Chester's Long Journey
Who says that losing is always a bad thing?
On that note let's take a look at Chester's pre-diet life and how he went from unhealthy to healthy. If you are seeking a trimmer, healthier body - you can achieve your goal just like Chester.
Along Chester's Diet Journey - from his youth to his adulthood - he makes many important discoveries that will impact his health, his job, his emotions, his love life, the way he feels each day, and even his life span.
We hope that you'll enjoy this unique article which attempts to provide a bit of sanity, clarity and common sense to dieting. Good luck on your Diet Journey - and keep in mind that fitness overrides all!
This is the first day of the rest of your Diet Life!
Fifty-two years ago, Chester, bouncing baby boy weighing in at a whopping 10 pounds. Although his parents attributed their son's 'big baby size' to 'running in the family' they would learn later in life that Chester's father was diabetic, and Chester's 'bigger than average size' may have been a very early indicator that he, too, would fall victim to diabetes.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves! Chester has only just arrived in our wonderful, fantasy-filled world - so let's enjoy as he begins to take baby steps....
Let's begin with one of the most important areas of Chester's life - his daily meal and snack times. Like all living things, what we eat impacts appearance, health, well-being and performance.
Chester's mother weaned him when he was about six months old, then graduated him to soft baby foods. Chester enjoyed a cautious, well-planned, timed meal time that was filled with foods listed on the now-famous Food Pyramid.
He enjoyed mashed peas, mashed carrots, mashed beets, mashed meats - and he particularly favored chicken. For dessert, he enjoyed tasty applesauce, mashed bananas and mashed plums.
For his first few holidays, his array of daily foods did not change. While his parents feasted on goose, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, Chester stayed with his carefully planned daily diet - but that suited him just fine.
He was more absorbed in the lights than what went into his mouth....at least until he turned two....
Light weight - light as a feather!
Even though Chester was considered a large baby, as time passed his weight was always within the recommended range on the official standard weight charts.
In fact, there were times when his weight would go down a bit due to childhood illness, and then there were a few years when he was at the very top of his recommended weight - just before his teen years. But a spurt of growth left him leaner, and thinner than ever.
Food was not yet an important 'want' in Chester's life; it was merely a 'need' for survival. Many times, his mother would have to call him four or five times before he would quit playing and come inside for dinner. During these years, Chester would rather have continued to play, rather than to eat.
He was beginning to develop dislikes for certain foods - some of which he had tolerated very well as a baby and as a tot. He particularly detested his mother's homemade fried liver and onions.
He particularly liked going for ice cream and there was a new food in town called a pizza - like a piece-of-pie, only it wasn't sweet, rather cheesy and tomato-ee. Even so, it still wasn't tasty enough to warrant him leaving his baseball game. But there would come a time when this would change....
Buggs, Popeye & Chester
By the time Chester celebrated his sixth birthday, he had began to develop preferences for certain foods. He really liked the pizza place that was still fairly new to the area, as well as the old timey ice cream shoppe - the one that Ted owned that had the neat bar stools with the red-padded seats that Chester liked to whirl around on while his mother fussed and reprimanded him to 'sit still' as he licked his chocolate ice cream cone.
Other than pizza and ice cream, Chester found himself being drawn to other products based on savvy advertisement rather than taste.
For example, he truly believed that if he ate yucky spinach that he would be strong, just like Popeye. But for some reason that canned spinach just didn't look the same as Popeye's did on the black and white television. Popeye's looked green, leafy and puffy while Chester's looked mushy and gray. He asked his mom about that and she mumbled something about commercialism.
Buggs looked really cool chomping on carrots, and Chester figured that they were probably good for your eyes, so he took up eating carrots. However, his lacked the green tree that seemed to hang from Buggs' in the cartoons.
Cereal - Chester liked the ones that had prizes in the box, or ones that had funny commercials. Silly rabbits, kooky leprechauns with magical stars, and sugary bears really hit the spot at the market - but when they arrived home, Chester found that he preferred the Quakerman over the taste of sugared-down advertising. And those prizes just kept getting dinkier and dinkier.
At one point, he got hooked on a certain weiner that contained a tiny red whistle in the middle of the pack. He had gathered quite a collection, but the weiner-buying halted as the family doctor said that dad had something bad called bad cholesterol and that he needed to watch his diet.
At this point in Chester's life, his own diet was still fairly good; he was active and had no worries - nothing to do but play. Soon, he would be starting a thing that his mom had called 'school' and soon, there would come a time of change....
Even Kids Have Stress
Chester's father wasn't doing very well on the low cholesterol diet that Mom had the family eating these days. And all that dieting had sure made him cranky.
However, there still were good times to be had - or stolen, depending on how one looks at the situation. For example, when Mom was running low on skim milk one night, Dad volunteered to take Chester with him to the store to buy more. On the way there, Dad dropped by the pizza place and ordered a double pepperoni, double cheese pizza which was mighty good, especially after discovering that Mom was having tuna casserole that evening.
On Dad's next visit to the doctor, they found something called diabetes which really scared Dad, which in turn really scared Chester. It must really be bad to scare Dad, Chester thought.
Chester was so stressed out about his Dad that he barely passed first grade with little red D's. He didn't like school, and he didn't like his Mom and Dad being so sad and cranky these days, and he didn't like the bland diet that Mom made either. Life wasn't good but Chester still thoroughly enjoyed playing ball.
On the days that he was able to play ball, he found that he was very tired when bedtime came around. But when it rained, or if it was too cold to go out, Chester found that he had trouble going to sleep at night. And when he did, he had nightmares about rabid tuna fish and mean teachers.
School would be starting again soon, and Chester had to admit that he was a bit excited.
A typical kid's school lunch...
Before school started the new year, Chester's Mom bought him a snazzy metal lunch kit that had a racecar on the front. It also had a thermos but the first time that Chester took his lunch, it leaked and spoiled everything in his kit except his banana. That was the last of Chester's thermos.
Chester's Mom got up early every school morning to pack his lunch. It wasn't easy finding things that would keep until lunch time at school. However, with both Mom and Dad off of the low cholesterol diet again, Chester's lunch kit looked a bit more inviting these days.
Mom usually packed a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich. When Dad packed his lunch, he piled Karo syrup on the peanut butter which Chester loved more than the grape jelly.
His lunch kit also held a cluster of potato chips wrapped in plastic wrap, a banana, and then she gave Chester 25 cents for a carton of milk and an ice cream. Chester liked the chocolate milk, the full-blown, no-skim chocolate milk. And he liked those ice cream sandwiches a lot. He liked undressing the ice cream, eating one cookie-side of the ice cream down as far as possible, then switching to the other side, and then finishing with the block of melty vanilla ice cream.
Some days Chester would trade food with his friends. He particularly liked the chocolate cupcakes and the pink cakes that looked like snowballs.
He also liked his new teacher and was getting much higher marks in school now. In fact, he liked her so much that he decided that when he grew up, he was going to marry her.
Activity for optimum health!
Chester loved many sports: basketball, soccer, dodge ball, football, running and jumping the hurdles and volleyball, but his favorite sport was baseball. He was the captain of the boy's class team. His new teacher had allowed the boys and the girls to each choose a team captain, and that is how Chester became captain.
It wasn't easy being captain of the boy's baseball team. Chester loved to pitch the ball, so he pitched every game and that didn't set well with the team. In fact, they were so upset about it, that the next time a captain was chosen, Chester was ousted. He cried so hard that his Mom and Dad took him out for pizza and ice cream, to help make it all better. And it did!
But Chester's bad experience didn't interfere with his love for baseball. Even though he wasn't the team captain anymore, he could out-run, out-hit, out-pitch, out-catch and outpace any player on the team. The boys on the team respected him for his abilities, and got over being angry with him very quickly.
Chester was so relieved that he played even better than before. The teacher told him that she thought he might be a famous sport's player one day. She saw him as a golf star. It was at that moment that Chester decided that he wasn't going to marry his teacher when he grew up - not after that ridiculous statement.
Playing baseball contributed to Chester's strong legs, his firm muscles, his balance, his endurance, his strong lungs and his healthy heart. And Teacher's comments spurred thoughts of other fish in the sea....
Chester loved visiting the drug store, mainly because of all the pretty candy on display. He didn't think that Ms. Meers like him much, though.
Every time Chester would leave the drug store, he could look back over his shoulder and see her spraying something on the glass that protected the candy menagerie. Guess she thought he had germs or something.
Nonetheless, Chester just held tighter to his treasured bag of candy, walking hand and hand with his Mom as they exited the drug store. He didn't like holding his Mom's hand anymore - he was getting much too big for that. But whenever she bought him candy, he obliged. Besides, it seemed to make her smile and she held her head a bit higher whenever Chester held her hand.
At this young age, Chester was not aware of the impact that sweets played on his healthy diet. The only thing that he didn't like about getting candy was that his Mom always made him brush after he enjoyed his loot, telling him that if he didn't, then all of his teeth were going to rot out. But she always said that about sucking on lemons, too and eating ice and that hadn't seemed to hurt his teeth one bit.
Chester always chose the neatest candy: banana bubblegum cigars, candy cigarettes, candy necklaces, a ring supporting a red crystal sugar stone. He especially liked 'puffing' on the candy cigarettes and planned to take up smoking just like his Dad when he grew up. Dad could blow the neatest smoke rings. And his favorite actor, John Wayne, was in all the really good cigarette television commercials. He was tough, and Chester intended on being tough, too! Yes, candy was certainly dandy!
How activity level affects health and well being.
Chester enjoyed many favorite activities as a child, and most of those occurred after school. He enjoyed basketball, soccer, dodge ball, football, running and jumping the hurdles and volleyball, but his favorite sport was baseball.
He also enjoyed fishing, flying kites, playing croquet, shooting hoops, hopscotch, jumping rope, riding his bike and scooter. During these young years of Chester's life, he was very active. He was so active that he burned off every morsel of food that he ate.
And when he was hit with a sudden growth spurt, he found that it was hard to get enough food into his body. He was always hungry, yet as he grew and as he enjoyed his active schedule, he continued to remain thin.
Chester was rarely ill. Other than a bout with the red measles, mumps and chicken pox, his Health Card had very high marks.
