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“Empathy”

I ran across an interesting story this morning while I was checking my email.  Personal trainer Drew Manning wanted to better understand what his clients go through when trying to lose weight and build strength, so he forced himself to gain 75 pounds in six months and then turn around and lose it.  I don’t really know anything about him as a person, but I liked the fact that he said it was “humbling” when he returned to the gym as an overweight person.  Sometimes I think that people who have been fit and healthy all their lives don’t understand what a struggle it can be for people who have not been that way all their lives.

I’ve personally been struggling with my own efforts in this area.  I am in my fourth week of the Weight Watchers program, but if I’m honest – probably my fifth DAY of starting over tracking what I eat.  I have determined that one of my challenges in this “project” to become healthy is a lack of focus.  On the days that I’m not diligently documenting everything I eat, I will actually forget that I’ve eaten something earlier in the day.  For example, on a particularly busy day, I ate breakfast (usually a cup of coffee with stevia and non-fat creamer plus some Chobani non-fat Greek yogurt) and hit the ground running.  Appointments kept me tied up until late in the afternoon, at which point I thought “Man!  I’m hungry!  I haven’t eaten all day!”  So I ended up going through the drive-through and getting something totally NOT on plan, because I “hadn’t eaten all day” … and then I remembered that I HAD eaten.

One of the things that he mentioned in the article linked below was the need to plan, plan, plan your meals.  And this is where I am really struggling.  (I started to type “failing,” but failing indicates defeat and I refuse to be defeated YET.)

So I’ve begun, yet again – I had my coffee with my Chobani yogurt this morning.  I’m drinking a glass of LaCroix sparkling water right now (I like fizzy water better than still water – LaCroix has sparkling flavored waters that don’t have any artificial sweeteners).  I plan to have a Smart Ones frozen meal for lunch in a couple of hours.  I need to figure out what to do for dinner BEFORE dinner tonight.

I hope to start exercising soon, too.  I injured my knee in a fall a few months ago and it is not getting better.  So Thursday I have an appointment with an orthopedic doctor to find out what’s going on there and what I can do to get moving.  I don’t want to do any further damage since I can tell things just aren’t right “in there”.

I think I’d like to read Drew’s book, as well.  Let me know if you’ve read it or have any thoughts on what he says.

‘Fit2Fat2Fit’ Author Drew Manning’s Top 5 Weight Loss Mistakes to Avoid | ABC News Blogs – Yahoo!.

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3 thoughts on ““Empathy”

  1. Saw this headline on Manning. Haven’t read his book or heard of him before. Being someone who has struggled with food, weight, and exercise my whole life, it is never as easy as some critics make it seem. We’re not all lacking will power or the right motivation; if you were living a certain way for years and years, any kind of change will be a HUGE undertaking (as Manning points out). The work to un-learn habits, understanding our reactions to stress, and dealing with the emotional attachments we’ve made with some of our regular routines — all of these can torpedo our efforts to make changes.

    Diets and healthy living changes are also not one-size-fits-all. I’m a numbers person, so counting calories in/out and planning meals (kind of like a jigsaw puzzle to get me to the end of the day) come very naturally to me — IF I know what my goals are and that they are realistic. But other people hate it. They’d rather have flexibility and be spontaneous.

    My problem was that I had no idea how many calories I should be taking in, what are realistic weight loss goals, how much fat vs. carb vs. protein I should be eating, or even what a portion size should be. There are plenty of diet options out there where you don’t have to starve yourself. You just need to eat more of the right things.

    The Meal Planning thing is REALLY important when you are starting out. I would highly recommend biting bullet and doing it for 30 days. And this is not just recording what you eat, but planning your whole day in advance. Start planning “Go-To” meals that you can prepare at a moment’s notice. Once you have a good feel for what combinations of Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner will keep you on track, you can start tinkering around with more flexible options.

    Lastly – be honest with yourself. You can’t go from eating 2500+ calories a day (as I was doing) to 900 overnight. You’re setting yourself up for failure. If you know what your normal calories in / out are, start with goals that are reasonable. It’s not impossible to go from 2500 down to 2000 calories a day (just eat 1/2 a serving of bread or pasta instead of a full serving). You do that for a week, and you should have lost a pound. Do that for a summer, and you’ve lost 12-15 lbs. Keep it up for the year, and you’re down over 50 lbs! (Now, as you lose weight, your BMR will taper off as well, so it wouldn’t be quite that, but still.)

    L – you can do it. Don’t give up. Take little steps. Everyday is a new day. Plan ahead and follow through and you WILL be successful.

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  2. Thanks, Tim. I know I can do it. I HAVE to do it! I’ll be at the hospital all day tomorrow. (Mom is having surgery to make sure they got all of the cancerous mole and to have her lymph nodes mapped, whatever that means.) I have already planned to take a little insulated cooler with veggies, a yogurt and bottled water, rather than hitting the vending machines while I wait. Baby steps, right? 🙂

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