Another way to look at the impact of excess weight on those of us with Kennedy’s Disease is to consider what it would be like carrying around one or two ten-pound bags of flour all day. Not only do you wear down faster, but every activity requires more effort. Your heart also has to work harder to compensate for the weight.
When I notice I am a little overweight, I immediately try to reduce my daily rations until I am back to my “fighting weight.” I find that it is easier to lose a couple of pounds than to lose five or ten pounds. Because of this, I regularly monitor my weight to make certain I do not have to go on a diet.
There are hundreds (perhaps thousands) of dietary programs and books, but I like to keep things simple. For me, there are a few keys for losing weight and a few others for maintaining a reasonable (comfortable) weight.
TEN KEYS TO LOSE WEIGHT:
- Make the decision to start losing weight today. You have to want to lose the weight or you might as well not even try.
- Set a simple, achievable goal. I need to get my head in the right place before starting. Negative thoughts produce negative results. Once I believe I can lose the weight, losing it becomes a whole lot easier. Your goal can be as simple as losing one pound a week.
- Visualize yourself at the lighter weight. Imagine what life will be like when you are 10, 20 or 50 pounds lighter. How will you feel? How will others see you? Every day see yourself healthier and happier.
- Drink plenty of water … especially right before eating. Water is a temporary filler. If you drink a glass of water before you sit down to eat, you will feel more full even if you eat less. Sodas or other calorie-filled drinks are not a substitute for water.
- Do not be too strict about what or what not to eat. If I am overly aggressive in trying to select only certain foods to eat, I am setting myself up for failure. For me, the best course of action is a reduction in the daily total intake and a reduction in fatty and snack foods. I also focus on eating more healthy foods during this process. Focus is the key word for me; not obsession.
- Exercise every day … no excuses. This does not have to be anything ridiculous, just regular exercises that fit your abilities and temporarily raise your metabolism. Besides, it is difficult to stuff your mouth when exercising.
- Eat a healthy breakfast. You do not want to skip the most important meal of the day. Skipping meals just makes you more hungry. My philosophy is to eat a generous breakfast, a reasonable lunch and a light dinner.
- Cut out between meal snack. Snacking is a bad habit that we acquire at an early age. Unless the snacks are healthy (vegetables and fruit), these between meal treats just add on the pounds. Today, I rarely snack and when I do, I reduce my food intake for the remainder of the day. I brush my teeth and floss after dinner to help remind me that I am done eating for the day.
- Larger quantities do not always mean greater satisfaction. This is something that really helped me. There are always going to be times when I want something to eat. When I do feel the need, I find that two-to-four cashews, for example, are just as satisfying as a whole handful. The same strategy applies to chips, cookies, or anything else.
- Develop a support network. If you a losing a few pounds, this is not as important. If, however, you have a major weight loss in mind, solicit the support of friends and loved ones. A few words of encouragement can go a long way when you feel yourself slipping.
SIX KEYS TO MAINTAIN YOUR DESIRED WEIGHT: (Note that several are similar to those outlined above)
- Be mindful of what you eat. Often we eat and not even know we are eating. Eating while involved in another activity (such as watching TV) is not being mindful of what you are eating.
- Maintain a regular exercise program. This does not have to be anything ridiculous, just regular exercises that fit your abilities and temporarily raise your metabolism. Besides, it is difficult to stuff your mouth when exercising.
- Eat a healthy breakfast. You do not want to skip the most important meal of the day. Skipping meals just makes you more hungry. Eat a generous breakfast, a reasonable lunch and a light dinner.
- Reduce the number of sodas and other high-calorie drinks. Water is a good substitute. So is unsweetened tea and coffee in moderation.
- Cut out between meal snacks … unless they are healthy (vegetables and fruit). Redirect your thoughts away from in-between meal snacks. If you feel stressed and want to snack (comfort food), meditate or practice deep breathing. If in feel lonely or unloved, seek out family and friends … including your pets. Also, brush your teeth and floss after dinner to help remind yourself that you are done eating for the day.
- Larger quantities do not always mean greater satisfaction. When you feel the need and cannot redirect your thoughts, try just taking a couple of bites of something (two-to-four cashews, for example). I believe you will find it just as satisfying as a whole handful.
Weight control for me is “mind over matter.” Matter, in this instance, has mass and occupies space (i.e., a large belly). If I am mindful of what I am eating, the pounds (the ‘matter’ in this case) will disappear.
I would be interested in what works for you. Please share your weight loss secrets in the comments section below.