After a lifetime of suffering, anguish, and frustration I finally found a permanent solution to my weight problem by quitting dieting, eating differently and living a life of joyfulness.
I was born fat - 9 pounds 6 ounces. I was overweight in grammar school wearing oversize shirts to hide the excess poundage. I was shy and always worried about being called on in class. I didn’t know it at the time, but this created stress and caused an increase in a hormone called cortisol that caused me to store fat. Since my parents went through the great depression during which there was a shortage of food, they always made sure I cleaned my plate and ate plenty, rather than stopping eating when I was full. My father even went so far as to make me a food pusher, about the size of a fork, a tool shaped like a rake, so I could easily get the last bite from my plate.
In Junior High school the family doctor put me on my first diet. I wouldn’t learn until more than fifty years later that going on a diet is the worst thing you can do to lose weight. The diet consisted mainly of hard-boiled eggs and grapefruit. The idea behind the diet was that it took more calories to digest the eggs and grapefruit then they contained. It was a disaster. I think I stayed on the diet less than two weeks. I still don’t like hard-boiled eggs, although I do like deviled eggs and scrambled and fried eggs.
Gym class was a nightmare. I couldn’t do even one pull up or chin up, I was at the tail end of the class when running around the track. To make matters worse I was about as athletic as a robot. The class did not teach anything about proper breathing, good posture or how to build muscle. Of course the idea of enjoying exercise and the benefits of exercise never even came up.
I trimmed down a little in high school, but still remember a high school girlfriend saying ”lose weight for me”. This didn’t do anything to help me lose weight or make me feel better. In fact, just the opposite. The relationship soon ended after that.
Eating at home during my early college years I remember getting in arguments at the dining table about many things. I didn’t know then that eating while upset was not only bad for the digestion, but also puts on weight. My mother was a good cook, but if you didn’t finish she would always say “what’s the matter, didn’t you like it?” Being full was not considered. I learned to finish my plate and ask for more to keep everybody happy. Now I make it a rule to never force food on my grandson or say there is only a little bit left, why don’t you finish it?
The weight was under control for a while. I was fortunate to get married and have two wonderful sons. After being married for a while the weight started creeping up. My father-in law said you’ve got to lose some weight and sent me to his doctor. When I saw his doctor I was dubious about him being able to help me since he himself was quite heavy. He prescribed some amphetamines, which made me jittery and harder to get along with. I thought it was ironic that my father in law who was an alcoholic could not understand my weight problem. I remember my family doctor at one point calling me a “foodaholic.” Unfortunately, aside from naming the problem, he had no other ideas.
After my first marriage ended in divorce I seemed to take a breather from eating, which had escalated out of control during the divorce.
I got married again and I remember while on vacation in Palm Springs, l was lying a on a chaise lounge around the pool when the chaise lounge collapsed. The wife was saying, “don’t just lay there – get up.“ What she didn’t know was I was trying as hard as I could to get up. I was like a beached whale. The manager came running over to see if I was all right. I was fine except for a bruised ego. The upside was the management took great pains to make sure our visit was perfect for the rest of our stay.
I eventually got in the habit of going to the gym with my new wife. Later, we started playing racquetball. I wasn’t great at it, but I enjoyed it. When going to dinner after playing racquetball, I noticed a funny thing. At first we would have three cocktails, then a while later two, then down to one and finally we didn’t feel like drinking after playing racquetball. Even with exercising, cutting way down on the drinking and trying to eat the way I thought was correct I still could not get the weight below 215 pounds no matter what I did or which diet I went on.
When this marriage ended in divorce I thought I was doing better at being married, since this marriage lasted fifteen years and the first marriage had only lasted eight years. The weight was another story.
One doctor I tried while married gave me little packets of 2 or 3 pills a few times a week. That program didn’t work. Another doctor who a friend said could help me had an office in a rather seedy part of town. I never did see the doctor, but one of his nurses would give me a shot twice a week. One day I went there and the office was closed and I was actually glad it was.
There were some programs I went on that actually did get the weight off. On one, a
very restrictive diet that consisted of oatmeal in the morning, 4 ounces of protein
plus vegetables for lunch and the same thing for dinner. The only snack was sunflower seeds. The weight came off quickly, but so did the muscle. I did reach my goal weight of 185 pounds. They said when I left that if the weight started coming back I could come in and start the program again. When the weight started coming back I just couldn’t bring myself to go back. Another program I tried that worked was a weight loss contest. The prize was a corvette. I even went to a car dealer and looked at the corvette. There were different age categories. Since I was in the older age group I thought I might have a good chance. I went to the gym like crazy and ate a lean diet and lots of protein shakes since the sponsor of the contest was in the protein shake business. I went from 260 to 215, in ninety days, but I still did not win the contest. Another program that was successful for a while was basically - eat what you feel like and stop eating when you are full. This program was working well until I went to a retreat that the woman running the program put on. For some reason, which I still don’t know, the program never worked after I went to the retreat. The woman running the program sent me a follow up letter, but I did not have the heart to tell her that the program had quit working.
Loving to read I still kept on reading everything I could find on weight loss and eating. Still hoping I would find a solution that worked I started experimenting with my own ideas and ideas from others that worked and that’s how I came up with this program, which not only includes how to lose weight and keep it off permanently, but how to live a life of Joyfulness.
Copyright 2012 - 2017 by Robert F. Cranford
Address: 146 S. Adams St., Suite 2, Glendale, CA 91205 Phone: 818-543-7698