Saturday, January 2, 2010

THE ELEM-6 DIET, PART 12: No Pain, No Gain

Well, it's time for me to chime in here. I'm Lauren, Allen's sister. Oddly enough, my brother and I have independently arrived at the same destination, a reasonable weight, using the same path, ELEM. As I approached the age of 50, I too had a similar 'come to Jesus' talk with my doctor. She laid out the facts: Cholesterol too high, blood pressure too high, weight 217. I would need to go on medication. I was at risk for heart disease. As I planned for my upcoming hysterectomy, I suspected that the sudden onset of menopause was not going to help the situation. I had my now-or-never moment.

I had become so accepting of the fate of being overweight that it took a blunt, somewhat harsh, appraisal of my health reality to jar me awake. I had become, as the Pink Floyd song says , comfortably numb. As we get to know each other better, I will talk more about that trap - the result of years of constant failure, episodic false successes, and a gradual descent and submission to the false belief that being thin was for other people. Maybe possible for those naturally thin-eat everything they want-hard bodied-lucky ones (let's hate them), but not for me. That false belief dies hard, but on that day nearly eight years ago I decided that it was B.S. and I would fight back. I must, I can, I will.

Today is January 2nd. Millions of Americans are waking up to the hangover of a two-month long holiday food binge. They will rush out to buy the latest diet craze book (what it is this year??) and join a gym that they will attend faithfully for a few weeks. Then they will slip, falter, and give up. That person has been me, and probably you too, many times before. It is not me today. Today I am two pounds lighter than I was on October first. I hover within a few pounds of 150, which is good for my size 8, 5'7" frame. Since October I have traveled on vacation to Reno, had four long-weekend getaways, and have faced an incredible onslaught of restaurant meals, holiday feasts and an endless parade of goodies in the break room at work. I enjoyed it all - homemade cookies, mashed potatoes & gravy, chocolate truffles, champagne....I could go on. I ate, I enjoyed.... and I maintained control.

After many years of living the ELEM lifestyle, I can say that I went through the holidays with NO PAIN and NO GAIN!! I loved it, I managed it, and I didn't suffer. Really. It is not magic, and I am no hero. I have lousy will-power (or, more correctly, won't power). I have every doubt, bad habit, and secret weakness that you do, and then some. I get lonely, bored, and tempted - just like you. I grew up in a world where food was the currency, the tangible love, and the comfort, woven inextricably in the social fabric of my life. Food was my reward, my solace and my celebration. I am no different than you and if I can do it, you can too. Honestly. You must, you can, you will. Say it.

I know it is a little scary to try this again after so many disappointments. I know. I went to my first weight loss doctor at the ripe old age of 12. I have gained and lost literally hundreds of pounds. But there is better way, a final way, and my brother and I have found it. Our ancient secret method. Join us on our journey. What do you have to lose? You deserve it and there is so much to gain - this is a life-altering adventure (and I'm not just talking about your size here).

So go ahead and be fearful and skeptical. So was I. But then find that tiny bit of hope and join us anyway. Do just one thing today to get started. Repeat the mantra - I must, I can, I will. Then, if you really want to go for it, take a walk. You just need baby steps. Baby steps leading in a new direction, towards a new life. Start now.... No pain, no gain.


  1. I like this direction, after trying everything I'm up for this. I want healthy to be healthy. Thanks

  2. Hey sis,
    Great post--I loved it. We are really on the same page! Wow... This (us writing up this "diet") was meant to be. Keep up the great posts. Even if we repeat one another, that's no big deal, and is probably good reinforcement for the readers. I'm going up to post now.
    Love ya!!