There doesn’t seem to be a law that a new year must be accompanied by feelings of weight-guilt, but January/February dismay seems to be pretty universal.
Every year, year in and year out, a new year reminds us it’s time to suffer, feel guilty or both. And so we join in this annual ritual of self-abuse.
But let me ask you this: The struggle and strain to lose weight has been going on every year for centuries. After all those years of effort, shouldn’t we be winning?
I mean, an avalanche of all the diet books in print would flatten a smallish city. But all that information, even if strictly applied, will provide–at best–no more than temporary success.
For instance, The Biggest Loser television show flogged competitors through almost superhuman efforts to lose weight. The motivated contestants did whatever they were told to do to reach the magical goal of slim and trim.
After they reach the promised land, after all that training, effort and suffering, you’d think contestants would be good to go for the rest of their lives. But you would be wrong. By about a mile.
You never see reunions of Biggest Loser alums. Most, if not all, the alums regained the weight they lost, and sometimes even more.
Why does the weight always come back? Because all the weight-loss hoopla, so heavily promoted by dietitians and doctors as a sure path to skinny-jeans heaven, throws our bodies into a very deep ditch of wounded body parts unable to figure out which way is up.
Our bodies know if they don’t step in to save the day, as in getting everything back into balance, we’re going down. Disease, even death, await.
So, an all-body call-to-arms goes out, and body parts join the battle, coordinating their efforts in a big-time push to get everything back on track. And the lost pounds come piling back. Why?
Here’s how it goes: By taking the usual, count-calories, etc., approach to weight loss, you dumped muscle, not fat. Since life depends on healthy muscles, such as the heart, your body works overtime to recover lost muscle. And you’re back where you started.
But, but, but, you cry in dismay, does that mean I’ll never be able to lose weight and keep it off?
Not at all. That’s actually pretty easy-peasy stuff. I cover the whole business in my Moving to Health program.
Well, you may counter, if it’s so easy, why don’t you just tell us? And you ask because everybody’s been brainwashed into believing health and weight loss are about magic bullets, not about understanding what’s going on. All I have to offer is understanding, so work with me here.
Losing weight is not rocket science, but getting people to change their understanding of how it works is a killer. That’s nobody’s fault; it’s just the way things are.
The weight loss industry rakes in billions and billions of dollars a year, and they don’t look kindly on anybody who talks the way I do. They keep machetes always at the ready, the better to protect their mountain of money.
I don’t want to start a fight with a whole gang of bullies, which is scary. But I do want to help people; I just have to wait for them to realize they need my help.
Here’s how it goes: We are all unique, one-of-a-kind beings. One-size-fits-all diets don’t work for unique people. So talk about losing weight must take the unique wonder of us into account; a quick ten-point list doesn’t come close.
But I can give you two basic truths that will probably contradict everything you’ve been taught: Counting calories doesn’t get you anywhere, and you have to eat fat to lose fat.
I kid you not.