Timothy French- November 2010

Summer 2010 was full of events and positive feedback. My annual physical in July showed amazing improvements in my blood work. I was able to participate in cycling and trained for the MS150 ride. I’ve not participated in this event since 2001. I believe that now I am in the best physical shape in the four years I’ve participated in the 150 mile ride to benefit multiple sclerosis. I did not realize how much I had stopped participating in community activity because of my weight and condition. I had stopped most of my socializing and almost all of my community service activity. It feels great to start to recover these parts of my life.

My third DWTL session started September 2010, and I couldn’t wait to get involved this time. My body comps on October 16, 2010 were unbelievable when compared to March 17,2009. I had lost almost 83 lbs of weight and 11 inches of waistline. My body fat % was down by 13.3 and my trunk fat % down 14.9%. What’s more important is that I don’t feel like I’m “dieting”. There is no end point that I’m trying to achieve, no end to the journey. I feel like I’ve made a change in lifestyle and behavior that are sustainable, and one day I will reach equilibrium where my calories in will equal calories out. I don’t know what my weight will be and who knows. I may have to apologize to Dr. Harlan for thinking he was crazy if my final weight ends up being 153 lbs like the charts say.

The third session of DWTL is still ongoing.  I feel I’m growing more in a spiritual aspect, than in any other area. I feel like a born again evangelist sharing a message so everyone can experience my happiness. I share what I’ve learned on my journey to anyone that wants to listen. I want to encourage everyone I see working to make a little change in their life. I want to shout out “Hey, don’t be discouraged. It really works! Make the small changes and keep working at it. Eat the 5 per day (fruits and veggies), walk the 10000 steps, pull on those bands…it works.” It works slow…but it can be the last time you need to change (or in my case learn how to eat properly). If you start now you’ll be there before you know it.

I don’t know what I’ve learned in my third session of DWTL, or what I’ve missed, and may not for months. I do know that I’ve appreciated the group support and community from the participants and volunteers. There is a positive energy flowing each Saturday which is exactly what we need, and what I will take away from the group. I see so many people doing so well, and that is a tribute to  the DWTL staff and volunteers. Here are some general observations from my cynical world view and change in my perspective from the past year. I’ll share them at this point until I can figure out what I’ve learned and what I’ve missed.

  • Commercial food producers do not have your health as their first priority so why believe them when they say that something is good for you?
  • Retail stores do not have your health as their first priority or they would get rid of the racks of chips and candy at the check out aisle. Have you ever noticed that across from the pharmacy waiting area is refined sugar and processed high salt starch?
  • Restaurants do not have your health as their first priority or they would stop serving portion sizes equivalent to 4 meals. I’m having trouble watching all the food that is wasted every day, but I care about myself enough not to put it in my body.
  • The media and their advertisers do not have your health in mind when they bombard you with thoughts of pizza, fried chicken and sub sandwiches. Why reward them by spending your money on what is being advertised? Why support the media station that doesn’t’ give you healthy choices?
  • Friends and family love you unconditionally; unfortunately this usually means serving a large portion of food. Tell them you love them too, but please serve you only a small portion. You’ll be able to eat more in a couple of hours.
  • They don’t mean to, but friends and family will sabotage your program to change. Don’t let them. Find your support network and use it. After some time with positive results, you will influence them by your success more than your words.

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