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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

You do you

**Another draft that never got published!  This one was from October 2015.  Still applies**

The weight loss industry is a 20+ billion dollar business per year.  At any one time, there are 100 million people on a diet!  Some people are out to truly help others and just happen to make money and others have specific products to sell whether it's supplements, books, shakes, equipment, etc.

We were having dinner with some friends a while back and he showed us this podcast he thought we might like.  One of the casters was morbidly obese, just over 450 lbs I believe.  Then he showed us a video of him six months later, after he lost 100 lbs in that time.  For those doing the math, that's 16 1/2 lbs per month or just over 4 lbs per week.  Of course, as most of us are when someone loses a goodly amount of weight, they want to know how he did it so he did a video at viewers request.  As he went on to say how he is doing the ever popular 'high protein, low carb' diet.  (He didn't say which one but they're all in the same vein so Google it if you're interested in that type of thing)

At first, I wasn't quite sure why he was showing it to us.  I wasn't sure if this was a hint like "hey guys, I notice your vacation weight from 5 months ago is still clinging to your middle" or something.  As the guy talked about all of the things he couldn't eat including healthy grains, I told them that we essentially tried our version of that a month prior.  We were nowhere near a traditional low carb diet, we were more 'carb conscious' than anything.  I was an angry person, I felt deprived of things that were GOOD for me like whole know, things your brain needs to function and such?  When I feel resentful and deprived, it's not good for anyone.  The Mr felt the same way.  We knew that we could still be carb conscious but have a friggin' bowl of oatmeal on higher cardio days.

He said he was thinking of trying it to lose 20-30 lbs quickly.  We tried not to let our own opinions sway him but instead asked what a typical day of eating looked like for him.  If he's accurate, he's not even eating 1000 calories a day and he has a highly physical job.  So we encouraged him to get in more quality calories and do something that is something he could sustain for life, not something that cuts out any food group (other than processed, overly refined foods, obviously).  We stopped short of suggesting our particular style of eating because that's something he'd need to discover for himself but we at least gave him tips that helped us.  It's up to him on what he wants to do with it.

There is so much contradictory information out there on what is and isn't healthy for you that it has completely confused many people.  It's not just those looking to start a program for the first time, even old timers like us are constantly confused by the bombardment of info.  What is healthy in one study is unhealthy two years later.  Or that plan that was so popular one year has resulted in serious health issues for people 10 years later.  I get it.  I remember being in that desperate place of reading any success story I could find and wondering if what they were doing was something we could do too and I don't just mean in the beginning.  But having done everything from Weight Watchers to low fat diets (and losing not a single pound) to soup diets and the like, I knew when we embarked on a full on lifestyle change it had to be something we could do for life.  I couldn't handle a "jump start" that would then have me gain back all the weight I lost plus more when I began to incorporate healthy foods I liked back in after introduction phases and such.  It's just not us.  If it works for someone else, have at it.  Literally...there is no right or wrong, it's what works for each and every individual because we are all different.  What works for one, will not work for another.  What makes one person happy, makes another miserable.  What warrants amazing weight loss for one, will warrant no results for another.  If weight loss truly was about "X is what works for everyone" then all doctors would prescribe it to their patients and there wouldn't be 138,937 results on Amazon when I look up the term "diet book".

The bottom line was we told our friend to do what works for him but more importantly what he could sustain for life.  Life isn't going to be very fun if you think you're going to diet purgatory for an occasional indulgence or aren't on the current bandwagon trend.

Update:  He didn't implement any changes that we're aware of.  So you can do that too.  But remember what they say about's doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

What advice do you give to others who ask for your healthy lifestyle tips?

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  1. To true! I think the most important part is finding something you can stick too and never giving up.

  2. Usually the only thing I share is what works for me and I'm clear that my program is fluid. I never say to someone, "you should try this or that" because for one, it's not my place, and two, as you said, what works for one person might be a complete disaster for someone else. I can only share my experience, strength, and hope and I always say take what you like and leave the rest. Same thing goes with life in general. I don't give marital advice, job advice, etc., because what I might do in a certain situation could be detrimental to someone else because their circumstances are different. I'll listen all day long, but if someone asks me "what should I do?" I don't say a word. I find that often times people figure out on their own what the answers are and they just need to talk it out. I'm very much like that -- let me talk and the solutions will start becoming more clear.


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