Have you ever said, “I just had no choice.” I hope that was a rare occurrence, because for most things in life that we can control, we have a choice. It’s funny, but as I was writing this, I had helped our son put some rain shields on the truck. When the stick, they stick, and as we put it on it wasn’t exactly right, but my son said at this point we have no choice. He was right; you can’t pull them back off and try again. The choice might be to do nothing or may be just to move on, as was the case of the truck rain shields. When it comes to weight loss, there is a choice. Food doesn’t just fall into your mouth. You have to choose what to put in your mouth. Every bite is a choice. Every item you pull off the grocery shelf is a choice. Every item on the restaurant menu presents a choice. Every weight-loss diet requires you to make choices. You really have a choice whether or not to eat that brownie. Stuff happens in life which you have no control, but in eating you are the master of your success.
Wake up and love the day. It’s another opportunity to enjoy your weight-loss journey. We often say that weight loss is hard, but it’s neither impossible nor depressing. It is just another part of your life. Your life is much more than weight loss. When you wake up each morning, you should be ready to enjoy the day. As the Psalmist said, “This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24 NKJV). This is your day. God made this day for you. Whether you are on a weight-loss diet should have no negative effect on how you approach your day. It shouldn’t be, oh no another day of dieting. Make it positive—another day to get this weight off. How do you see each day? Are you ready for the adventure, or would you rather pull the covers over your head and stay in bed? Find the joy in each day. Approach it as a wonderful gift. Be grateful for each day and love what God has in store for you. He has given you all things to enjoy. So relish the day from morning until night. Treat each day as if it was specially made just for you.
Many of these topics overlap. When I say some are making excuses and some are making changes, we’ve talked a lot about both. In fact, this whole year we are concentrating on excuses and how they affect our weight loss but also our life. With 95% of weight loss dieters failing, most people are making excuses, and few are making changes. Moreover, the country continues to grow fatter. We know that doing the same thing repeatedly, thinking we will get different results, is the definition of insanity. Do you remember Susan Powter and her Stop the Insanity diet? We went on that. Don’t know why we quit. Published back in 1993, I think it rang a bell in dieter’s heads saying we need to stop all this crazy dieting and get to something that works and is healthy. I don’t know how many diets there have been over the years, but all the individual nutritionists and fitness guru’s that have their diets for individuals. Nevertheless, getting back on topic, we need to trash the excuses, and get to making the changes need to restore our health and take America off the top overweight list. It requires individuals making permanent changes.
Excuses will always be there for you, but opportunities won’t. When we were in Surfside, Florida this year, we wanted to get up early and watch the sunrise. The whole sunrise lasted but minutes and then it was over. A few minutes late and we would have missed the beautiful sunrise. Many things happen that way in our lives. The door opens, and then it closes. Sunrise and sunset, and time marches on. Sometimes when I write about weight loss, I think I’m writing to the choir. We often struggle with daily weight issues. We allow ourselves to gain some weight, and then we work to get it off again. There are stacks of excuses for that yo-yo weight gain and loss. I’m certainly not immune to them, but I’m getting better at recognizing them and refusing them more quickly. That’s all we can do. Today is not yesterday, and tomorrow is not today. We have to live in the now and walk the weight-loss journey of today, Opportunities come and go. Some we can grab, some will get away. As one commercial says, “When opportunity knocks, be sure and open the door.” Look for opportunities and trash the excuses.
There’s talk and there’s doing. Or as the Bible says, word and deed. We’ve touched on this before. It fits all areas of life, but we blog about health and primarily weight loss. Talk should inspire. It should encourage both yourself and others to take action. Talk is for information and instruction. It should propose your plan of action. Talk is for questions and comments. It should formalize your plan and lead you to action. If you are talking about weight loss diets, it should lead to some conclusion. For example, you are talking with someone about a weight loss diet. You should know the facts, not just hearsay. You should ask questions that relate to your desire to lose weight and how this diet might help you. However, there comes a point where the talking is over and it’s time to take appropriate action. Maybe this diet is for you, maybe not. If so, get to work. If not, keep researching. Talk is cheap they say. Proverbs 14:23 also says, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty” (NIV2011). Unless you are a commentator, then they pay you for talking. For weight loss, talk about what you are doing. Talk about your success.
