In the first installment of How I lost over 100 lbs. and kept it off for 25+ years, I laid the groundwork with a succinct review of my own personal history. I also discussed how you must have your own personal epiphany before you can commit to the weight loss and maintenance vicissitudes that will eventually follow.
No one can MAKE you want to lose the weight. You must found the resolve from within, perhaps because of negative extrinsic influences, but nevertheless it must start with your sincere desire to start the change. In How I lost over 100 lbs. and kept it off for 25+ years: Part 2, we will discuss another fundamental step: permanent change.
How I Lost over 100 lbs. & kept it off for 25+ years: Part 2
As I mentioned in the previous installment, weight loss isn’t necessarily that hard. We know what foods we need to eat more of and which we need to eat less. We know we need to increase physical exertion in every way, shape, and form. Seven to nine hours of sleep, lowering your stress, etc. is crucial as well. But just as important is permanence.
You see, Weight Watcher, Whole30, Paleo, Keto, the Cookie diet and these other diet plans are relatively effective in helping you lose weight. That is once you have had the epiphany that it is time to lose it and you commit to it.
Depending on which you pick, each has their strengths. Some give you a community of like-minded people, similar to Crossfit, where you can share your highs & lows as well as giving you an accountability group. A group setting likely increases your chances of success as you don’t want to be the one who doesn’t keep up with the others. Good ole’ peer pressure!
Another benefit of these programs is that they give you a plan and structure. Either through cards, color-coded food groups, etc. these programs tell you exactly what to eat, what to drink, when to eat and so forth. Many provide their own pre-packaged products to make it even easier. People who love structure and/or being told what to do thrive in this milieu.
The Sinister Science Behind Weight Loss Plans
As mentioned in Part 1, these programs have a certain ulterior motive: profit and referrals. They are more than happy to take your membership dues and/or when you spend your hard-earned money on their overpriced frozen entrees, smoothies, and alike.
They also know that statistically, you are likely to REGAIN the weight. Here is the kicker. They have social scientists and psychologist, who they have hired, who have told them this profound truth, “When a client loses weight they give credit to the weight loss company; when they regain the weight they give blame to themselves.”
As we covered in the Weight Watchers Scam NPE Radio & Occult Health News episode, the client rarely ever blames the weight loss program! They think “It’s my fault. I didn’t have the self-discipline. I am weak and flawed.” So what does the client do in a few years when they are ready to try again: they go back to Weight Watchers or try another fad diet!
Here is the thing, these programs don’t work in the long run. Sure, you might lose weight while on the program. I know plenty of colleagues who have lost weight when starting Weight Watchers. But in the long run, you simply can’t eat cookies all day, or smoothies, or juices, or no grains and dairy for the remainder of your days. It is simply untenable.
Most people have the resolve to stick to a program for the desired end, but lack the resolve to do it permanently. And you can’t blame them. And these programs know that. The “food porn” advertising, the prevalence of fast food, familial pressures, etc. make it so hard to keep it off permanently.
In my personal experience, when I lost my weight in the fall of 1991, I didn’t use a program. My parents had taken me to various dietitians during my teen years who tried to put me on plans, but it didn’t work.
I would still break into my the junk food cabinet (Listen to Confessions of an Obese Child episode “The Binge Eater,” steal money from my mom’s purse and binge eat at McDonald’s “The Bicycle” and still challenge people to eating contests at the all-you-can-eat buffet “The Competitive Eater.” I still was an emotional binge eater though I knew that binging was just making me fatter and more repulsive. But I loved the binging more than I loved myself.
When I had the epiphany and made the decision to lose weight, my parents didn’t put me on Weight Watchers. I just began to eat better. No more two dinners a day. No more boxes after boxes of Twinkies. I do remember drinking the Nutrisystem chocolate breakfast shakes for my breakfast, but aside from that I didn’t adhere to plan.
I began to lose weight and that motivated me to continue to eat well and to begin exercising. Though I had a humongous hurdle in front of me the fact I could lose a little meant that a little plus a little plus a little could turn to a lot. And that is what happened!
