12.1 Introduction

When you read a book that gives ad­vice on how to im­prove your life, cer­tain ques­tions arise: “The au­thor is telling me that I should change my life and live ac­cord­ing to his method. Does he ac­tu­al­ly live that way him­self? And, if he does, how have his meth­ods worked for him?”

Th­ese ques­tions ap­ply to this book. Do I, the au­thor, live my life in the way de­scribed here? And how has that worked out for me? This chap­ter an­swers these ques­tions.

To set a con­text, the next sec­tion de­scribes my weight and ex­er­cise his­to­ries. For decades my method of weight con­trol was the same as ev­ery­body else’s: I would gain weight, then I would diet to lose it. Then I would re­vert to my pre­vi­ous lifestyle, the weight would come back, and the cy­cle would re­peat.

In 1998 my doc­tor told me that my choles­terol was too high. I re­ject­ed the ad­vice to take drugs and searched for a lifestyle way of con­trol­ling choles­terol. I fol­lowed the rec­om­men­da­tions in Dr. Gabe Mirkin’s book Fat Free, Fla­vor Full. This solved my choles­terol prob­lem and, much to my sur­prise, I lost eleven pounds over the course of a year.

For most of my life ex­er­cise has played a role in keep­ing my weight in check. While my ca­reer was spent work­ing at a desk, I had plen­ty of op­por­tu­ni­ties for NEAT (non-ex­er­cise ac­tiv­i­ty ther­mo­ge­n­e­sis). Plus, I am a fid­get.

This book is about weight loss, but the mo­ti­va­tion that led me to study the is­sues dis­cussed here was not pri­mar­i­ly weight. It was health. No lifestyle can guar­an­tee good health, and that in­cludes the SWLL. How­ev­er, adopt­ing a healthy lifestyle gives the best chance of stay­ing healthy. As a mea­sure of my health, there is a dis­cus­sion of the five pa­ram­e­ters of metabol­ic syn­drome as they ap­ply to me.

Caveat: The health choic­es I made, as de­scribed in this chap­ter, have worked well for me. They might not work for you and may even be dan­ger­ous. Your doc­tor should al­ways be your pri­ma­ry source for med­i­cal ad­vice.

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