He was also enjoying school now more than ever. There were several young girls that had captured his eye, but not his heart. He planned to get married, but not until he was old - at least 25.
Although Chester was very active, he didn't enjoy raking the fall leaves or shoveling the snow from the driveway during the winter months. Nor did he enjoy mowing the lawn during his early teen years. Even at this young age, Chester realized that there was a distinct difference between being active in the things that one likes to do, and being active in the things that one does not like to do.
Low Cholesterol Dieting
The family doctor had put Chester's father on a very strict diet due to something called bad cholesterol. Mom took things into her own hands, promising Chester's dad that she would soon have him healthier than ever.
Sad but so, the trips to the pizza place were halted indefinitely, as were the trips to Ted's ice cream shoppe. No more sugary cereals either. It was just Chester and the Quakerman now.
Chester spent a good deal of time worrying about his dad who had appeared to grow much larger than Chester could remember. Mom blamed it on the pizza and ice cream while dad blamed it on Mom's fried chicken and gravy when he spent alone-time with Chester. It was their little secret, Dad told Chester.
Chester spent so much time worrying about his Dad that his teacher at school said that he might not pass. Every day Chester brought home books that kept him from watching his favorite cartoon in the afternoon that came on right after school. It just wasn't fair. Then he got in trouble for eating his paste at school, and for writing a bad word in the boy's room about his teacher. Chester was being introduced to stress and he didn't like stress.
While Chester's life was filling up with stress, his Dad was filling up on the latest fad diets. There was the grapefruit diet, and then some diet that allowed him to eat a magic piece of candy that tasted like chocolate called AIDS. The candy looked so good that Chester wanted to try one himself, but didn't - not after the incidents at school.
When Dad's fad diets didn't work, the doctor got upset and so Mom started making sure that the family had nothing but low cholesterol food which meant less eggs, skim everything, trimmed meats, and no pizza.
But it was okay because there was no more fried liver and onions, and that made Chester happy.
Diet Migration - Child Dieting Years to Young Adult Dieting Years
Chester worked at Burger X and they had the best burgers in town. He liked to experiment with making specialized burgers which he often enjoyed for dinner with a large pack of onion rings and dark catsup.
His best creation was a burger that contained two beef patties, two pieces of American cheese, double Mayo, lettuce, sliced onion, thinly sliced tomatoes, sliced pickles and four pieces of crisp bacon. The burger was so large that it was a two-handed meal.
Whenever Chester visited his parent's during college breaks, he liked visiting the pizza place and the old ice cream shoppe in his hometown. He had also switched from milk and water to sugary sodas and beer. Whenever he teamed with his college friends, hard liquor was always invited.
Taco stands, Italian and Mexican eateries were popping up all over the country. Chester was particularly fond of tacos and nachos. Donut and pastry shops were thickly laced within the college community, so Chester's morning meal generally consisted of a jelly donut and a can of soda.
As Chester was continually on the go - studying, playing what sports he could work into his busy schedule, as well as working when he wasn't studying or attending school - there wasn't time to eat at set times throughout the day. Most days, Chester simply enjoyed his morning donut feast, then chowed down on his special burger and rings after work in the evenings. We will soon learn that there was a reason those burgers had an 'x' on them.... It certainly didn't stand for 'marks the spot'.
Diet Migration - Child Dieting Years to Young Adult Dieting Years
Happy Birthday, Chester! Twenty-one years old with a bright future in the distance. Chester entered college right after high school graduation, and is majoring in business. Although he held a strong desire to enter the sport's world, he was unfortunately cut last season and felt that it was time to realize that dreams were dreams and reality was reality.
There are many things in life that Chester has grown curious about, including girls, alcohol, smoking and politics. Drugs wasn't much of a lure to him because he'd witnessed what LSD had done to a high school friend, and Chester didn't want the same to happen to him. So drugs were out.
His diet was a combination of good diet and evil diet. He tended to grab on the go, and did a lot of Fast Food dining. Working part-time at the local burger joint didn't help matters, but at least he got to wear skates to make speedy deliveries to the customers. He was Burger X's fastest skater.
Whereas Chester's childhood days set the pattern for eating a diet that stemmed from 'food needs' rather than 'food wants', these early years of Chester's adult life will set the pattern for his future dieting wants and desires. 'Food Needs' will have minimal impact on his eating habits or patterns.
Chester was under constant pressure - dividing his time between school and work, then frantically finding time to study. There was little time left for relaxation these days and as for playing baseball - those days were few and far between.
Playing baseball had always seemed to energize Chester. It was also a key factor in releasing harmful stress in his life. Playing baseball also strengthened him physically, as well as mentally.
Since his activity level had decreased, Chester was discovering that he wasn't walking with a springy step, and he indeed lacked energy. His endurance level had definitely slipped.
Whenever Chester did find time to relax, it was generally with his college friends. Generally, the parties consisted of drinking marathons, smoking marathons and 'Hey, I'm a totally cool dude' marathons. Chester always woke to the new day by tossing up his gut, the result of too much playing and too much drinking.
During Chester's final year at college, his stress level kicked to new heights when he met a lovely girl named Bertha who was majoring in food economics. Chester wasn't sure if he fell in love with Bertha herself or if his love was better connected to her fine art of cooking. They were married six months later, just before Chester Jr. was born.
