Saturday, April 7, 2012

Learning to practice safe food love

This series this month on “Why I wrote a book” has forced me to try to distill some of the hard fought lessons that have had the biggest impact on my unending efforts to achieve health and balance.  You can’t talk about weight management without talking about food, but I wanted to talk about a different theme:  learning to not be miserable.

Reason #3 (for the book):  Long-term weight loss isn’t easy, but it need not be a life of deprivation

I recently had my annual physical memorializing the completion of my third year at goal weight.  It’s a fact that I’m pretty proud of.  Suffice to say, I’m extremely happy about the fact that I’m healthier today than I was when I was in my 30’s.  Good blood work, low blood pressure, low resting heart rate, etc.  But wait!  There’s more!  I’m also not too proud to admit a SLIGHT bit of pride over being able to wear clothing intended for thinner people.  It almost makes me forget the impending age lines wrapping around my eyes and my rapidly greying hair.

So what horrible price did I have to pay for this treasure trove of benefits?  Do I now have to live a loveless life without any joy for eating any more or ever again?  Do I wander the earth like one of those ghosts from A Christmas Carol dragging a huge cinder block & chain, moaning my eternal life of deprivation and hunger?


Just not unrequited love...
I love food as much as I ever did.  I just try to love the food that loves me back.  I’m done with the bad girlfriends of food.  You know the type.  Fast and loose, a little psychotic and ultimately bad for you.  They give you cheap thrills and then torture you.  I finally learned to settle down with great food I can live with that makes me happy, is good for me, and is still sexy as all get out.

All of the most important lessons I have learned about food have been about how to not live in deprivation.  The simple truth is that some food will fill you up while others will leave you wanting for more.  The beautiful and incredibly convenient truth is that there are no shortages of good foods that have a crazy combination of 1) being filling, 2) being full of nutritional awesomeness and 3) being low in energy (calories).

Everything I have learned about my current “diet” has been about cheating the devil.  I grew up liking to eat a lot of food, and I still like to eat a lot of food.  I’ve just learned to do it without the collateral damage to my gut.

This is one of the key messages I wanted to share in the book:  if you live in deprivation and hunger, you will almost certainly fly off the wagon.  The trick is to find a predictable set of foods, meals and strategies that you can live with.  Forever.  And happily.

Important announcement redux redux

Don’t forget.  Your book purchase helps a kid get a square meal.  All of my proceeds go to Share Our Strength.  They deserve your money more than I do.

Click to giant book picture in the upper right hand corner to learn more...




  1. Amazing... Googled to see what WW CEO looks like and there was a brand new post.
    Thank you from a Dutch 1st week WW member. I want to believe I will be happy as you are with all the "right girlfriends"...

  2. I still can't work out what you are holding in your "before" photo. Is it an upside-down cat?

    1. Yes. That was my cat Zoey. For reasons I can't describe, she liked being held upside down. Cats...

  3. Exactly! My first WW leader was telling a story about one of her eating escapades and called herself a "bulk" eater. I had never heard the term but I gathered it was someone who likes to eat a lot at a meal. That's me and apparently you as well. I have happily found a way to eat a lot of healthy food that fits right in with the points I can eat for maintenance. That's the way I like to live. :)

  4. I'm pretty excited about finding your blog, and I will for sure get your book , I love the way you write, my sister and i are just getting ready to write a book with a goastwriter, there is so much to concider befor getting started , I would love to share with you , we are both on WW and I love to hear your blogs , we are going to mexico for 10 days and I'm going to be mindfull at each meal , enjoy it all and not be a clean plate member

  5. Your post makes me thing of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance"! A song that describes a not so good relationship with food, especially with the line "I want your disease!" Ha! Ha! I'm with you, love the food that loves you back and doesn't cause a disease, becuase unlike Lady Gaga, I do not what your disease!

  6. I tell joining members all the time who are so used to "Points" why I love "Points Plus." It has changed my relationship with food for the better. Thanks for confirming that I'm sending the right message.

  7. I think you're definitely right about this. I'm trying to lose body fat with Adipex diet pills right now, however I will use some of these guidelines as well

  8. Interesting Post. I've been using weight watchers for over a year now and so I'd like to share some points that really helped me out:
    1. USE A JOURNAL. You have to keep track on what you consume on a daily basis. You are bound to forget calories you intake if you try and remember everything mentally.
    2. Drink lots of water. Never let yourself get thirsty and that's the first sign on dehydration. Its recommended to take 6 glasses a day. This not only helps cleaning your body on the inside but also makes you feel more full at mealtime.
    3. If hunger strikes before your next meal drink diet soft drink like diet Pepsi as it accommodated your stomach until the next feed comes along.

    Let me know what you think at weight watchers online

  9. Just found your blog tonight after reading about it in my most recent Weight Watchers email. Loved the post and look forward to reading more. Learning to love the food that loves me back and giving up deprivation have been key for me too.

  10. Just had to say - reading your editorial in the latest WW mag made me feel better - I realized that a year ago, I was 20 lbs less than now (-30) and wondered how I slid like that - then I saw that it took you 9 years to reach goal and maintaining for 3 years (good on you mate as they say in Oz) - I felt camaraderie with you and have hit the reset for me this week that I can do it again. Thank you is all I really want to say.

  11. Thanks for sharing about the challenges of travel and your recent schedule, etc. There were helpful tips in there for me. I reside and work in Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico at a private school and have attended WW off and on through the years here. Part of the scene here in WW is that there are very few men who attend. I truly enjoy relating to other men who are involved in the ongoing weight loss and maintenance project. Thanks again for your experiences and thoughts. David, on another note do you have any knowledge or comments about the The Daniel Plan from Saddleback Community Church (Pastor Rick Warren)?
    Glenn Swarthout
    Lincoln School (
    Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico