Living With

Promises to Myself

David Mendosa Health Guide September 20, 2010
  • I’m getting desperate. I’m stuck. To completely control my diabetes I know that I have to control my weight.

    Like Robert Frost, “I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.”

    Today I make these promises to myself:

    I promise to take or accept no snacks at supermarkets or my barbershop -- not even meat or cheese.

    I promise not to buy any food that doesn’t fit my eating plan.


    I promise not to buy any food, no matter how good for me, that I can't resist eating too much of, like macadamia nuts.

    I promise to eat no more than I usually eat at home when I eat a meal out.


    I promise to drink one liter of water before every meal.

    I promise to eat dinner at least three hours before bedtime.

    I promise not to eat anything after dinner.

    I promise not to eat any dairy (except for the one container of Greek yogurt now in my refrigerator).

    I promise not to eat any grain or potatoes.

    I promise not to eat any sucrose or fructose -- not even spicy chai sweetened with honey (except the fructose that occurs naturally in up to one serving of fruit per day).

    I promise not to use any oil with an unfavorable omega 3:6 ratio (except extra virgin olive oil).

    Each of these public promises is binding on myself, David Mendosa, at least until I have lost the six more pounds that I want to lose so that I can get back down to a BMI of 19.5.

    I promise to report back here when I have reached my ideal weight and that I kept these promises to do so.

    Do you want to make any promises -- either public or private -- to help promote your weight loss and better health?


    Update: November 7, 2010:

    This week I reached the weight goal that I set for myself when I made the promises to myself I listed above. My BMI in fact is now down to 19.3.


    Making these promises made the difference, even though I wasn't perfect at keeping them. The one that tripped me up the most was my intention of drinking a liter of water before every meal. The problems with keeping that one were multiple, but basically because this was the newest addition to my diet strategy, so I was inexperienced with it. Sometimes I just forgot, but sometimes it wasn't practical, particularly when I was traveling where I didn't have that much good water to drink.


    Nevertheless, I quickly reached my weight goal after making these promises public in this post. What surprised me the most is that I reached my goal after traveling, which has always been the most difficult time for me to control my weight. But on this trip I adopted a strategy of intermittent fasting, which I have written about here.


    Because all the hotels served large buffet breakfasts of very low-carb foods (eggs, bacon, smoked salmon, crab, etc.), I loaded up and then often skipped lunch and even dinner without suffering any hunger. I realized that my previous requirement of eating three meals a day was nothing more than self-imposed tyranny.


    I recognize that a breakfast is the time when we process carbs most efficiently; in other words we must keep them to a very low level in order to avoid spiking our blood. For example, Dr. Richard K. Bernstein would have us limit breakfast carbs to 6 grams while other meals can be as much as 12 grams. By having a big breakfast that nevertheless was very low in carbs I think I achieved the best of both worlds. In any case, by making public promises and fasting while on my trip I achieved what had previously not been possible.