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3 lbs. down! Hooray!
I heard somebody say that the only reason somebody is overweight is because they don’t have the self-discipline to be thin. Oddly enough, that person weighed as much as I do.
Anybody that thinks this is easy is kidding themselves. Yes, self discipline is a part of it, but it’s far from the whole story.
There are a host of reasons why someone might find it difficult and discouraging to maintain a healthy weight. For some of us, there are physical reasons. In my case, I suffer from several glandular conditions that challenge my ability to lose weight. Slow thyroid, pancreatitis, diabetes and the loss of my ovaries all contribute to my ability to stick to a diet. Though I don’t know why, I never feel full. Never. And when I don’t eat for several hours, my head hurts and my hands shake.
There are also hormonal imbalances that can cause you to gain weight. There are also medicines that can affect your weight.
There are also people that are disabled and can’t exercise.
There are emotional reasons why people can’t lose weight. Some people turn to food for comfort. Others are so depressed that weight is not the most important issue in their lives.
There are also some people in this world that find fat attractive.
I could go on with this list for a long time, but I guess I should get to the point.
The point is that self discipline is not the only thing needed to stick to a weight loss program.You need to find the right motivation. You need to find the desire to get help when you need it, find enough support to get you through the difficult times and the willingness to look at failure (and there will be moments when it looks like you failed) not as a reason to give up, but as a lesson to be learned.
Now that I got that off my chest, I want to talk about the lessons that I learned this week from the challenges that presented themselves.
The number one challenge that I faced was the struggle between me and my favorite food, ice cream.
I love ice cream. I can sit down and eat an entire half gallon of ice cream at one sitting without blinking. One thing that I have also learned about myself is that If I have to build a diet plan completely around foods that I don’t like, I will not stick to it. So I decided to buy some reduced calorie treats and ration them out to one serving per day.
Uh-uh. Not working.
I bought ice cream novelties that came in a six pack, and I bought two different kinds. That is twelve servings. They were gone in two days.
I managed to work that into my program, so I still lost weight. But on those two days my diet was not balance. I ended up feeling extra hungry and extra moody, which are two traits that I don't want. It is obvious to me that I have not developed the self-discipline to handle that particular food, so I have to develop a strategy to keep it under control.
I could just give up my ice cream forever, but my inner child is way to unhappy with that decision for me to make it work. So my plan is two-fold.
1. I will not buy ice cream unless I plan for the calorie usage way in advance and will only buy it in very small quantities. In fact, I am only going to buy packs of two servings or less. Maybe after some time I will be able to learn better control over my ice cream urges, but for now it’s not happening.
2. I will find acceptable substitutions. I know there are sugar-free ice pops out there that have almost no calories. I have also found that there are some naturally sweet foods that freeze well, like berries for instance, that need only slight preparation. This week, I bought several pints of fresh blueberries, blackberries and strawberries and put them all in single serve zipper lock plastic bags. I put all of them in the freezer for a few days. When I took them out, I shook one package of sweetener on them and ate them cold. I only let them thaw enough to be chewable. It was like having a serving of sorbet, only healthier.
My second challenge is emotional eating.This is a more difficult challenge, and while I have a few ideas on what to do, I don’t have any real answers yet.
I had a real upset this week that threatened to ruin what I began the week before. I won’t go into what is was; that’s for another day. But I was screaming and crying kind of upset. Since I chose not to indulge myself in a major binge, I had to find some other way to deal with my feelings.
I don’t have a large support network that I can call upon when I need to vent, so that was out. I have journals and blogs to write in, and that helped some. But it didn’t make my emotion charged food cravings go away. What I did, and what I will do in the future to deal with this when needed, was to find some comfort foods that are not calorie laden. There are some things out there that worked for me. I like diet Dr. Pepper and Diet chocolate cream soda. I like low fat string cheese sticks. I also like any crunchy vegetable dipped in salsa. I can use all these things to control my binge state of mind.
My third challenge has to do with working the night shift.I am technically on layoff for two weeks, but I was called back to cover somebody in another department. That person’s shift was 11:00pm to 7:00am shift. I have yet to figure out the best plan for the first day of this shift.
I can’t nap on the first day like some people do, so that first day turns into a 24 hour day. When I’m overtired I tend to get even hungrier, but the requirements of my program don’t change. What I did this week was to eat a lot of small, low calorie meals so that I always had something to chew on. I also allowed myself to add some calories with the idea that I could make them up later. This solution was unsatisfying for me, but it worked. I want to find something better, but it’s a start.
I hope that this information can help someone else somewhere. As for me, I am happy that I am still on track, and I am looking forward to this week’s lessons.