Sunday, March 7, 2010

Weight Loss- Channel Beowulf

My son's class has been learning about myths and legends and so our homework has been following a similar theme. Yes! OUR homework. I've always been an enthusiastic proponent of parental participation in children's education but this appears to require committment in par with at least a part-time position. By the time I have researched the subject on Wikipedia so as not to appear foolish and redirected his attention from a Nintendo created product we are both exhausted and ready for bed.

Recently however, thanks to our homework I learned about Beowulf. An important work of poetic literature written in 700AD. It depicts the life and battles of the heroic Beowulf against various monsters and demons. This is a quote from this poem:

"O flower of warriors, beware of that trap.

Choose, dear Beowulf, the better part, eternal rewards. Do not give way to pride.

For a brief while your strength is in bloom but it fades quickly; and soon there will follow

illness or the sword to lay you low, or a sudden fire or surge of water

or jabbing blade or javelin from the air or repellent age.

Your piercing eye will dim and darken; and death will arrive, dear warrior, to sweep you away."

Uplifting it may not be but wonderful advice none the less in any battle involving us and our demons. As you become more self assured and start to lose some weight, you must remain vigilant. There are many forces out there and deep within you ready to pull you down. "O flower of warriors, beware of that trap."

Over the past three posts we’ve tried to look deeper at what makes us not achieve and maintain our goal in weight loss. I hope that some of the examples that I wrote about hit home and gave you some insight into what might derail your efforts. Now knowing what they are, feel prepared and we can start.

Let’s set a realistic goal first. If you’re BMI is between 25-30, our aim would be to lose about a 1lb per week. If the BMI is higher, about 2lbs per week. Your first target date should not be more than 5 weeks away. So you’re looking at 5-10lbs in the next 5 weeks.

1) Dietary intervention: You are going to log in or a similar site everything you eat and you will enter your daily weight, daily.

It is important for you to get in a habit of doing this everyday. If you have eaten too many calories for a day or two, it is not the end of the world or this program. You need to talk to your family, friends or other support group. They will make sure that you stay strong.

2) Physical exercise: Exercise alone is not a good method for weight loss but studies have shown that it is extremely effective in long-term weight management and improved health. Remember, you have looked within yourself and you know why you want to lose weight and what your specific barriers are. Exercise puts a different face to this challenge. You need to practice affirmations that will make it a positive experience. Your mantra should be to say over and over to yourself. "I enjoy exercise" "Exercise makes me feel alive", "I feel better, I breathe better, I look better after I exercise".You can see more on I am not gonna bore you with what you should not say to yourself because I am sure that you are very familiar with those!

3) Behavior modification: What this is based on is that being overweight is the result of having learned incorrect eating and exercise patterns and the good news is that these can be re-learned and modified. The first part involves self monitoring (keeping food diaries and activity records) which you will be doing on

The second part is stimulus control. Some eat to comfort themselves. Is that the case? We need to find what specific things trigger that feeling and find different comforting measures. Do you eat more or lose self control after you drink too much alcohol? Don't worry I'm not gonna suggest you stop drinking altogether but for this to work you have to know how it affects your resolve and eating habits.
100% honesty. That's our contract. Maybe you don't even know everything that is going to try and trip you up. We need to be vigilant.

Finally lets get back to the beginning. Before starting this challenge go to your health care provider and first get a medical clearance. Second, make a demand for help losing weight. Your family, friends and your healthcare provider are the cornerstone of the support you will need.

Let me leave you with another quote and feel free to use it as your war cry;

"I am Ripper... Tearer... Slasher... Gouger. I am the Teeth in the Darkness, the Talons in the Night. Mine is Strength... and Lust... and Power! I AM BEOWULF!"

1 comment:

  1. I love it! You should start a column in a health magazine! Millions should hear your fantastic and inspiring advice on weight management. Bela