How Did You Do It?

In Diet and Weight, Mindful Eating on June 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm

“How did you do it?”

I love asking patients this. When I see someone make progress on a health goal I am ecstatic. I always want to know how they did it, what worked for them. A lot of the advice I give and write about has been given to me by my patients over the years. I love learning new tips and plans and motivators in hopes of using them to help someone else in the future.

One day recently I had three people who made huge strides on their health. One person seeing the light and changing can make my day. Three felt like Christmas!

A guy I challenged to fix his cholesterol with a diet change did, big time. I told him how I have cut most meat out of my diet to be able to avoid a pill and that he could do it too. Well he did. In four months he dropped 10 pounds and is now within 5 pounds of his ideal weight. His cholesterol dropped 35% which is as good as most pills, just by avoiding most beef and pork and fried foods. Way to go, Neal!

An hour later I saw Sherri, just back from her winter in Texas. Last time I saw her in October she was tired all the time, had terrible blood sugar and looked 10 years older than her age. Today? Wow! She looks great.
She has lost 42 pounds in the past 8 months! I definitely had to ask her, she’s my star pupil right now.
“So, how did you do it?”

“Simple” she said. “I just got honest with myself about my eating and decided to change. I count my calories and stay under 1,700 a day. Add a little daily walk in and the weight just keeps coming off. I can’t believe how long it took me to try this and how much better I feel! Thank you!”

That puts some spring in my step, let me tell you. Seeing her transformed by eating healthfully and knowing I had a small role in helping her change feels great.

The biggest and best surprise of the day was Jessica. She has struggled with her weight as long as I’ve known her. I met her just after her son was born 8 years ago. She told me then she had gained ‘a lot’ of weight during pregnancy. As the years went by and she had a baby girl her weight just kept climbing, now well into the obese range. Just last month we talked through her weight and diet history and I told her once again how much the calories count. We started a mild medicine to help her anxiety level and planned for her to come back today. What a difference a month makes!

She has lost 12 pounds this past 4 weeks and looks and feels like 10 years just melted away too. She had been so focused on the negative, always beating herself up for failing and not keeping a diet. Something clicked for her in our conversation last month.

She told me that she took my advice and switched her drinks to water only. She started controlling her portions at meals and doesn’t go back for seconds until she’s had another glass of water and decided whether she’s really still hungry.

Twelve pounds! Now the next twelve won’t be as easy and I made sure to warn her. Folks with large amounts of weight to lose can lose it quickly at first but this always slows down as time goes on. Keeping up a pound a week weight loss pace is great and what I tell people to try for. Cutting 500 calories a day is a challenge enough for most of us (which is what a pound in a week requires.)

Now back to my exam rooms.  It’s time for me to keep looking, listening, and educating for the next success story!

Change Your Food, Change Your Life!

  1. Congrats to all your patients! Becoming honest with yourself is such a key step and can make all the difference!

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