Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

Weight-Loss Maintenance: The Job Description

In Weight-Loss Maintenance on September 30, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Earlier this week, I opined that the first unfairness of weight-loss maintenance is that it is not a zippy lifestyle, but a third- to half-time unpaid job.  Like any job, it need not be joyless, but one may need to force joy into it.  Here’s a typical day at “work.”

4:30 am:  I stand on the scale.  It’s like checking email and voice mail.  What message has my body left me?  If my weight is stable and below my current “panic weight” I still must work, but it’s a little less stressful than if I have to reverse a one-pound (or more) regain, a process that may require weeks of “tweaking” my regimen.

4:30-5:30 am:  I don my exercise clothes, take a thyroid pill, make a pot of coffee, prepare my mind.

5:30-6:30 am:   I take my place in front of the TV, wearing a weighted vest and ankle weights, with hand weights at the ready.  In order for an aerobics DVD to be “productive” (prevent a weight slide), I know I must carry 20 to 30 extra pounds throughout an average 55 minute routine, and often I add extra moves and double-time the instructor in interval bursts.  I must soak my bra with sweat.  Alternatively, I go to the gym and use the track and weights, or I walk outdoors, but I must go longer – two hours walking seven miles counts for a day’s exercise, for example. Read the rest of this entry »


The Unfairness of Weight-Loss Maintenance

In Weight-Loss Maintenance on September 29, 2010 at 10:30 am

Most people oversimplify why fat people “yo-yo,” or lose then regain large amounts of weight.  Cultural mythology says it’s because fat people “get lazy” or “don’t understand it’s a lifestyle change,” and return to their old ways.  In fact, most fat people (over age 20) are energetic, well-informed, earnest people who think this time they’ve found their perfect plan, forever and for good.  Something has “clicked.” Shortly after losing the weight, they go through an optimistic honeymoon phase where they endeavor to inspire their friends and family to lose weight. Yet for most people, no matter how smart, disciplined, optimistic or committed they are, the weight comes back.  It’s humiliating.  Yet their shame is a travesty.    

Only 3% of people who intentionally lose radical weight will maintain their losses for five years, according to evidence-based, empirical research. Why? 

Accept the following paradigm shift from common wisdom:  fat people are no more ignorant, lazy, weak-willed or emotionally broken than naturally trim people, but weight-loss maintenance is abjectly unfair.  In subsequent postings to this blog you will learn how to make some peace with each of the following inequities.  But today is not your pep talk; it’s plain-talk. Read the rest of this entry »