The Life of a Winner versus the Life of a Cruiser. June, 2014

This past month has been quite difficult for our family as we suffered the loss of my nephew in a tragic accident in Carrollton Kentucky. Eric Gentry was a winner in every way possible as a 21-year-old young man. People came from all over the United States to give homage to Eric ...they drove from all over the country to honor him.  For every pastorate that his father Mark had over the many years, Eric had been involved in the youth groups. He was a musician, and his Christian band Feasts of Kings had just gotten a record contract.

What impressed me was the number of people paying homage to Eric. This part of the service took almost three hours! How does a young man of 21 years of age have over 1200 people come to his funeral?  I'll give you some insight: everything he said he would do, he did.  He remembered friends’ birthdays and sent them a card; he remembered our anniversary, and he remembered to pray for his friends as they were getting ready to take their final exams. How does a man of 21 years of age keep everything in such order? He knew his priorities and the people in his life were just that--- a priority. There was over a mile and a half of cars lined up in a procession to the grave site. You would have thought a president of a corporation or some major dignitary had passed away.

There's a lot to be learned from looking back on Eric's life.  He never took no for an answer; he saw a goal and he went after it. He lived by what he believed in, and never once in all the years I knew him deviated from that.

I'm not sad for Eric as he lived a great and exceptional life. I'm sadder for me and my family because he added so much to our lives!  We never know when the time is going to come that God will call us home. Some people arrive in heaven too early--- much like Eric in his tragic accident--- wrong place, wrong time. Such is life.

 In the life that you have right now you have so many things set before you.... you can choose right or wrong. You can become a winner or you can become a cruiser; yes, there is a vast difference.  And the difference in the outcome is found within your state of mind.

This month at The Weigh Station we have had a lot of re-starters.  I've ask each one of them, “What brought you back?”  The answers, of course, varied. "My doctor sent me;” “I could not live like this any longer;”  “It worked the first time and I know it will work again;"  "I just went back to my old habits."

The next set of patients we have are those who come to the Weigh Station and stay for only two months and walk out the door again. I call them cruiser patients---they believe that just by coming and going and coming and going they will somehow get their weight to go down, and everything will turn out just fine.

The problem with them is that they don't want to be held accountable for their behavior. If you don't want to be accountable to yourself or to others, you will remain a cruiser. You can blame it on the weather, the food groups, your transportation problems, your family---I’ve heard it all. They are all excuses for not wanting to be held accountable. What I've noticed over the last ten years of watching people come and go from The Weigh Station is that the people with the greatest commitment to themselves become the best patients. They are bound and determined to find out why their weight fluctuates and what foods slow them down or stall their weight loss. And they become determined to do something about it. They don’t look for excuses. 

For some patients we have had to regulate their thyroid, others their diabetes. Some we have found had rare metabolic disorders dealing with selenium or iodine. And the new MRT program has taught me a lot about patients and their food sensitivities. 

Nobody goes out to dinner and orders a protein shake, a protein bar, or prepackaged food and feels like they have been satisfied when finish eating. That's because they don’t work, never have and never will. Some of you say, "Well I know someone who did the Zumba Boomba diet and she lost 100 pounds." My question always.... “Has she kept it off?”  I can say from experience most people do not.  Most of the time it is not knowing how to handle tough situations around food that puts the weight back on.

 At my nephew’s funeral I had people trying to soothe me with lemonade, apple pie, brownies, and chocolate cookies, and not to offend them I did eat some. The result?  I gained about six pounds over the week we were gone! But as soon as I came back I went on Stage I for the entire week and now those six pounds are gone. That is the beauty of this program--- you can tailor it to yourself. You can make a decision yourself how to successfully remain in maintenance just as I did, and you can keep yourself at your lean body mass so that you live a long and prosperous life.

 In Jeremiah, the Bible says, "I wish above all things that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers." In Isaiah, it talks about the death of the righteous. "The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil". Was Eric spared from some type of evil?  I don't know, and on which I don't necessarily want to speculate.  But what I do know is this:  Whatever Satan means for evil God will turn around and make it good. I can tell you this from being on this planet for 63 years. I've seen it happen over and again....

 So when you return to the office, and you made an error in judgment and you just had to eat a piece of   apple pie, drink the lemonade or scarf down some chocolate chips cookies, remember that you have been taught how to return to healthy eating to lose your weight and how to keep your weight off for life. The best part of our plan is the education that we give you here in order to be successful. Remember to always be honest and open with us so we can help you achieve your goals. And as you've heard us say over and over again everybody is different. What we would like from each of you is to let us find out how you are different from the other person that comes to the program. We are committed to helping you become healthy for the rest of your life.

 As the summer months approach and all of the scrumptious foods of summer are laid before you on a picnic table, make good choices!  In turn, you'll see the positive results each and every month. Good choices make for great results. Live your life as a winner, not a cruiser!

 Enjoy the start of summer!

 Chuck Shaffer M.D.