Diet: Practice – “You know, we actually have to do these things, right?”

If you listen to my advice, Eating Right (Food) + Being Active (Exercise) = Weight-Loss.  Have we covered the food?  Check.   Have we got our exercise?  Check.  We have it all, so let the powers combine and let the weight-loss begin!

. . . . . . . . . . . Begin!

. . . come on, let’s go . . .

. . . . . . . . awww, nuts.

Unfortunately, there is an element that has been overlooked.  You can read all about nutrition and find what foods you should be eating; you can go to gyms and talk to specialists to discover what exercises to do.  None of that knowledge matters, however, unless you are able to actually do those things and keep on doing them for a lot longer than you’re probably prepared for.  A lot of that is dealt through fortitude and inner strength, things which you can’t teach on a blog, or a book, or a television, or any-fucking-where else.  But there are many practical issues to weight-loss that can make the road ahead even that much longer, and in many instances can be the difference between losing weight and torturing yourself with no physical rewards.

Unless you’re into that sort of thing.

Time management, measuring/weighing, setting goals – all of these things are essential to making the necessary changes in your life so you can achieve long-lasting weight gain, but many articles never really cover these items (at least, not for free).  Readily accessible information on dieting usually only pertains to what you should (or could) eat and what you could (and should) be doing, and yet these are only small pieces of the puzzle.  They don’t talk about how you’re supposed to create a meal plan if you’ve only ever eaten Hungry Man Microwave Dinners, or how to work in a work-out if you work three jobs.  Hell, it’s even hard saying that three times fast.

Work in a work out at work

work in a work out at work

work in a work out at work

Telling a person who is trying to lose significant weight, “Here, eat this and do that and you should lose weight,” is like giving a newborn baby a paint brush and a paint can and saying, “Here, use this with that and you should be able to paint my house.”  It may be that simple, but it’s not that easy.  It also sets the dieter (or painting baby) up for almost automatic failure, because while they have all the tools to accomplish the objective, they lack the skills, mindset (and for the baby, motor functions) to do so.

“You barely even finished one side of the house! NO DESSERT FOR YOU!”

As with all things, there is a middle step between gaining the knowledge and utilizing the knowledge, and it’s here where a lot of people give up.  Remember, weight-loss (and weight-gain) are all about habits and behavior, things that you have spent a lifetime creating and cementing.  You can’t expect to change those things just by learning and hoping; you have to actively change your life first, then the rest follows.  Barely anyone does this on willpower alone, and no one gets it on their first try.

To continue using symbolism to hide my inability to create a cohesive argument, the journey of weight-loss is full of swamps and mountains.  The diet is going to help you wade through the swamps, and the exercise will help you climb the mountains.  But you still need a map, or you’re just walking blindly and will end up going in circles over and over again.  This metaphor is working out better than I thought.  Thinking practically is your map: the more you plan, the more you prepare, the clearer will your road be.

Uh oh, I’m starting to sound like Yoda.

So let’s retool that equation from above:

Healthy Diet + Exercise + Practice = Weight-Loss

The last portion of my dieting section will focus all on these practical issues and will finish off all the things I have learned about losing weight.  They will not be as based in science and physiology as my previous posts, but more on my own personal experience and how I dealt with the obstacles.  Some I saw coming a mile away, some I should have seen coming, and others I was never prepared for.  But that’s why I started this dieting section in the first place, so you could learn from my experience and mistakes, forgo them and make brand new mistakes of your own.  And then tell those to me, so I can be on the look out for them.  We’re all here to help each other.

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