Weight Loss: A Personal Decision

Note: This is not a medical report, not a review by a weight loss guru, it is however, what worked for me.
Spring and summer both provide fresh views of life. One fresh view concerns new plants, baby birds, and newborn animals. Another fresh view is our reflection in the mirror. This view no longer encumbered with a cloak of bulky sweaters, sweatshirts, and coats that soften our appearance.
It is normal during a winter season to place a few extra pounds on our otherwise toned body. Comfort foods on cold days are wonderful ways to offset the loss of vitamin D however, in the process they silently deposit unwanted nodules in important places. The first notice of how winter changed us arrives with the first swim invite, tennis game, or cook out when we slip into last year’s comfortable duds. Last year they were comfortable.
“Oh my, what happened?” is often the comment when we push unwanted bulges back in place then watching as they return. It is a very somber and distressing time, not remembering any weight gain but now unable to fit into our summer clothes. Digesting this fact, we realize that to wear those shorts again we have to do something about the shape in the mirror.
Weight Loss Programs frequently include exercise or workouts segments. A suggested workout routine might comprise 20-40% of a weight loss program. What percent it should represent I do not know. For sake of discussion, we will use 25%. What I do know is you must have an exercise routine and the exercise routine done routinely. Think about it. If it represents 25% of your weight loss effort and you blow it off frequently, it is the same as trying to sit in a three-legged chair. The chair will fall, your weight will not fall, and your Weight Loss efforts will fail.
The bulk of weight loss is control of consumption. We all know about calorie programs, carbohydrate programs, and multiple other programs targeting specific items. Each attempt provides a way to minimize food volume, food quantity, and some food quality. All center on some reduction, control of consumption.
Some years ago, I was 22% over my ideal weight according to medical charts based on height, build type, and age. My loving spouse on many occasions attempted to get my attention on my weight. It took encountering shortness of breath to make that happen. Most of my life I exercised routinely but that habit left about two years prior. My new program required resumption of my workout routine of walking, and weight lifting. The major key was to be control of consumption.
After some discussion, I agreed to let my partner select my volume of food. The first meal was a shock. She put the plate in front of me and I remember looking at it, then her and laughing. “Do you really think I can eat just that?” This was a joke; it had to be a joke.
The response was, “no just eat it, leave the table, wait 10 minutes and if you want more have some.” That seemed reasonable, as I knew I would want more. The 10 minutes rapidly passed, as I got engrossed in getting our kitten from behind the sofa.
I forgot my hunger but as soon as I remembered food, I wanted food. Picking up the serving fork, I started to pull a slice of roast onto my plate but stopped. The realization of habits and completing a task surfaced. “Always eat what’s on our plate.” We often heard that as a child and it became what we did. I really was not hungry, at least not enough to eat what I was putting on my plate.
That is where I first learned that the easiest place to control weight is at the start of the weight gain process. That is a lot easier than losing it later. Seeing the servings I eat now would make most wonder if I will starve. It will not happen.
An important step in a weight loss program is portion control in restaurants, possibly sharing an order, compliments any weight loss effort. Restaurants do not care if you split an order, they may charge extra for the second plate but that cost is minimal. There is no stigma related to asking for a second plate that happens more often than you realize.
Today I eat anything I want. I only eat a controlled portion of any delicacy but I enjoy all foods. Remember, “Moderation,” yes, that is the word. Moderation works on most things in life, it also works in Weight Control. Write that word on your hand, on the wall, more importantly keep it in your life.

Harold Simmons

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