DIET is a 4 Letter Word

Weight lossTwo years ago, I was a couple of Krispy Kreme donuts shy of 300 pounds.

As of today, I’ve lost weight for 8 consecutive quarters.

Two years. That’s a winning streak I’m pretty proud of. Yay me.

Now I wish I could say that’s the heaviest I’ve ever been, but it’s not. This ain’t my first rodeo. I’ve hit the big 3-0-0 before, lost it and then gained the vast majority of it back over time for the exact same reasons that everyone else does.


I’ve been on Nutri-system, Atkins, South Beach, Shangri La and my all time favorite the See Food Diet; I’ve been on that one a lot!

It’s actually pretty easy to lose weight, 5, 10, 20 percent of your body weight, on almost any diet. But that’s not my definition of success. Success is MAINTAINING a healthy weight, and for that diets are miserable failures.

But we all know that.

We know the basic psychology: denying that which you crave, only makes you crave it more.

We know that starving your body sends it into starvation mode. Your brain plays defense by slowing down your metabolism and offense my pumping out hormones that make you seek out even more food.

We know that cutting calories eats into lean muscle tissue, denying us the ability to burn off the few calories that we do eat.

It’s a vicious cycle perpetrated by a multi-billion dollar diet industry and the built in human desire for easy answers.

It sounds great. If we can only build up the willpower, we can “Diet” for a few months, eat nothing but grapefruit seeds and black coffee, lose those love handles and our whole lives will magically turn around.

The unspoken premise is that once we’ve lost the weight, we can go back to normal. Normal being our regular Big Mac and Cheesecake Diet. Deep down, we know that’s a lie, but we’ll worry about that after we lose the weight.

Of course we gain it all back. And more because we’ve fucked up our metabolism, destroyed our muscles and reeked havoc on our fragile psychology. So we eat more to numb the pain. And the cycle starts all over again.

Cause here’s the thing.

You can’t change your life without changing your lifestyle.

Diets are a band aid and we need a whole new way of living.

I’ve lost weight 8 quarters in a row. A tiny, barely noticeable amount of weight.

In fact, over the last two years it works out to just an average of a half a pound a week. I know people who’ve lost the same amount of weight in just the last couple of months.

But two years ago, I didn’t set out to lose weight. I decided to change my life by changing my lifestyle.

I decided to turn my life around one tweak at time.

I’ve changed the way I think about food from eating for sport to eating for fuel. From eating out of habit to eating with purpose.

I’ve learned to treat sugar as a drug instead of a delicacy.

But changing what I eat wasn’t enough. Hell, changing what I drink wasn’t enough. And I liked to drink.

You can’t change your life without changing your lifestyle.

I get up earlier. Go to bed earlier. Drink more water. Exercise. Meditate. Work harder.

And I’ve learned to be more grateful.

I believe true success in almost any endeavor begins with being grateful for what you have.

I’m thankful for all the blessings in my life and I’m not going to give it all up for a Big Mac and a Super Size Coke.

I’m no where near where I should be but I’m a long way from where I was.

And the good news is, as long as I’m losing weight, even just a little, at least I’m not putting it back on.

The thing I miss most about being a younger man is my confidence in predicting the future. 20 years ago, I would have sworn to you that those 50 pounds were gone for good. Never to return. In fact, I did swear that, more than once.

I can’t tell you what happens from here.

But what’s different this time is everything.

I didn’t go on a diet. I changed my life by changing my lifestyle.

What’s different this time is me.

Terry LancasterTerry Lancaster is the VP of Making S#!% Happen at Instant Events Automotive Advertising, father of 3 teenage daughters and a Beer League Hockey All Star, as if there could ever be such a thing.

You can connect with Terry on FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.