Monday, February 22, 2016

Looking Back: May 5th, 2013

I first shared this photo almost 3 years ago:



It was a day of excitement and wonderment!  For the first time since Junior High School I weighed less than 200 pounds!

I think most can appreciate that this must have been quite an accomplishment for me.  Some know just how big of one!   

At the time I was looking only at the future and what lay ahead.  I had it all mapped out and it would be smooth sailing!  I would finish my journey to lose 300 pounds, I would write a book about it, I would become a weight-loss guru and help countless others do the same.   Life would be the proverbial "happily ever after"!

That was three years ago and life sure did take some unexpected turns!  There was no smooth sailing.  In fact, these past three years have been the most difficult of my entire journey.  How was I to know that the path forward meant going backwards?  Way backwards!

The short story:  Food is powerful medicine.  Food can heal, food can help us lose weight.  Look what food has done for me!  But food is physical and it can only heal our physical bodies.  The truth is that I have a lifetime of emotional baggage.  I thought that the end of my physical weight-loss journey put an end to any emotional baggage associated with having been so morbidly obese all those years.

Not so.  Turns out that all the life issues that got me up to 500 pounds were still there, and that pushing forward meant dealing with those life issues.  Denying them and refusing to deal with them took me where I was...  and could do so again.

This came as quite the blow to me, and took me a good bit of time to sort out.  During that time I lost a grip on my eating.  Is this any real surprise?  Life was supposed to be perfect, I was supposed to be cured, and then one emotional train wreck popped up after another.  I started putting weight back on.   I think we have all seen or heard of people, who, like me, have lost large amounts of weight, and know that in most cases they end up putting it all back on.   I now understand why that is.  Once we fix the physical, and everyone expects us to be "cured", the real Pandora's Box of our past starts demanding to be dealt with, and that is very hard to bear.

Fortunately for me, I was so steeped in the food...   I knew WHAT to eat. I loved the foods that I ate, and although the amount of food I ate was out of control, it was, for the most part, healthy food. Although it resulted in weight gain, it didn't result in putting back on large amounts of weight.  The food bought me time.  Sufficient time to start dealing with my emotional baggage, my life issues.  It has taken me over 2 years since then to work through the process far enough to actually talk about it publicly.   Had I not been so firmly grounded in the food I would have easily put on enough weight to have caused me to given up completely.  That is how the story usually goes.

In addition to being so firmly grounded in the food, I am, and have always been firmly grounded in my life journey.  This life journey is one much bigger than my weight loss journey, and I'll share more of it in time.

So where am I?   Physically I am where I was about 3 years ago.  I am just under 200 pounds, inching towards my goal of losing 300, and just as determined to get there as ever.  Mentally, though, I'm in a much better place than 3 years ago.  I have been through the dark valley, I have dealt with enough of my demons to allow me to start moving forward again, and am continuing to work on the rest.

Don't count me out, and don't bet against me!   

-Raymond Cool

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Where In The World Is Raymond Cool?

Have you seen this man?

 Missing In Action

 Two years ago Raymond Cool arrived on the scene with aplomb.  News of his phenomenal 300 pound weight loss journey had spread far and wide.  Newspapers were writing articles about him.  His face was plastered on TV and all over social media.  He was poised to become the next weight-loss guru.

And then...

Well, that's the big question.  What then?  Where is Raymond Cool?  His blog is abandoned.  His website is in disarray.  Has he fallen off the wagon?  Did he come this far just to fade into the woodwork? 

WHERE IS RAYMOND COOL?

Stay tuned to find out...

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.


Enjoy!