What do you think came first? The obsession with food or could it have been the obsession with weight loss? Both certainly are very real, as obsessions go, and not just some figment of my imagination. As I drive around my hometown, I never cease to be amazed at the number of fast-food franchises, popular local eateries, ice cream parlors, chocolate stores, fancier restaurants, pizza shops, sports bars and assorted burger joints, and little diners and delis. It boggles my mind how many such establishments there are everywhere. Similarly, the sheer volume of books and online materials available today on various topics related to weight loss is equally stunning. Apparently, there is still more information to share about food and weight loss because these books being authored by people from all walks of life continue to come forth like a seven course meal. Perhaps, I should join the throng and write one. Well, my endeavor into this crowded realm of writers might be considered a mere pamphlet. What could I possibly add to an enormous menu of appetizers, entrees, and desserts? Honestly, without intending to appear sarcastic or condemning, my masterpiece could conceivably consist of a single page. In large print, I would declare STOP EATING JUNK FOOD. I might add EAT AT HOME MORE FREQUENTLY. I suppose I might dare to encourage others by suggesting that they BROWN-BAG IT TO WORK. But, these simple words of counsel most certainly offer nothing particularly new or illuminating on these fascinating topics. It is highly unlikely that they would garner any attention at all. Neither are they exceedingly enlightening or sufficiently glamorous to draw a large crowd and a bright show of flashing lights as would accompany a grand opening of a new restaurant.
So, you love to eat. No shocker there. Most people do. But, I suspect that you overindulge more than you’d care to admit. Therein lies just part of the problem. Is it difficult to recognize that you have an unhealthy affinity for food? No, of course, not. Many actually have a love-hate type of relationship with food. The very first question should be “why?”. Then, it would be appropriate to address the next inquiry. What course of action are you going to take to resolve the issue? I certainly do not need to answer the hypothetical I posed in the introduction. Clearly, an addiction is a serious matter. I am not asking “what came first, the chicken or the egg?” Left unresolved, the root cause of an eating addiction, will continue to feed upon your body and mind for many frustrating years. I believe that you can take back control of your life. Understanding the “Why” of what and how you eat is essential. It may require a little more soul searching than you are accustomed to doing. However, discovery in this department will lead to effective application of a proven plan in your near future. There are countless guides offered these days to assist you in the restoration process. Indeed, these plans promise more than just a glimpse of former glory. From every street corner, the word is declared that a system has been formulated to help you rediscover that which you have lost. That sounds great doesn’t it? But, which direction should you turn? To which voice should you lend an open ear? Is there one plan that stands alone and beckons to you?
My objective is not to list all of the available weight-loss programs and critique each one of them. That goal has been accomplished by many others. You can find opinions on everything from short and long term effectiveness of these pound dropping plans to the cost and taste of the meal replacement offerings provided by some companies. Please do your research if you are inclined to start a new approach to your daily intake of food. If I may, I would like to offer a couple of thoughts. I love the fact that a few of the programs offer support groups. Sure, ideally the most important support should come from a spouse, a sibling, your entire family, or a dear friend. However, everyone around you has not reached the point where you are now standing. You are prepared for change. Not some sugar-coated, temporary version of it that you have sought after in the past, but a full blown life-changing type of transformation. So, therefore, if encouragement and applause comes your way from a program’s “health coach” accept it. If your help takes shape in the form of online tools and resources, embrace them. This journey was not meant to be traveled alone. You will undoubtedly need assistance in the future no matter how confident you may feel in the beginning of this wonderful process. You will continue to need a helping hand even when you have reached your desired goal. Strength comes in numbers and in a common commitment to improved health. Your belief in your ability to succeed will grow by leaps and bounds when you have found that there are others cheering you on to victory.
Does there exist a singular program that offers everything you are looking for? Does one individual weight-loss plan contain 100% of revealed truths regarding the safest, healthiest, most effective methods related to your daily consumption of food? What are you really searching for? Worthy goals such as reaching your target weight, maintaining a lifetime of good eating habits, influencing others to strive to be their very best, these will be by-products of the positive mindset you must develop. As you do your research, there is surely a little bit of knowledge that can be gained from each program on the market today. Most contain some elements which are good and beneficial to you. Do not be afraid to bring all the knowledge you have obtained from your search for truth and the prior experiences you’ve had and join it with something new and exciting. The reality is actually quite simple. It is not just the “meal program” that matters. Primarily, it boils down to you! When you are ready, you will know it. The frustrations of the past were not entirely due to an incomplete or poorly devised approach by a company pushing their weight-loss ideas. Yes, of course, there are some plans that are destined to result in failure. They are not built upon a foundation of solid principles. Nevertheless, there is no need to point the finger of blame or curse the name of a specific plan you followed for a season. Let’s face it. You were not fully committed anyway. It wouldn’t have mattered much which program you were introduced to at that time. Truly, you would not have recognized its virtues nor its faults. When you are ready, you will be able to see things that you were blinded to in the past. When you are ready, trust and obedience to a program will feel natural, while fear and uncertainty will lose their weighty hold on you. When you are ready, you will not become completely unraveled when you make a poor choice, or as some like to say, “cheat”. You will forgive yourself, and keep pressing forward. When you are ready, you will be prepared to handle the pressure which you face every single day while at home, or at work, at parties, business lunches, company events, church activities, neighborhood festivities, clambakes, holidays, and that special occasion at a favorite restaurant. You are well acquainted with that pressure. Combine a time- tested, proven method with the accompanying support, and you will develop the discipline necessary to avoid these potential food traps. But, I repeat once more. You must be ready. Is this the time when you will give no heed to the temptation of particular foods all around you? This fact is undeniable. The temptations which have so easily beset you most of your life are not going to magically disappear. You must learn though your daily meal program to strengthen your will power to the point where they simply begin to lose their appeal altogether. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? You will have gained back that control over all your choices. Is this the time when you finally declare, “I believe!”? You have the power to determine your destiny.
It is estimated that Americans are spending a whopping $42 billion each year on a wide assortment of weight-loss foods, products, and related services. I hope that you are focused so that you no longer feel that you are continuing to waste both your precious time and your hard earned money. Regardless of the number of enticing promises made by these big name players in the weight-loss business, you will surely have to make only one promise. That will, of course, be to yourself. So, whether it be Weight Watchers, Medifast, Jenny Craig, NutriSystems, or any of the countless others you choose to start today. This time you will choose not to abandon ship when the stormy trials come calling. You will cling firmly to that which you have learned. I believe in you! Remember, this is about more than just losing weight. You are on this journey to become healthier, and happier, more hopeful of your future, and more helpful to others. There is no giving up. There is too much at stake.