|Here is the "After"|
that goes with the "Before" seen above.
The link above will take you to "The Fat Trap" article that appeared in the New York Times on Dec. 28th. There has been a strong reaction on the internet, and even among my real live friends, to the article's exploration of the serious challenge that keeping lost fat lost can pose. Does fat loss in and of itself awaken powerful hormonal impulses that urge the successful dieter to gain it all back? According to a few small studies and a load of anecdotal evidence, yes, fat loss does prime the hormonal pump for regain.
What a number of readers may have missed alongside that article was the story of the Bridges, a couple who successfully lost a substantial amount of fat, and who are keeping it off. The Bridges' story was told in words and pictures that illustrated the level of commitment it takes in both fitness and nutrition to keep desired figure changes permanently. They exercise a lot, and they are serious about tracking, recording, and being vigilant where food is concerned. The underlying question is,
"If it's this hard to keep it off, is it worth it to burn fat off in the first place?"
If you can't guess which side of the argument I come down on, I'll tell you.
Yes, it is so very worth it. Yes.
May I briefly tell you why? Thank you.
The life you live in your authentic healthy body, and yes, you get to choose what that means for you, is a life of physical liberty. By learning how to think, eat, and move in such a way that you are at peace in your own skin, you free yourself to create, work, serve, play, worship, rest, love, nurture, and just be in the way that is best for you.
As Sting wrote, we are spirits in the material world, and our personal material is the physical body. You know, I could be eating right now, but it's really hard to eat and blog at the same time. The ideas I'm putting down may be little more than tiny trees falling in an empty forest with no one to hear them, but personal physical freedom is deeply important to me, so I write them anyway. If at this moment I was still chowing down on holiday treats, I would not be here typing deep thoughts.
I also have a theory on why researchers believe that weight maintenance is so terribly hard. Typically, not always, but most of the time, studies examine one aspect of fat loss. It could be mindset, diet, exercise, social support, or stress management that is the subject of the day, and that's fine.
But trying to maintain a figure transformation with one tool is like trying to play a symphony with one instrument.
The secret to permanent figure transformation is to find ways of moving, eating, thinking, relaxing, and playing that keep you within the right physical boundaries for good. Here is how you turn the key to make it work for you:
Understand that from now on, much of the pleasure you used to get from "sport eating" is going to have to come from somewhere else. I teach Zumba. There may be other forms of exercise that would get me ripped quicker, but dancing to techno/hip/hop/salsa fusion music is fun for me.
More fun than eating sugar/flour/fat and salt? Oh yes.
Finally, for the next 30 days I'm on Dax Moy's Elimination Diet/MAP plan, which cuts out all of the above.