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Why I Put Xanex in the Turkey

In the US it's Thankgiving week. For Americans that means at least a half day off from work, more food that we usually eat, our crazy families, and being thankfiul for cash to buy Christmas presents.

This year is different for me.

My kids will be here from California, Rhode Island and Masschusetts. We'll be going to my sweetheart's family for Thanksgiving. Thusday we have lunch with her uncle and aunt, and then dinner at a cousins. Friday brunch with my kids, lobster dinner with another cousin, and our big day is Saturday.

I am going to manage without the crutches on Saturday.

I broke my leg 4 weeks ago and it has been tough. I have mostly been leg up in bed. Despite applying the finishing touches to a very big celebration, doing my part to cook for the festivities, and working from home, I am hanging in there.

I miss running so badly!

So this year I have lots to be thankful for. I have a wonderful woman to share my life with. My kids will be here for the holiday and that hasn't happened in years. 

There is one more thing.

Ruth's mother has stage 4 cancer and it's very likely one of the last times she will be able to attend a family function. So wherever you are in life, make sure you focus on the people you love. You can't order those online.

Happy Thaksgiving to my American freinds. The rest of you get back to work. 

I Suck at Willpower!

If this journey was up to willpower alone, I'd be 400 pounds by now! There were a bunch of things I tried to do to lose weight. I tried not eating, eating diet meals, shakes, fads, and I thought of vomiting it back up too. I didn't.

I just don't have willpower.

Basically I am addict. I smoked too much, drank too much, and I ate too much. I couldn't fix any of that. I was lucky enough to enjoy sports until I was in college - then I switched to drugs and rock music.

Maybe that was just a generational thing. :)

I tried quitting all kinds of things I started. I just couldn't hold on for too long. I am pretty strong-willed, but that could not win. In the end, I failed miserably. I always quit quitting.

Even prayer didn't seem to work.

So how did I get out of the willpower trap? I became dedicated. Willpower says I won't _______. Dedication says I will _______. I identified the things that I should be doing instead of concentrating on what I shouldn't be doing.

I stopped making excuses. I stopped giving myself permission to fail.

Instead of dieting I dedicated my efforts to changing my lifestyle. I changed my relationship to food, drink and even exercise. Dedication is a commitment to doing. Willpower is a frail attempt to fight off cravings.

David's Top 10 list of things he is dedicated to:
1: Portion Control - I got a food scale, smaller plates and food tubs.
2: Reading Labels - even though I don't log daily anymore (I did for a long time), I read a lot.
3: Running - I run 3 days a week, sometimes 6. I do body weight strength training and stretch daily. (I am down due to a knee injury, but I will be back!)
4: No Cheat Days - There are enough holidays and special occasions to make for some tough choices.
5: No Junk Food - I do not keep anything junky in the house. If I go for a special occasion or treat, it's out, and it's over and it's done with.
6: Organic/Whole Foods - I eat mostly fresh fruit and veggies, lean red meat, fish, poultry, low-fat dairy, and do everything I can to stay away from food in a package except Ghirardelli dark chocolate. I still eat canned beans and an occasionally artichoke hearts and olives. Of course, low-fat dairy is still packaged.
7: Weigh In Weekly - No better ways to keep an eye on things.
8: Water - lots of water!
9: Bacon and Eggs - It's my favorite. A world without bacon is boring. Usually, I eat nitrate free from grass fed pigs.  I would add that a lot of protein has been essential to my weight loss journey.
10: Regular Check Ups - it seems that the doc is a solid partner for my weight loss and that helps keep me on track.

I do log in here every day to see what everyone is up to. I used to be dedicated to it, but now it is one of my daily routines.
 
Thanks for the votes and comments! 

Excuse me! Umm, no...

Is it me, or just the posts that I happen to read? I have read some pretty creative excuses for falling off the wagon, overeating, and not succeeding at learning to eat healthy and exercise three times a week.

People are pretty lazy. That is my perspective.

I am at the top of the list. I have a million excuses for not losing and maintaining my weight. Since I ran Berlin i have gained back 9 pounds. WTH is wrong with me?


Even the one committed to cardio has excuses.

I had a heart trauma in April '11, and what I heard afterwards was this: 57% of those that have had a heart attack don't even continue to take their medication after the first refill! Worse, almost 80% make no significant lifestyle changes!

If you are telling yourself there is some reason you cannot lose weight or can't get cardio in, you probably won't!

Last week's knee injury is not healed. I went and had an x-ray yesterday. Nothing there so it's onto the othopedic surgeon for an MRI and hopefully I can find out what's really wrong.

On top of feeling sorry for myself, I can't run right now. I am signing up for a gym so I can do something. I am also signing up for a weight loss clinic. I need some motivation, because I have a long list of excuses.

Here is my list of excuses:


I don't have time. 
- If it was going out to dinner you probably would. Look you have time for lots of things, you need to schedule it. If working out is not in your calendar, it is unlikely that you'll win at this game.

I still have time. - You may be young enough where your food and lack of exercise is not a problem, but for most it doesn't work forever - especially past 40. Yeah, I know about your grandmother that drank a case of beer and smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day, only ate fried food, dated 5 men at a time and lived until 145. Let me know if you make it.

Everyone in my family is fat. - Why is that? Could it be diet and exercise?

