The Challenge

I experienced challenges with my weight during my entire life.  I have always exercised regularly, but my diet has been a challenge.   I implemented low-calorie plans for short periods that did result in short term success, but then the old habits returned.  In my case, I have been successful in adding fruits, vegetables, and protein; but, I have had a major challenge in reducing fats and sugar. 

After I conducted significant research regarding changing diet behavior permanently, I determined that I must take a few specific steps.  I ate two meals per day, breakfast, and a second meal in the middle of the afternoon.  This schedule gave me plenty of time to digest my food before going to sleep.  My breakfast was all fruit and my mid-afternoon meal was a salad with chicken or turkey.  My challenge is eating snacks between meals and just before going to sleep. 

Therefore, in my case, the challenge was not researching the proper food to eat; it was having the discipline to avoid the wrong food.  Even though I was running several miles every morning and doing a second workout in the evenings, I was still gaining weight.

Identifying Objectives

My health challenges were not limited to weight gain, and I felt a lack of energy and was not thinking clearly.  After comparing my activities to the best practices, I learned from my research that I was not only eating snacks that contained sugar and fat, but I was taking naps, watching too much television, and not accomplishing enough of my positive activities during the day. 

I determined that I needed the motivation to spend my time completing activities that would make my life better.  My challenge was one of motivation.  I created specific goals for myself that would take several months to complete.  The goals I created were for work, my family, and my spiritual growth.  I committed daily time for each category of my goal.  Then I measured the time spent on each category daily.  I created quarterly goals that could be measured weekly.  Examples of the daily objectives for work included:  making a specific number of calls to customers and resellers, creating promotional email messages, and planning activities for the next day.  For the family and friends activities, I scheduled:  specific calls daily, writing letters, scheduling dates to meet, and sending packages.   For my spiritual growth activities, I scheduled:  time for prayer and reflection, writing Blog Articles, studying specific Christian Lessons, and planning prayers with a focus for specific people or objectives.

An important part of the process is to evaluate the results and make changes when required. In my case, I not only measure the completion of the daily activities and quarterly results but evaluated the improvement of my weight and overall physical health. 


I am still in the process but I did find that I needed to change some of my planned activities.  In my case, I did not schedule enough activities to reduce the amount of time I was spending on watching television or napping.  Of course, I do want to spend some time with relaxation and entertainment, but not to the exclusion of completing my planned activities.  After the first quarter, I believe my plan is workable and my health is improving.  I will continue to evaluate the process and make changes as my weight and overall health improves.  Praying for help helped me find the discipline to follow the plan.  There will always be times when I fail to meet the planned objectives, but by making judgments weekly instead of daily, I have a much better chance of reaching the overall objectives.  I will post future articles on the results after another quarter.

Published by Jim Brandt

Jim Brandt was an all-conference college football player and served as a Marine Corps pilot during the Vietnam War. He also started a software company and served as an executive for the fifth-largest bank in the United States. Brandt won the Democratic party nomination for Congress twice. He is married and has three children.

6 replies on “Witness 026 Health: Achieving Long Term Diet Change”

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