I can never say that I did not have nutritional information in the areas of what to eat and how to take care of my overall health, meaning fitness and exercise. As many medical professionals say, “Health professionals make the worst patients.”
I am very informed about health and fitness. For over 20 years my primary MD was a holistic doctor in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This doctor practiced traditional medicine and holistic healing if his patients wanted natural healing methods. I had and learned the best of both worlds. However, all this information means nothing if you do not practice what information is at your disposal.
We All Use Excuses for Being Overweight
I started to gain weight when the children were born. I was able to get back to my 110-pound range until I got older and worked so many years on the night shift, and then problems arose.
I worked the night shift for many years and my weight ballooned out of control. I blamed my weight increase on working the night shift, because the staff wanted too many potluck dinners. Most night shifters eat to stay awake. Being up all night is not normal and the body knows this.
I loved coffee and was quite a coffee drinker at work. When coffee would not help me stay awake, I drank large amounts of Mountain Dew and craved sweets. I always said that I was not overweight; I was just too darned short. According to the weight chart, I should have been 7’10” tall, not 5’2″.
Do Not Wait for a Physical Health Crisis
One night I found myself in the hospital emergency room for 13 hours. The doctor said I was going to die if I did not have emergency surgery. After I had surgery, I realized that I needed a lifestyle change , not a diet. I started to exercise moderately, not like marathon training, just enough to help burn excess calories.
I lost over 50 pounds and eight clothing sizes, but anyone who knows me well, knows that I rarely do things the right way. This weight came off because of major emergency surgery. This is no way to lose weight.
We are All Smarter Than We Think
- Did I know what to eat to maintain a balanced diet, of course I did.
- Did I realize that even though I had a busy life with the family and work I needed to exercise, of course, I knew?
- Was I aware that I was overweight? I knew I was well over my ideal body weight range, but I refused to acknowledge the problem.
- Was I in top-notch physical shape? I was absolutely in the best physical shape. Just because I got short of breathe on exertion, felt fatigued most of the time, and was unhappy with my appearance, I told myself this would all go away.
The Key to Weight Loss and Fitness
Anyone can have all the nutritional and fitness information he or she needs, but if they do not use this information and refuse to acknowledge a problem, all the information in the world will do them no good.
Like I tell other people I talk with, take a good look at the food pyramid. The food pyramid gave to me all the information I needed to start on a balanced diet. I was already eating most of what was on the pyramid but certainly not in the correct amounts. I also had sweets sitting at the bottom of the pyramid and had more than my share.
My husband has been a weight lifter for over 40-years and he still works out six days a week. I have several pieces of workout equipment at my disposal; it is just taking the time to use the equipment.
My husband holds a wealth of fitness information and all I have to do is have him set up an exercise routine. It is just being disciplined enough to go walk on the treadmill or to use the bicycle. This is the hard part for me. Exercise is not my most favorite past time.
My weight loss was unique in the fact that major surgery put me on the right road. I do not suggest this route for anyone. After recovery, I thought that I should make some lifestyle changes. I still have some weight to lose but I am maintaining what I have lost and this is a good thing.
My lifestyle changes included the following.
- Don’t fast foods
- Never pan-fry or deep-fry foods
- Bake, broil or grill meats
- Limit beef to three times or less per week
- Steam fresh vegetables to keep the valuable nutrients in the food
- Do not use canned fruits or vegetables, to many hidden sugars and sodium
- No sweets candy, cookies, cakes, ice cream
- Cook with herbs and spices and never salt foods
- Drink at least 64 ounces of water every day, not including coffee or tea
- Never drink soda
- Never say diet
- Get a partner to make a lifestyle change and exercise with you
- Go solo if this is more comfortable. I went solo; however, I do sometimes walk with friends
As a medical professional, I really did not learn anything that I did not already know. What this lifestyle change caused me to do was seriously apply what knowledge I already possessed.
Anyone who needs to lose weight should take the word diet out of his or her vocabulary. Diets are temporary. When the diet is over and the weight loss goal achieved the person is likely to put the pounds back on his or her body. Diets are not forever.
Lifestyle changes are good habits the person can live with for the rest of their life. Before starting any lifestyle change speak with your doctor.