Willpower or Submission?

Way back in 1976, after I finished college, I started the classroom portion of Naval flight training at 172 pounds. When I retired from the Navy in 1994, 18 years later I weighed 190 pounds, 18 pounds more. Over nine years later, by January 2003 I "blossomed" out to 220 pounds. One person told me that I looked "more prosperous"!

I wanted to do something about it, something that would work. I didn't know how to do it.

I knew that refined sugar was unhealthy, and that skipping meals would lower my metabolism. I had been told that breakfast was the most important meal. I loved drinking 3 to 4 cups of coffee in the morning for energy. I almost never ate red meat and often had salads. I drank water at most meals because it was cheaper and healthier than soda.

With all that my weight fluctuated from 195 to 215 pounds several times from 1994 through 2002. In mid-January 2003, I weighed 215 pounds and was tired of the roller-coaster ride. I was also upset that I while I could put on my 25 year old leather flight jacket, zipping it shut was out-of-the question!

I needed to do something different.

I certainly had lots of resources available. I had purchased a book titled "What to do when Diets don't work". I had plenty of "low-fat" advice, but none of that was new, nor had it worked for me.

Then I learned from my brother of his success losing weight by controlling carbohydrates. Not fat, not calories, but carbohydrates. I spent one day looking at the Dr. Atkins website at www.atkinscenter.com and read and read and read. It made sense. It echoed much of what I knew or suspected. I didn't like the part about giving up caffeine, but I wanted success, so I did.

Summary of their recommendations:

  1. Cut carbs, especially flour and sugar,
  2. Control portions, don't overstuff yourself,
  3. Do something, exercise to help the metabolism, and
  4. Drink plenty of water!

So, what happened? I lost a lot of weight (until the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays) and gained energy! Even better has been watching 4 other people that also had challenges with weight lose over 200 pounds among them!

Here are some results:

In May 2002, 8 months before I started the Atkins diet, my weight was 205 pounds, Total cholesterol was 268, HDL was 41, LDL was 159, triglycerides were 339 and blood pressure was 130 over 90. By January 2003, my weight was up to 220 pounds. As of January 2004, my weight was down to 191 from the 220 I was in January 2003, my LDL stayed at 159, HDL went from 41 to 51, total cholesterol went from 268 to 229, triglycerides went from 339 to 97 and blood pressure down to 102 over 61.

People have commented on my great 'willpower', and that's what triggered this article. I don't have any will power, that's why I was so fat and so overweight in the first place!

What I had never done, which was new, was 'submit' to someone that I could trust, that I thought made sense. I had never submitted my eating habits to someone else!

Once I started on the Atkins way of eating, I stayed true to what they recommended. I was determined to make it work, because I wanted the health that I saw they offered!

Again, the success was not because of my willpower, but because of my submission to someone that knew more than I did about the subject!

That's the spiritual point of this article. Stop trying to be a great Christian and submit yourself to God's leadership in your day-to-day life. Blessed are those that hear Him and obey daily!

(For more information about the Atkins diet, go to www.atkins.com )