Thursday, April 17, 2008

An Open Letter to Race Fan in Maryland

Dear Race Fan in Maryland:

You said to me the other day "How on Earth am I going to lose 100 pounds?"

I could sense the apprehension, the fear, the self doubt in your statement.

But you made that statement to somebody who is knocking on the door of 100 lbs lost. So I have to believe you said that to me looking for something. But what? A push? Advice? Affirmation that it's impossible to lose that much weight? I don't know. I don't want to push you. I know what pushing does, or what it did for me. When I felt pushed or prodded or belittled because of my weight, I resented it and I ate more. So I'm not going to push you. You have to decide on your own when you're ready to tackle what to you seems impossible. You have to decide on your own when you're ready to make some real changes. There is nothing anybody can say to you, not me, or your doctors or your family that will push you into doing anything until you're ready.

An affirmation that it's just too overwhelming to actually be possible? Well you know me well enough to know you'll NEVER get that from me if it isn't the truth. And it's not the truth. It is possible as soon as you believe its possible. You have to believe in yourself. You have to accept that it's a challenge and it won't be easy, but it's a challenge you're willing to take on. It will be hard, and there will be times you want to give up. So consider the inspiring words of John Force, who says "Never quit. Never back down. Never lose faith." (Who knew we'd ever use John Force as a source of inspirational quotes!) Bottom line is, if you believe it' s impossible, it will be.

Advice? Well that I've got. There is no big secret to weight loss. There are lots of diets, and a good number of them actually work. Really pretty much any diet will work if you follow it correctly. But the problem with a diet is that it has an implied start and finish. So then what happens after the finish? In your mind if you're done with something, that means you don't have to do it anymore and you go back to what you did before you started. Oh, bad news here. Those things you did before you started are what got you to need to lose weight in the first place.
There is no secret to losing weight, truth be told. Eat less, move more. If you do that, you're going to lose weight. There is a secret to keeping the weight off though. Well I almost hate to call it a secret, because it's just so absolutely obvious and simple that people often overlook it. The secret to keeping it off is you have to find a way to change your lifestyle as it pertains to food and exercise. Permanently. There is no end.
Here's another piece of advice if you decide you're ready. There is no perfect here. Changing your habits doesnt mean you won't occasionally eat more than you meant to, or have two pieces of cake instead of one. It means you realize you will do that, and its OKAY. It's really okay to "blow it" once in a while if you don't take the attitude that if you blew it, there's just no point in getting back on track. The all-or-nothing mentality can really be unraveling when it comes to adopting a healthy eating lifestyle, so ditch it at the door. Always and never are words that can get you into trouble here. Forget them.
I have plenty of advice, but you have to figure out what works for YOU, not me.

If you decide you're ready, I will support you anyway I can. I will be your biggest cheerleader. I will always tell you the truth and you know I don't sugarcoat things. No sunshine will be blown up your ass 'just because'. I may tell you something you don't want to hear, if I think you need to hear it.

And you and I WILL do a track walk together (how about Bristol!) and NO I will not push you in a wheelchair!

You can do anything you believe you're worth doing it for.

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