Friday, July 17, 2009

Fitness Recovery Program - #2

I am coming to the end of week #3 on my Fitness Recovery Program and want to update you as promised. Last week I shared the “why” of my FRP, today I will share a little about the “how.”

Byron’s Diet Plan – (Just the sound of that makes me want to write a diet book and make some money. I mean doesn’t that sound as good as “Grapefruit Diet” or “South Beach Diet” or “Weight Watchers” or “Jenny Craig?” It has a great ring to it… but I digress.)

Like many people who, as John Wayne once said, “tend toward the gut,” I have tried numerous diets over the course of time with limited success for any extended period. However, six years ago I stumbled upon the most simplified way of eating imaginable – counting calories. I know some of you are feeling the urge to click on the red “X” in the upper right corner of your screen, but just hang with me for a moment. As a concept, dieting is very simple - expend more calories than you consume and you will lose weight. As a practice, however, dieting can be very difficult.

On the day I turned 40 my body adopted an aversion to change. As the bonfire of candles were extinguished, it developed a mind of its own and changed from a hard-working, fat-fighting machine to a miser who sought to horde all gains it had made throughout my indulgent years. On that fateful day I could hear the faint sound of my body singing the Beatles classic, “Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away.” And here I am saying, “We can work it out” to no avail. From that moment forward every gain I have made physically has been hard fought. (Does this resonate with any of my 40+ friends?) Exercise and counting calories is the only solution I have found to quench the rebellious coup my body attempted that day, and every day since. But as a practice, dieting is not easy, it is hard work all the way. You will not lose weight and have the body you desire if you are unwilling to do the hard things. Dreaming about it and wishing for it will not make it happen. Excess weight does not magically fall off. Weight loss and physical fitness comes at a price – a price that is well worth paying, but a price nonetheless. So what do I do?

When I am seeking to lose weight I restrict myself to 1700 calories per day. I eat vegetables (squash, onions, peppers) in large quantity that have been grilled or cooked in very little or no oil. I eat whole grains (brown rice is my favorite) and lean meats, much of which is grilled by the best griller in the McWilliams’ family – my lovely wife. I eat so much “yard bird” that I’m convinced that I sometimes cluck when I sleep. I eat fruit as desired and do not hesitate to utilize an energy/high fiber breakfast bar when I’m on the go. I never drink my calories – I must be part bovine because I love to chew! I take no diet pills. I do take a vitamin D and B6 everyday and I should take some fish oil for Omega 3 but right now I’m out. And there you have the Byron Diet Plan. Nothing new under the sun, remember?

About the same time I determined to count calories and exercise, God placed a verse of Scripture on my heart that has been my strength on many runs and at many times. Hebrews 12:11 in the NIV says, "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have ben trained by it." My prayer for you is that God will use this verse to inspire your heart today as He has mine.