Guard your mouth. This applies to all areas of life, not just health and fitness. If you are of the “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never harm me” bent, no one has called you a bad name. Words hurt or heal. We are increasingly seeing young people committing suicide because of words over social media. The Apostle James talks about the tongue. “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell” (James 3:6). That sounds worse than breaking a few bones. We are taking this one-step farther. It’s what you say to yourself. You are the first to hear yourself. If you say, “I’m fat” it develops a negative view of yourself. You will begin to think that’s who you are. That is not who you are. That is just the present state of your body. You can change that. How many though, lose the weight, and still think of themselves as fat. Watch what you say about yourself. You are a child of God. You are loved by the Creator. You have unlimited potential. Watch your words on your weight-loss journey.
There is so much information out there in cyberspace that a common question might be where to start. Most people hear about a diet on TV or from a colleague and just jump in and do it. There are many famous diets such as, Atkins, South Beach, Mediterranean, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and so on. Each one has its pros and cons. Not every diet is for everyone. That’s why there are so many diets out there. I really suspect that few, if any, people will read this having never been on a weight loss diet before. I also suspect that when you look through the diet books at the bookstore, you will flip back to about chapter 10 and see what you get to eat. If you are between diets as so many are, then make a list of what you want out of a diet. Do you want organic, vegan, non-dairy, etc.? Do you want menus? Do you want support? Do you want exercise guidance as well? Do you want flexibility or more restriction? Are you mainly interested in eating clean or a medical issues diet? My suggestion is once you have your diet wants list complete, then begin searching for one that fulfills your needs. Start now to research it.
I try to ask how your weigh-ins are going once a month and today’s the day. I weigh every day, but I record my weight on Friday’s on my spreadsheet. That way I know from week to week how I’m doing. Standing on the scale each morning is just second nature, almost automatic. It’s no big deal. I don’t fret over the outcome if I go up, and I don’t celebrate when I go down. It just is what it is. I really think the scale is the most useful tool for the person on a weight loss journey. After all, you are concerned about the weight. If you are just on a healthy diet, trying to learn to eat healthy, and not on a weight loss diet, then weight if you want to weigh. My daughter went on a healthy diet, and one of the benefits of it was that she lost weight, lots of it. Changing eating habits is most important, whether you need to lose weight or not. Keep an eye on the scale. Make needed adjustments. Don’t obsess over the scale, and don’t let it control your life. Just step on it, look, and go on about your day with joy.
Excuse – I don’t want to diet. This is perhaps the most honest excuse of them all. I don’t know anyone who wants to go on a weight loss diet. Change is hard. It takes courage to change from the familiar to something new. George Bernard Shaw said, “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” If you are overweight, then you need to lose weight. However, if you don’t want to and ultimately don’t lose weight, you live with the results. My suggestion is if you don’t want to lose weight, have a good reason you don’t lose weight. Just as you need a good reason to lose weight, you need a good reason you won’t lose weight. If you don’t like where you are with your weight, then only you can change it. Robin Sharma said, “Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end.” Nothing happens in life until you make a change. Don’t diet if you don’t want to diet, because it takes commitment and resolution to walk through a weight-loss journey. I know because I walk that walk every day.
Excuses are taking the easy way out. Fail a weight loss diet, take the easy way out, and don’t go on a weight loss diet again. Just get fat and suffer the consequences. Instead of eating healthy, just take the easy way out and eat all the fast food you want. No one loses weight by taking the easy way. There are two roads to success. One is easy, one is hard. The easy way is to do nothing. The hard way is to make changes. The easy way is to make excuses. The hard way is to make solutions. I don’t want to make weight loss dieting seem like it’s a hard road. Theodore Wilson said, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” Weight loss is a challenge, but worth it. Anything worth having is worth pursuing. So don’t take the easy way and do nothing. Instead take the hard way, and turn it into the easy way.