Sunday, August 30, 2015

What Finally Motivated Me To Change?

One of the most common questions people ask me is "What finally motivated you to change?" I've always had an awkward time answering this question and after having a couple years to ponder on it I've come up with a more complete answer.

The truth is, I've always been motivated to change. As a pudgy child I tried to lose weight. I remember being put on a diet that turned quickly into torture. It didn't last long. As a teenager I would ride my bike trying to lose weight. I even got up early in the morning and jogged, per the advice of a well meaning P.E. teacher.

As an adult I tried numerous times to lose weight, with varying degrees of success. My fallback plan was the tried and true Eat Less And Exercise More that has come to be the standard formula for weight loss in the Western World. As a man who's lost and kept off more than 250 pounds, I can tell you that the trusted "formula" is severely lacking. Watch my video The Lies We Believe About Diet And Weight Loss if you're not convinced by the end of this article.

The reason I've struggled with this question is because it makes an assumption that isn't true: It assumes that I finally succeeded because I finally found sufficient motivation.

This Simply Is Not True.

I did not find some hidden spring of motivation. I did not find some Super-Human willpower that was lacking before. In fact, I have no more willpower than I have ever had. 

So what made the difference? Why have I failed to lose weight my entire life but this time I've had quite a bit of success? 

Knowledge and Perspective.

I finally learned how to eat foods that satisfied my appetite while letting me lose weight.  It's that simple.  There is no magic.  There is no mystery.  I became willing to look at diet, health, & weight loss in different ways and from a different perspective than before. 

I did not have to change how much I ate, I only needed to change WHAT I ate. 

When I learned this I was filled with joy...  no more starving myself!  I was willing to put a bit of effort into learning.  I was willing to put an effort into changing how I looked at food.  The promise that doing so meant I could lose weight without starving myself was all the motivation I needed.  And while I had to eat less of some foods I loved, I got to eat more of other foods I loved.  Yes!  I got to eat real food that satisfied my appetite!

5 years into this I LOVE the food I eat.  I do not go to bed hungry.  If I'm hungry, I eat, it doesn't matter if it's midnight.  I never wake up dreading another day of impossible "dieting".  I am one happy camper who's 250+ pounds lighter for the "trouble" of learning some simple dietary concepts.

But people don't believe they can lose weight without starving.  People are wrong.  I'm living proof of that.  I work with people every day who are living proof of this.

And people are willing to starve themselves repeatedly and without lasting results, but they're not willing to learn new things.   Isn't that crazy?

Are you willing to look at food differently than you have in the past?

Are you willing to look at weight loss differently than you have in the past? 

Are you willing to make small changes in what you eat?  

Would you, if it meant you could lose weight without starving?

- Raymond Cool

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Evening Magazine

Here is a segment that ran on Channel 5's Evening Magazine Program featuring me.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Lies We Believe About Diet And Weight Loss

So much of the struggles we have with weight loss are because of the lies we've been told and tell ourselves and actually believe about diet, health, and nutrition.   This video is my first attempt to put this presentation into words.  It will be something I develop into one of my standard presentations, so expect to see different incarnations of it over time.


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Introducing My New Website

Greetings to all my friends, followers, and supporters on this long Thanksgiving Weekend!   I want to introduce my new website!

Three Hundred Pounds Of Joy! 

No, my blog is not going anywhere, but I am not planning on making frequent posts here, transitioning over to my new website instead.  

Daily updates and rantings will all be over there on the main page.  In time I will add more content there and eventually it will be an entire on-line community unto itself.

Important announcements and updates will probably also be posted here.

Happy Holidays!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Weight Loss Update & Spine Surgery Update: 11/18/13

It has been forever since I've had a weight loss update, and quite a few days since a surgery update.  We're going to combine them into one blog entry!

 Surgery - Post Op, Day 28 (4 weeks since surgery)

Recovery continues to go very well.  I no longer need my walker, canes, or walking stick.  I can now walk as far as I want without pain from the surgery site.  This past Thursday I walked 10 miles, and while my hips, knees, feet, and middle back started to complain, my lower back did just fine.

I see no point in pushing myself to walk further and further since I've reached a point where my other body parts start complaining long before the repaired parts do!   

I have backed off to walking six miles a day using the Nordic Walking Poles.   This is one mile a day more than my pre-op routine and I am comfortable with it.

I'm finding it easier to sit for prolonged periods and to stand.  I'm still not supposed to twist or bend or lift heavy things any time soon.  I see my surgeon on December 5th, expect another surgery update then.


Weight Loss Update

I weighed 202 pounds this morning.   This is 4 pounds heavier than my weight the day before surgery and 10 pounds higher than my lowest 10 day average.

Do not be alarmed by this!!!   :)   When I learned on October 2nd that I'd be having surgery on the 21st, I intentionally started eating more food.  I wanted to go into surgery with plenty of reserves.  I increased my protein and fat intake and had gained several pounds by the time of surgery.

After surgery I intentionally ate as much of EVERYTHING that I wanted to.   I wanted to make sure my body had an excess of nutrients to help me heal quickly.  I ate plenty of protein.  And I indulged in as much of the high-calorie comfort foods that I enjoy.

 I didn't eat anything bad, though I did eat far too much of things I'd normally restrict severely or not eat at all.   Nuts, dried fruits, tortilla chips, crackers, and chocolate chocolate chocolate.  Oh, and I ate as much chocolate as I wanted.

Many of you will no doubt think I went off the deep end, fell off the wagon, JUST as I finally got it all figured out.


It is human nature to indulge in comfort foods during times of stress and sickness.   I would dare say that my eating behavior during this time of medical recovery is....  normal.

I'm up ten pounds after 45 days of eating as much of everything as I wanted.   I know how much I ate, you don't, and I gotta tell you, I'm surprised it's only ten pounds!!  It reinforces in my mind the fact that your body actively seeks to burn off excess carbohydrates if at all possible, rather than store them as fat.

Today marks 4 weeks and a transition back to my normal eating patterns.  I am determined more than ever to resume right where I picked up and continue on until I reach my goal of having lost 300 pounds.  Even at my new "bloated" weight of 202 pounds, I still only have 16 pounds to drop to reach the magical 300 pound mark.

Can I do it?   Anyone want to take bets?

-Raymond Cool   aka  Norm