The REAL Way to STOP “Weighting” and Start Living
The statistics ARE real … don’t dismiss them! Over 71% of people in Mississippi were overweight or obese in 2016 … and at that time 66% of all Americans were, obviously unsuccessfully, on a diet. My generation … 34% of Baby Boomers … are overweight and another 35% are obese … gee … that’s just about all of us!
Gosh, when I was growing up, thin was definitely in! I struggled then to fit into a size 6 even with monster thighs and a spotty exercise regime. Needless to stay, I starved, did predigested protein (the “master cleanse” and “intermittent fasting” of its day), and always felt fat and ugly … I even do today.
Even though, a year ago, I was waiting for a lunch partner at a trendy Pasadena restaurant and noticed that two women across the room were eyeing me. One finally said … quite loudly across the room …, “You are SO beautiful!”. It’s not the first time WitI’ve heard it. So why don’t I believe it?
It’s partially because we’re sooo bombarded by unreal images … check out my recent article here … that make us feel bad about our size. Even more now that everyone has access to some kind of image-altering software. And, because of that, many of us are sucked into the idea of diets that don’t work.
Actually, diets don’t work for many other reasons, including fear of losing control, shame at losing it, and the fact that our psychology rebels against the idea of restricting any kind of food and literally forces us to overeat. That’s why I was surprised by the title of the book, Willpower, by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney, because their weight-loss rules seem to have nothing to do with “willpower” … especially the third one …
If you’re serious about controlling your weight you need the discipline to follow these three rules:
#1 – Never go on a diet
#2 – Never vow to give up chocolate or any other food
#3 – Whether you’re judging yourself or judging others, never equate being overweight with having weak willpower
So here’s what I think about diets … and what we can do to give them up once and for all. First, realize that …
They’re Lying to Us!
I once dated a guy who was “rated” in Las Vegas. We stayed gratis at the best hotels, ate free at the best restaurants, and saw all the shows … no charge. He could win $70,000 one weekend. But we walked the streets together, him in anguish, at 2am when he lost the next.
Diets are like Vegas in reverse. There you think that you can “win big” but, in reality, the “cards” are stacked against you … the house always wins in the long run. With diets, we’re bombarded with “before-and-after” images of women in tight dresses literally screaming …
“I lost 89 pounds on [name of diet]!
… when, the harsh reality is that more than 95% of those who go on diets gain the weight back … and then some. Nobody ever screams about that. Although the proof lies in the celebrities … those in the public eye.
It seems that the only celeb that has kept the weight off is Marie Osmond. Even Oprah, a multi-billionaire and part owner of Weight Watchers, has had a very public struggle with hers. But why should she fret … she’s got THE LION’S SHARE OF A $66 BILLION-DOLLAR CASH COW!
Yes … that’s what all kinds of diets rake in every year. With a less than 5% success rate. So if you’re holding tight to the idea that your latest diet will perform a major miracle, cut a slice of …
The Harsh Physiological (and Psychological) Reality of Diets
Even though we’ve progressed a ton in a few thousand years, our digestive physiology is still that of Neanderthal man. Who ate mostly what he could pull from the ground or off the trees. And gorged on the occasional wild boar after expending a lot of calories killing it. Knowing he probably would not feast as well for a while …
Baumeister and Tierney explained it well … “Evolution favored people who could survive famines, so once a body has gone through the experience of not getting enough to eat, it reacts by fighting to keep all the pounds it has. When you diet, your body assumes there’s a famine and hangs on to every fat cell it can.”
Now that we have the luxury of swinging by the 7-Eleven on In-n-Out drive-thru, this hold-onto-those-pounds ancient physiology is stacked against us. Not only that, research has shown that the psychological impact of shame (of failing to control our eating among other things) can cause inflammation, which can actually promote weight gain as well as open the door to a whole host of other diseases.
So, what’s the answer?
Stop Flying with the Flock
Humans are like flocks of geese. We’re socialized to fly together. Even if we’re heading for a cliff. It’s the only rationale I can muster for us embracing diets so desperately.
Hey, I know that turning around and flying the other way can be a lonely proposition, especially when you’re buffeted by storms and wind currents. Not to mention the censure of others in the flock. Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull comes to mind. If you’re thinking of giving up diets, I’d suggest reading it.
Because giving up diets is the only way you’re going to lose weight. Eating tricks the body into letting go of some of those fat cells. And making all foods OK to eat absolves us of the shame of diet-fails.
I know that changing your whole belief system is tough. But change is possible. And freedom from diets plausible. You have very little to lose. And the “big win” is that you fly free!
“He spoke of very simple things – that it is right for a gull to fly, that freedom is the very nature of his being, that whatever stands against that freedom must be set aside, be it ritual or superstition or limitation in any form.” “Set aside,” came a voice from the multitude, “even if it be the Law of the Flock?” “The only true law is that which leads to freedom,” Jonathan said. “There is no other.” ~ Richard Bach
Leave Your Comments About Don’t You EVER Give Up Chocolate or [Favorite Food]! Below
What do you feel about what I just wrote? Are you ready and willing to give up diets so you can actually lose weight? If so, what do you think you have to do to accomplish that?