Thanks for all your emails and FB messages, but nothing in the new article in The New York Times, “After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight” is news to me.
The article details research showing how the Biggest Loser participants (and anyone rapidly losing weight) regains at an astonishing rate, destroys their metabolism, experiences great shame, and crushes their esteem.
Not only did I discover those truths in my own diet-and-regain merry-go-round of a life, I turned that vital information to my advantage in losing 92 lbs and sustaining the weight loss long-term. (74 lbs sustained since 2000 + another 18 lbs sustained since 2011).
Before that, shame was my middle name as I spent over 20 years losing and regaining.
What burns my butt is the disingenuous nature of the doctors and researchers in this article. You can’t tell me they didn’t understand these concepts, which I was able to learn as a layman in the medical school library. If it is news to them, we need to take a serious look at medical school training today.
Of course, I admit I had to explain it to my brother-in-law, a doctor, who claimed to have heard nothing of it in medical school.
Fat people, he claimed, were weak willed. Oh, brother(in-law)!
Why should I, simply a fairly intelligent woman who conquered a food addiction, be telling the supposed professionals about permanent weight loss?
One of the most painful aspects of weight loss is weight regain. Has this scenario happened to you? You’ve struggled and deprived yourself for months, losing weight. And, then, one day you “wake up fat” again.
Watch this video where actor Kevin James explains it perfectly:
What were his key words?
“I’m going to give myself a little time to have fun….”
Yep, that’s what started it all!
Another key thing he said? “I’m going to make a turnaround.”
Have you heard yourself saying either of these things?
They are called denial.
Now, my point is not to ridicule Kevin James. In fact, since I have coached clients in the film business and worked in it too, I can tell you the methods used to get in shape for a film are often gruesome, even more restrictive and debilitating than most of us mortals, who aren’t being paid hundreds of thousands (or millions!) of dollars, could endure.
And, if our mortal efforts results in regain 99% of the time, Hollywood weight loss is almost guaranteed to return. You see this over and over, as actors regularly bulk up, then lose weight, invariably winding up in midlife as overweight, metabolisms shot, bodies energetically depleted. It happened to Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor in the old days. It happened to Russell Crowe and Christina Aguilera more recently.
And even though it’s a legitimate point how differently media treat male and female regainers (media and tabloids follow female regainers around ruthlessly – see this recent article where Christina Aguilera talks about how she was “forced” to be toothpick thin early in her career, with producers telling her an entire tour would fail if she was anything but tiny), they didn’t seem to talk too much about Kevin James’ regain.
He wasn’t ridiculed or plastered on the cover of People magazine.
He didn’t find a “plus sized” label in front of his name, like comedienne Aidy Bryant, a new regular cast member of Saturday Night Live, discovered in front of her name in the articles about her new job. (See this article calling her “morbidly obese” and suggesting thin women run for the ho-hos.)
No, the point is Kevin’s regain. Despite his sense of humor (haven’t we all developed good senses of humor about our weight?), you can see behind his apology.
As I recently told a client who got to goal weight and began to slip: there is only one way to eat.
No “I’ll just give myself a break…”
No “I’ll get back on the wagon….” Remember Oprah’s wagon? There is no wagon.
There is only now. And how we feed and treat ourselves right now will show up tomorrow. There is only one way to eat. And that is in the healthiest way possible, especially given the crap that’s hawked in our faces every day, screaming from every billboard, sign and screen.
Let’s eat in a way that makes us proud of ourselves today, and makes tomorrow great.
We all know how to do this, if we stop and pay attention. We know how to treat ourselves with dignity.
The weight loss industry loves to make us feel bad about ourselves.
Born with a wide-hipped bone structure? Bad girl!
Did you diet so much in your teens that, even though you feel healthy and can maintain your weight easily, you still weigh 30 lbs more than those “magic” weight charts in the doctor’s office? Terrible you!
Despite constant dieting, is your waist roughly the same size as your hips so the latest fashion hip-rider jeans just don’t work for you? Shame on you!
I know I never would have lost over 70 lbs., or maintained that weight loss for over 10 years, if I stayed hooked into the diet biz OR bad feelings about myself. It took me a long time to disengage from commercials and advertising that shows EVERYONE with long legs, taut arms, tiny waist, and big boobs. In real life, every body is unique and very few meet the advertising world’s criteria for beauty.
Instead of feeling bad about ourselves, we should feel bad for them. What a boring, pathetic, lying world they depict!
Take note of this new commercial for Jenny Craig where the absolutely beautiful actress Sara Rue talks about not being able to leave the house (oh, the shame!!) when overweight:
The reason this lovely woman is in for a rude awakening (and I hate to see that) is the route she’s taken in order to lose that weight and fit into those “skinny” jeans. My research taught me that dieting is the key to regain. The body is programmed to regain after sudden loss. (If you don’t understand this, see this audio class.)
The very first Principal in the Catalyst Weight Loss System is “Don’t do anything to lose weight that you can’t do forever” because otherwise you are just setting yourself up for regain.
Do you want it now or do you want it forever?
The approach is different.
Here’s what I also learned losing all that weight. Women (some men, but especially women) buy the skinny=happy equation and waste precious TIME, ENERGY and PASSION worrying about it, pursuing it, failing at it, running their lives by it (staying home!) and making u-turns in life.
WE ARE GIVING AWAY OUR POWER BY BUYING INTO THIS MYTH!
Just think what we could do collectively if we harnessed all that energy and passion and used it to care (really care) for ourselves!
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