Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gaining and losing: the great, cosmic weight loss yo-yo

As I was walking from Park Street to South Station, I glanced at my reflection in the storefront windows, and it dawned on me: it ain't even Christmas, but I'm already working on my Santa belly!

Fast on the heels of that thought was my realization that, despite my confidence at the outset of this blog, I can no longer deny the underlying irony -- I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to getting down to and maintaining a healthy weight.

Well, that's not exactly true. I know a lot. I am just not particularly successful at applying my vast knowledge.

Okay, here's what I do know. To get down to and maintain a healthy weight, you need to do one or more of the following:
  • Exercise regularly to rev your metabolism and keep your head in the game
  • Drink water to stay hydrated and avoid thirst masquerading as hunger
  • Eat less calories (to lose) or no more (to maintain) than you burn
  • Eat vegetables and fruits
  • Eat lean protein
  • Eat whole grains
  • Drink some skim milk
  • Avoid refined starch, sugar and alcohol
  • Limit fat
  • Eat six small, as opposed to three (or less) large meals daily

Is there anything else? I think that's pretty much it.

If it's so freaking simple, how is it that I cannot manage to get down to a healthy weight and stay there?

Perhaps the secret lies in why I, or anyone for that matter, eats. What do we hope to get out of the meal. Perhaps it is one or more of the following:

  • Energy
  • Nutrition
  • A full belly
  • Serotonin
  • A pleasant, sensual experience
  • Relief from stress (see serotonin)
  • Relief from boredom
  • Relief from fatigue (see energy and/or nutrition)

Are those the only reasons? Seems like the bulk of them.

So, given my encyclopedic knowledge and first hand experience, this should be easy. But, judging from the reflection in the storefront windows, it is not.

So, I will go back to the drawing board and I'll be back with the new plan. Stay tuned.

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