Commitment key to a good diet

I don’t think that there has ever been a day in my life when I didn’t think about my weight. I probably have been overweight for most of it.
As a result, I probably have tried almost every diet that can be imagined. Almost all have worked, but the problem always has been that I slipped back into poor food choices and re-acquired those lost pounds.
In the last two years, the Atkins diet has gained a lot of attention. I can remember my parents suggesting that I try something like that in my late teens. It gave me all the foods that I liked to eat; it gave me the fats and flavours I craved.
I was successful, but I missed my toast and peanut butter, as well as the chocolate cake and chocolate chip cookies my mother baked. And in the end, those led to my dropping the diet.
I can remember my very first diet—it was a combination of the grapefruit diet on eggs. One had to eat half a grapefruit with every meal. And the one day, that was combined with three eggs for breakfast, lunch, and supper.
The next day was literally a free day in that you could eat a specified portion of meat, vegetables, and potato.
Today, I think the real reason for the quick weight loss was the low caloric content. After three weeks, I couldn’t face an egg, but I did lose about 10 pounds per week.
I didn’t pay a lot of attention to my weight when I went off to university, and as a result my body bloomed. After graduating, I was working as a reporter at the Times and was sent down to take a photo of a blood pressure clinic on a Friday morning.
While setting up and taking the picture for the paper, I was persuaded to have my blood pressure checked. After the first check, the nurse asked a second nurse to repeat the test.
I was now nervous. And following that second test, they called the clinic and had me seeing a doctor 10 minutes later. Dr. Brian Johnstone has never pulled any punches and he read me the riot act—24 was too young to have the blood pressure I had.
It was a wake-up call and for the next 10 months, he and I had a meeting once a month to check my blood pressure and weight.
This time, the diet was based on some common principles. It was balanced with protein, carbohydrates, and lots of vegetables and fruit. I counted calories and the goal was to remain below 1,500 a day.
I took up running. By then, the pool at the Sportsplex had opened and I swam in the morning. After 10 months, my blood pressure was low, and I was now skinny and not overweight.
I really kept at it. But eventually, I fell back into bad habits. Then for a while, I went to “Weight Watchers” and lost about 25 pounds.
And 15 years later, I discovered I could be a diabetic. Another doctor persuaded me to re-evaluate my lifestyle. And again I was dieting—only this time I was following the guidelines set by the dietician at the local Valley Diabetes Education Centre for someone with diabetes.
I lost some weight. I had an extremely balanced and healthy diet. I exercised regularly. My diabetes problems disappeared. The hard work paid off.
But then I started taking on some different tasks. I dropped my noon-hour swim. I started picking up fast food items for lunch, and took to snacking between meals. I started enjoying desserts.
In short, I started taking the easy route. Rather than controlling my weight and exercising, I let some little white pills control my diabetes. And the dosage kept increasing.
And that is where I am today.
Again it is time to evaluate my options. When I went to “Google” and searched for “popular diets,” hundreds of thousands of diet sites were available.
You can choose from any number of diets. Each will help you lose weight, but all also have their advantages as well as disadvantages. Many of the fashion diets are geared for quick weight loss. Some diets call for changing eating patterns for a lifetime.
All ask for a commitment.
Dr. Michael Dansinge of Tufts University in Boston stated, “The bottom line is that the secret to losing weight and improving overall health is in the commitment, which for many is the hardest part.”
I guess that explains my problem. I find it hard to make dieting a long-term commitment, but I am beginning again.
For everyone taking up a diet, I wish you well. For those falling back into poor habits again, I ask you to remember the work that went into making you more healthy.

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