People like to talk to me about weight loss. This is a problem for me because I actually hate talking about weight loss. I don’t mind writing about it, but if you come up to me in meatspace and start talking about it – I will change the subject. Why? Because people always say things to me which require me to NOT point out their bullshit, and I find that hard. For example, when people talk to me about weight loss (and invariably they start it, because I will not), they say things like:
“I know what to do, I just have to do it.” What you mean when you say that is that you think you know the mechanics of what sorts of actions lead to weight loss – in general, eating less and exercising more – but that you don’t actually have the skills and tools to make that happen. However, since this is invariably said to me as a conversation ender (ending a conversation which I did not start, btw), it closes the door to any kind of constructive discussion of where said skills and tools might be acquirable, or how to go about learning them.
“I’m going to do X diet, except I’m going to…” What you mean when you say that is that you intend to fail, and that you are going to change up the program as presented because you are anticipating failure and want to blame the program (that you customized). Why on earth would you sign up for a program only to customize it on your own? If you are signing on to a reputable program, the program gets results because there is a cadre of scientists, nutritionists, doctors and nurses with years, possibly decades, of improving it based upon research that show the efficacy of that program. You are signing up because you have failed to lose weight following your own custom methods. BECAUSE THEY DON’T WORK. Let the program work – follow it.
“You shouldn’t be eating that!” What you mean when you say that is that YOU shouldn’t be eating that. I actually had somebody who was new to weight loss but knew I was an old pro attempt to slap a cracker out of my hand as it was on the way to my mouth once. I was appalled and let them know, in possibly a more forceful manner than was necessary, but I just couldn’t believe that somebody would do something so inappropriate and infantilizing. I’m working my program, you work yours. I will be responsible for what I consume, and you will be responsible, conversely, for what you consume. That’s the essence of how it works. Personal responsibility.
“Diets don’t work – I just gain it back.” What you mean when you say that is that you have refused to make the lifestyle changes necessary to keep it off, and refuse to accept that it is your responsibility to make the on-going changes, not the responsibility of the diet program. Additionally, you may be telling me that you have failed to follow up on your program by not enrolling in the maintenance phase and taking to heart the lessons in that phase. Or your program has failed to provide those lessons, skills, and tools. That is a bad program.
Hey, I know how hard it is. I know that there are times in life when you fall off that wagon because there are other things that loom higher in priority. But the essence of life-long weight management is dusting yourself off and getting back up on that horse. Er…wagon. And finding the skills and tools to make it work day in and day out.