Sunday, September 22, 2013

Answering "Why I choose weight loss" and "Why I choose Nutrisystem"

I started Nutrisystem for the first time in early January 2010. At that time, one of the counselors I spoke to recommended I write a brief statement about why I was losing weight so that as I achieved incremental goals I would be able to look back on my statement and be edified. Today, after two years of being in a more-or-less maintenance mode (give or take 40 pounds - ugh!), I thought I'd look back on that statement and see what encouragement it could give me. Here is what I wrote:
I want to be able to ride rollercoasters again, feel more comfortable in airplane seats, be able to sit in those tiny chairs on the patios of cafes, not cause the tires in my tiny compact car to wear unevenly, start my 40s in a year and a half with the same healthful optimism with which I started my 20s, let my parents grow older without having to worry about my health, be able to shop for clothes at the mall again, rollerblade without pain again, and dance the night away again without having to sit the next one out! 
Breaking apart the statement goal by goal today, I see that I pretty much achieved every one of them. So why am I re-starting Nutrisystem again now? Well, it's complicated. To make it more comprehensible (to me and to anyone who might be reading this blog for inspiration or sheer curiosity), I should break this question down into its component parts. Why am I choosing to "diet" again? And why have I chosen to go back on Nutrisystem when it's obvious that I am able to lose weight on my own?

First, I'll address reasons why I'm "dieting". Well, to be more precise, I'm not "dieting" but rather "modifying my diet" (but that's for another conversation). And the reason for this is clear. I am currently at a weight that is unhealthy. It's not unhealthy because I say so or because society says so (or even because I am currently experiencing any health problems, as was most definitely the case when I was 420 pounds). But according to the medical community, I have a disease - obesity - and this disease is a precursor to a slew of other chronic and acute disease that I personally would like to avoid.

No one believes me when I tell them, but I am pushing 300 pounds. At 296 pounds, I may "carry it well", but I would rather not have to carry it at all. This weight is hard on my body and limits me in many ways, not the least of which it makes it more difficult for me to pursue my hiking passion, keeping me from doing longer and more strenuous hikes. It also hurts my joints and keeps me from recovering as quickly from injury. I recently twisted my ankle while traversing a rock-strewn trail at the top of Mount Tammany in Northern New Jersey. I was lucky to make it back down. If I had experienced a greater injury, it would've take five or six big guys to carry me down.

For more on why I want to lose weight, check out the related blog post: My weight loss (and fitness) motivation (revisited). For now, though, I'll get to why I'm kickstarting this next phase of my weight loss journey with Nutrisystem. See, the first time around I lost around 80 pounds on Nutrisystem and another 85 pounds on my own; Having learned from Nutrisystem's portion and calorie control I was able to piece together a plan using regular grocery store foods that worked quite well for me (until I decided after 18 months of rigorous attention to my diet to ease up a bit and began enjoying ice cream and other treats again in a less than moderate manner). But now that I'm out of practice, Nutrisystem will help me relearn healthy portions and develop a more regulated eating pattern.

On Nutrisystem I will eat six times per day - three meals per day and snacks about two hours after each meal. The plan is based on science, creating by nutritionists. It is balanced and does not keep me from eating the kinds of foods I truly enjoy. In fact, some of their meals are quite tasty. The cost is about $260 per month (for the men's plan that I'm on), and this includes five prepackaged foods - each meal plus two snacks daily  (one of the snacks is on your own, such as yogurt or nuts) - as well as access to amazing tools that track your food and water intake and allow you to log your exercise. There is also a very active online community where you can get inspiration from others who are likewise on a weight loss and fitness journey of their own.

At that price, you have to eat what they send you. For $20 more, you get to choose what you want. It's worth it for some, but since saving money is another objective of mine, I just choose to enjoy what I get. After all, "It's your decisions, not the conditions of your life, that determine your destiny", as the great motivational communicator Anthony Robbins would say.

Today is the first day of being on the Nutrisystem plan, and I have to tell you I am pumped. I know Nutrisystem works for me, and I know that even though I will begin to feel hunger between eating events, I know that's a good thing. My stomach will begin shrinking and I'll begin to shed weight, probably quite quickly the first week and more steadily after that. I can take comfort that even though I'm feeling hunger, it's a good thing, and it will only bother me for a couple of weeks.

So that's really why I'm doing this. Hunger is a way of my body telling me it's time to eat. In our society we tend to eat simply because there is an abundance of food. But in a few weeks my new habits will take hold and my eating habits will carry me on auto pilot to finally achieving my goal of overcoming obesity once and for all.

Thanks for reading MyFitLife2Day. Follow me on Twitter @MyFitLife2Day and on Instagram @fitlifechronicles.

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