By LMQC Battle of the Bulge blogger, Alan Sivell, St. Ambrose communications professor, RAGBRAI-er, pizza lover and longtime weight watcher.
Gym memberships are up. Conversations about weight loss are up. And optimism is up: This time the weight will stay off!
By February, though, everything but weight is going back down – gym time, talk about it, optimism.
Not surprising. Study after study shows that a majority of our New Year’s resolutions – especially those concerning fitness – don’t stick. But that doesn’t mean they won’t eventually.
I’m an optimist on this subject. It can be done. One bowl of fruit, one plate of vegetables at a time. If I can do it, there’s a LOT of hope for everyone.
I may not be a famous weight loss expert, but I have a lifetime of experience living with the subject. Countless beers, midnight pizzas, and 2 a.m. ice cream followed by fast food breakfasts taught me lots of lessons. Lessons that I could not only see in the mirror, but feel in my heart, lungs and joints.
(Did I mention my first job – one that I held through college – was working at an ice cream parlor?)
I’ve spent more time thinking about weight loss, reading books about it, listening to people talk about it, and trying and failing to lose weight than just about anybody other than Jenny Craig.
OK, kind of kidding, but I tried everything short of hypnosis. (And I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about that. It was next on my list.)
Finally, in 2015, after years and years of trying with varying degrees of (temporary) success, I finally did it.
That January, I started what I thought would be yet another diet. My wife insisted it had to be a lifestyle change. In fact, that’s what it became.
How did I do it? I set goals and didn’t reward myself with food when I met them. The reward was that I was healthier. Trips to Kelly’s for ribs or Donutland would have defeated my big picture goal.
Instead of grabbing a cookie or two, I grabbed a small handful of nuts when I was hungry. And quickly left the kitchen. I washed fruit and cut vegetables. I finally managed to get the cravings for processed foods out of my system.
I lost 25 pounds and have kept them off.
I have more energy and less anxiety about my overall health. I can get up off the floor. I don’t snore (much) anymore. I feel more in control of my life.
I wouldn’t go back for anything.
The moral of the story is that you can make changes, even at an “advanced” age, even after years of trying. And that the changes are worth making.
Don’t be discouraged by failed attempts. If you want to make the change, keep trying. Because trying is part of the process.
Eventually, you’ll succeed.
|Meet Battle of the Bulge blogger, Alan Sivell. Alan is a communications professor at St. Ambrose University and a former reporter for WQAD-TV who has exercised – and dieted – his entire life. Read Alan’s other blog posts.|