I’ve seen the stats. I know a lot of people have trouble losing weight. And yet I didn’t. I lost over 25% of my body weight in less than six months. Because I am not that big anyway, I had to buy three new sets of clothes in that time period.
That weight has been off for almost five years now.
But I’ve long wondered why people have such trouble. Thinking about it more and reading this, I’ve realized that people mainly (in my opinion) have great difficulty keeping weight off because we frame it as a punishment, as yet another instantiation of our Judeo-Christian “sin/punishment” guilt-cycling belief system.
This is doomed to failure.
Because I am not strongly connected to my culture and don’t understand much of it, thinking about weight loss this way would’ve never (and did not) occur to me.
So why do people gain it back if it’s so important to them? If they’d rather be blind or have a leg amputated, why can’t they just keep up with their weight management efforts? Is it because as Tara describes their bodies work against them? Certainly in part, but I think the bigger reason is because they’ve likely chosen inane methods of loss and maintenance – like those described by Tara. To lose their weight they’ve gone on highly restrictive diets, they’re denying themselves the ability to use food for comfort or celebration, they’re regularly white-knuckling through hunger and cravings, they’ve set ridiculous Boston Marathon style goals for their losses, and they’ll often possess highly traumatic all-or-nothing attitudes towards their efforts. In short? They’ve chosen suffering as their weight management modality.
I have the best “diet” ever. Check this out: I eat whatever the fuck I want.
I just don’t do it whenever I want to. If there is something I really want, I say, “Well if that still sounds good on Saturday, I’ll eat it.”
So I do.
Or if I absolutely just can’t wait (which is rare), I have a tiny bit of it, maybe a spoonful or so.
But it turns out that if you reframe how people think about weight loss, a large percentage of them can and do keep the weight off.
Paying attention to intake, exercising, and applying the education they received from their expert research team. And would you take a look at that graph! By year 4, of the folks who’d lost more than 10% of their weight in the first year, some did indeed gain it back, but 42.2% kept off nearly 18% of their presenting weight for the full 4 years! In fact they kept off virtually all of their year one losses. Moreover, looking at all comers of the trial and not just the folks who lost a pile in year one, nearly 25% of all participants maintained a 4 year loss greater than 10% of their initial weight.
That’s sure a far cry from no one.
Like anything else in life, you’ll get in return what effort/thought you put into it. Surprise.