Published 12:00 am Friday, July 27, 2007

Last month’s recipe for the milkshake should have included the following line:
“While blending, add ice to desired thickness.”
If you tried the recipe and it didn’t taste much like a milkshake, this is probably why!
Sorry for this omission. Try it again. This time, add the ice. It really is a good, healthy treat.
I’ve had many people ask me what I’m doing, have done, to lose weight. I’ll tell anyone who wants to know my “No Meats, No Sweets, No All-You-Can-Eats” plan. But usually when I get to “No Sweets,” almost every time I hear some version of, “Oh, I’ve got to have my sugar.” I wonder at that point if I am simply wasting my time saying anything.
I’ve heard, “Just have ONE cookie,” or “Just have ONE piece of ” cake or pie or scoop of ice cream. But I know me. I’m like an alcoholic when it comes to sweets. I eat a little ó I want more. Not just sweets either, but any food. So for me, “No Sweets” means just that ó NO SWEETS! Period. End of story. I’ve also found if any food makes me crave more, it has to be history.
I wanted life to be better. I had to make some changes. Permanent changes. If I hadn’t made the changes needed, then nothing could have moved toward getting better. It’s as simple as that.
Sometimes my journey to work to make life better has been “damn hard.” I don’t know how else to say it with enough strength or passion to make the point. Sometimes it’s been more than tough, more than simple effort. Sometimes, as Scott Peck said in “The Road Less Traveled,” it has been “effortful living.” That’s simply how it is. Some things take a lot of effort.
Working to make life better takes consistent effort over time. Many things require that. There are no short cuts, no magic cures, and no quick fixes. Americans waste millions (I’ve heard billions) of dollars and countless irreplaceable time and energy every year buying and trying quick fix solutions to weight loss. I’ve found there is no substitute for 1) wanting life to be better, 2) finding a sensible, sustainable way to make it that happen, and then 3) working ó with consistent effort over time ó to make it happen.
If you and I are not willing to do that, then we’d better get used to the life we are currently living. Nothing will change, nothing will get better until we decide to work to make it better. And sometimes that work just may be “damn hard.” But the payoff, the rewards, are worth every bit of the effort.
“Wow, you look great! Bet’chu feel better.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this. I really do appreciate the compliment. My response is usually, “Yes I do.” And mostly I do feel better. Most folks who lose weight feel better in general.
But it doesn’t mean aches and pains and worn-out joints have gone away. It doesn’t mean that other “body issues” have gone away either. Losing weight, or the results of doing so, can have its own set of difficulties.
Here’s my reality check: I have ruined the skin structure of a lot of my body. Let me put it this way: “Thank God for clothes!” Honestly, it’s not a pretty sight. But thank God, too, that at least I can stand before God “naked and unashamed.” Even so, there is still personal shame and grief over what I’ve done to my body all these years. There is also forgiveness. And new hope. And a new beginning.
One of the tough things about losing weight is knowing that no matter what I do, there are some things I can’t fix, some things I can’t change. My back and shoulders and neck ache when I go walking. The extra skin and underlying deep-tissue fat of my chest and stomach still pull me forward causing me to walk “humped over.” It hurts. The only physical solution I know of to resolve these issues is surgery. That’s a bit scary.
The Apostle Paul said, “I bear in my body the marks of disobedience.” I understand what this statement can mean. Still, I made a decision to change my life, to do “whatever it took” to make my life better. I continue to work to do what I can to make life, my own and others, better.
Whatever the issue, if we really want to make life better we must deal with the issues head-on to move forward with life. I’m working on it ó consistently, daily. I continue to walk through the pain. I’m doing whatever I can to make needed changes, to make life better. I’m more committed than ever to this task, this hope, this “calling.”
How about you?
You can contact Dave Cook at nnn