Matt: 170 lbs. Lost
A Memo about Motivation
Matt Dole is a CONCI patient who lost 170 pounds on the OPTIFAST program. The following is a series of excerpts from a letter written to his family and friends about his weight loss experience and his motivating factors for losing weight. His ideas about weight loss are interesting and may prove helpful in your own weight management journey.
Dear Family and Friends… I did a liquid diet. Go ahead, roll your eyes. I know what you are thinking. Here is what I have to say…
First, I’m sick of the “You’re just starving yourself” people. For 7 months I saw a dietitian and doctor every week, had bloodwork checked frequently, and had a couple EKGs to check my heart. Here is what “starving” did for me: My blood pressure and cholesterol improved, I lost 170 pounds, stair-climbing doesn’t cause my heart to race anymore. And, while losing weight, OPTIFAST provided a nutritionally balance diet. Not bad for “starving!” I’m healthier than I have been for a long time.
Second, I’m sick of the “What are you going to do, stay on a liquid diet forever?” people. Of course not. I had learned bad eating habits and needed to address my weight. A traditional diet would have taken too long, and I did not like the idea of surgery. I needed an aggressive plan, and I needed an attitude/habit re-adjustment. OPTIFAST was the right option for me.
Third, it’s not just the liquid diet critics who annoy me. People try a diet, it doesn’t work for them, and they bad-mouth it assuming it won’t work for anyone. I tried lots of diets. The only one that clicked with me was OPTIFAST. It fit my lifestyle and my mindset.
It took TEN years for me to find the diet that worked for me. My diet advice is to keep trying until you find the plan that works for you.
Fourth, let me address the “you have to have will-power to do a liquid diet” people. Here’s the thing: This diet has been easy for me. I was never hungry, I didn’t have to think, I actually found comfort in the monotony of the diet. It wasn’t will-power that carried me through this diet. It was finding the diet that fit my lifestyle and mindset.
Finally, let me talk about motivation. I knew I had to lose weight ten years ago, but, for ten years, could not find the right motivation. Seven months ago, I found it. I wanted to fit into chairs and fit on airplanes. My motivation about airplanes and chairs might seem silly, but they’re the real deal for me. Blood pressure, cholesterol, pants size – actual measurements did not matter to me. The only measurement that mattered was actual physical discomfort.
Don’t get me wrong. I know the health benefits of weight loss are huge, and I am thankful for that, but my real satisfaction comes from sitting comfortably in a chair with arms and on an airplane. Silly? Maybe. But to me it provided the motivation necessary to sustain a liquid diet for 7 months.
What I am trying to say is this: Figure out what is important to you. Figure out what is important enough to motivate you. Don’t take your motivation from Oprah, a friend, a family member. I believe deeply that the only way to be a successful dieter is to find that important, personal motivator.
I am no longer on the liquid diet. I am back in the world of food and have stayed within 5 pounds of my goal weight. I am working on crushing old habits and creating new, ones that will “keep me seated comfortably.”