Are you struggling in your weight loss journey?

In the cycling world, the 1989 Tour De France victory by Greg LeMond is legendary. In 1987 this star cyclist was seriously injured in a hunting accident. He required extensive rehabilitation and physical therapy. He was determined to return to racing. In 1989 LeMond returned to ride the Tour De France. He was a long shot. On the final day he trailed the leader by a mere 50 seconds. His final ride into Paris was his fastest where he gained 58 seconds on his nearest competitor; winning the tour by a mere 8 seconds.
What does LeMond’s victory have to do with weight loss? Quite a bite actually… on the final morning as LeMond prepared to cycle into Paris. He shared his vision for his day with his SAG team (the repair and support team for bicyclists). It was revolutionary and uncommon. The team stood behind him. He  sailed across the finish line as the winner. Let’s look at how his vision affects weight loss surgery patients.
 Never look back!
LeMond’s first strategy was to never look back. Completion cyclists often turn their heads to get a quick take on the pack behind them. LeMond reasoned that by looking back, he would lose 1-2 seconds with each look. Over those final 50 miles, those look-backs could easily deprive him of closing the 50 second gap and the win.

Throughout my weight loss journey I found myself wasting time by looking back. It’s a hard habit to break. Through my post-op years I have experienced the seesaw of minor weight gain and loss. I was watching my scale to make sure that it was not stealing my weight loss from under my feet.

I now embrace and apply LeMond’s “never look back” mentality to maintaining my healthy weight. The scale can not steal my weight. Only I can when I don’t follow the correct dietary guidelines and if I don’t remain active.  The key is to look forward from this point on. Take control, be active and eat sensibly.  This sets the foundation for a winning attitude.

Don’t tell me where I stand.

In a road race, the cyclist’s SAG team keeps the cyclist informed of his place in pack, his pace and his cycling stats. On the final morning of the 1989 Tour De France, LeMond told his team to not share any of this information with him. He went into the race psyched and determined to cycle at his peak. His instinct was correct. He cycled one of the fasted days in the tour’s history.

In the early years of my weight loss I was always checking my progress. I had a very complex MS Excel spreadsheet that I logged by weight loss. At the same time I was constantly comparing my weight loss with fellow weight loss surgery patients. It was a frustrating time. I was depressed when the spreadsheet told me I was not losing or losing slowly. When a pal lost another 10 pounds, I felt like I somehow failed because I could not meet the same pace.

If you get one thing out of this post, this is what I want you to remember. You are the person who defines your success. Your weight loss may be more of less than others. You may lose faster or slower. Your goal is not weight loss but to lead a healthy and active life. How your loss compares to others in of no importance. You worked hard for your weight loss, and you have to be accountable to yourself alone.

I have always struggled to achieve excellence. One thing that cycling has taught me is that if you can achieve something without a struggle it’s not going to be satisfying. – Greg LeMond

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