July 10, 2007

The 10 Best Ways to Lose 100 pounds

(This list was complied by me. Not a heart doctor who’s never had to lose a pound, but a real-live weight-challenged 54-year-old. Forget the weight-challenged part, I was obese.)


Stop the madness, and stop fooling yourself. You know you want to do it. You know you’ll feel a thousand times better. You just have to decide this is the day. Only you can do it. Sometimes it takes a scary heart attack or just angina. Sometimes it can just be carrying your 5-year-old to bed, and realizing you have to catch your breath after just a few stairs. Sometimes it’s just the effort in bending over to tie your shoes, or maybe the embarrassment of asking for the seat belt extension on the airplane. Whatever is your private hell, use it...to change your life forever.

And it’s difficult. It’s one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do in your life. Have you ever been poked in the eye by a stick? Be prepared to be poked in the eye everyday for at least a year, and then jabbed in the nose for the rest of your life. It’s more difficult than having a baby. What’s child birth, 4 or 8 hours of pain? This is pain that will last a year.

And it’s going to take a least a year. Don’t believe, not just for a minute, one of the hundreds of lies told by diet companies, celebrity magazine and doctors’ books. (We all know Dr. Phil isn’t a medical doctor, right?) Don’t believe any of those claims of “Slim in 6” or those magazine covers of “lose 30 pounds in 30 days.” Visualize one year, 365 days. Visualize two years. Visualize the rest of your life. One year seems so long and yet it’s just a 1/80 (1.3%) or 1/90 of your life. You didn’t gain 100 pounds in one year. So naturally it’s going to take a while to lose that fat.

But it’s going to be more rewarding and more empowering than any raise or job promotion. You might even get a raise or job promotion, since discrimination against obesity is hidden and widespread. But mostly I’m talking about the kind of positive feedback that family and friends will give you once they see the pounds shedding.

And the difficult part is just not the hunger, the lifestyle change or self-doubt. Be prepared for no one noticing. You’ll lose 25 pounds and people will ask if you changed your hairstyle. I lost 35 pounds and no one noticed. And these are caring, attentive work colleagues. No one noticed for the first 3 months and I had lost 50 pounds.

To change your body, you’ll need to change your mind. Both are difficult. Both are possible. You are stronger than you think.

Tomorrow: Exercise doesn’t work.

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