Chester was fresh out of college, married and now had a newborn son named Chester Jr. His first real job was at a manufacturing plant that distributed sport's balls. He felt pretty good about snaring the position of Plant Manager; if Chester couldn't play ball anymore, at least he could participate in a vicarious way - and that made him happy.
The pay was great. His wife, Bertha, had also taken a position in the workforce as a Food Critic which translated to a lot of fine, and not so fine, dining. Chester often accompanied her for dinner.
Caviar, fine Mexican cuisine, exotic cheeses and wines - the dinner menu was generally quite fabulous. Not only was it fabulous in taste, but the calorie and fat content would supercede Orca's Blubber Bank. As the weeks turned into months and the months into years, Chester's weight spiked to levels that rose far above his recommended weight.
One fall morning, he decided to dust off his bathroom scales and hop on. He was astounded to see that his weight was now double what it had been just a few short years ago when he had been in college.
A weekend call from his Mom with news that his Dad had went into a diabetic coma sent Chester into a spin of serious thoughts where his weight was concerned.
He had seen this picture before in his mind - and he had lived through this all in another life...his Dad's life when Chester was but a child. He remembered his Dad continually battling his weight, all those fad diets that just didn't work, and the health problems that his obesity had set into motion.
Chester didn't want to end up in the same situation as his beloved Dad; he didn't want Bertha and Chester Jr. to go through what he had gone through with his Dad.
It was at this point that he realized he'd have to make some changes in his diet. But not today; the news of his Dad being hospitalized was too stressful to contemplate a diet at this point. Chester reached for a plate of Bertha's fudge brownies, vowing he'd make some changes in his diet and fitness routine soon....
Chester had ventured away from the healthier diet he had enjoyed as a young child. It had been a slow progression from healthy diet to unhealthy diet.
During his early years, his daily diet had been very low in cholesterol and sugar. His current daily diet was one filled with high sugar and high cholesterol. The only thing that was 'low' in his diet was fiber - a chief superhero for combating certain diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
Favorite foods included: Bertha's famous fried chicken, supreme nachos and pizza, hot buttered popcorn, cookies, light beer, soda and anything loaded with cheese.
As Chester's thoughts swayed towards a healthier diet plan, he made an effort to eat only natural foods. He had vowed that he wasn't going to get into the fad dieting phase, as he knew from experience that fad dieting had not worked for his Dad.
Since Bertha was a whiz at cookery, she prepared the natural foods with a flair, adding spices, herbs and unique's blends of fruit juices to their food. As a result, both Bertha and Chester dropped a substantial amount of weight over a three month period. Chester was down sixty pounds, and Bertha was back to her pre-pregnancy weight.
However, things would soon change for the holidays were right around the corner...
Chester had changed a bit over the years and no longer craved the action of baseball in person, although he did spend hours over the weekend glued to any type of sporting event, including baseball.
Whenever he did venture into The Great Outdoors, his sport of choice was fishing. His wife, Bertha, had surprised him with a small fishing boat on his 30th birthday, which Chester was quite fond of.
On the lake, he enjoyed quite times to reflect on his life. But most of the time, he wouldn't think about anything except fishing. The great thing about fishing was that it allowed Chester a mode of release for harmful stress.
Bertha always packed him a fat picnic basket to take along which included some of Chester's favorite things: Bertha's famous fried chicken, thick-cut potato chips, cupcakes, cookies and soda. Yes, the only thing thin on this boat were the worms..... But soon, things would change.
Chester enjoyed a good deal of fishing during his young adulthood. He also enjoyed watching television and playing with a new item that had hit the market called video games. He particularly liked paying a game called Pac Man. Chatter hinted of a guy named Mario that held good promise in the game world.
Most of the men in the neighborhood had Hibachis, but his wife Bertha had surprised Chester with a domed deluxe grill for Christmas. He didn't even wait for warmer weather to try out his new grill. Dressed in earmuffs and long handles, Chester bar-b-qued brisket during one of the worst snow storms of the year. His passion for grilling would continue throughout his life.
In the spring of his 33rd year of life, Chester pittled with gardening and although it was something that he truly enjoyed, there wasn't enough time in the day to properly garden.
And because he spent so many hours at work, Chester was too tired to enjoy quality time off. His last few vacations had been spent with his parents, tending to his sick Dad who was losing the battle with diabetes as kidney disease had settled in. His Mom was also fighting heart disease, even though she had strictly maintained her weight over the years.
As time progressed, Chester enjoyed potato chips and hot buttered popcorn when settling into the television in the evenings. Even though he would eat a hefty meal at dinnertime, and even though he wasn't hungry, it was just plain fun to munch while watching television.
Lunch time generally consisted of Fast Foods these busy days of Chester's young adult life. He feasted on cheeseburgers and fries most days, and supreme pizza on other days. Dinner time consisted of a gourmet meal prepared by Bertha at home, or he would accompany her to a fine restaurant for her job as Food Critic.
