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The psychological weight loss strategy | Laurie Coots



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so that was me

in 2006 I weighed over 300 pounds

I had triglycerides of 500 and I had

just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes

now type 2 diabetes is when your body

doesn't use insulin properly and I like

to imagine it as this sugar sludge going

through my bloodstream to the soundtrack

of Jaws like 29 million other Americans

I was sent home with a diet a

prescription and a little booklet about

my disease and as I dug into it I

learned a dirty little truth - actually

the first says in America if you're

diagnosed with type two diabetes you

carry the same health risk as somebody

who has already had one heart attack

second the object of the game unlike

cancer or anything else is to manage

your diabetes not cure you so your

doctors will work very very hard to try

to prevent complications that might ruin

the quality of your life or kill you so

I knew that this was not going to work

for me

I was a hard-charging type a global

executive and managing my diabetes was

not going to be an option so I enlisted

the help of the people at Canyon Ranch

in the medical department there who I

knew were a little bit more ambitious

and here's what we learned on a lesson

on a journey that actually took us five

years I learned that even though I was

300 pounds and had type 2 diabetes my

body was absolutely perfect the way it

was for the way I was feeding it the way

I was moving it and the way I was

resting it quite frankly if I wanted a

different body or I want a different

health I had to change the equation

somehow the second thing I learned was

that if I imagined my future healthy

self and started living that life now

what kinds of foods I would eat how many

calories I would

need to maintain a healthy weight for a

lifetime that would be the way I would

achieve my goal I had to come up with

strategies that I could live with for

two days two weeks two months two years

now when you do this and you live this

way and interesting things happens like

magic you wake up two years later and

you're almost at your goal I learned

that I had to keep track of everything

so I used I phone apps like lose it and

I used my up band to track how much

sleep I was getting and how much

exercise I was getting along the way and

this really helped me to keep the game

kind of rational instead of emotional

the way it can get this was a big war I

had to break this down to the smallest

battle I could win every day because I

have a short attention span I had to

take it down to the cellular level what

would make my cells happier and

healthier every single day and with

every drop of glucose or every drop of

blood I fed into my glucose meter I

could tell immediately if I was moving

in the right direction I became my own

science experiment and I learned a lot

for example what I didn't sleep or I

jumped time zones or took a red-eye my

blood sugar was 20 points higher the

next day and I craved carbohydrates well

I didn't need to eat what I needed was a

nap portions were always my biggest

downfall I come from the land of

all-you-can-eat shrimp and endless

platters of pasta when somebody showed

me what a real single portion of

something was it was a huge disconnect

for me so I needed to really figure out

how to do that I started eating with

smaller plates eating with chopsticks to

eat more slowly and I promised myself I

could have anything I wanted as long as

I ate it with the knife and a fork trust

me it feels ridiculous to eat a Snickers

bar like this but it helped me be more

conscious of what I was eating

I learned to be in perpetual motion all

day every day looking for ways

to move and to fidget because fidgeting

can burn 200 300 calories a day I

counted steps I got a standing desk and

I learned that my one hour of walking

every day was as good for my head as it

was for my body

and finally life's too short to live

with that ice cream when I was first

diagnosed I made a list of all my

favorite foods and I went and did a

glycemic a personal glycemic index with

my glucose meter of each one then I went

back to each food and I tweaked it

adding a little fat removing a little

sugar until everything fit in my plan

and now I plan for a perfect scoop of

premium ice cream every day what I

learned is that given half a shot your

body will recover it's an amazing

adaptive machine self-healing mine did I

lost over 110 pounds I now have a

perfect lipid profile I have had a

healthy normal blood sugar without

medication for more than five years I am

no longer a type too bad

thank you very much so if any of you

have a health issue that you need to

deal with or a life change you need to

deal with I urge you to imagine your

healthy future self and start living

that life now break your journey down

into little battles you can win become

your own science experiment and come up

with strategies that will last for two

days or two years and most of all you

need to start eating like your life

depends on it because it does thank you

[Applause]