Friday, May 29, 2009
fad diets, starvation, purging why doesn't it work
Before I am labeled insensitive. After I had my third child I weighed a whopping 164 pounds at [5 feet 2 inches]. My first mile hurt and I was uncomfortable for months. In time, about 6 months I got more fit and slimmed down to 120 pounds. I now work not to lose more weight by eating more [not running less].
Everyone knows someone who is starting a diet, a 'new' diet, a diet that works. Well here's the short and skinny on dieting, purging, colonics, liquid meals and surgery etc. They DON"T work. They CAN'T work. What they do extremely effectively is exploit desperate people.
First. they are only outcome (weight loss) based. The feed the lie that tells weight loss will fix the problem. Fix ALL problems. WRONG way wrong direction. What ails the chronically obese or the those who have those last ten pounds to lose is not really the weight.
If we want to examine the most basic pitfall of these programs the most obvious, which seems to allude most, is that they are unsustainable. You can't go on the cookie diet or Atkins or south beach or get your stomach stapled to eat a quarter of a sandwich forever. The idea that once you've lost the unwanted pounds you can have portioned meals and be motivated to stay on task is denial about the reality. It is the magical thinking of a child. Why is it foolish thinking? Because you haven't made the necessary changes over time which modify your behavior and attitude about food. So after losing weight and trying moderate eating you slip and will continue to do so. The discipline has not been cultivated. Only the quick fix. I am always amazed with the chronic dieter who can't wait to reward themselves with cake or chocolate or whatever they have been denying themselves.
To shed unwanted pounds and improve fitness you have to do two things, just two: Move- some kind of increased movement for 3-4 days a week or 20-30 min. consistently. More then three days total. I'm talking like for the rest of your life. Healthier eating- low fat, less sugary drinks, and smaller human size portions. In time you will shed the unwanted pounds improve fitness and cardio health and it will become easier to make better choices. Actually in eight short weeks you can develop healthier habits and will see that visible change you are interested in. Just monitor your resting heart rate (you pulse when resting) at the onset of your new life and take it consistently you will see improve fitness and cardio health in 6-8 weeks. It is proof positive that is real.
Moderation is a funny thing because you can't have a small bowl of ice cream daily and think it's moderate. You can't feast on the weekends and not understand why not much is changing. You can't brag about your love of beer and not get why you progress is halted. You can't walk for two weeks and then take off a week. If what you want is to have your cake and eat it too then don't pretend to want to change. You can't have both you have to choose. If you decide to be overweight and unhealthy then so be it. Enjoy the choice but don't think that bowl of oatmeal or yo-yoing cholesterol number will make all the difference. WRONG.
You may realize that dropping twenty instead of forty pounds is sufficient and that's all good. In fact, often times unrealistic goals really serve to excuse failure. I choose a certain level of fitness and commitment to my movement and eating. I am not meticulous about training regimens numbers or meal plans. For me it would take over too much of my life and it's my choice. But in the same breath I can't complain about not qualifying for the Boston Marathon by 12.5 min. I didn't put in the effort when I would have needed to.
It is the ontological root which must be examined. In a sociological perspective we have been conditioned to want the quick fix and live in denial about the real role we all play in our eating and exercise or what I prefer to call moving habits. This condition spills over into every facet of our lives even to how we approach our relationship to God. Society tells us about the get rich, get born again, find salvation in an instant and here's your white out marker to right your wrongs.
Orthodoxy and Catholicism require someone to travel the long road making incremental steps which will slowly but effectively mold the person. They require action and not just statements or thoughts. See the pattern. If we want change we have to change in a way that is realistic and which requires constant commitment to be that changed person. It as to be about more then what we simply affirm. The thief on the right is always sued to explain the salvation in an instant but remember he was on the cross and only had moments before his own death so his affirmation was the only action he had left to offer. It is a long and difficult road which is why even Jesus Himself prayed for Peter.So let's get honest and then get real.