One day as Chester topped off a giant soda, he took a gander at the label, then widened his eyes. Although he wasn't schooled in the area of calories, it was common knowledge that a 2,000 calorie diet was considered the 'norm' for the 'average' person. The large bottle of soda contained a whopping 400 calories - and he usually had three to four of these each day! Chester made it a point to get more savvy where food labels were concerned.
Chester stared at the throng of flowers seated in the ribboned containers that were arranged around his Dad's coffin. Mom's unexpected passing last month had taken its toll on Chester's Dad and it hadn't taken long for him to follow her in death.
The doctors told Chester that his Mom's passing had been due to bad genes, and that his Dad's was due to a bad diet and diabetes. His Dad's factor was uncontrollable to a great extent; his Mom's was not. At this point, Chester realized that he had a double-dose of health woes in his future if he didn't make some savvy eating decisions and change his daily diet ASAP.
His parents had only been in their mid-50's - far too young to die.
At this point Chester weighed more than his father had ever weighed. At his last physical, the doctor had detected signs of diabetes and had recommended placing Chester on high blood pressure medication - which Chester had completely ignored.
He felt just fine; just a bit overworked. He didn't need any type of medicine at thirty-five for gosh sakes! He was still a very young man. Young people don't get diseases, he thought.
But things would soon change for Chester....
Chester didn't have time to focus on the weight loss promises that he had made to himself after the death of his parents. Rather than watching his diet, he went off the edge with thoughts of Scarlet and Tara, "I'll worry about my diet and my weight tomorrow."
Chester put on so much weight that people in the office became concerned. He looked far too heavy, far too overworked, far too focused on food which was evident at office parties and celebrations.
During conferencing events, he was the first and the last to hit the pastry tray.
Chester's weight was at an all time high and he was quickly approaching mid-life, the time when many diseases - such as heart disease, begin rearing their ugly heads.
The lager Chester got, the tighter his clothes fit. Wearing ties, starched shirts and pressed pants were like being housed in an all day Clothing Prison so Chester recommended that his company switch to a casual attire. His suggestion was applauded by all.
Chester stuck to a standard cotton t-shirt and jeans for work purposes, and when at home he wore sweats in the winter and shorts in the summer with no top.
Summers were not kind and Chester longed for those winter months of cooler weather. Soon, there would be some big changes in Chester's life...
Chester's company required an annual physical and when Chester's cholesterol results came back, it wasn't good. The doctor was upset, Chester's wife was upset, and his two kids were upset over those bad cholesterol results. The doctor ordered a strict low cholesterol diet - to which Chester immediately responded.
Chester became a super label reader, enjoying all the foods that contained zero cholesterol. To his surprise, his numbers remained extreme on the next cholesterol test.
His doctor sat him down and begin to review Chester's diet. Chester soon learned that even though labels may state that a food contains zero cholesterol that it doesn't mean they are healthy choices OR that they won't spike your bad cholesterol.
When Chester got home, he looked at a bottle of olive oil: 0% Cholesterol, 22% fat - and that was for a measly 1 Tablespoon! And 120 calories at that! He recalled how it would pour it on a plate, douse it with cracked black pepper and enjoy it as a dip with Bertha's homemade garlic bread. Dieting was so confusing...
Chester's stress level was at an all time high. He had a good job, a loving family, and a nice place to live. He was stressed because he was overworked and frustrated about his weight.
Whenever Chester became frustrated about his weight, he would cycle through the mood and kick himself over being overweight, and then he'd toss his hands up and go find something lovely to eat.
A rule of Diet Thumb: Stress builds on more stress until a breaking point is reached.
Chester's lunch kit was comprised of a sweet little deli located on Fifth and Vine that had a cheeseburger that was the Cat's Meow! Due to his wife Bertha, he had sampled all the exotic and fine cuisine that life had to offer. For Chester, it was now cheeseburgers, rings and an occasional pizza. He was hooked on burgers, specifically double-patty, double cheese, extra Mayo burgers double-topped with strips of fried bacon.
The big company candy plants had begun to introduce giant sized bars that suited Chester's appetite just fine. The giant candy bars also went well with the new giant sized sodas.
At this point, Chester had put on so much weight that he felt it was useless to even try to lose down to his recommended weight. It appeared that the situation was hopeless.
Gas was an ongoing problem, as was the feeling of being super bloated. He also hated sweating all of the time, even in the chill of winter.
But although Chester had aspiration of thinness, he had no idea of where to start. But soon, things would change....
Chester loved cheese, meat, white bread, gravy and beer - all of which contain minimal amounts of dietary fiber. Fiber aids the body in getting rid of waste and in turn, helps fight some cancers. Fiber also helps the body feel full, and to also feel full for longer periods of time.
Chester would do well to choose oatmeal, whole wheat bread, beans, bran and barley. Soon, things would change in Chester's diet....
Chester had heard that grilling was a good way to cook meat and helped in reducing calories. He went wrong by beginning with the unhealthier cuts of meat such as hamburger, brisket and ribs. By the time that Chester added his homemade bar-b-que sauce to his grilled beef ribs, one slab contained enough calories to sink a minnow bucket.
Chester also grilled vegetables, such as corn on the cob. The unhealthy problem with his grilling stemmed from all the butter and salt that he added at the table.
