Donald R. Henderson, MD, MPH

The eating season started with Halloween and ended with the Super Bowl. My goal was to lose 25 pounds. So far, I’ve lost 15. My hope is by June I will lose the remaining 10 pounds. During this journey I have learned many lessons:

• Weight Loss is difficult.
Changing your dietary rituals and reducing your intake of fatty, high caloric tasty food requires finding low calorie alternative foods that are palatable.

• It takes energy and focus to maintain a dietary program.
Mindfulness encourages you to focus on life’s problems. It also provides energy for better dietary decision making.

• Having a partner to share your weight loss journey is important.
Sharing the pitfalls of dieting is critical. Emotional support as well as coaching provides reinforcement of your lose weight goals.

• Hydration with water and adequate sleep is important.
Sleep allows the body to recharge. Sleep and hydration combined clears the mind. Both will help with focus and decision making.

• Small ritual changes encourage healthy habit development.
The pattern of establishing repetitive, healthy dietary rituals leads to healthy habit formation. Try it for 30 days and see the results.

Given the lessons I’ve learned, attending the Super Bowl party was less difficult. I was able to avoid excess intake of buffalo wings, chips and dip and nachos. I made better choices by eating raw carrots, celery and plant-based food options. I limited my intake of alcohol and quenched my thirst with water. I wanted to stay the course.

My attention has transitioned to spring and summer weight management. To be successful, I’ll continue to modify my diet and be mindful of the calories in all my food choices. I will continue to eliminate bread and butter, meat, and alcoholic beverages. I plan to explore more plant-based dietary options.

To live longer, I will spend more time reflecting on my experiences as a recovering food addict. Longevity and healing is directly related to your weight status. Obesity is a major factor in limiting your body’s ability to heal.

I’ve also committed to making adjustments to my busy schedule. I have already made adjustments to my work week. I have added more time for sleep. I will continue to walk and perform light exercise.

Join me on this journey and let me know how you’re doing!

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Look for our next wellness series in the coming weeks: Spring into Action