This Diet, That Diet,…Diet, Diet Diet! Our media is filled with diets and suggestions on how to “lose weight and keep it off”. True be told, “diet” is only a part of losing weight and keeping it off. My story and the changes that occurred in my lifestyle have led to the shedding of pounds and a healthier person.The story begins as an out-of-shape 238 lb.,6 ft. person that was bogged down in a life of fast food, instant gratification, and lethargic behavior. My intake was high caloric, fatty foods, beer and sodas. Besides golf on Sunday, my only activity was changing the television channel via remote control. This created a bulge in my waistline that led to increased back pain. I was inactive, unhappy, and quite the “Chunky Monkey”, with back pain to boot!The changes began when a doctor told me “to mix in a vegetarian meal or salad” into my diet.I was smart enough to know that “mixing in a salad” wasn’t the path to losing the needed weight to alleviate the back pain and become healthier. “Mix in a Salad!”, you got to be kidding me! If it were that simple then everybody would be slim and trim. Wholesale changes were needed to begin the change.
The reality that smacked me in the face was reading a USA Today article on obesity in America. The article was accompanied by a chart that measured obesity given your height and weight. When finding my height and weight on the chart, I wasn’t just a “Chunky Monkey”. The American Heart Association chart listed me as obese. Obese!?! How could this be! I informed my wife that I was obese and she lovingly danced around the subject and told me that “I could lose a few pounds”. Bless her heart, she didn’t call me “Chunky Monkey” or even worse label me “Obese”. She loved me enough to be politically correct and went out and bought the book “The Dr. Phil Diet” by Dr. Phil McGraw .I adopted the diet and plan to escape from “The Land of the Chunky Monkeys”. More importantly, it was the beginning of the path to a healthier lifestyle — because obesity isn’t a laughing or joking matter. It needs to be taken seriously.
The journey started with the diet plan prescribed by “Dr. Phil”. I limited my portions, caloric intake, alcohol and carbohydrates. I began to eat “energy rich” foods that included fruit and vegetables and whole grains. My snacking habits switched from salty, fatty snacks to high fiber, low fat granola. Needless to say, I wasn’t enthused about the changes. My tastebuds wanted to know what the hell was going on. For years I’d been hanging out with Ronald McDonald and Wendy and all of the sudden I told them that “the relationship just wasn’t working for me”.Although the tastebuds and I would battle it out for a couple weeks, I stuck it out. Now, we go to the scale. Would a couple weeks of Dr. Phil’s plan and granola munching lead to weight loss? Yes! I shed 12 lbs. and began to feel as though the break up with Ron and Wendy was a good call. I caution not to be the person that jumps on the scale twice a day, but to weigh myself every few days at the the same time to get an accurate reading of my progress. I began to get a true feeling of how the diet was working and building motivation towards continuing the diet. I say “Diet” but, what was starting to take place was a change in lifestyle. Diet and granola snacks aren’t the only key to a healthier life.
After losing the 12 lbs. and maintaining the loss, it was time to become more active to continue my progress.This allowed me to get over the next obstacle which was inactivity. A weekly round of golf and channel surfing is not sufficient activity for a healthier individual. Interestingly, a couple of hot dogs and “cold ones” from the Snack Cart at Wesburn Golf Club is NOT part of the “Dr. Phil Diet”. What does “Diet Boy” do? How does he continue to lose weight without aggravating the compressed discs in his back? How about walking? Yes, walking! Activity with low impact and high reward. I start by walking two miles on the fitness path at my neighborhood park. It seemed like a drag to add this activity into my life with so many channels to surf. It took commitment and the realization that the only “drag” were the extra pounds that I was carrying around. Within weeks, two miles turned into three, three became four, four became five and finally, five became six miles per day. While slowly increasing the walk over a couple of months and staying committed to an hour five days a week for exercise — I started to feel energetic and healthier. More importantly, more miles and more activity translated into more lost pounds and more energy.
Back to the scales! With adhering to the diet and a continued exercise program, the pounds started to come off. 25 lbs.in all during the first few months. I picked up a 20 lb. bag of the potatoes at the grocery store and was amazed at the extra weight that I was carrying around. I continued my regime of diet and exercise and the pounds seemed to melt away. It was very gratifying to see and feel the inches come off my waist and my waistline go from a size 40 to a 36 and eventually a slim and trim 32. This justified my change in lifestyle and proved that the effort and changes are well worth it.
After a year of dedication, I have gone from 238 lbs. to a 175 lbs. The weight has stayed off and my metabolism has adjusted — so, I’ll keep the weight off. I have escaped “The Land of Chunky Monkeys” and become healthier. You must change your lifestyle. Not just your diet! Limit your carbs and alcohol intake. Exercise and eat “energy rich” foods starting with a good, healthy breakfast. Watch and feel the pounds come off and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.
Good Luck & Good Health,