If you are in crisis, emotional distress, or at risk of suicide call 9-1-1, go to the local hospital emergency room, or call the mental health crisis line at 613-544-4229 or if you are a KHSC staff member, contact Homewood Human Solutions at 1-800-663-1142. Someone is there to help.

The Healthier Me!

Battling Weight Issues

Read about KGH Project Manager, Al Page's story about his struggles with weight issues. He shares his perspectives on weight loss strategies and describes his recent successes.

Watching close family members struggle with serious health issues related to poor lifestyle choices and being told in my mid-twenties that I was hypertensive served as MY wakeup call. Some people ignore it and hope it all goes away, but I knew firsthand that it doesn't work that way and that I had to take action.

Like far too many people who are in a lifelong war with a weight issue, I have tried it all over the years; low fat, no fat, Atkins, paleo, points, exercise, ultra-low calorie diets, etc. What I have learned with absolute certainty is that diets do not work. Very simply, if you are on a temporary plan then you have to reasonably expect that the results will also be temporary. Please don't let the weight loss industry fool you either; an "easy maintenance program" is only a sneaky way of saying "ongoing diet".

So don't diet. Instead make sustainable, realistic, permanent lifestyle changes. While it truly is that simple, I fully acknowledge that in reality it is not easy. It involves a lot of trial and error, however if you persevere, if you have realistic expectations and you are honest with yourself, you will hopefully find what works for you. Most importantly, don't make excuses but do forgive yourself for your failures.

So what did work for me you wonder? People often ask me and I invariably disappoint them when I tell them "I eat healthy and I walk". No lotions, potions or grueling 2-hour workouts at the gym. It's a small thing, but when circulating through the hospital alone I also never use the elevators.

A year ago I found the documentary "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" on Netflix. The title struck a chord with me; I watched it and the light went on. Like the presenter, I ate unhealthy foods, drank too much and if asked I would have been the first to list at least 5 food items or drinks that I could never go on without! That was just an excuse.

After watching the show I decided to take on the challenge of a 30 day juice fast. I only lasted 21 days, but it was enough to break many lifelong bad habits. With my system rebooted and my cravings reprogrammed, I have now settled into a routine where I stubbornly avoid all refined sugars, dairy products, processed meats, deep fried foods, baked goods etc. Best of all I don't miss or crave any of it but have redefined what I eat versus what I don't eat.

I meant it when I referred to weight loss as a lifelong war, so while I seem to be winning this battle I am not letting my guards down. Most importantly, if I slip I will forgive myself and focus on planning my next attack to ensure I live a health life.

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