Uncle Bradley’s Words of Wisdom

My latest question comes from da old man:

Uncle Bradley: What’s the best recommendation you would have for losing weight. I have a way to go, and how can one stay motivated?

I saw you mention “treat days or meals” or something like that. Do they help? How does one stop a treat day from turning into treat week, month, year?

You’re asking me the best way to loose weight? A guy over a hundred pounds overweight and you expect me to be the expert? You aim low, don’t you my friend? Actually, I was able to take some weight off and kept it off for a number of years, so I’ll give it a shot. I’m not going to discuss what to eat and such, we all know that a carrot is a healthier snack than a chocolate bar. It seems that your question has more to do with the psychology of weight loss, so that’s what I’ll discuss based on my personal experience.

DON’T DIET!

If you are dieting, then you are saying that you are simply looking for a way to lose weight. Losing weight is not what you want to do. You want to lose weight and keep it off and that is not done through dieting. That’s done via lifestyle change. If you struggle and strain yourself to lose a certain amount of weight you’ll eventually go off the diet and the weight will come back on. Say to yourself out loud…NO MORE DIET’s. Forget about the grapefruit diet or the cabbage soup diet. Those fads are not teaching you anything about maintaining a healthy body. Personally, I like cabbage soup but I doubt it’s something I could stay on for the rest of my life.

If dieting is not the key to weight loss then what is? Eating right and exercise is the answer. We’ve all heard that before, it’s nothing new. It really is that simple though. It’s simple, but not easy. But here’s a way to make it easy for you: Can you eat right and exercise for just one day? I’m sure if you think about it you could push yourself a little. Just one day. The reason to do this is because one day is all it takes. I’m borrowing here from Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholics do not swear off alcohol the rest of their lives. That is nearly impossible. What the alcoholic does is swear off having a drink today. They worry about tomorrow when it comes. Many alcoholics who stay with their program end up without drinking for 50 years or so just by not taking a drink “today”. It’s the same way with living healthy. Tell yourself you’re only going to eat right and exercise today and that you’ll worry about tomorrow when it comes. If you slip up and eat too much, don’t beat yourself up. Just tell yourself that you’ll eat right for the rest of the evening and then wait and see about tomorrow. Before you know it you may string enough “todays” together that you find yourself looking and feeling great.

Treat meals or treat day? I hope I didn’t suggest it once because I hate the idea. It’s something that comes with dieting, but not living a healthy lifestyle. If you really want to change your whole outlook to lose weight then you need to look at them in a different way. Going to a party? Great! Help yourself to a few items at the sweet table. Don’t be a bore and tell people you just can’t because you’re on a diet. How miserable will that make you feel? Enjoy your treats. But watch it. Be careful if you catch yourself eyeing the desert table again for seconds and wondering if you can do it when no one is looking. Depending on what’s there, then maybe going back for seconds is OK. You’re smart enough to know when a slice of cake is too thick. You’re smart enough to know that 20 cream puffs has a whole lot more calories than 5 cream puffs.

You can also look at exercise from the same point of view. You don’t have to exercise forever. You just need to exercise today. When I was at my top fitness level I ran on average five miles a day. The trick is I never actually ran 5 miles. I only ran to the next block. Once I got there I ran to the next block. And so on. Towards the end, when I was getting tired, making it to the next block seemed damned impossible so I would start running to the next telephone pole and so on. String enough of these together and I reached 5 miles.

I hope this feedback helps, old man. We want to keep you yelling at cars for many years to come.

My extensive team of attorneys has reminded me to state that I am not a physician or a therapist. I’m just an ordinary guy giving out advice from my own life experiences. As always, you should consult your physican before you begin any diet or fitness programs.

  13 comments for “Uncle Bradley’s Words of Wisdom

  1. October 27, 2008 at 12:21

    I have always found that planning meals is the best way to lose weight fast. The only real challenge is getting rid of cravings. Luckily, I have help…

  2. Free Music
    October 22, 2008 at 13:35

    This is really great advice

  3. Lori
    October 21, 2008 at 19:05

    An official Treat Day works well for some, so I wouldn’t cross it off automatically. Sometimes just knowing you have that one day to do with whatever you like helps you get through the other 6. Just my humble .02. :o)

  4. Wellness Writer
    October 20, 2008 at 17:04

    Dear Bradley,Just wanted to say “hi” and wish you well.Susan

  5. October 20, 2008 at 21:05

    Wonderful advice…..–Miss ya—

  6. October 20, 2008 at 20:56

    I finally wrote my dreaded post about the weight I need to lose with pictures and all. Ugh…I feel down now.

  7. October 20, 2008 at 19:31

    Bradley, I just posted a photo of my donut demise from the weekend! All I could think of was the post of yours where the donut was calling your name.ugh, back to the veggies!! 🙂

  8. October 19, 2008 at 19:06

    OMG, Bradley… I think you have tripped over the best way to handle all of our maladaptive behaviors. “Pledge to do IT healthier today and worry about tomorrow tomorrow.” I love it!

  9. Dano MacNamarrah
    October 19, 2008 at 01:39

    Oh, I took off thirty pounds this year. I took the outline of a food program as a basis, but enjoyed indulgences along the way.Like you I have a huge amount of weight to lose, so it has to be done in a way that I can sustain. The AA analogy is apt. I have four years in a 12-Step program, so I really understand.By the way, I’ve been “tagged” by blogger Eve Cleveland. In turn, I’ve “tagged” others. If none of this makes any sense to you, feel free to stop by and participate!

  10. October 19, 2008 at 01:36

    sounds like good advice to me!

  11. October 18, 2008 at 19:43

    Perfect advice. Thanks. Everyone knows what to eat and not to eat, but as you stated it’s the psychology of it where I fall short.And I’m trying to run my 5 miles in less than 10 minutes. 🙂

  12. October 18, 2008 at 15:45

    excellent advice! I have mentioned before, that we mourn loss. So losing weight should never be the goal, becoming healthy is a great goal!I don’t diet, I eat what I want. I am just careful to eat mindfully. Exercise is a great form of moving meditation for me.Bradley, you are so right on!

  13. October 18, 2008 at 14:14

    This is great advice. I think often people diet for a special event – such as a wedding or Christmas and then as soon as that event is over they lose motivation and stop. It is important to do it for yourself and not for an occasion.

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