More Diet Advice to a Friend

You’re “fat” and you’re determined to do something about that. But you’re overwhelmed at the road ahead of you, which you’ve skipped down before, thinking, “This time! This time!” Darn it– that time and that time must have been circular highways, because somehow you ended back here at fat again.

Again. Again. Why is it always again? You’ve lost 8.1256 pounds this month’s go-round, but do you really have what it takes to ditch 50 pounds for FORever?

Forever means like, well, forever. Never stop. Ever. Suddenly, you dip your head, slump your shoulders, let out a deep sigh, and look at the ground. Maybe I can’t do it, you think. Why try?

Why try? Why try? I’ll tell you why. For every ray of sunshine that rises in the morning. For every star in the evening sky. For every smudge on the wall from the hand of your child. For every kiss from your husband. For me writing this post. For you wanting it so badly. For your liver, heart, brain, hormones, ovaries (if you have them) and knees, all weight-sensitive body parts.

Don’t be overwhelmed. You can do this! While it IS all about the long haul, the victory is won in the moment! Every moment presents each of us with the same important question: Will I keep my motivation in this moment? Not, “Will I keep my motivation for a year?” Or, “Can I eat this way for 30 days?” NO. Repeatedly for the rest of our lives the question is, “Will I keep my motivation in THIS moment?” And if you don’t, you truly, really do have the next moment.

Motivational Baloney

That’s great talk, Terri. That’sĀ  motivational. For a moment. Till I fail. Motivational speakers help us for a moment. And only a moment. Everybody knows that.

That’s right. That’s right. That’s 100% true. The only person who can change anything is you. But I believe in you.

My mom once told me, “Terri, I wish I had your self-confidence.” I about fell off of my chair. First, this is the woman who made me most of who I am. Second, I’m not that self-confident. I believe in myself. I believe I can find a way. I don’t give up easily when handed a problem. But when I was on the volleyball end-line serving the game-point serve for the win, I really didn’t want to be there, despite a 98% successful serving percentage. When I started writing about nutrition, I was scared, thinking maybe the die-hard Paleo, Raw Foodists, low-carbers, Mediterranean dieters, or heck, even the food pyramid advocates were right. Doubt assailed, and continues to assail, me like a mad hornet. I have enough self-doubt for about 20 people. (Want some? No, no. That’s not why I’m here. I’m here to show you it can be done, self-doubt and all.)

I’m helping my good friend Annie again with her forever weight loss plan, and I’m sharing things we talk about. I don’t know if I’m “qualified” or not. I’m not a nutritionist or a health coach or even a practicing physician anymore. You should check out everything you read here and not act blindly on any of it, especially health-related stuff. I can’t know the ins and outs of your story. I know I once struggled with bulimia and food addiction. I know obesity runs in my family. I know I’ve gained a new assurance around food, what I eat, and why I eat it with each passing year, and I know it’s required a hard look at my diet, my thought life, my history, my spirituality, and my driving motivation.

I’ve read about obese people losing all their weight and arriving at skinny, only to realize it didn’t provide the peace and security they envisioned. I don’t want that for any of you. This means interior work must be a priority as well as exterior work. I believe we are presented with problems in life to reach wholeness. It’s better than any video game you could ever play or design.

Doubtful and overwhelming thoughts crave full expression, not submersion.Ā 

We’re only as strong as our ability to express our greatest weaknesses and fears. If you want to put obesity behind you, you have to face-to-face encounter your negative feelings. Instead of submerging negative feelings, they MUST be met and offered the light of day. I mean, for crying out loud, they’re there! The way people try to hide things is almost comical, if it wasn’t so sad. Hiding dirty socks under the bed for too long just keeps the room SMELLY!

I beg you to work very hard all day to catch negative emotions and name them. They are the junk food poisoning your brain and keeping you obese, telling you words like:

  • always
  • never
  • failure
  • can’t do it
  • too much
  • overwhelmed
  • stressed
  • weak
  • ugly
  • fat
  • too hard

So remember.

Permanently losing weight comes one choice, each moment at a time. You can change any bad choice now and from this choice onward.

Permanently losing weight requires cleaning up your thought life by identifying your feelings and expressing them fully to yourself. Start this assignment today. Now. (And teach it to your kids and spouse.) How did this article make you feel? Why?

Weight loss itself will NOT bring you happiness. Permanently changing the patterns that keep you on the circular highway of weight loss will.

You are worth it. Your body is worth it. Your kids are worth it. Your spouse is worth it. Your God is worth it. Persist despite your awareness of self-doubt.

I’ll keep sharing ideas that Annie and I discuss as they come up. There are MANY. If permanent weight loss was just moderately hard, you’d have done it a long time ago!




