I recently read a blog post by a woman who lost a lot of weight, listing all the things she missed about being overweight. Losing weight permanently means letting go of anything you might miss later. It means moving on in life, without regret.
I read the post with interest. I had never thought about missing anything from my days at 242 lbs. I was HAPPY to leave those pounds, that mindset, and any regrets behind me.
Here were the five things she missed:
I could pig out whenever I wanted
When I was fat, and people liked me, I knew it was real.
I didn’t worry about what to eat
Now, I threaten people
Other people left me alone
I call bullshit!
Let’s look at those “missing” items.
I was recording a podcast Friday and had to interrupt my host when he mentioned my “15 years of permanent weight loss” with an update.
As of tomorrow, that number will be 16!!!
After losing 74 lbs, I began the process of cementing my success in place.
It was March 13, 2000.
I new diets didn’t work. I had left them in the dust.
Focusing on the new healthier habits, I vowed to never go back. I didn’t quite understand, but I was learning how to create a new lifestyle.
A new lifestyle isn’t something that happens in a vacuum, or overnight. It develops.
By now, you have heard that Mattel has tried to diversify its long-time bestselling doll, Barbie, in response to criticism her impossible proportions negatively affect young girls’ body images.
If you read my blog at all, you know I have linked the plastic doll to the super thin plastic “ideal” body seen in every Hollywood film, on the fashion runways, and in advertising.
Almost sixty years ago, Barbie was modeled literally from the original dollmaker’s 12-year-old son’s body – wide shoulders, narrow hips, otherworldly long legs and neck – and then a pair of large fake breasts were appended.
Mattel didn’t cave in and change Barbie because of the collateral damage to females. Instead, they changed the 57-year-old doll due to lowered sales in a world where women have effectively (finally!) rejected the anorexic ideal in favor of reflecting realistic shapes and sizes of females.
It can’t be argued many women have measured themselves against this superthin image, with disastrous results like food addiction, anorexia, disordered eating, bulimia. A recent study published in Psychology Today showed 91% of women were dissatisfied with their bodies, with almost 80% saying they were too heavy, when only about 60% of all women are overweight.
The focus on thin in media has been changing. Who cares if Angelina Jolie can subsist on 600 calories a day? No one is watching her movies, because they are seriously awful, which is why she has to do such outrageous things to get publicity these days.
The public is much more engaged with Amy Schumer, who is seriously funny, and hasn’t abandoned her body to Hollywood’s makeover artists. And with Kim Kardashian’s curvy derriere. And they are fascinated with the sexy new Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Ashley Graham. (Photo by James Macari/from the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue on sale now.)
Much as been written about Oprah Winfrey buying Weight Watchers‘ stock for $40 million dollars and, in just a few days, tripling that investment, when stocks rose.
On the surface, like most media blitzes, the numbers look impressive.
And comics and cartoonists had fun with the idea that Oprah would make MORE money to add to her billions:
But beyond the media blitz and the jokes, there is something much more insidious and disappointing about this shoddy deal.
Holidays are tough for many people but, if you are actively trying to lose weight, the extra stress can be a diet killer. What do successful weight loss survivors do? Here are some helpful weight loss tips from experts and coaches who’ve actually been successful losing weight themselves.
I specifically spoke with experts who understand the concept of sustained weight loss too. This is a big distinction, as permanent weight loss, defined by the medical community as weight loss sticking around over five years, is illusive to many.
Research shows permanent weight loss is more likely to result from lifestyle and attitude change. Diets just don’t do the trick for long-term change.
The irrepressible comedienne Amy Schumer keeps getting in our faces. She likes getting in our faces and, let’s face it, that’s her job. But, this week, we got naked Amy Schumer, showing off her considerable healthy body image.
In an image-driven world, why do we need naked Amy Schumer?
As an entertainer selling her movies, performances and TV shows, she must get in front of us and get our attention. The difference with Amy is – she’s not just another sleek Hollywood body, a woman haunted by long days filled with cigarettes, coffee, maybe a few drugs and a stalk of celery, valiantly trying to measure up to Hollywood’s impossible standards for female artists.
She’s real and she’s real-sized.
She seems more interested in creating a persona that’s down-to-earth AND earthy. She’s VERY invested in being herself.
Between Halloween and New Year’s Day, the average weight gain for people who struggle with excess weight is 8-10 pounds. If this describes you, kick this trend to the curb and find permanent weight loss. Here are some holiday eating tips. If permanent change has eluded you, here’s a hint at what it looks like:
Holiday Eating Tips
1. Enough with the Halloween candy! Make your party (and your kids’ focus) on fun, costumes, friends, connections. When my son was small, I let him eat some candy on Halloween, then he picked 7 items to keep (1 per day for the next week) and the rest went to the neighborhood fire station. Some dentists will PAY kids for their candy. YOU can pay your kids, or teach them about donating excess to others. NO ONE really needs another damned snickers bar, especially children. If your child is challenged by ADHD, anxiety or depression, get the crap out of sight now, and forever.
Weight loss motivation is crucial in order to create and sustain the deep changes in behavior that can result in permanent weight loss.
Perhaps the most common way to summon weight loss motivation is through reward, hoping to elicit better behavior with a big reward.
On TV, the contestants on “The Biggest Loser” vie for money and other prizes. The long-term weight loss success is nil. (See Why I Hate “The Biggest Loser.”)
Many people attempt weight loss motivation through pleasurable rewards like trips, new wardrobes or, yes, food extravaganzas.
Every single client of mine who tried the Weight Watchers approach (hundreds of my clients through the years have attempted the diet) drove straight from their GOAL CELEBRATION WEIGH-IN to a fast food drive-thru restaurant and binged. The client who held the record among those folks tried Weight Watchers 22 times. SHE (not me) repeated the old definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result – at our first consultation.
Movie and television stars are paid to be weight loss spokespeople, but quickly regain the weight when the contract runs out. Financial rewards motivate in other ways, with one spouse or partner often attempting to reward the other for pursuing a healthier weight.
All of these are utter failures as motivating techniques, because they are extrinsic, or coming from outside of us. They can also seem far away, or we can lose interest in them, especially if we encounter pain in the form of deprivation, hunger denial, and lack of enjoyment with food.
Also, when we feel the need to be repeatedly rewarded for something, we actually begin to wonder how much value it holds. In other words, sabotaging thoughts like “is it really worth it, if I have to be rewarded for doing it?” begin to derail motivation. Surprisingly, even children stop playing with their favorite toy, after they are given a treat for doing it several times!
Weight Loss Motivation that Works
Studies show risk aversion is more powerful than extrinsic factors. We naturally don’t want to lose something… so, for example, if you pay for a personal trainer or a coach up front, you are more likely to follow through and show up. The more paid, the better the results!
It’s easy to ignore the $59 fitbit when we don’t want to know the day’s results… but ignoring a big ticket coaching session or class feels wrong. We hate to lose our money!
Another aid to success is intrinsic motivation. This is where we are motivated by how we feel on the inside when we behave in desired ways. For instance, runners love the endorphin high they feel after running long distances. Hot yoga students who grow to crave their yoga class have developed an awareness of what detoxification of the body feels like – clean, light, sleek.
Long-term, permanent weight loss has its own inherent reward. The feeling of satisfaction in knowing that you beat the odds, and did something that will benefit the quality of your days throughout life, and most likely lengthen life, is something not many people can claim.
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