So I was perusing instagram as I like to read other people’s stories about how they live healthy lives or tackle weight loss and there was one profile that caught my eye for all the wrong reasons. Let’s call her Weight Watchers Wendy.
So the story was that she was a Gold Weight Watchers member. (Nothing wrong with Weight Watchers per se, everyone is free to choose the method that works easily and reliably for them.)
So this woman had reached all her goals, was actually underweight from the previous goal she had set and so should have been in heaven right? Cruisin’ now that she was her ideal body weight and your whole life is supposed to be magically better now. Isn’t that what everyone thinks?
Only it wasn’t.
The particular post I read first was that she was upset that she had only lost half a pound in that week. This led her to go ‘off plan’ and eat everything in sight that evening and she was working on starting a fresh tomorrow.
Seemed a bit extreme to me to get that crazy mad when you had actually lost weight. Oh well, a little junk food to get out the frustration seemed minor, if she was in fact going to draw the line there and get back on it.
However as the comments started to come in, the story emerged that for the three weeks previously she had gained weight each time and after ‘sticking to plan so closely for nine whole days,’ she was angry and upset that she had lost only half a pound.
This seems even more crackers to me – wouldn’t you be happy that whatever you were doing stopped the run of gains? And not only have you stabilised it, but you have turned it completely around into a loss of weight? Your body can’t just swap and change that quickly. She should have been enormously relieved and grateful. I would have been doing high kicks and dancing on the tables.
Then she predicted that because she was honest about her ‘failings’ that she would lose followers. When it did in fact happen she was upset about that too. About Instagram followers! Really?
So clearly poor Wendy has emotional issues. These should be addressed separately to dieting. As she has clearly shown, even when you lose weight, the mental issues don’t fix themselves.
Sticking to plan
One more thing that really jumped out at me from her posts was her seeming annoyance at having to ‘stick to plan.’ This is a common problem with the 90% of dieters who lose weight and put it all back on again. They don’t understand a fundamental factor. To stay at the reduced weight achieved with the chosen method of dieting, you have to continue to do it forever for it to stay off.
It’s not a temporary twelve week thing that you do once in a while and then go straight back to your wine swilling, pizza guzzling ways. If you are only doing it begrudgingly, to try and achieve a particular goal but really you would rather be doing something else, then it’s likely to fail long term. You will be resenting that lettuce leaf and dropping it like a hot potato as soon as someone says, “cookies anyone?”
And I dare anyone to be thinking ‘willpower’ or ‘discipline.’ The fact of the matter is that you can’t stay that strong willed forever. You are only human. You will feel tired or annoyed or whatever the reason (go see Wendy above.) There has to be a little more substance holding up your chosen lifestyle/eating plan than willpower.
It’s like trying to hold your body in a push up forever. Something will give way eventually.
So this is a key factor.
The weight loss method you choose should not be something you feel you ‘have’ to do, it should be something you ‘want’ to do.
You love it. It makes you feel amazing. It’s your new lifestyle! All those other indulgences no longer hold any appeal. It just reminds you of all the ways that you don’t want to feel any more.
So it’s true that you can swap and change how you approach your lifestyle at your own choosing. But for goodness sake, stop picking things you don’t like to do. It’s not helping!
I hope you find your way Weight Watchers Wendy.
Peace, love and fruit smoothies.
NB: My new lifestyle includes coffee, sugar, ice cream as well as a healthy body and fast metabolism. If you would like that too, grab a copy of my new book the Zen Beach Diet.