Thursday, August 16, 2012

Motivation and Hedonism

I consider myself a disciplined person but perhaps I'm fooling myself. Last night, I was reminded about failing my diet or perhaps even failing in life's goals. I started to once again question myself about motivation or better put, loss of motivation. It's true that 95% (some say 99.9%) of those who attempt to lose weight, fail.

What makes someone fail or succeed seems to be based on a motivating goal. It seems that suffering from lack of breath, or back pain, or even the specter of death is not enough to motivate someone to change habits. Some gain weight after attempting a diet.

My old scale read 208 lbs. when I weighed in on my 67th birthday, May 9, 2012. From May 1 to May 9 I must have gained 5 or 6 lbs. as I was on some kind of eating and drinking binge. I realized I was drinking more red wine and eating more than ever and I was going from over-weight to obese. I was going to balloon up to gargantuan portions and shorten my life with my lessened energy and inability to breathe properly. I felt tremendous stress. A few years back I had pneumonia followed by a collapsed lung and my breathing has been at "low-normal" since. Being over-weight or obese would not help matters.

So during the second half of May I started to change habits a wee-bit. I had no specific plans but I slowed my drinking down and lessened my portions of what I was eating. On July 2nd I had my last bottle of red wine for the month . . . I'm not an alcoholic . . . I'm more a creature of habit and a sugar addict. Then I started to read more about nutrition and weight loss and made the decision to give up wheat protein and its by-products along with the elimination of  HFCS wherever possible. Not easy as these two items are in many processed food products, soda drinks, and the like.

By late July my old scale read 198 lbs. I bought a digital scale known for accuracy and it showed me at 201 lbs. (still a ten lb. loss in six weeks is not bad). So in May I had been 211 lbs. and not at 208 lbs. From July 28 until about August 11, I dropped to 193-195 as it always fluctuates by about 2 lbs. from morning to evening. So a 16 to 18 lb. weight loss had brought me more energy and my breathing was better. However, by last night it was the fifth day without weight loss.

Last night I seem to have lost my motivation for losing weight. “I am whats I am and that's all what I am” as Popeye the Sailor often opined. I would rather be hedonistic in my desires to eat and drink anything I want. Hedonism is a school of thought that argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good and in very simple terms, a hedonist strives to maximize net pleasure (pleasure minus pain). The problem of course is that, from my personal experience, in the pursuit of pleasure the pain often outweighs the pleasure (pun intended).

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