The Table Less Traveled

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Most of us want it now, not tomorrow at 12 o’clock. We want results now. Yesterday would be better, but, OK, I’ll wait a little while longer, but not much.

Particularly with weight loss, even though it took some years of over-indulgence, for whatever reason, we want it gone. Many of us who battle our weight problem do not recognize the need to understand weight as a problem. As with any problem, we need to learn how to deal with it. There is a method, but we must learn a few premises.

The very first sentence in Scott Peck’s book, The Road Less Traveled, is “Life is difficult, and once we truly see this great truth, then we understand and accept it, then life is no longer difficult.” The clients I counsel who accept their need to change their life and accept this, the weight loss becomes less difficult. Others, who try to find ways around “the method” look for easy ways to lose weight, rarely succeed. They feel this should be easy. Yet, “Life is a series of problems. Do we want to moan about them or solve them?” So, how do we solve them, you patiently ask, “Discipline!” “Discipline is the basic key to solving life’s problems. Without discipline we can solve nothing,” so states Peck, the psychotherapist.

Think about it. How often do we procrastinate because we do not want the aggravation or pain of the effort to solve a problem and solving problems is painful.(?) For example, let’s say you need to walk or exercise to lose weight. And rising at 6 a.m. in the morning, a little earlier than usual, is certainly not as pleasant as reading The Democrat whilst languishing over your fresh brewed cup of java. But you do decide to take a brisk early walk. This is painful.

So what’s the alternative – Aha! I’ll wait until after work. Yet all day long in the deep recesses of your coniving (conniving) mind you blithely remind yourself of that promise, to walk after work. Now some of us just might do it, but most will again wait until the next day, and the next. Where is my discipline? So, as Peck states, “What makes like difficult is that the process of confronting and solving problems is a painful one.”

As Ben Franklin said, “Thos things that hurt, instruct.” There is great value in delaying gratification, as in not getting the ice cream we really, really want, and instead settling for the small cup of TCBY yogurt. Yes, learn to get what you need, not just what you want, then you get what you really want: To look good, feel good, like yourself and be in control.

So, if life is a series of problems, of which weight is one of them, then discipline is required. Not easy but manageable, just do not expect it all tomorrow or even the next day, but gradually work to recognize your problems, correct them, and you can succeed at overcoming this problem of overweight, pardon me, over time.

– Freddy Kaye, Ph. D. is a clinical nutritionist in private practice and the faculty nutritionist at Tallahassee Memorial Regional Medical Center teaching resident physicians diet therapy.

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