Going back to the last installment, we know what we need to it. YOU DON’T NEED TO WASTE MONEY ON A WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM. They are not looking out for you. Ostensibly, they are but that is their business plan. They are looking our for their stock holders and the bottom-line. Don’t fall for the sham!
We know what we need to eat. More clean meats, more produce, more healthy fats found in avocados, nuts, seeds, high percentage dark chocolate, and alike.
We know what we need to avoid. Most of the middle aisles of the grocery store, the processed foods, the packaged foods, the sugar, the sodas and alike. You don’t need to spend money on a weight loss program for them to tell you WHAT YOU ALREADY KNOW.
Here is my takeaway for How I Lost Over 100 lbs. & Kept It Off for 25+ Years: Part 2. Once you feel you are ready to start the weight loss journey and you have hit rock-bottom and had your epiphany, you need to have a new epiphany. The journey you are about to begin will be long and hard for it to be successful. But for it to be successful, you will need to have a paradigm shift. You will need to make permanent changes.
This is hard for many people to hear. You must shirk the old paradigm of your life which saw yourationalizing unhealthy eating habits, fueled by unresolved trauma, sexual abuse, neglect, etc., to a new paradigm. A new paradigm which knows that for you to be successful you must eschew the old habits and excuses and embrace a new outlook.
You will only be successful if you do the “deep work” and go to counseling to figure out what is triggering this disordered eating and self-loathing. Sure, you can lose the weight in some fad plan but once you get off this plan and go back to the “outside world,” you will return to self-destructive tendencies and eat shit again.
So, yes, you can use a weight loss program to help you lose weight. You can glean the best from their program; you can use their rigid system of food cards and categorization of foods. But ultimately, when you are back in the “real world” after you lost your 20, 30, 50 pounds, what are you going to do then?
I mentioned in the previous installment, that 90% of people who lose weight, regain it. Why do you think that is? Because they didn’t do the deep work, they didn’t change their paradigm, they didn’t radically change their lifestyle. They continued with the old paradigm and as such, the old self-destructive eating returned and thus the weight returned. And what do they do when that happens? They blame themselves and return to the weight loss program!
No, don’t do that. If you want to lose weight and permanently keep it off, you must radically change your life. At least the first 5 years. What does this include?
If you never exercised before, begin exercising…daily! If you never did pushups, strength training before, you must start doing it…2-3 a week. Daily morning or evening walks. Better sleep. Fasting. Purging your fridge and pantry of shit, processed foods. Limit your eating out and when you do eat out, know what are the pitfalls and avoid them.
A Fork In The Road
I tell my clients and even my high school students the story of the diabetic. You can offer a newly diagnosed Type II diabetic two roads. One road is the road of taking their diabetes medication (with its load of side effects like weight gain) and continue their poor eating habits, drinking their beers, and not exercising.
The second road is radically change your diet and lifestyle and within 6 months your diabetes WOULD BE GONE. Most people with this choice, choose the first road. And it is sad because they will likely suffer the scourge of diabetes, like blindness, food amputation, kidney failure, heart attacks and alike.
Listen to our episode on how Type II Diabetes May Be Reversed.
Stop making excuses. If you really want to lose the weight, and you have had your epiphany, make the commitment to do so and do it. Go to therapy and fix your psyche. Eat the right foods (you know what they are), and begin exercising a lot. Some of you might say, “Gregory, I don’t have the time to exercise.” That is bullshit.
We make time for what is important for us. We make time to watch TV indiscriminately. We make time for endless hours on social media. You can make time to sneak in a 30 minute walk or run a few times a day.
Same for gym membership. You spend so much money on those processed, packaged foods and eating out. If you calculate that out per month, it is more than a gym membership. But honestly you don’t need a gym to lose weight. You just need you to realize that you can do it, have the resolve to do it, and stop making excuses.
Have the epiphany that it is time to make the change. Then have the epiphany it is going to take a complete paradigm shift to do it. Now, my friends, we can start taking the first actual steps.
If want someone to help you either lose or maintain the weight, contact me. I can help you. I’m a dual-certified, Paleo-inspired health coach. No one you will meet has the personal proven track record that I have. That’s no humble brag. Click here to see my prices.