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The Promise Diet™ -- a Radical Approach to Permanent Weight Loss

Main > 01. My Story

October 08, 2005

The Promise Diet

On October 23, 2002, after much internal debate, I drank a bottle of Pepsi, cut the label up to make a card, and with that card made a promise to my daughter for her 6th birthday that I would never drink pop again.

That wasn't as bad as I had expected it to be, so on March 26, 2003, after more internal debate, at a birthday celebration at McDonalds with my family, I ate a super-sized order of french fries and then promised my two-year-old that I would never eat french fries or onion rings or fried potato chips or Fritos or Doritos or other fried chips, ever again.

I didn't know it then, but these promises would lead to what I now call the Promise Diet(TM). Through a series of food promises over two years -- what I now call PUBIMO Promises(TM) -- I've learned how to short-circuit the need for discipline and I've snapped the tyranny of food's rule over me. As a result I now weigh 115 pounds less than my all-time high and I'm still losing, with only 25 pounds left to achieve my personal goal. I continue to love and enjoy food; these promises have won me victory, not made me miserable. And I've realized that the Promise Diet is an approach to permanent weight loss that can benefit the country's 60 million obese adults as well as the additional 240 million obese adults around the world.

October 12, 2005

No discipline necessary!

My weight loss has nothing to do with discipline. No discipline was involved in MAKING any of these promises. It was my complete lack of discipline, my lack of being able to be moderate in these areas, that led to having to make the promises. And once a particular promise was made, it was no longer an issue of discipline: I just couldn't eat the stuff any more; I had no choice. I short-circuited the need for discipline by removing the choice. My promises provided the sure hand holds I needed to stop sliding further and further down the slippery obesity slope caused by my lack of discipline; instead I was able to use them to climb out of the pit, step by step, promise by promise. And that has made all the difference. (And life is still great, even without the pop, most definitely!)

October 13, 2005


For the first time in my adult life*, I'm wearing a size "L" shirt. It's a tad snug, but I'm off to play some volleyball in it...

Happiness does not come from pleasure. It comes from victory.
--Zig Ziglar

* I now weigh 30 pounds less than I did when I graduated from high school.

October 26, 2005

My Journey to Eating Right

Growing up, the only thing I knew about nutrition was that there were four food groups: meat and eggs, milk and dairy, bread and cereals, and fruits and vegetables. (This knowledge had nothing to do with my food choices, or the food that was given me to eat.) And the stuff that leads to fitness, running around and the like, was fun, but I failed to grasp that it was beneficial to my body as well.

So, through my college years I was fat but fairly fit, and in both cases I was doing what I enjoyed. Then into my twenties I got busy and for the most part stopped the physical activities I had always enjoyed, and by the time I turned 30 I was hovering around my all-time high of 326 pounds.

In my twenties I also got married, and back in those days I thought my wife was a health food nut, talking about whole grains and brown rice and pestering me about how margarine and soft drinks were bad for me and the like. My basic response was a sighed "whatever", occasionally with rolled eyes. My underlying attitude was, "If this is true, then why am I only hearing it from you?"

Well. as my kids grew up a bit my wife started teaching them about how to eat right and that stuff like pop wasn't at all good for them. My daughter, age 5 at the time, started nagging me to not drink it. She obviously thought I was poisoning myself... (I can relate with parents whose kids try to get them to stop smoking.)

Well, I knew that the sugar in the Pepsi I drank wasn't good for me and I knew that I definitely drank too much pop. (I remember once in high school after an afternoon of basketball drinking a full 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke myself in one sitting!) I contemplated cutting back some, moderation and all that, but that just didn't work for me. Pop was too available and I enjoyed it too much. But my daughter persisted to pester me, and one day an idea began to form in my head that I should just quit the stuff cold turkey forevever....

French fries and fried potato chips were another fairly obvious unhealthy food vice at the daily quantities I was consuming then -- would anyone disagree with that?

So, my first promises didn't really result in me eating more healthful, but they did get rid of particular bad habits and began to give me confidence that I could promise away anything.

While I started making promises over a year before reading it, I credit Walter Willett's Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy (Free Press, 2002, 2005) as the book that finally convinced and motivated me to start truly eating right. My wife had read it and had been encouraging me to read it for quite some time. I finally started it and quickly got hooked, learning for the first time WHY veggies and whole grains are good for my body from a scientific/medical perspective, not just that they were. (Being somewhat of an intellectual, I needed the science to get me past what I had only considered wacko/fringe "thinking".)

So, I began trying new, healthier foods, and began to realize that many of them tasted pretty good, especially the way my wife prepared them. I became a regular reader of the World's Heatlhiest Foods website, quite literally reading what the website had to say about what I was eating while eating it for the first time. Did this make beans taste better, or did I really like beans after all but had never actually tried them before? Hard to say, but they sure tasted good...

My healthy food R'epertoire continued to grow to where whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and nuts are very much staples for me now. These days I grumble and groan at the lack of these foods at most restaurants, particularly fast-food places. (Why can't Taco Bell offer a whole-graim tortilla and McDonalds have whole-grain hamburger buns? And especially, why isn't Subway's "wheat" bread whole-wheat? I for one would pay a bit more for that option. Whole wheat tastes good!)

So now I'm the nut, and our family's outings to enjoy Golden Corral are an
opportunity for me to get extra veggies and my wife and the kids to let 'their hair down a bit' as they say. How's that for permanent lifestyle change and radical transformation!

Interestingly, though, the early days of my switch to healthier eating didn't contribute significantly to my weight loss, which didn't start in earnest until my "2500" promise. Once I made that promise I began losing about 2 pounds a week for many months.

January 14, 2006

Great blood pressure readings and long-term improvement

This week I gave blood one day and saw a doctor for my hurt foot on another, so i had my blood pressure taken twice by a medical professional. (I reguarly do my own at the machines in the pharmacies of Walmart and Harris Teeter.)

One time it was 110/64 and the other 112/73.

In the distant past I apparently had high blood pressure, because my body has shown some signs from it in dilated eye exams and an echo cardiogram. I actually don't know how high it got or how long it was high -- I literally went a decade without getting it checked or otherwise seeing a doctor, during a time I was quite obese -- my weight reached 326 at its max. (Not ever seeing a doctor for over a decade was a mistake, by the way, even if I felt good.)

Anyway, 20 months ago my blood pressure was in the 130s over 70 something and occasionally a bit over 140, especially in doctors' offices (white coat readings. anyone? :) I had fairly recently started eating right and losing weight. Since then I've seen it trickle down, so that now when I check it at Walmart it's typically in the one-teens over upper sixes. My pulse is often right around 50.

That's significant progress with no medication. That's another testimony to the power of PUBIMO Promises and the Promise Diet.

For further motivation, here's an entry about my significant cholesterol improvement.



My Story

On Promises

Eating Right

Eating Out


Exercise/Weight Lifting

This and That

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If you are morbidly obese, this website could save your life. I've not completed my journey, but I've lost over 115 pounds so far, most of it since starting something I'm calling "The Promise Diet." You can too, one promise at a time."

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