I like the phrase “sum delta”.
It’s geeky, and I like it. It has been a very, very long time since I did any real amount of algebra or physics…but as I vaguely remember it, “sum delta” basically means the total amount of change in an equation or data set. If you start with five, subtract three, add one, then subtract two…you wind up with one, and a “sum delta” of 4. Go ahead, use your fingers…I did.
I’m sure you are already seeing the role sum delta plays in healthy eating. Like I said when I started the blog…it doesn’t matter what I weigh now, it doesn’t matter what you weigh now…what matters is where we go from here (yes, why matters too, but that’s another post). What matters is the sum delta weight. If you are at a good weight, and in good health, then it it important that where you go is nowhere…your goal would be a sum delta of zero. On the other hand, if you are like me, and need to make changes toward health, then again…it is the sum delta in health that matters, not the final numbers on the scale.
Focusing on the numbers on a scale is the Allopathic approach to health. Allopathy (the mainstream, everyday, scientific, MD – type healthcare that we all know) thinks of health as the absence of symptoms, and symptoms as the signs of the disease: Get rid of the symptoms and you get rid of the disease. In this case, the symptom is excess weight, and the getting rid of the symptom means changing the number on the scales. The goal of treating obesity is to reduce weight.
Holistic health looks at things a little differently. Health isn’t just the absence of symptoms, but it is vibrant happy functioning in every way. Symptoms can either be a clue to a root problem, or evidence of what the body is doing to get healthy again. The number on the scale is part of the picture, but not the whole focus. The goal of treating obesity (or anything else) is not only changing the numbers on the scales, but to make everything better and healthier.
If the goal is health, then hitting X on the scale is less critical than better energy, better mood, increased strength, overall fitness, self esteem, confidence, etc. Better overall HEALTH is the goal…not a number. We are aiming for a good sum delta…which as we saw in the example above, isn’t always a straight line or a single number. There may be some ups and downs, there may be some adjustments to be made.
Taking a holistic approach eliminates the so-called dieting plateau. The plateau isn’t a barrier or frustration or something to ‘break through’…it is a message from our body. If you aren’t healthy at the plateau weight, then it is a message from your body that something needs to change, there is more work to do. It might be a clue that your original “sum delta” might need to be bigger or smaller than you originally thought. Or,
it might be a message that it’s all good, you’re home…you’ve arrived at a maintainable “new normal” and your new “sum delta” needs to be zero.
The Vampire Diet book and blog is my attempt at making the process of getting healthier, happier, stronger, and maximizing our “sum delta” weight loss all a little less stressful. You know, put a little fun delta in the old sum delta. We may not be transforming into vampires, but we are transforming into someone a little more energetic and mentally alert than our unhealthy obese selves. We may not be transforming into an immortal creature, but we are extending our health, and hopefully extending life as well.