Dieter beware; it’s the Season

I was prompted to write this because I heard an advertisement proclaiming easy weight loss by simply putting drops on one’s tongue.

Snake-Oil-Diet

This always irks me because I hate it that so many people lie about weight loss; taking advantage of the desperate (and unthinking). The only drops one can put in one’s mouth to cause rapid weight loss would be super glue (and I’m not saying to do that of course). Yet, ‘tis the silly season; that yearly ritual where anyone with a megaphone can make false claims about how one can lose weight overnight, without adjusting any behaviors.

Why do so many buy into this time and time again?

Well, let’s start with some facts: According to surveys, the top New Year’s resolutions are: Number One, “spend more time with family and friends;” and number two is “get fit.” “Losing weight” rounds out the top three.

So, it’s obvious that it’s important to many people.

Paradoxically 80 percent of resolutions find their way into the trash heap by January 20, and 92 percent collapse before year’s end. Bottom line? Only eight percent of resolutions survive the year. Why the low success rate? The reality is that so many people are so desperate to shed that weight — and to do it quickly — that they put their brains into neutral, falling for schemes that they’d never accept if they slowed down long enough to think.

Putting on my consumer advocate hat, I therefore did some research to find out what to avoid, should you wish to be one of the successful eight percent instead of the sad 92. Webmd.com listed several diet types to avoid if you wish to successfully lose weight. [Read more…]

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Young Blood – A Trip to the Doctor’s Office

Don’t get me wrong. I really like my doctor.

doctor

Although I only get 15 minutes in his presence per appointment, I understand that’s not his fault. More importantly, during that quarter of an hour, he really has a great bedside manner, remaining attentive and focused; he even laughs at my jokes. Yet, it’s still a very short amount of time for me to catalog every concerning twitch, itch, or anomaly I discover on this aging body. Nonetheless, he listens patiently and responds to every apprehension and I have yet to catch him sighing nor checking his watch.

Like I said, I like my doctor.

So at first blush, it might seem contradictory when I state that I did everything I knew how to do to avoid my most recent appointment. No invasive tests were on the agenda. I did not even have to fast the night before; I had done that the previous week. This visit’s express purpose was merely getting the results of my standard blood tests I took the week previously.

I arrived for my appointment a little early; hoping to get it over with. I purposely did not wear blue jeans because I knew they weigh more than my black cotton pants and also knew that — per standard protocol — the first place to which I would be escorted was the scale. I’ve commented before that I would prefer they placed it somewhere more discreet as it feels like it’s in the lobby with a lighted placard announcing, “Now weighing in…” and then proclaims my weight to everyone in the entire building. It’s not doing that of course, or so I’m told. But, as they say, “just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.” It still does appear that way to me.

“Please step on to the scale,” said the nurse.

“One moment,” I replied, “I don’t want to weigh while wearing this jacket.”

She smiled patiently while I placed my coat on the provided rack.

“Excellent; now you can hop on board.”

“I’m not done yet,” said I, whilst removing my shoes and unbuckling my belt.

“You know, you don’t really need to take those off,” she commented.

“Maybe others don’t, but I do. I’m a professional at this.”

I accented the action by emptying my pockets of my keys, spare change, phone, and even my pen. (I would have discarded the used napkin buried in the bottom of my pocket but I was starting to feel a bit too anal-retentive.)

[Read more…]

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The Road from “Never” to “Now”

never-land-&-now-road

Changing a bad habit can be messy, frustrating, and unpleasant.

After all, if it was easy, we’d all be dropping bad habits willy-nilly, wouldn’t we?

It becomes easier if, instead of looking at it like, “One moment I’m here. The next minute I have to be all the way over there,” we understand it more as a series of stages.

I’ll assume one has left the initial stage of denial, and decided to — for example — lose a few pounds; accepting that either forever gaining weight or making a change are his only options.

He lands firmly in stage one: “Never.”

Here thoughts and feelings are extremely negative, perception being an excessive, laborious amount of work and discomfort for what appears to be a pipe dream result. Internal dialog is, “I will never be able to do that” with the obvious coda being, “…so why bother to try?”

In our example, the thought of sweaty, painful exercise; a starvation-level diet; anal-retentive tracking of calories; tasteless recipes; extensive shopping pattern adjustments; and – in general – being forever, always, never-ending conscious; triggers our synapses to scream, “No way! Can’t be done, ain’t gonna happen.” Crossing our arms, scowling, and firmly planting our feet, we refuse to budge.

Or so we think.

You see; the problem is that once consciousness has been raised it cannot never again be buried.

[Read more…]

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Six Simple Steps to Stay on Your Diet While Traveling or Vacationing

bar-cartoon

I actually lost weight while on the road for a month.

Please don’t hate me.

Having surveyed thousands of people about what is the biggest difficulty in keeping their weight under control, that which ranks highest is staying in control while traveling; not a shock I’m sure. However, for a few of us, it’s the opposite; I lose weight easier while on the road. So, although I usually don’t use this space as an “advice” or “how-to” column, since we are entering the “vacation and travel season;” I share my simple and easy techniques to avoid coming home with “extra baggage.” [Read more…]

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