Sugary tea also spiked up Chester's daily calorie intake to dangerous levels. On any given day, Chester was taking in 4,000 calories more or less and the result impacted his weight scales tremendously. But soon, things would change....
Chester was having the time of his life! Cakes here, cookies there. Biscuits here, country gravy there. Mexican food here, Italian food there. He was in paradise.
A one pound weight gain didn't seem to matter to much. But as time passed by, the pounds added up until that one pound really did matter.
When life is good, and when one isn't watching the amount of food in their diet, as well as the types of food in their diet, they tend to eat until they are content. And that is exactly what Chester did. Life was good on the Good Time Diet. But soon, things would change....
When Chester reached 327 pounds, he simply quit weighing. What was the use? In fact, he felt that if he avoided weighing, he would also avoid gaining weight. No news was definitely good news in this case.
When the family took a vacation to a fun theme park loaded with lots of fun rides, Chester soon discovered that he couldn't fit in most of them. That wasn't fun at all.
And when they went to the movies, he was finding that the seats were getting smaller and smaller. There was barely room for his bucket of hot buttered popcorn, that was topped with extra butter.
Even Chester's car had gotten smaller, so small that he had need of trading it in for one of the new-fangled vans that had recently hit the market. Chester enjoyed dropping by the donut shop on his way to work for his usual jelly donut, but now, he was adding two glazed donuts to his morning order. Life was good, but soon, things would change....
Chester had discovered several new tasty snacks at the market. The local market had installed a nice bakery and he really loved their fresh baked goods. Whenever he stopped by there on his way home from work, he would always pick up a fresh hot loaf of bread. He also loved their freshly made cookies and ate so many of them at one sitting that his family often joked by calling him 'Chester the Cookiemonger'.
He also fancied their carrot cake which was rich, and loaded with sweet cream cheese icing. He had also discovered frozen pizza's. While he was visiting the frozen pizza section, he also noticed the frozen peas, corn, green beans and fruits. Out of curiosity, he glanced at the labels and was shocked to learn that the big bags contained very little calories.
Hum, perhaps he would go on a diet and implement his new find, Chester thought. But not today; he had fresh hot bread to eat. Life was good, but soon, things would change....
Chester wasn't feeling well at all lately. He seemed to never get enough water to drink and during the night he was constantly running to the bathroom. His urine was also a bit sticky.
Oddly enough, he was dropping weight so quickly that he feared he may have cancer, so he made an appointment with his doctor. When his doctor told him that he had tested costive for diabetes, Chester barely made it out of the office before breaking down and crying. He knew what diabetes could do. He had seen first-hand what it did to his Dad.
It broke his heart to know that he would have to tell his family about the diabetes. It was time to get serious about his diet; things would need to change....
Chester decided to go fishing the weekend after he learned he had diabetes. He reflected upon many things that he could do to turn his health problems around.
He had diabetes and he had high cholesterol. His Dad had died in his 50's with complications from diabetes, and his Mom in her 50's due to heart problems. Chester definitely had a double does of his parents health woes.
He knew that diet alone would not solve his health problems. He would also need to exercise - like he did when he was younger. Perhaps play baseball again? Maybe take his kids out to fly a kite, or for a long hike. These were all good options to help bring Chester back to life...
Chester was rapidly learning that his day at work had a lot of influence on his diet. If he was overworked, he wouldn't take time to pause to collect something healthy to eat. Fast times called for Fast Food.
Whenever he was overworked, he didn't feel like doing anything once he got home either. The evening was generally spent in front of the television, but what really added to the inactivity, was the hot buttered popcorn, the chips, the dip, and the warmed-over pizza that he ate while watching television.
Even though Chester did a fair amount of activity at work, it was a bit here and a bit there - nothing to get his heart rate up, nothing aerobically beneficial.
Chester began to pull back on his work hours, skipping the overtime pay and opting for more time at home. Because he didn't feel so overworked, he was able to enjoy an evening filled with more activity, thus keeping his weight on a downward spiral, as well as getting his body fit. At Chester's next doctor's visit, he would see big changes...
Chester spent less and less time at the office and more time incorporating activities into his daily life plan. He was still working on managing his eating pattern, but at least he was getting his muscles and heart back to par.
He spent a lot of time with his kids, flying kites, bowling, playing volleyball and baseball. He even got his dormant wife, Bertha, involved in hiking and as a family, they enjoyed many camping trips together.
Like Chester, Bertha began to thoroughly enjoy getting out and about. She talked with Chester and they both recognized that even though they hadn't changed their diets, they felt much better because they had been more active.
At Chester's next doctor's visit, he would see big changes...
Chester realized that he would need to make several changes in his life in order to lose weight and keep his diabetes and heart problems in check.
He decided to start out with simple, basic adjustments to his diet - just as he had slowly incorporated activity into his lifestyle over the past few weeks, and just as he had slowly curbed off his working hours to spend more time at home with his family, allowing him to enjoy more activity.
Chester decided not to focus on his foods, rather than the times during the day in which he ate. He shut out all snacking. He ate breakfast at 7 am, lunch at noon, and dinner at 6. After dinner, food was off-limits.
Chester was rewarded in a 'big weigh' on his weight loss scales. He also noticed that he wasn't suffering with heartburn as often. He was breathing easier and feeling more energized. More healthy changes were in store.....
