Saw on the news this morning a new line of yogurt for men, “Brogurt”. The anchors were excited, talking about it had added protein so that men can just eat their way to six pack abs. Calling it “Brogurt” makes it manly. Men don’t eat as much yogurt because yogurt is girly.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with yogurt or what they’ve decided to call it. What I have a problem with is telling men they can eat their way to six pack abs.
The way I see it is when ever there is one food or supplement touted as “superfood” or “the key to weight loss” a red flag goes up for me. Sure, some people may lose weight by dusting their food or popping a pill or even eating yogurt, but seriously if weight loss and six pack abs were that easy wouldn’t we all be perfect?
I remember a time when I was desperate. My mom had bought some acai berry pills. They were a superfood that were going to help her look like the lady in the ads. All she had to do was take them before her meals. Since she ordered at just the right time she got the buy one get one free deal. They had to work because they were featured on that talk show. We started taking them. Our faith in advertising kept us taking them for a while until we realized that nothing was changing. It would be a couple more years before we learned the truth.
If you are new to the whole “I think I need to lose weight” thing, you may have seen many different pills, packets, or “superfoods” to help you on your journey. Truth is there is no easy way. There is no magic bean, no special potion, there is only hard work and dedication.
While I do believe one can truly eat their way to better health and weight loss, it is not an addition of one “super” food, but the subtraction of bad choices. The truth is we have to change. We have to change not only what we eat, but why we eat it.
Part of my change was giving up certain television channels. Foods were being touted as “love”, “sexy”, “comforting”. Thinking of food as love and comfort had already gotten me up to 275 at my heaviest, I sure didn’t need to throw “sexy” into the mix.
For me, learning that food is just the nourishment needed for existence and looking at it as “fuel for my body” helped me to give up the “love” and “comfort” I had once found in certain foods. The “love” and “comfort” only lasted until the last bite anyways.
Preparing a meal using minimally processed foods like vegetables, meat, fish, eggs takes longer than preheating an oven for pizza rolls, but change takes time. It’s much easier to hit a drive thru for a burger and fries, but it was really easy for me to get really big doing that. Learning that quick and easy were not in my best interest was really helpful in making better choices.
Just what are these “good choices” “better choices”, you may be wondering? It’s simple, if it comes in a box or bag with an ingredients label showing 20 ingredients and you are only familiar with one or two, don’t eat it. Buy a head of lettuce, some tomatoes, a can of tuna or what ever protein you like and eat a salad.
If you are really missing the comfort of mac and cheese or chocolate cake, suck it up, get over it, you are an adult, you already know the difference in wants and needs, you do not need it just because you want it. Find comfort in a nice conversation or a good book. A fluffy pillow or warm blanket is comfort.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this: When we embark on a weight loss journey for what ever reason, we are vulnerable. We want the weight gone, we want to look like the people in the ads. Our focus tends to be on the outcome rather than the journey itself.
I can tell you that in 23 months I have not made it to where I want to be, but I have made it further than I ever imagined. I have lost 80 pounds, but what I have gained is so much more valuable to me. I have gained the ability to see beauty in the world that I once thought non-existent. I have gained a love of little things, like that little chicken egg, or enjoying a sun rise just because I am alive another day. I have learned that no one thing changed my body composition, rather a combination of eating what works with my body and getting off that couch.
I have learned that a weight loss journey is really not only about weight loss, it’s about learning who and why and what affects our quality of life. I have also learned that there is no food that tastes better or gives me comfort more so than the progress I have made in my journey thus far. I learned that time is precious and saving time by making bad choices doesn’t really save time at all.
I leave you today with a picture of my feet that I didn’t use in the post about how I love my Vibrams. Part of my journey was finding things to help me with will power. I would often google complications of diabetes or diabetic feet to help me make better choices. Thanks to the changes I made in eating and moving, I no longer have to do that. My feet are still diabetic because diabetes never really goes away, only stays hidden as long as we stay in control. I am thankful for the intervention back in April 2011. I am thankful for the ongoing journey and the people who have helped me thus far.