La Plus Ça Change…

I do not remember what diet I was on six years ago, but according to my Facebook Memories, I must have been doing pretty well. This was, of course, six months before I started on my first medically supervised meal-replacement program at the bariatric clinic in Hamilton. I do know that I posted the following on Facebook six years ago today (November 5, 2016):

To my friends and acquaintances who have commented on my weight loss:

  1. Thank you for noticing. I am not talking about it, but I am working very hard to lose weight.
  2. How much I have lost is none of your business. If I do not offer it, please don’t ask.
  3. How much I weigh is none of your business. If I do not offer it, please don’t ask.
  4. How much I weighed when I started is REALLY none of your business. I will not offer it, please don’t ask.
  5. If you have noticed that I am losing weight, please do not suggest ways for me to lose weight. What I am doing is apparently working for me, and I am going to continue to do it my way until such time as it stops working for me… at which point I will consult with the people (professionals) who have guided me thus far and will work out other stratagem. If I have not asked your advice, please accept that I do not want it… regardless of how pure and noble your intentions are.

That is all.

I see that several things have not changed since then… and a few things have. For one thing, I am talking about it… or at least, I am writing about it. To date, I have written some 240,000 words about it in this journal, which is transferred daily to my blog. I do not know whether that is to inspire others, or just as a cathartic exercise to put my thoughts into some sort of order, or just to keep me on track and accountable. I do know that my blog currently has about 125 subscribers, and it gets between three and thirty hits per day. I am glad that someone is reading it… but I also suspect that I would write it even if nobody ever did.

My attitudes about other aspects of my progress have not changed much. I do not want anyone’s unsolicited advice. While I have started writing it recently, for the first seven or eight months I did not mention (on the blog) what I weigh. These numbers were, of course, kept in the journal to track progress. Until very recently they were never shared.

It is amazing that so many people have so much advice to offer about how to lose weight. I wonder how many of those can say that they have lost ninety pounds. Thanks for your advice… I’ll file it with the rest of the unsolicited crap I get in the post.

For a couple of years before I moved to Israel, I coached high school basketball. I had a lot of fun with that, even though in hindsight I was not very good at it. In my last year of coaching girls, I remember a game which we were winning. We were doing really well. I had the girls playing a zone defense, and we were shutting down the opposition. At halftime, someone told me that we were not supposed to be playing zone but had to switch to man-on-man. I do not remember the details, but I remember in the locker room telling the girls to shift from one to the other. We came out for the second half, and we lost the game by ten points. It was not because man-on-man is better or worse than zone, it was because we changed our strategy mid-game… and we blew it.

Every winning coach has a different strategy to win, and while some of them are similar, some are quite different. I remember hearing somewhere that the hardest thing to do in sports is to go into the locker room at halftime of the Super Bowl and change the strategy that worked for you all year but is not working anymore. There will come a time I am sure when I am forced to re-evaluate my plan because it stopped working. In fact, that has already happened twice. I had been having two meals per day, and I switched to one meal per day. I was having my meal in the evening, but then shifted to eating it at lunchtime (when my schedule allowed for it).

My point is this: while I am losing weight, why would I try to change what is working for me? It is not like the people who are spewing advice at me are saying ‘Oh, I am sorry to hear that your weight loss has stalled or plateaued… maybe this will help?’ They are usually saying ‘Hey, you are losing weight? Great… this is a better way to lose weight.’ Really? You don’t say? Thanks for your garbage advice. Have a nice day.

While my program is working, I am going to keep on it. If you are offended that I am not telling you about it, that is just something you are going to have to learn to live with. I am sure your way of doing things might work… but my way of doing things works too. In fact, it is working, and I will keep at it until I decide to change. I am not going to change my strategy that is obviously working because you feel that your way is better. I am sure your way is better for you. My way is what is best for me for now.

Just to be clear, the answer is NO. When the time comes when I decide to change my strategy, I will not go looking for the advice of everyone who thinks they know best. You may be surprised by this, but I did not come up with the current strategy off the top of my head. It was not delivered on tablets from Mount Sinai. I came up with it by taking the advice of many medical professionals, at least some of whom know more about weight loss than do my friends the accountants, marketing professionals, bankers, and brokers. Thank you, I will continue to let you all handle my finances, marketing, and banking. I will continue to seek their advice about my health.

I know that the above paragraph is going to incense somebody who thinks the entire medical field is a giant scam to push pharmaceuticals on their patients. I can assure you that over the past 290 days that I have been on my weight loss journey, no drugs have been involved. Also, I trust my doctor. Also, I think most conspiracy theories are stupid.

To those of you who might ask what I am doing to lose weight safely? I encourage you to read my blog from the beginning. For those of you who want to give me advice about how to lose weight? I encourage you to pick up a book, turn on the television, or go for a walk. Do anything but give me weight loss advice. Trust me, I’ve heard it all before, and I have picked a strategy that works for me.

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