What vs How

If I could offer one piece of advice to thin people about fat people it would be this: They don’t need your dieting advice.

I know, pretty rich coming from somebody who gives a lot of diet advice, but hear me out. I was fat my entire life, I can remember being taunted by the other kids in kindergarten about being fat. I had one diet program after another shoved down my throat from the age of about 12 on. So as a fat person, there was one thing I knew inside and out: Diets. I knew every diet out there, I knew the theories behind them all, and I’d tried (and failed at) most of them. I knew more about losing weight than any thin person who’d never had to think about food or exercise and yet somehow wound up, through luck or genetics, naturally thin.

I knew what I needed to do to lose weight for most of my life, so why was I still overweight? Because I was lacking two important components: I didn’t know HOW to execute, and I didn’t have enough mental bandwidth to focus on it above all other things in my life.

One thing I realize, as I look back over my efforts at weight loss throughout my life, is that the only time I lost weight without help of a program was when I was unemployed – because it’s really hard! When I wasn’t working I could focus all of my energy and efforts on dieting and exercising and I didn’t have to worry about hunger affecting my performance at work; I could exercise for hours, plan and cook all my meals, research diet ideas, etc. Conversely, the times I was able to lose weight while working for a living was when I was enrolled in a formal program with behaviorists and dieticians providing the food, monitoring, educating and encouraging me each week.

The reason I bring this up is because over the course of my weight management efforts I’ve learned that weight loss takes a huge amount of effort and concentration, and there are good times and bad times to undertake the work required. There were years, in my early 20s, when I knew I needed to lose weight, I knew exactly what I needed to do (because I’d had weight loss schemes shoved down my throat since I was 12) but I knew it wasn’t “the right time.” I was broke, I was depressed, I was working multiple jobs to get by – I didn’t have the time and energy to focus on it on my own, and I didn’t have the money to enroll in a program that could give me the structure I needed. However, when I was mentally ready, I found the tools I needed.

So when somebody says they want to lose weight and they know what to do to lose weight but they’re not ready to do it, you can be absolutely positive that they DO know what to do. It’s the how that’s hard. And whenever they’re ready, they’ll do what they need to do. No advice needed.

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9 Responses to “What vs How”

  1. Yoko Says:

    Oh so true!!!! Right on the money, Laina!

  2. lisalys Says:

    I love this post so much I want to marry it!!!

  3. Elizabeth Says:

    Right on, Laina! It’s so much easier to plan and execute when you have the time, money, and other resources available. That’s certainly true for me 😉

  4. Susie Brown Says:

    High 5!!!!!
    Laina, you are so right about skinny people giving suggestions. Also it is so true that when you have the money to spend on a weigh management program you will do it and feel good about it. I just love this blog it keeps me going and I know I can maintain control over my weight. Thanks

  5. Trystan Says:

    Agreed — the only time I managed to lose 50lbs was when I did nothing else, no sewing, no events, work was no stressful, I didn’t socialize much, no major traveling, no house projects, all I focused on was calorie counting & exercise. But when life returned to normal, e.g. stressful & busy & creative & active, I didn’t have the single-minded focus necessary to stay on track & maintain that supposed healthy lifestyle. It seems to be all or nothing.

  6. Bluezy Says:

    LOL This was truly my first blog surf chuckle. I agree totally. I got in this Miss America acceptance speech mode one blog post and later re-read it. Like what was I doing? Preaching my way and thanking my mode and all …geez I deleted it and later apologized. I got so excited because I had lost 6 lbs in a week, so I made this list of what I did and do…so funny.

    It is like anything else, too. You know what it takes…ya just got to get the mindset on the move…fer sure.

    • Laina Says:

      Well hey, nothing wrong with being proud of your successes, and my whole blog is all about how I did what I did! BUT I like to think I put it here and people can come find it if they’re interested. I never, ever, ever give people advice face to face if they haven’t specifically asked for it because I really hate it when people did/do that to me. Especially if they know nothing of my journey, so I try to remember that everybody has their own journey which I have no idea about – they probably know what to do it’s just the wrong time for them or they are perfectly happy how they are. None of my business. 🙂
      OTOH – it’s your blog, sister, preach it if you want to, if people don’t want to read it they can click on by!

  7. Tim Says:

    Absolutely my situation! I work multiple jobs, or travel for a living, or otherwise just don’t have the time and wherewithal to put toward dieting. Getting better, slowly!

  8. bowescCindy Says:

    I have been wondering why it is so easy for me to lose weight when I am on vacation but when I’m working I am moving mountains to squeeze in a workout and proper diet and getting no results and making mistakes. I figure stress is a factor as well.


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