Chester's new diet plan was really working well for him. He had cut back on his hours at work in order to spend quality time with his family, and to enjoy a more active lifestyle. He had also began to time his meals so that he enjoyed 3 basic meals per day. He had cut out all snacks, even when watching television.
When July 4th rolled around, Chester pulled out his grill and created a masterpiece of a meal - a healthy, yummy, low calorie, low cholesterol meal. There was roasted chicken, roasted corn - and Bertha had complimented the meal with baked potatoes, iced tea with lemon and wheat bread.
What a nice celebration! But there would be more things to celebrate, and things would soon change....
Chester's new diet plan increased the grocery bill and he was discovering that if one was truly determined to be thin, then it was truly going to cost them to be thin. Then he considered the cost of 'not dieting'.
Although his grocery bills were higher, he now took his lunch to work, so he was saving money in a big way where lunch was concerned. He also had to look at not only the food factor, but the health factor as well. How much would diabetes cost him in future medical bills? Heart disease? His life?
As Chester continued to contemplate these things, he noticed that he wasn't seeing as well as he used to. Soon, things would change....
Chester made an appointment with his doctor when he noticed he was having spells of blurred vision. The news was not good. His diabetes was creating problems with his eyes; the doctor warned Chester that blindness occurred in some diabetics.
Chester's diabetes had went on for a long while before he had discovered it, and due to heredity and a poor diet, the diabetes was taking its toll on Chester's life.
But all was not bad. Soon, things would change....
Chester was pretty upset when he left his doctor's office. He had just learned that his diabetes may lead to blindness, and that thought terrified him. It was time to quit playing around with his diet. The simple changes that he had made were great, and he had seen some awesome results.
However, he needed to get his diabetes under control or face uncertain health risks. No more gambling with his health!
When he got home, Bertha agreed. That night they formulated a plan, a diet plan to help them win the Battle of the Bulge....
Chester was aware that everyone needed some fat in their diet plan. He was also aware that fat was a big culprit when it came to weight woes. It was high in calories; he remembered reading an olive oil label a few years back: 1 Tablespoon contained 120 calories!
With his wife, Bertha's help, they begin to seek out healthy foods that could be substituted for butter and other fats in the diet. Most all pureed fruits worked well in Bertha's recipes to create healthier desserts, side items and appetizers. There were also a few new no calorie butter sprays on the market, which both Bertha and Chester found quite tasty.
With the issue of fat tackled, it was time to deal with the next 'sweet' item in their diet plan...
Right after Chester begin picking up weight several years ago, he also found that he much hotter with the additional weight. Now that he was losing weight, he noticed that he endure the hotter weather much easier. He started to look forward to sunny days and summer rather than the cold, dark shroud of winter.
It was also easier to breathe, easier to walk, easier to make love - speaking of which, Valentine's Day was just around the corner.
How will Chester manage the big chocolate day while dieting? Will Bertha, his wife, hold up to her diet plan? Yes! Call it.... Flower Power....
Chester's kids were proud of what he had accomplished. Because he was able to enjoy a more active lifestyle, he was able to take a bigger part in the lives of his kids. Because he was losing weight, his spirits were high, his mood cheerful.
Because he was able to comfortably fit into the car, they were able to take longer trips. Going to the movies was no longer a problem as Chester was fitting comfortably in the movie seats these days.
The best part? By taking control of his diet and activity level, Chester spared his wife and children much grief.
Chester had completely given up processed sweets these days, even his jelly donuts and cookies. However, he was discovering that he wasn't as excited about his diet as he used to be. Even the fear of what his diabetes could do to him was a fading motivating factor.
Before his diet got completely derailed, he decided to visit his doctor to discuss these new feelings. He was doing really well; he had dropped more than half the weight that he needed to lose. His diabetes was under control. His cholesterol numbers were looking better. So why would he even consider returning to his old diet ways?
His doctor told him that he had become too strict on his diet plan, that he needed to incorporate a few treats into his diet so he would stay on track. Chester's diabetes prohibited crunching down cookies, but the doctor made some very good suggestions that worked out well. Chester remained on track with his diet plan....
Chester's doctor suggested some new medication for the high cholesterol. Due to heredity, diet alone wasn't effectively combating the high cholesterol.
Chester continued to do all the things that his doctor recommended to help knock his cholesterol down including activity, trimming all the visible fat from meats, avoiding fats, and opting for fresh vegetables and fruits. All of these dieting tips would also go hand in hand in combating Chester's diabetes.
Chester was doing very well on his diet plan. He was determined to stick with his life plan; his doctor had helped him tremendously. Chester begin thinking about more things that he could do that would keep him motivated to stick with his weight loss plan....
Chester was aware that losing weight was going to take a bit of time. He knew that it had taken time to gain so much weight, and now he was paying the Fat Belly Fiddler.
But he also knew that dieting and weight loss didn't have to be a torturous event. Even without the ability to eat as much as he wanted, of anything that he wanted, Chester was MUCH HAPPIER NOW than he had been when he was so overweight.
He was happier with his looks, his spirits, and of the way that he felt. He realized that he'd need to remain focused, and that it would take some time to train himself into thinking about dieting much differently than he had in the past.