10 thoughts on “More Diet Advice to a Friend

  1. Tim Steele

    Terri – This is really great advice! I had just sent this email to one of my friends who’s having a hard time with her weight, now I need to send a link to this blog post, lol. It’s starting to dawn on me that lots of people are just too darn comfortable with their habits to get the change they desire.

    Here was my advice:

    Was thinking about your situation. I think what you really (probably) need is to get out of your comfort zone and completely change the way you have been doing things. I would guess that your body is happy and comfortable with the extra weight you carry and it will fight you at every step when you try making minor tweaks.
    Join a gym, get a personal trainer, follow a “gym rat” diet for a while…lean meat, protein shakes, rice, and broccoli, that sort of stuff. Get up an hour and a half early every single morning and walk for 60 minutes, outside or on a treadmill. Buy a weight set and start pumping iron, Elain LaLanne style. Get a bunch of friends in on these changes, too, and make a big gaggle of it, have fun.
    Have a good weekend!

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      You’re right when you say that people are just too darn comfortable with their habits to get the change they desire! “But I am healthy…” Nope. Not. If it’s not working for you. That might be someone else’s recipe, but it’s not yours! Get out there and find it! Like you say, it could be fun—a GAGGLE!

      It took “walking into a movie” I never would have considered watching before in my life to find health (and joy, peace, and happiness—pft, but that doesn’t matter, right?).

      Good luck to your friend! Great advice! I hope he or she goes for it!

  2. Debbie

    Even though I’ve been maintaining a large weight loss for many years – around 90 pounds – I never try to help anyone with a weight problem unless they ask – which is never. I’ve got a very overweight friend who recently started working with a nutritionist, lost some weight, started a walking program, and then – I can see – lost control. I’ve shared information very gingerly with her, as I’ve come to believe that there is very little someone else can do to strike that fire; it must come from within. And I sense that if I try and help, offense will be taken. I’m ready with the diet I’d recommend: some kind of Perfect Health Diet food plan, and/or potatoes! It is frustrating, because it seems as if people just don’t want to even try – and when I was obese, I continually was trying; in fact, I lost and regained the weight seven times. It’s frustrating to see people all around who are so large – well, it is an epidemic. Thanks, Terri and Tim.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Dear Debbie: Thank you for your thoughts based on experience; your sustained weight loss (and improved health) is encouraging. Great job. I like the Perfect Health Diet plan too (and potatoes). Annie, who spurs these obesity encouragement posts, asked me for help, and I know it took a lot of courage to do that. I respect that so much. I asked her if I could share things that I write to her, and she said “yes.” In general, I, like you, find it best to have a genuine, persistent invitation before sharing. Have a great week!—-Terri

  3. Simple Days Making for Exciting Adventures

    I tell you, sometimes you write just for me. šŸ˜‰ Inner work is vital. I did mounds of inner work over the past year. And it paid off.
    I finally started losing some weight. I got ten pounds off. Then, my schedule got all wonky and I gained 3 of it back. ugh.
    You are so right. The way I started losing weight was one moment/one day at a time. I can’t even think beyond the one day. I HATE thinking about food. Unfortunately, I have to think about it all day long (or it feels that way. lol).
    I have an odd problem, but I do not eat enough normally. Yes, I know it goes beyond convention. I do not get enough calories and my body seems to hold onto the pounds. I eat every two hours and I lose weight. With homeschooling-ok and face it, just life-who has time to think about food every two hours?
    I find that if I plan in the morning my “meals,” then I am able to get through the day. If I am in a hurry and I eat breakfast and a late lunch, I know that I have tomorrow to get back on track.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Inner work keeps you resilient for when you fall down, allows yourself to see yourself beating yourself down.

      Aw, man. That stinks you lost and then gained after finding out what works best for you. (And yes, you! You did defy my conventional education on calories and weight… šŸ˜‰ ) I’m finding it harder and harder to eat the way that I want for my family and me with the kids getting into extra-curriculars now (in other words, BUSY). I keep playing with things. You keep playing, too. We’ll get it if we play with it. I find when I do it how I want, I’m way too exhausted from food prep. When I loosen up too much, some side effects start creeping in.

      BTW, from what I know about you, I think you’re beautiful, real, concerned, kind, thoughtful, smart, professional, creative, and tough. Eat right for you how it makes you feel best!

      1. Simple Days Making for Exciting Adventures

        Thank you . šŸ˜Š I feel great. I am over weight but I can mountain bike, rock climb, do yoga, hike, run and keep up with my kids in every activity we do. I feel that being active is the most important thing- overweight or not. I also want to be a good example for my kids and show them the importance of eating right. They seem to get it. Hopefully, they keep what they have learned as the leave the coop. šŸ˜œ

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