Of all the things in life that people might really want to delegate, losing weight has to be close to number one. In a world in which kids get participation trophies; test scores can be enhanced and special interest groups lobby for set asides there is one area in which the merit system is supreme – getting in shape.
And so many of us have that on our To Do list. In a “shocking” report out this month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that almost half of Americans are trying to lose weight. And, wait for it, almost 6 in 10 women were working it.
I would love to meet the other four women to learn their secrets in avoiding the perennial New Year’s resolution that has the permanence of a tattoo on so many people’s lives.
They certainly are saving money. In fact the one thing you are sure to lose when seeking weight loss is your cash.
Like the 6 in 10 women admitting to dieting, I’ve bought the books, the boxes of food and the frozen entrees designed to make dieting simple. Those kinds of purchase can give you all the satisfaction of acting on your desire without needing to take the drastic next step of actually eating that stuff.
Dolly Parton got it right when she said: “I tried every diet in the book. I tried some that weren’t in the book. I tried eating the book. It tasted better than most of the diets.”
Being overweight has a stigma in our culture that can be very painful for those suffering. There were reasons the weight went on and as many strategies as people for taking it off. There are profound health reasons to lose weight, and it’s a noble pursuit. But there is also a lot of cruelty towards those who haven’t arrived at their goal. People struggling deserve the benefit of the doubt about their sincerity and commitment to change. It’s complicated. And it takes time.
The phone apps, the color coded cards, the food weighers, the calorie counting guides, the fasts, the cleanses, the concoctions – all add up to a headache for those seeking the magic bullet. But it sure is easy to sell at a garage sale to the next person who believes in magic beans and miracle cures.
The New York Times had a fascinating report called “What We Know (and Don’t Know) About How to Lose Weight.” Research showed that research can be inconclusive because people don’t all react the same way to different programs.
“The bottom line is that the best diet for you is still the one you will stick to. No one knows better than you what that diet might be. You’ll most likely have to figure it out for yourself,” wrote Aaron E. Carroll.”
Drat. Once again, no delegating allowed.
I’ve written here about my commitment to leisurely and badly exercising. Over the years, I created my own special “diet” program, based on my inability to enjoy a science project for an eating regimen. I call it: Divide by 2; Multiply by 2.
Eat half of what you were thinking about and exercise twice as long as you planned. No measuring required. But that’s me.
Americans could use a little encouragement as they attempt weight management. People deserve kudos for their effort. I saw a great example of that on Facebook recently.
“Today marks four weeks without sugar. Running 5 miles a day … no meat, dairy or flour. No Caffeine! The change has been fantastic! I feel great! Zero alcohol! A healthy diet, a healthy VEGAN diet, gluten free, caffeine-free, sugar-free, and a 2-hour workout everyday. I don’t know whose status this is, but I was really proud of them. So I decided to copy and paste.”
With all the talk of national dissention perhaps it’s time for a new campaign to highlight our national hobby: Hey America, Lose Weight, Not your Temper. You can do it!