Chester began playing baseball, just as he had during his childhood days. A group of men and women from his workplace had jumped at the idea of starting up a company team and playing against other local teams.
Chester was quite good. However, he didn't limit his sport's activities to baseball. He still enjoyed walking on the beach with his wife, Bertha, and especially taking long hikes through the woods. He also enjoyed camping.
Chester's love for sports grew with time; growth is always important to success of any type.
Chester's stressful way of life had all but banished! He had a new attitude about eating and exercise! He had a spring in his step and a song in his heart - a healthier heart that was beating heart disease through all the activity that Chester was now incorporating into his daily diet plan.
Was it easy? NO! Was it hard? Depending on the day, and his outlook, Chester had good days and bad days.
But whether the diet days were good or bad, he knew that he would continue to watch his diet, to exercise and keep focused. He was never going to become overweight again.
Chester was at what his doctor considered the perfect weight for his frame, his age, and his size. Chester's hard work was finally paying off in rich health benefits.
His diabetes was now under control; he no longer needed medication. His blood pressure and cholesterol were also at healthy levels, though the doctor continued with the cholesterol medication for now.
One thing that really helped Chester on his diet plan was keeping a daily food tracking journal. It helped him to know which foods filled him up more than others; his journal was a great tool in helping him both lose and maintain his healthy weight.
Chester continues to time his diet so that he enjoys three balanced meals each day. Breakfast is his most important meal of the day - as well as his largest meal of the day. Dinner is his smallest meal of the day as Chester realizes that it's hard to work off calories late in the day.
He also incorporates three snacks into his daily diet - mid morning, mid afternoon and just before bedtime. Sometimes, he might enjoy a piece of fruit, or a simple glass of skim milk. He makes it a point to only choose healthy snacks.
Chester's doctor suggested drinking more milk in his diet. Due to recent studies, there was good reason to believe that drinking twenty-four ounces of milk per day would accelerate weight loss. His doctor suggested skim milk.
When Chester inquired about calcium supplements, his doctor told him that supplements didn't render the effect that calcium-rich foods did in the studies.
Chester began to incorporate skim milk and skim dairy products into his daily diet and soon, he noticed a big change.....a positive change in the numbers on his weight loss scales....
Chester's doctor showed him an example of the official Food Pyramid. He reviewed the foods that Chester needed to eat each and every day to ensure a healthy diet. The doctor went on to suggest how many calories Chester should consume per day to maintain weight loss.
Chester knew that because of his diabetes he would need to carefully monitor not only the amount of food that he ate, but the types of food as well. In order to keep his diabetes under control, he would also need to keep his weight within the recommended levels.
Now that Chester had reached his ideal weight, he was seeking ways to keep trim and healthy. He looked into the low carb diet plans, but due to his diabetes, this wasn't a healthy option - nor was counting fat grams. Finally, he decided upon counting calories as the means of maintaining his healthy weight.
By counting calories, he would still enjoy all of the foods listed on the Food Pyramid, and he could switch out the lower calorie foods within the same food groups as needed. Sweet.
He also enjoys a low cholesterol diet plan filled with lean meats, skim dairy products, fat substitutes and fresh veggies. Fried foods are a no-no OR a very occasional treat. Cheeseburgers, pizzas, nachos, French fries, potato chips, chocolate, buttered bread, onion rings and ice cream are also very rare treats.
Chester has also learned that since he left the unhealthy foods behind, foods seem to taste much different now and he actually prefers the healthy foods over the unhealthier versions.
His new, healthy favorite snacks included fresh fruits and raw veggies. He liked to freeze grapes, then enjoy them while watching a bit of television. Because they were so cold, they took a longer time to eat.
He also liked soups that were prepared with clear broths that were rich in flavor and that contained mixed veggies.
With his diabetes under control, Chester discovered that he could even enjoy an occasional cookie. Another snack that he really enjoyed was putting a few drops of rum extract into his zero calorie soda. Life was good....
He began to read about the importance of fiber in his diet. He learned that fiber not only fought against certain diseases such as cancer, but fiber also helped in keeping the bowels in good working order, as well as keeping one feeling fuller for longer periods of time.
Chester looked for foods that were high in dietary fiber such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Fiber also contributed to weight maintenance. Yes, Chester was a big fan of fiber these days....
Chester never forgets that celebrating the holidays were the biggest contributors to his massive weight gain. The holidays would set off the marathon of eating. During the holidays between Thanksgiving and New Years, Chester wouldn't dare dampen the holiday spirit.
He remembers feeling too full; bloated and many times, getting sick to his stomach because he ate far too much. He knows that he will never do that again.
Now days, he celebrates wisely and focuses on enjoying the reason for celebrating rather than the foods that are incorporated into the celebration.
Chester realizes that favorite activities don't always need to be aggressive or busy. Some of his favorite new activities are actually quite sedate.
Chester enjoys reading, playing solitaire on the computer, watching the sun rise and the sun set, looking for shells on the beach, paying with his new metal detector and walking his cat.
Doing things that one enjoys brings about the biggest release of stress....
Indeed. Life is not only good for Chester, it's healthy and great.