It's a cheat day. - Get out your stones and excuses about shaking up your metabolism blah blah blah. The truth is that cheaters are in the group of roller coaster dieters, from which nearly all of them eventually gain back the weight they lost the other 6 days a week.

I have kids. - Yeah, so take them for a run. I take my 11-year-old walking, running, riding bikes, rollerblading, every chance I get. We plan vacations near bike trails so we can ride. When she was a baby, we just put her in the front pack, or bicycle trailer. My YMCA has kids care as well.

I'm too busy. - Well, health is a choice; it might be time to make it.

The dog/kangaroo didn't eat it. - If you are full at the restaurant, you'll be tempted to eat whatever you bring home before lunch the following day. If that is the case, leave it.

I don't know what to do. - I don't know about you, but most of us here do not have degrees in health and nutrition. MFP is a good guideline for the amount of food, and balance of what we call macros: carbs, protein and fat. Here's a tip, if it is low-cal junk food, its still junk food. Cardio which is truly healthy is when the heart rate goes above 120. This requires walking at 3 mph or possibly higher.

It's too hard to lose weight, I've already tried. - You are correct, and you've proved it. That is why you need to forget dieting. You make changes you can do for the rest of your life.

I can't afford healthy food. - I will agree that a variety of healthy food costs more. Here are some tips for saving money. Drink only water, it's free. Many grocery stores have fruits and veggies that are discounted because they are past fresh: we buy 6 apples for a dollar, 2 peppers for half a buck, and 3 bananas for even less. Over all we find them to be a good value. Brown rice is the same price as white and far better. You'll be eating less, usually 3-4 ounces of meat or fish. You can buy packaged ham and cheese in bulk and freeze it. The same is true for some fruits and veggies. Frozen food isn't horrible, and most canned food can be rinsed to reduce sodium content.

It's too late.  - I'm already _____ years old. - Yup, and tomorrow you be that plus one day. I don't get it.

I'm afraid of failure. - I have met a few folks on MFP that have a lot weight to lose (me I was close to 100). It is a daunting task, and it takes time. Read the Success Story forums and friend those folks who have done what you need to do. I find it inspiring. On average, those that work at it can lose 40-100 lbs in a year. (Yes, I am sure there are some with medical reasons who cannot and I am not talking about them.)

I'm afraid of success! - Being obese for a long period of time becomes a way of life. We set up our enablers, buy cars, furniture and even our personality changes to accommodate our physical state. I sat with a guy the other day that could not fit in the booth at a lunch place. It was sad. Then he ordered a 3000 calories steak bomb.

My significant other doesn't care why should I? - Most mature adults are smart enough not say "I would love you better thinner!" I suppose there are some that have spouses that like them in an unavailable state, but for the most part, our health is our concern. Losing weight has many benefits other than just looking and feeling better.

I can't exercise, there's no place for me to walk/run. - We need to start where we stand. The goal is eating well, and getting in three 30 minute cardio session a week in which we get the heart rate over 120. You can walk in place, by home gym resistance bands, and an array of other things. I bet you can find a treadmill on Craigslist for cheap!

I love to eat. - Yup, me too. I am just enjoying eating better, and less.

I do a lot of traveling for work and find it hard to stick to my weight loss plan. - It is not an easy task to eat out all the time, but many places I have stayed at had a refrigerator and a grocery store nearby.

I've heard that running puts me at risk for knee problems and arthritis later in life.LOL, that's BS. But you can try swimming, use the elliptical or riding a bike.

I Have Bad Knees (bad ankles, bad hips, bad a$$): From here it looks like they can get you back and forth from the store, the bathroom and the refrigerator.

It's just one. - One breakfast muffin is equal to two 30 minute cardio sessions.

It's the holidays. - So? The Bermuda Triangle: Thanksgiving Christmas and New Years. (Or Memorial Day, the 4th and Labor Day.) Flag Day, the dog’s birthday. There are lots of holidays!

I don't cook my own meals. - It's hard to control what others do. I made an agreement with my ex-wife over what I was willing to eat each week. Communication helps, and filling up with a large snack before meals is also another option. If you eat half a bag of baby carrots, you are probably not going to chow down on the fried chicken.

I Have Slow Metabolism: Right, and if your body was a car, it would be in reverse. Personally, mine hit a speed bump at age 40 and broke the steering column.

My Parents didn’t Teach me How to Eat: - Are you kidding, have you looked in the mirror? You are probably good at eating, in fact very good! For God’s sake, birds manage to get south.

It’s Vacation: One of my personal favorites, lots of eating out, and lying around (actually that sounds more like work too). Staying in the hospital is not a vacation.

I Don’t Like Healthy Food: Let me know when the pity party is over. Trust me; you are not going to like heart failure either.

It’s Emotional:
 WTH? It’s food, nothing else.

I Can Eat Anything I Want! Apparently.

I’ll Start Over Tomorrow: It’s here, now what?

Water Makes Me Gag! Well I guess it’s a good thing you are not a dolphin.

How about you, can you share some your most creative excuses for staying the way you were?

Disclaimer: Look, there are people who have legitimate medical reasons for being where they are. However; if you can get out of bed, you can probably begin to exercise. Seeing as diet is probably 85% - 90% of weight loss, you can make better choices.

Thanks for the votes and comments, I very much appreciate them.

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