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16 Pounds and What Do You Get?

Tennessee Ernie Ford

How Tennessee Ernie Ford helped me celebrate weight loss.

I’ve been weighing myself almost every morning since I began my healthy eating plan in June and somehow I got stuck on 12 pounds.  The scales just wouldn’t budge.  Over the past two weeks, however, I began losing again…14, 15 pounds.   Then two days ago I stepped on the scales and I was 16 pounds lighter!!  I was so excited that for some reason I began singing that old Tennessee Ernie Ford song Sixteen Tons.  The words to the chorus are “Sixteen tons and what do you get – another day older and deeper in debt – Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go – I owe my soul to the company store.”

This particular day, my version of the song was “16 POUNDS and what do you get” – I just couldn’t think of anything to rhyme with “get” that would celebrate my weight loss, so I just sang the regular words.  I even did Tennessee Ernie’s signature finger snaps as I sang – I was happy about my sixteen pounds!

Then I began thinking, “what do you get when you lose 16 pounds?” so I did a little research and found an article called :  Lose Weight, Gain TONS of Benefits. Tons – it had to be a sign, so I read it.  Let me preface any further comments by saying that I’ve lost almost 10% of my body weight.  Guess what the subtitle of the article was?  “Taking off just 10% of your body weight can have a big impact on your health.”  Another sign. I was hooked.

What you get by losing 10% of your body weight

Several studies indicate that losing just a little weight can kick start you on your way to good health.  Some of the benefits of losing just 5-10% of your body weight include lower cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure levels, decreased risk for some life-threatening diseases and improvement in sleep.

”Lifestyle changes that include healthier diets, regular physical activity, and weight loss of 7%-10% have shown phenomenal health benefits that can be more effective than medications,” says Katz, author of the best-selling book What to EatSeveral physicians reported taking their patients off of certain medications after losing just a small amount of weight.

Weight loss can be especially beneficial for people who are apple-shaped – those who store fat in their bellies. Even though ‘apples’ are at higher risk for heart disease the fat stored around the middle can be easier to lose.

Imagine walking around all day carrying three 5-pound bags of sugar and a pound of butter. That’s what it feels like carrying 16 extra pounds. Puts it in perspective, doesn’t it? No wonder I feel better!

How to lose 10%

Experts agree that the best way to lose weight is to make small changes that you can live with.  Try switching your sugary drinks to water – that’s a small change that really adds up (or subtracts – how ever you look at it). A 20 ounce soda has around 16 teaspoons of sugar and 240 calories! Replace that with zero sugar, zero calories water and you do the math. Plus the health benefits of drinking water have been touted by experts all over the world.

Another small change is to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables and lower your intake of meat.  Fruits and veggies are nutrient-dense and lower in calories as opposed to less nutritious, calorie-dense meat.

Lose white in your diet – white sugar, white flour, white rice.  Replace with naturally sweet fruits, whole grains and nuts.

Increase your exercise. Any exercise is good for you. Need I say more.

You can do it

Small changes, baby steps – you can do it! Before you know it you’ll be down by 10%.  If you need to lose more, keep at it.  The point is just a little weight loss brings TONS of benefits.

Thanks, Tennessee Ernie!

Have you had success with weight loss?  Please share in the comments.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Psalm 34:8

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