Top Ten Things I Hate to Hear When I Start a New Weight Loss Program

Top ten things I hate to hear from people after starting a new effort to lose weight:

10: Oh, you’re eating healthy again?

Yeah – I’m dieting again. Yes, that means I’m going to say no to your offer of junk food. YES – I failed last time. YES – I’m likely to fail THIS TIME but I really don’t need that tone, the one that says “should I hold this junk food until next week when you will be off the diet?”

9: It’s not a diet; it’s a life style change.

Getting a promotion at work that doubles my income would be a life style change. Eating salad every day and telling myself I’m never going to eat six slices of pizza in a single meal again is depressing and if I’m more than two days in, I’m already sick of hearing that it’s not a diet.

8: You look great!

I know you mean this to encourage me but unless I’ve actually lost a significant amount of weight, it RARELY feels like a genuine statement. Especially if I just started my “life style change” last week. Instead, it just comes across like “thank God, you are finally doing something about your health – I hope you don’t quit this time”.

7: You should drink more water

You know – I think you are right – maybe I’m over weight because I’m dehydrated!

6: Anything about water weight

I don’t know what water weight is. I know the human body is like 80% water. So couldn’t I lose my entire weigh loss goal in water? Usually I assume the reason people don’t notice when I lose the first 15-20lbs, it’s because I’m just that over weight – not because it’s all “water”…

5: Maybe you gained muscle and that’s why you stopped losing weight

More likely, I started eating junk again and I’m actually gaining fat – or maybe I’m drinking too much water and its all water weight. But I appreciate the sediment.

4: You’re still lapping everyone on the couch!

I don’t know why this one bothers me. People that say it are only trying to be encouraging. But I just want to reply with “not on a treadmill – I’m just kinda running in place, not lapping anyone.”

3: You know what works for me is…

I know people are just trying to relate in some meaningful way when they start sharing their weight management efforts with me, but what works for you isn’t very likely relevant to me. That is, unless you were 100lbs over weight and a food addict… if that’s the case, then by all means, please do share what worked for you.

2: I’m so proud of you!

Unless you are my wife or parent – why would this motivate me? Are you saying that, not only should I seek your approval, but until I started a weight loss effort, I didn’t have it?

1: Iceberg lettuce has no nutritional value

SO WHAT! I’m already struggling with my choices in life – I’m fat and starting a diet (um, sorry, I mean life style change), and when I finally make a decent choice to have a salad – that’s not good enough, I have to eat kale and bok choy before I get your nod of approval? I hope you choke on a chicken bone. Not to death, just long enough that you need my help to perform the Heimlich maneuver, and I’m going to brag afterward that my iceberg salad gave me the strength to save your life.


You have finished the marathon, so What Now?

Another marathon? A triathalon? A million options are ahead but all I can think about is how do I NOT QUIT. How easy would it be for me to NEVER RUN AGAIN?

My goal is weightloss – running was helping me accomplish that goal. For me, the marathon was a means to an end, but this Tuesday morning just a few days after that 26.2 mile race and I can’t say I don’t fear that it’s potential to be The End. I’ve been actively thinking about those two words in the title – What Now?

I still don’t have a clear answer, but while I was considering how to find wisdom in this I thought about one definition I’ve heard for Wisdom – the ability to apply experiences to knowledge in order to discern the best course of action. My experiences in running have at least two chapters; the first attempt at running using technology (Nike Plus) alone, FAILURE, and the second attempt at running using technology (iMapMyRide, Nike Plus, Garmin) AND races (5ks, 10ks, and eventually half marathons and finally the full marathon), SUCCESS kinda.

I have lost weight – remember this is the goal. But over the last month I have gained weight. What changed? My eating habits for certain. But also my running habits. I stopped running races because they are hard to find in the Phoenix heat and I had long runs on the weekends for the marathon anyway. One of my original running goals was to run 2 races a month. I haven’t been able to keep that pace but I spent last night looking for several races over the next few months and I believe I found a few I can participate in.

I also found a couple of duathlons (events with more than one activity – in this case, swimming and running). I think the cross training needed to complete those events would be good for me – IF I can fit that into my schedule.

Beyond that – I just don’t know. I have a few more ideas however. I want to get into the gym and lift weights again. And I still struggle with my personal demon; Overeating. I struggle everyday with that guy.

Last thought – my son asked me yesterday what it was called when you jump out of an airplane with a parachute. I told him it was called Sky Diving. He’s reply, “that’s what I thought, except I thought it was plane diving, not sky… I want to do that with you, Daddy!” My wife immediately responds with “NO!” but its been a goal of mine for a while – I don’t know if I can take him at his age or not, but I want to be able to take him soon.

Less than 6 weeks left… Am I running enough?

I’m concerned. Saturday I “ran” 20 miles. I was scheduled to run 23 miles. We (my brother-in-law and I) started at 3:30 AM in order to beat the 102 degree heat of the day – but I think 2:30 would have better served us. The plan was to run our normal 5 mile loop four times, then the 5k loop to top off the 23 mile run.

The first 5 miles were ok – it was warm; about 75 degrees. The second 5 miles were better – I was loose and the rising sun created a cool breeze; between 70 and 75 degrees. The third lap, miles 11 through 15, were tough. The sun was up, the breeze was gone, and my new shirt was tearing up my chest like sand paper. I believe it was between 80 and 85 degrees.

On the forth 5 mile lap, the heat became unbearable. It was mid- to high- 80’s and I was fatigued from having already run 15 miles. As I closed miles 16 and 17, I started slowing down – slower than a 16 min/mile pace. Miles 18 and 19 were an even slower 18 and 21 min pace respectively. I started to think of how I could finish the 3 miles I would have left once I got back to the house at the end of this lap. I thought of going through the neighborhood in order to benefit from the shade from houses – but as I turned into the neighborhood I realize that the sun is to high in the sky to leave any room for shadows – even the trees were leaving short shadows and little shade.

I looked down at my pace and I was going to finish mile 20 in about 22 minutes. And that was “running”. I knew I didn’t have anything left in the tank for the last 3 miles in this heat. At least I told myself it was the heat and not that I haven’t been putting in enough miles. But that is why I’m concerned. What if the real problem is that I’m not running enough miles? I don’t mean longer runs – just more frequent mid-length runs.

Less than 40 days – Its already June and I still feel less than ready for this marathon. And the heat over the next 5 weeks is going to continue to climb…