22 March 2008


You may remember that last November I had written about how even tho pop/mass-psych guru's are not my bag, sometimes they have good things to say that shouldn't be tossed just cuz I don't care for the messenger.  At that time, I listened to and wrote about John Gray's Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.  This time, I'm listening to and writing about Phil McGraw's Ultimate Weight Loss Solution:  Seven Keys to Weight Loss Freedom.  There is a text-only disk included, which contains what tables and charts and forms that I think he lists in his index in the printed text.

cringe, sigh

So McGraw speaks about realistic weight expectancies and goals.  He stresses a combination of physical medical weight ranges and waist/hip ratios and psychological acceptance of your realistic body size, shape, and weight.  So, for my height (5'6" or 5'7"), and frame type; shooting for about 155 to 160 is very realistic.  I have always been a very nicely proportioned woman.  I'm big, but I'm shapely!

My waist to hip ratio is right on the line between apple and pear.  I've been a pear most of my life (hi, russ, papa-peardude!!), carrying most of my excess weight in butt/thighs (rather than an apple, who carries most of the extra weight in the stomach area).  Health wise this means that I may still be at risk in many ways, but I am in a better place because the fat is padded my muscles moreso than my organs.  So it can be more easily managed, because fat around the organs can be lots more dangerous, as the organ is surrounded by fat and needing to labor even harder.  This does not by any means make me healthy, so much as less apt to develop quite as many dangerous health problems.

McGraw is not alone is stressing these things, so there is nothing new here.  But I do have to say that he is thorough about interactive sorts of steps and being clear about how to implement those steps.  For instance in this area, realistic expectancies and goals, he explains about identifying your actual goals, versus thinking that weight loss will magically cure all your problems.  He does this by asking you to focus on what you really want; what you think you have to do to get there; and how you will actually feel when you attain that goal.

Then, he shows how you can focus on the third item as number one.  Meaning you shift your end goal to the first step and focus further.  You cycle thru that as many times as needed.  Be as specific as you can.

For instance,  I said that what I really want is:  I'd like to lose 50 to 65 pounds over the next six months.  That means that as of the fall equinox, I will weigh about 160.  In three months, summer solstice, I will weigh no more than 185.  By this time next month, I will have lost at least nine pounds.  In two weeks, I will weigh less than 210.  The reason some of the numbers are not exact is because I know that sometimes my body (and yours too) does not lose weight at a steady rate; I know that I might lose lots by being very active in the beginning and then plateau as my body begins to adjust to the exercise~~losing fat but building muscle.

The second step (what I think I have to do get there) is:  I will need to increase my activity levels.  This means that I will need to attend and use the gym more often.  I will aggressively pursue my water-workouts (attend classes that are offered) and water-work out myself on the days when I don't get to a class.  I will also walk with my guy on the weekends, which will increase my endurance beyond getting to the mail box and back (quite frankly, and since I have been honest thus far, I should continue to be blunt).

Also as part of what I need to do to get to my goal from above is:  I will also need to decrease my intake of foods, particularly things like ice-cream, chocolate, soda, and swe'tea (cuz boy when I binge, I binge!).  So I will not buy them for the house or order them while I am out.  When my guy goes to the store, I will ask him to buy me juices or vita-water (instead of diet rootbeer).  Also, I will eat smaller portions, choosing a certain bowl that I have to help me measure the amount in an easier way (the bowl holds between a cup and a pint~more than ample servings for a meal of pasta, etc.).  I will eat healthier foods, like salads, fruits, and vegetables.  I will continue to drink adequate water, herbal teas, etc.

Step three (how I will actually feel when I attain my goal) is:  I will have more stamina, more vitality.  I will be able to breathe easier and move with more assurance.  I will be in more control over my thoughts, feelings, and behavior.  I will be more confidant.  My clothes will fit better and I will wear better sizes.  I will be more tone.

At this point, McGraw directs to take step three and make it your step one in the next cycle.  The idea is that this will help you to clarify and pin point your actual goals.  Do this cycle as many times as needed.  So, my next cycle is this.

Step one (what I really want) becomes:  I will have more stamina, more vitality.  I will be able to breathe easier and move with more assurance.  I will be in more control over my thoughts, feelings, and behavior.  I will be more confidant.  My clothes will fit better and I will wear better sizes.  I will be more tone.

Step two (what I think I have to do to get there) seems to incorporate many of the ideas and activities stated earlier.  Improve exercise habits (see above).  Choose healthier foods (see above).  Improve my sleep habits (take sleep meds by 11, resting by midnight; wake by 9 to start day).  Order chaos and build routines (including dressing for day in real clothes and not sleep wear).

My step three (how I will actually feel when I attain my goal) becomes:  I would feel calmer, happier, more centered.  I will be more capable of dealing with daily life.

Now, a note, some times I am able to do all these things.  Some times, I find it a challenge to brush my teeth, let alone exercise.  At those times, it is very difficult for me to not only have the energy, but to be well enough to get up and go.  Sleep is a task at those times, and about the only one I can muster.

The reason I list my original step three (which became my step one in the next cycle) was because I know that to lose the weight, I will be building stamina thru exercise.  I will be able to breathe easier and move with more stability when my joints are not stressed with extra weight that affects my every aspect of physical being.  I know that if I can have the ability to be in more control thru striving to attain the goal of losing weight, that I will have more control in general.  I also know that I do feel more confidant when I weigh less, because I don't feel so dumpy or exhausted.

I am well aware that weight loss doesn't magically solve problems, but I do think that the same tools that I would be using to achieve that goal, are tools that would benefit me in other ways as well.


  1. Goals are not my thing and neither is "Dr" Phil...that right-wing nutjob.  Grrrr
    But I wish you luck on this journey.  You know I'm rooting for you, right?


  2. Your last paragraph is pretty much exactly why I am working so hard at the gym and at home to get it off.  The getting off part will be okay, for me the keeping it off part will be tough.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  Again.


Thanks for taking the time and effort to let your thoughts be known!