Tuesday, February 5, 2008

You Don't Have to Lose 100 Pounds - Part I

When you hear about someone who has lost 100 pounds, doesn't it just inspire you to do the same? No, me either. It's not that I'm not happy for them. It's that, just like if someone won a million dollars on a game show, gold in the Olympics, or the Nobel Peace Prize, it doesn't seem to have anything to do with me. It's too big and I don't even know where to begin. To me it is much more inspiring to hear of someone who is gradually losing weight and thereby getting healthier. If that is what inspires you too, then I have good news for you. I'm doing it, and I can show you how you can do it too.
First of all, Joslin Diabetes Center has done a study showing that people who lose just 7% of their weight along with a program of moderate-intensity exercise for six months, improved their blood vessel function by 80%! Seven percent is doable. The example they give is a 220lb, 5'5" tall woman losing 16 pounds. I think 7% is an excellent goal to shoot for. When you reach it, you can do another 7%, right? And even if you don't, you have still succeeded in making yourself healthier, along with building true healthy habits that you can probably stick with long term.
Another sticking point for a lot of people is going on a diet. They don't believe they'll be able to keep it up long enough to do any good. The good news and the bad news is that your new eating plan needs to be something you can live with, not something you "do" for a short time. But that's really better news than you may realize. If you know you are developing a new way of dealing with food, you are more apt to take the time to think it through and make choices you'll really like. Because the truth is, food is NOT your enemy! Food is given to us by God to nourish us. Nourishment has connotations of fueling our bodies, sure, but it also has unmistakable connections with comfort as well. It's ok to like food! Liking food will not make you fat. Really enjoying what you do eat will actually make it a lot easier to skip the food you've decided you don't want to eat.

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