Tag Archives: diet


Today’s lesson is courtesy of Facebook. The lesson is that “life isn’t about finding yourself. It is about creating yourself.” I love it, and I am all in. As I look at my life, it is not even about creating … Continue reading

The power of changing One Small Thing

On January 5, a number of colleagues and I started a weight loss challenge.  The competition would be replete with tired false self-motivation, old platitudes, and false starts, but I pushed my usual standards aside in favor of a new concept.  This time, I was already self-motivated.  I decided to change one small thing.

To date, I have lost 20 pounds, hit and worked through at least one difficult plateau, and seen at least two weigh-in periods in which I lost at least 7 pounds.  I have dropped one waist size, lowered my blood pressure and cholesterol, and have more energy.  I find my racquetball game improving and see the possibility of returning to near the weight I was when I wrestled at William and Mary.  So what am I doing differently?

When I sit down for a meal, or have an opportunity to splurge, I simply ask myself to make a very simple decision to stay disciplined long enough to choose what to eat.  I also make sure at least one meal every day is a tasty salad.  The beauty of this method is that the longer I stick to it, the more invested I am in ensuring the next interface with a decision is advantageous.  Even though making many small decisions becomes second-nature, it does not get so easy I can stop thinking about it.  I have to remind myself frequently to maintain discipline, and not get over-confident.  It would be easy to get cocky, and forget that calories don’t care about my confidence.  They respond only to controlled management.

So I attribute my success in this competition, in which I have remained in no worse than second place, to NOT having to co-exist with some enormous, complicated diet program, or special food system, or even enormous amounts of exercise.  Nope, I just make one small decision, up to five times a day (lasting about three minutes per day, in total).  So requiring that level of discipline in such short bursts, mentally, is really easy to accommodate.

So far, I think I have made 180 small decisions.  Of those, more than 90 percent have been good decisions.  So 160 times, my system has worked for me, and 20 times I blew it.  Or so it would seem.  But upon closer review, six of those have been intentional “pressure release” choices, made intentionally.  After each of our twice-monthly weigh-ins, I purposefully enjoy a really delicious, unhealthy cheesesteak.  Its a small decision to not be too hard on myself.

Will I win?  Is this a defensible long-term strategy?  I don’t know and right now I don’t care.  The absolute beauty of this new technique is that I don’t have to worry about either of those things.  They will take care of themselves.  All I need to do is  keep spending one minute at a time, three t0 five times per day, making good calls.  Time for breakfast.