Today is the first day of the rest of my diet!

Cathy Hamilton Health Guide
  • Remember that ubiquitous poster of the 70s? Those words - "Today is the first day of the rest of your life" - hung in every classroom of my all-girl Catholic high school. It must have been the nuns' way of reminding us mistake-prone teenagers that every day was a "do-over;" every morning provided a new lease on life.


    You could say that old adage has been my dieting mantra for over 30 years. There was always another day; another Monday morning to start dieting anew. Always another reason to procrastinate REALLY getting down to business.


    Not anymore.


    Today it begins, and it starts with full-out, no-holds-barred, brutal honesty. Here's the deal:

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    I am 51 years old, almost 52. I stand 5'7" tall. Today, I weigh (gulp!) 210.4 pounds. I wear a size 18 and was once a perfect size 10. I am a sedentary human being who, like many Americans, spends way too much time at a desk or on the couch with my laptop, and too little time moving my flabby body. My "numbers" - blood sugar, cholesterol, etc. - have moved into treacherous territory. I have become, for lack of a better word, a slug.


    The first step is to admit you have a problem, right?


    But the second step is to have a PLAN. And for my midlife meltdown, I'm using "The Best Of..." approach. I'm taking the best of all the diet plans, fitness regimens and psychological strategies I can find (the ones that work for me) and roll them all together into one sensible, holistic program for optimal, long-lasting health.


    If there's anything I've learned in my five decades on this planet, it's that one size does NOT fit all. Most of us need to be tailor fit. The same can be said for diet and exercise programs.


    What works for me may not work for you, but I encourage you to join me and share what works for you. Check back often (I'll be here twice a week), I'll update my progress and hope that you will share YOUR progress with me and others. And, of course, check with your physician before starting any weight loss program. (I have! She's all for it.)


    The third step, of course, is to have a goal. Here's how I arrived at mine:


    Using HealthCentral's handy-dandy ideal body weight calculator, I entered my information (I was thrilled to discover I have a LARGE frame) and discovered my ideal weight range is 158 - 173.8 lbs. I decided to take the higher number for my initial goal. That's a loss of 36.2 pounds. Significant, but doable. I'd like to reach that goal by March 14th. After that, I'm going to live with it for a while before deciding whether or not to shoot for the 158.


    So, today is a big day. The first day of a whole new me. The first day of the rest of my diet. This time, however, there'll be NO do-overs!



Published On: November 02, 2007