Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lose [the bet] to lose [the weight]

Okay, the time has finally come to say "Enough is enough."

You can not lose weight and keep it off by crazy dieting. Everybody knows this, but most of us -- myself included -- still harbor the secret desire to drop the weight fast and then get sensible. But I (and I suspect more than a few of you) are living proof it doesn't work that way.

The last weight bet I'll ever make concludes on September 2. I have 15 or so pounds to drop between now and then. And you know what? I could do it. I'm serious. I could eat cabbage soup, work out like Michael Phelps and drench layer after layer of sweatclothes, and I could drop that insane amount. And even as I say it, there's a part of me egging me on, saying "Yeah, man. Do it! Win!" But in this case, losing (the weight) is losing (the war).

To be healthy, we have healthy. We have to eat in moderation. Not too much, not too little. We have to exercise regularly -- and at a healthy intensity and duration. And until we embrace this truth, we will never reach a healthy weight long enough to enjoy it. We will always bounce back up.

So I am refusing to do it. I am turning my back on the cash (glorious cash) and the short-term satisfaction of Pyrrhic victory. Instead, I am cutting my losses (literally and figuratively) and going back to slow and steady. Going back to counting points and tracking what I eat on Going back to trying to be healthy -- not just thinner.

In other words, I have to be the loser to actually lose and thereby win.

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