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I love movies and one of my favorites is Cool Hank Luke. The dialog in the movie is incredible. There are also a lot of great scenes. One of my favorites is the scene when Luke has been captured after his first escape. The warden is explaining to him that he is just making his life harder by running. He goes on to tell him that he needs “to get his mind right” or serving his time is going to be more difficult. He is really just telling him that he needs to accept his fate and give up hope of getting away from the prison. In his attempt to break Luke’s spirit, he just pushed him harder.

I get asked all the time if losing 350 pounds was hard. I used to be honest with people and tell them no, but that upset and confused people. I think people viewed it as an insult to them or arrogance from me. But honestly, the hardest part of the program was facing my problems and getting started. It took that first step to being committed and getting my mind right.

For me it wasn’t the actual process that was difficult because I had “my mind right”. I was committed to making this change more that I had ever been before. If you look at the process I am involved in from the outside, it does look difficult. But I didn’t start out with this strict of a diet plan and working out 8 times a week. I built up to it over 4 years. I had to lose enough weight just to start to work out. There was no way I could have physically done what I do now. Added steps and adjustment have been part of the process.

Once you start to see improvements, it begins to feed on itself. That’s why I said it hasn’t been that hard. Are there mornings when my alarm goes off at 4:35AM and I want to get out of my warm soft bed? Hell no…just about every morning. But I climb out, brush my teeth, tame my hair and put on my sweats. I honestly try not to think about what I am going to go do. I just do it out of habit.

I look back now and understand why past diets didn’t work. I didn’t have a high enough commitment level. I was wasting my time and letting excuses get in the way. Once I got to the right commitment level, everything else took care of itself. The good news is, once the diet/lifestyle change becomes habit, the concentration lessens and it does become easier.

I believe that part of the issue with setting the commitment is all the negative information out in the world about how hard it is to lose weight. The people putting this propaganda out are the same people trying to sell their weight loss program. Funny how that works…on one hand they are saying they “understand how impossible diets can be, and on the other hand they are saying we have the solution that makes it oh so easy. I am all for tools that will help you lose weight. I use them myself. If it takes a support group, a card planner or eating a lifetime supply of deli sandwiches to lose weight, then you should do it. At the end of the day, it’s still hard math, calories in and calories out. The programs that are out there just help you organize your food intake.

In Cool Hand Luke, Luke is playing poker and makes a bluff. The guy he is playing can’t decide on whether to call or not and Luke tells him he “needs to shoot or give up the gun”. He folds, and Luke earns his nickname Cool Hand. I think that sums dieting up, you have to commit or forget. Anything else is a waste of time.



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