Dr. Norris J. Chumley Satisfied Life

Here we are in the last stretch of the “Give-Back Diet.”  It’s the 54th day of 56 in total.  I’m taking the next few remaining days to encourage you to keep doing what you’ve been doing!  If you haven’t started, no problem, you can see the entire start-up program here.

Yesterday, I went to my doctor for my semi-annual check-up.  I want to share it with you as it reminded me of what I’ve been doing to keep my weight off, and to stay healthy.  I also want to remind you to see YOUR physician, and keep taking action to be healthy by maintaining your weight, eating really well, exercising joyously, and most importantly – finding true happiness and peace by keeping God at the center of your life through prayer and spiritual practices.

I had a special test yesterday that I get regularly, every couple of years, an Echo Stress Test.  The doctor takes a look at my pumping heart with an ultrasound machine, and a heart EKG monitor, and then while I’m strenuously walking, then running on a treadmill.  It’s to make sure my heart is healthy and that it is safe for me to exercise.  Glad to report, all is well with my heart and me.

While running, the doctor conducting the test looked at my chart.  “I see you once weighed 400 pounds!” she said.  “Yes,” I confirmed, “thank God I don’t anymore!” She wanted to know my secret.  I told her, “no secret, it is only by the grace of God that I was able to lose weight, and keep it off.”  She was surprised, “certainly not only with God’s help, you must have done some work yourself?”  Yes, it’s true, I did some work, but it was with God’s assistance.

That took me back some 20 years, to the point when I was in real crisis over my obesity.  I remembered that it took desperation and the huge desire to get healthy.  “It was to stay alive,” I told her.  “I desperately needed to make some changes, or I would have died.”  I was not kidding or exaggerating.  When I was 33, and back again over 300 pounds, after taking diet pills, gaining and losing, drinking liquid protein and ending up in an emergency room, more diets that failed, doctors, you name it – I was desperate.  Smoking 3 packs a day of cigarettes and eating the most fattening, high-calorie food I could get, approximately 10,000 calories a day worth, my marriage in trouble, nightmares with work and money…  yes, I was on a collision course to the grave.

Then I listed what I did to lose the weight and to MAINTAIN my health, and what I still do day-by-day, which I also offer to you as today’s…


— Pray all-day, throughout the day, asking for God’s help
— Get in touch with your true emotional needs.  Talk to others.  Nurture relationships.  Seek the advice from a professional therapist, coach or counselor if necessary. (I do this with select clients.  Email me at drnorris (at) if you’d like to discuss the possibility of spiritual coaching for weight loss.)
— Follow a food plan and eat every 2-3 hours, mostly vegetables, some fruit, and a little meat and dairy.  Refer to for your specific recommended daily diet.
— Stop eating sugars, foods with added sugar and artificial sweeteners today, and forever.
— Limit carbohydrates as much as possible.  They’re trouble for people with weight problems.
— Eat very little fatty foods.  Never eat fried foods, or very, very rarely.  Very little, or no red meat – or very very rarely.  Eat mostly fish and fowl, and only limited servings a day.  Get some dairy – about 2 servings per day, or take calcium supplements.
— Get daily physical movement into your schedule, no matter what.  Minimum of 30 minutes (work up to it slowly, of course) of walking, yoga, hiking, dancing, ball-playing – whatever moves you!
— Give yourself some treats, but not food treats.  Family time.  Love time.  Friend treats. Time treats.  Hot soak baths.  Massages.  Flowers.  Time with a great website (like this one!) and books and newspapers.  Study.  Exercise your mind.
— Pray, pray and pray.
— Meditate.  Go to church, temple, synagogue, or the cathedral of Nature.

My doctor smiled, “Gosh, I wish all my patients were like you,” she said.  I was honored, but find myself wondering why all her patients don’t take better care of themselves.  Thank God you’re one of the ones who do!

Please comment on YOUR program:  Give-Back the problems.  Give-Back and help others with your ideas, experiences and personal story of your recovery and life maintenance.  Post below, please!

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