to burn calories in order to be able to enjoy eating food and not gaining weight. Third, and possibly most important for me as a senior citizen, is that I want to keep my brain healthy and agile. I know that physical exercise does as much for the brain as it does for the body. You can find out for yourself by clicking on the brain tags at the right.
I am now putting into practice the original meaning of the word diet. It comes from the Greek or Latin diaita which means ‘way of life.’ I am no longer doing a white-knuckled two month starvation experience that has no chance of succeeding or lasting. My way of life includes paying close attention to what I eat and what it means to my body. So, yes, I still eat chocolate, but no, I don’t sit down with a bag of it and consume the whole thing at a sitting. I have enough chocolate to enjoy the taste. So, it turns out I can have my chocolate and eat it, too. So can you, if you get your ducks in order.
When you come right down to it, just decide that you are going to live healthy by eating intelligently and exercising regularly. That’s all there is to it. I believe that if you do that, you can forget about losing weight. You will be on the road to good health. Your pounds will melt away .
It works for me. I think it can for you, too. Why not give it a try?