My neighbor just signed up for Weight Watchers and she is excited the same way she always is when she finds help on her never-ending weight loss journey. “I was a chubby child, an overweight adult and now I am an overweight older Grandma,” she says and then she tells me about her heavy bones, and how she was doomed to be overweight her whole life. “It’s genetic!”
She tried it all. Diet pills, diet drinks, cardboard-like overpriced food which was sent to her home in cardboard boxes -which perhaps was meant to give her a hint on how it would taste. Now she is hopeful -again. A smart company called Weight Watchers has turned calories into points, and now she will succeed. Again, she signed up and paid upfront for a service. This should be the first alarming sign. Why not a 50% deposit, and 50% after you succeed? Are they not sure you will succeed? Or pay all when you hit your goal. They promise success, so what’s there to lose?
My neighbor wants to lose the 50 pounds she needs to get rid of for decades. And it will work -for a short time. The truth is it will go as it always does. Highly motivated she will attend meetings, will cook and eat what these geniuses recommend, and she will add and subtract points and by doing so she will lose 10 to 15 pounds. Then slowly she will fall back into old habits, she will lose interest in counting points and she will gain all the weight back to be right there where she is today.
Then she will be critical with the program (not with herself) and she will pout for a few weeks, perhaps even months until something ‘new’ will come along, giving her the same hope.
I watch from the sideline, always ready to gently lift her up again, when she will be down.
I believe some people are on medications or have diseases that make weight loss extremely hard. I myself have been on steroids for almost three years and the weight gain was terrifying. But the majority of overweight and morbidly obese people here in the U.S. are not on medications, neither do they have diseases that make them immobile. Most of the overweight people here in the U.S. are just out of control.
It’s really not rocket science. If we constantly eat too much and don’t exercise we will gain weight. If we are a lazy couch potato who eats like a construction worker, we will gain weight.
We are what we eat. If we feel sluggish and our world seems to be foggy. Look at what we eat. Most of our food these days is overly processed and full of beautiful chemical ingredients we can’t pronounce. The box says HEALTHY but the truth is it’s as unhealthy as it can be. Chicken should not have sodium added, milk should not have sugar added.
The diet industry is a billion-dollar industry. Full of miracle cures and promises they never keep. Hope in a bottle or a quick solution in pill form. Appetite suppressants being the number one seller, followed by laxatives’ promising to gently relieve us when we overate again.
I am now forced to live a very strict and healthy lifestyle. I have an autoimmune disorder -actually two. Either I behave or I have to be heavily medicated. No dairy, no gluten, no sugar, no processed food. Is it easy? Nope, but it’s so worth it. The first four weeks were hell, then I got used to it. I felt the difference, perhaps the biggest reward!
Sometimes I wonder why my neighbor eats the way she eats. Is she really hungry or just bored? Happy people don’t overeat, perhaps she is not happy with her life?
Is her appetite really asking for food, or does she have an appetite for life itself?
Overeating happens if we eat more than we should. Let’s say with 2000 calories an average woman with a moderate lifestyle holds her weight, that also means a woman eating 3000 calories will gain weight and a woman eating 1500 calories will lose weight. It’s a no-brainer.
2000 calories are your gambling ‘money’ for the day. Write down what you eat faithfully -and there really is no bad food if you don’t have health restrictions- and when you hit 0 you are done for the day. If you want more, earn it. Walk an hour and you can have the donut -if you then still want it. Take an online Zumba class, dance your behind off and you won’t feel guilty if you drink the two beers afterward.
It’s simple math, yet it seems to be so hard to understand.
The portions in the U.S. are insane and the serving sizes had to be adjusted for the enormous appetite we have. The small soda here is still bigger than the large Coca Cola in Europe. Think about it?
Eat your burger and eat your fries, but not every day. Nothing is wrong with carbs, nothing is wrong with having two or three cookies. Eating a whole sleeve, well that’s another story.
Today many aim for the EASY WAY OUT. Gastric sleeves or gastric bypasses, invasive surgeries that will bring weight loss, but won’t cure the problem. If you eat too much if you are overeating and binge eating, find out why you do it. I myself was hoarding chocolate as a child and a teenager. I had a stash of GOODIES hidden away. I didn’t get sweets when I still lived with my parents and being sent to bed without dinner was the norm when they were fighting. My past was the reason for my hoarding problem. I had to face it -today I don’t even eat chocolate. Invasive surgery is not the answer to your problem. Most likely you will start to gain weight again.
My neighbor doesn’t need Weight Watchers. She needs to meet with a therapist, a nutritionist or perhaps even a group meeting with other people who are in the same boat. Finding out what is going on deep down, what a hurtful trip it can be.
Cravings are just a suggestion given to us by our brain. A craving is not a command. That’s what I learned when I gave up smoking. My brain gave me the signal that I wanted a cigarette because it didn’t know any better. I had to re-program it. Is it simple? Nope, but it’s not hard either.
In the end it all is a choice. Do I choose to be healthy or do I choose to give in?
Successful people do daily what the unsuccessful only do occasionally!
This simple sentence hit home so hard. I read it and it brought me to my knees. All my excuses flew out of the window.
The food industry in Europe and in the U.S. has a goal. Within the next ten years, most of us will rely on pre-cooked food and most of us will not cook at home anymore. Cooking meals in our kitchen will then be reserved for special occasions. Ordering in and eating out will be the new normal.
A student of mine works at a very well-known company who makes jams and preserves, also coffee and many other things. She works in the laboratory. All the science and test-eaters have only one goal, to make their product more tasteful, but also more addictive. If we like it, we want more…and we do.
Chips, snacks, sweets, carbs, fried food.
We have demonized certain foods like carbs, with the result that we offer extreme diets to perfectly healthy people who don’t need them. All for the dream to be slim, lean and beautiful like all the photoshopped celebrities’.
Imagine, even a Millionaire like Oprah Winfried didn’t have the brain to hire a chef who would cook healthy meals for her, but instead she too had to go to Weight Watchers to add 2+2 together. Pretty sad isn’t it?
Well, as long as we believe it, she will make more money selling us HER product and we are in good company.
While I don’t understand all the new beauty trend, because I don’t find a morbidly obese men or women attractive, I am all for it. If you are happy the way you are. Why change it? Beauty comes in all form and sizes. Love yourself unconditionally and be confident. If you are happy the way you are. Why torture yourself?
But if you are not happy! Then make a choice! Every morning. It’s not going to be given to you on a silver platter -nothing ever is if you are not born rich. Maybe it has to be hard? Maybe success should not come easy. Maybe not all of us are supposed to be slim and healthy.
You are worth it! Cry, laugh, be loud, make some noise -work on you! Become you want to be!