Monday, September 29, 2008

Secret of my Success

I'll get back to the "day in the life" series as soon as I take care of a piece of business.  The esteemed friar, Fr. Philip Neri, O.P., asked in a comment about how did I manage my weight loss.  It is pretty shocking to see the change even though I am a ways from my goal weight.  However, kickboxing this morning can't hurt.

Initially, my thought was to talk about Weight Watchers, but that is the instrument not so much the cause.  If I had to pinpoint the secret, it would be this: self-awareness.  The first step to lose weight is to place before your mind this question: "Why do I use food the way I do?"  Clearly, lots of other people can eat and be satisfied and stop.  I am not one of those people.  Repeatedly, through the structure of Weight Watchers, I would have to address the why of my eating, especially when I would eat but was not hungry.  After that, the program is cake.  (Oh, wait.  I need a different metaphor.)

Now, I have been on many weight loss programs and I can say that Weight Watchers is the most sensible and effective.  The priniciples are sound and effective without doing harm to your body.  I knew I would love Weight Watchers from the first day when our group leader, Karen, said, "You have to eat.  To make program work, you have to eat everything you are alloted each day," or words to that effect.  One hundred and thirty two pounds later, she was right and remains right.  And that is great to know; you can eat like the rest of humanity and still lose weight.  Even better there is a bonus.

WW has given my the tools to identify why I eat and much as what I eat.  To understand long term weight loss you have to identify trigger foods (especially if you binge), comfort foods (the stuff you can't live without), and the useless crap (the stuff you thought you loved but when compared against raw data isn't worth your time).  From week to week you learn that.

Lastly, you have to exercise.  Sorry, anyone who tells you that you can lose weight without exercising is either 1.) lying, 2.) nuts, or 3.) has a great program they would like to sell you.  The key to exercise though is the same as the key to eating.  Start small.  If you don't take stairs, then take stairs.  Sacrifice your afternoon nap for 15 minutes of walking.  As you grow accustomed to the workout, you will find the things that give you energy and excitement to continue progressing toward goal.  I cannot stress this enough: NINETY PERCENT OF MY EXERCISE TO DATE HAS BEEN WALKING.  It is only in the last 8 months that I have been doing other things, like lifting weights.  You do not have to come up with elaborate programs or DVDs to attain great results.  Just get up off your bum!

When I look at this in the big picture, I realize that ultimately, the sanest way to lose weight is to look at a bigger perspective.  Strive to get healthy.  If you do that, then the weight will come off.  And certainly, I am a sympathetic ear.  If you have questions or would like motivation, just leave a note in the in box.

Last note: no pictures of today's outings.  I'll get some up about tomorrow tomorrow.  


Stephanie said...

I am overwhelmed with your willpower to have gotten through the amazing last year. I have total admiration for your efforts, and the results. Very nice.

Dismas said...

Heavens, you really ARE half the man I knew you to be! Congratulations, and may you serve as an inspiration for others!

mary margaret said...

So far, so good, Father. I am impressed. Oh, and BTW, I am very happy that you are back on the blogosphere. You have been missed! (Thanks to Mark Shea that I knew you were back.)

Father Cory Sticha said...

Fr. Tharp,

Thank you for your example! The inertia of laziness is hard to overcome, and I admire your determination to not only overcome, but to succeed in getting healthy. Although I don't have as much weight to lose, your success is a great example to me.