Obesity and the Legendary Philosopher’s Stone

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Long-term weight loss seems to be a goal as elusive as the fabled Philosopher’s Stone. Actually, the two are very similar. CrystaLinks.com says of the Philosopher’s Stone:

It was sometimes believed to be an elixir of life, useful for rejuvenation and possibly for achieving immortality.

Long-term weight loss is absolutely rejuvenating, and while it doesn’t bring immortality, it is believed to add years to a person’s life. Of course there is no way to know if any individual lives longer than they would have if morbidly obese — the possibility of being hit by a bus still exists — but the statistical trend does seem to point that way. Let’s look at what scientists call an anecdotal account, the self-reported story of a single person — not a medical professional, but a writer and entrepreneur.

In 2007, Kimanzi Constable weighed in at 332 pounds. He cut his nutrient intake to 1,200 calories a day, and exercised for four hours out of each 24. Just as the traditional diet-plus-exercise paradigm would predict, in six months he was down to a nice round 200 pounds. Ta-dah!

But no. For Constable, the victory was short-lived. He gained back that 132, plus an additional 38, and it only took a year to pile all that weight back on. Eventually, thanks to significant lifestyle revisions, he lost the entire 170 and got back down to a tolerable 200 pounds, a process which also occupied a year. As he told GoodMenProject.com:

June 17 of 2013 I didn’t start my weight loss journey, I started the journey to create healthy habits that ultimately changed my life.

In condensed form, we list the seven healthful habits to which credit is due. The first is patience, because sustainable weight loss takes time, and it’s more like a marathon than a sprint. “One day at a time” is the name of the game. Of course, the cultivation of patience brings benefits to other areas of life, which become more functional, so there is less to be stressed about, and less reason for emotional eating.

Another biggie is sacrifice. Constable gave up soft drinks, fast food, junk food, and TV. He gave up heedless automatic eating and instituted portion control (which is, as we have seen, an important component of Dr. Pretlow’s W8Loss2Go program.)

Realistic planning is important too. If you give yourself a year to lose 170 pounds, is that realistic? Apparently so, if you break it down to 15 pounds per month. That comes out to half a pound per day, which is doable with the right plan.

Also, while diet and exercise are undeniably parts of the plan, they do not make up the whole enterprise, which is lifestyle change. That means incorporating healthful habits into every moment of the day. The thing about exercise is to be consistent, which Constable says “gives you more energy and teaches you discipline that you can use in every other area of your life.”

Accountability means picking a positive, supportive person to whom you will be responsible by keeping them informed of your progress. And perseverance means, “Keep on keepin’ on.” It is a trait, Constable says, shared by all successful people in every walk of life.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “The Philosopher’s Stone,” CrystaLinks.com, undated
Source: “7 Healthy Habits That Helped Me Lose 170 Pounds in One Year,” GoodMenProject.com, 09/14/14
Photo credit: Nico Time via Visualhunt/CC BY-SA

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