I haven’t been intentionally losing weight, but it’s been a side-effect of the newest wrinkle in my physical state. I’ve had to change my eating habits a bit to focus on certain nutrients and that change has resulted in some amount of weight being temporarily misplaced. How much I don’t know for sure, because I only weigh myself at the doctors. (If you go to the doctors’ more frequently than you ever went to meetings when you were officially on WW, I figure that’s a fine policy. It also results in my not having the cognitive dissonance of my scale never agreeing with the Official Scale Of Medicalness.)
A friend who is also a physician posted a link to Facebook today about the 10 Things That Cause Diets To Fail. Given my new status as an accidental weight losing person I decided to look it over out of curiousity.
This is why people don’t lose weight in America. The optimal conditions for weight loss, according to this article, are so stringent as to be unlivable. Sure, you can call me lazy. You can say all fat people lack willpower and initiative. Yet I don’t see people who are not fat being told things like “Never take NSAIDs” and “donate your TV”. I understand that the American Diet needs some serious reform. But I also understand that’s partly the fault of the People Who Know Better telling us for years to eat a diet high in carbohydrates, low in fat, when more and more research is proving just how utterly wrong that is. So here we are, fat people, being told that the advice we followed was very bad but now here’s some new advice. Let’s do this instead.
I’m not intentionally dieting. I stopped that years ago when I realised that my scale was my idol and my tape measure was my father confessor and clippings from Self magazine were my God. It dawned on me one day that I had LITERALLY made Self my god and that was that. Since then I’ve watched what I have eaten as best I could. I maintained a large weightloss over a span of five years simply by eating when I was hungry and taking chemo weekly. I refuse to intentionally diet but I WILL moderate my nutritional intake for medical reasons.
What does this mean? It means that I won’t put myself on starvation rations. It means I eat more of certain foods–I’m living on asparagus, black beans and cinnamon. It means I cut down other things. But my day doesn’t revolve around it.
That’s the trouble with this diet guide. I’m not saying they aren’t correct . They probably are. But what they miss is this.
People are not solely machines. As much as it would be LOVELY to be able to tell people to “eat less and move more” and have that be a one-to-one proposition, it just doesn’t work. When you hand a list like this to most overweight people I imagine their response is somewhat similar to mine. “Why yes. Let me just quit everything in my life and become a professional dieter with a stable of physicians and dieticians overseeing my every move.” Because that’s what a list like this takes.
And if you want to treat the whole person you’ve got to treat the PERSON, not just the body. Work with people to make small changes and understand that in an ideal world everyone would ride exercise bikes all the time and eat only organic veggies and lean meats and not have to be caregivers or ill or laid off or heartbroken or harried, but this is not that ideal world.