Bad Examples

- POSTED ON: Feb 29, 2012

 


                               
Sometimes I find that I learn as much
from a "Bad Example" as I do from a good one.

One of the things I do here in my Dieting Hobby
is follow the online sharing of various people
who are engaged in the pursuit of weight-loss,
as they try this diet or that one, or follow no structured plan.

Watching others teaches me things,
and reinforces things that I've already learned
from my own experience.

For several years I've been following the journal
of someone who shares her daily thoughts and activities
as it relates to her weight-loss attempts.
She is the same high weight now,
as she was when she began the online journal.

She appears to be incapable of grasping and holding on
to any type of dieting plan .. even for a one month period.
As soon as she has a failure, she rethinks everything
and starts a different plan.

The thing that becomes apparent to anyone following her
for any length of time, is that every single one of these plans
is the same … in that … she doesn't want to deny herself anything.

She wants to eat what she wants, in the amounts that she wants,
whenever she wants to eat it.

Despite all of her experience, and a multitude of evidence to the contrary,
she desperately holds on to the unfounded belief
that she doesn't need to sacrifice anything she wants.
That her obese body is going to begin acting like a "normal" body
and tell her how to eat to become smaller. ..
And, of course... it doesn't.

I have personally observed that her body hasn't done this
for at least the past several years,
despite hundreds of good intentions and well-thought out plans,
even though she has put forth an enormous amount of mental energy,
and given her body many opportunities to do so.

This example of failure … though sad for her ….
is helpful for me.
I, like many others, have that seed of fantasy within me;
that desire to believe those misguided Intuitive Eating Gurus.

I'd like to believe that my body will guide me to normalcy;
that all I have to do is listen carefully to it,
and my own body will tell me what, and when, and how much to eat
in order to leave the state of obesity, and
reach and maintain inside a normal weight range.

The thought is alluring. Such a pleasant one.
But, unfortunately, it is based on little or no truth,
even though it is frequently promoted by (sometimes) well-intentioned people,
who tell outright lies in order to support that baseless Theory…
…which is no more than a hopeful wish.

The "bad" examples of those obese people
who choose to embrace this thinking
are helpful to remind me of the Truth.

I can be normal weight.
I can maintain my body at normal weight.
But, not by following my own instincts, or
by giving my body what it "tells" me it wants.

Weight-loss and Maintenance of Weight-loss
take continual daily effort,
in order to establish habits of "good" eating,
and to consciously make "good" choices
when "bad" eating habits beckon.

CAVEAT:  My writings on this subject refer to people who 
have spent long periods of time well inside the established borders of obesity.
I do not speak for people who have been normal weight for most of their lives,
and/or whose bodies have only been 20 or 30 lbs inside the obesity range.
Those bodies could be different,
and those people might (or might not) have a different experience.


Comments:
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Existing Comments:

On Feb 29, 2012 TexArk wrote:
You know how I feel about this, but I am going to comment for your readers. I never lost much weight with intuitive eating, but after maintaining a weight loss of about 50 lbs. for nearly 5 years, I got the harebrained idea to quit counting, weighing, etc. and bought into the intuitive eating way of living for maintenance. Result: gained it all back and more! I read all the authors' books and websites, printed up huge notebooks of material, joined discussion forums, etc. I really tried hard to become a "normal" eater. But pick your metaphor: It is the Devil's lie, the Siren's Song and appeals to that part of us that does not want to submit to the hard work which is necessary.


On Feb 29, 2012 TexArk wrote:
I want to make clear that I lost my original weight of 50 lbs. by paying strict attention to what I was eating. It was not intuitive eating. And now I have lost down to a healthy BMI and have been maintaining for about 6 months or so and I am still counting and weighing...will do so I am sure for the rest of my life, but happily this time. And yes, it does help to look at the bad examples of others so as not to be tempted again.


On Feb 29, 2012 Dr. Collins wrote:
             TexArk, thanks for sharing your experience here. <3


On Mar 02, 2012 Karen925 wrote:
I have maintained a weight loss of about 65# for almost 2 years. The day I quit paying attention will be the day I start to regain. My choice every day, 2 minutes of logging, 5-10 minutes for reading and learning about health or gain the weight back. For me, never again. The isle of denial is not for me. The odd thing is that I do not have "banned foods". I eat anything I want but not whenever my body wants it. I have the discipline to delay eating to an appropriate time. This self mastery is freeing.


On Mar 02, 2012 Karen925 wrote:
I had hoped this poster would find her way. Sorry to hear it has not worked out. You have been generous with your time & wisdom.


On Mar 02, 2012 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Karen, thanks for sharing your experience here. The person illustrating a "bad example" may not always make the same choices. There is always hope for everyone. Sometimes people have to make negative choices for themselves for years, before they are ready to give up on their illusions enough to take the steps that are necessary for weight-loss and maintenance. This still might happen for her someday because ANYONE can choose to change their behavior...even after years of doing things differently.

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