According to the Institute of Medicine “those who complete weight loss programs lose approximately 10 percent of their body weight only to regain two-thirds within a year and almost all of it within five years.”
May 6, 2015 was International No Diet Day, which is an annual celebration of body acceptance, including fat acceptance and body shape diversity. This day is also dedicated to promoting a healthy life style with a focus on health at any size and in raising awareness of the potential dangers of dieting and the unlikelihood of success.
Statistics don’t matter, or at least, they don’t matter to you. If you have never struggled with your weight, then it doesn’t matter if your neighbor does. The rising rates of obesity nation-wide may be epidemic, but only when it really hits home.
Although I was significantly overweight for as long as I can remember, it never really hit home for me. My doctor, my mom, and just about cruel kid on the playground at school blatantly told me I needed to lose weight. And I did need to lose weight.
That did not matter to me. Diet was, and has always been, a four-letter word.
My friends were what I called stick-thin, but never once made me feel that I was inferior to them in any way. Our friendship had nothing to do with our body size or our intellect. So, I felt no need to diet.
Apparently, I was in the minority. Did you know that approximately 80 percent of all 10-year-old girls have dieted at least once in their lives, according to recent data released by the Keep It Real campaign?
That hits home for me on more than one level, even though I no longer consider myself fat. After all, I am mother to two girls, one of who is 11 years old. The other day, she asked me, “Ma, do you think I’m fat?”
I’m in for a wild ride, too. Ads for Keep It Real also state that 53 percent of 13-year-old girls have issues with how their bodies look, a percentage that rises to 78 percent when girls turn 17. Read more here: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/diets-obsess-tweens-study-article-1.1106653
Today, I talk to women who are in their 30s, 40s, 50s and even 60s who are still searching for the perfect diet. Many of them have spent the majority of their life bouncing from one diet to another. They are still searching for the magic bullet that will suddenly turn them into…. Into whatever it is they picture is right for them.
Have you seen the I’m no Angel campaign? Truly, this is an idea that embraces body acceptance. Or, is it simply trying to fit a new character in an old plot?
I don’t know what “health” at any size really means. Some of the skinniest people I know have horrendous eating habits, and some of the heavier people I know are as fit as Olympic athletes. Honestly, I don’t know where I fit in that spectrum. But, I know that I feel better than I did when there was more of me to love.
The problem with diets is NOT that they don’t work, but that they don’t solve the age-old problem of consistency. Anyone can change their eating and exercise habits for 2 months to fit into a slender swimsuit. Anyone can cleanse or detox until they no longer have belly bloat.
The problem of obesity is not that we don’t know WHAT to do. It’s that we don’t know HOW LONG to do it. The conventional wisdom of changing a habit in 21 days is actually false.
According to Huffingtonpost, it takes more than two months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. And how long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances. In Lally’s study, it took anywhere from 18 days to 254 days for people to form a new habit. Read more here:
This would be child’s play if you already had formed new habits, right? As a former fat girl who has maintained my weight loss since 2002, you think I would be proof from weight regain, right? I wish that were so!
I turned to the National Weight Control Registry, of which I am a member, to find out some answers to long-term weight maintenance. According to a study by McGuire, Wing, Klem, Lang, and Hill, several years of successful weight maintenance increase the probability of future weight maintenance, and weight regain is due at least in part to failure to maintain behavior changes.
The highest incidence of weight regain is due to:
1) less time since the weight loss (within the first year)
2) larger weight losses (30%+)
3) incidence of depression or binge eating prior to the loss
The trend with Diet-ers is:
1) they take less time to reach their goal
2) they have more than 15 pounds to lose
3) they hate diets
Have you ever gone to bed or woken up SO INCREDIBLY HAPPY that you are on a diet?
Diets suck! They suck the life out of you, and take the joy of eating away from you. Instead of giving you more energy, they take energy away when you realize that you barely ate enough calories to burn off in the gym. You might be uncomfortable, crabby, and eying the food on your neighbor’s plate.
Diet is still a four-letter word to me. In 2000, I didn’t choose to diet my way to health. I chose a process that allowed me to plan and persist, even when times got tough. Along the way, I got married, had two children (7 years apart), traveled the world, lost a job, started a business, and somehow find time to dance.
I am far from perfect, but I am living life on my terms. Even if that means occasional weight gain, at least I know how to bounce back. Because, I have a process that works EVERY TIME.
In celebration of No Diet Day, why don’t you try a process that works EVERY TIME? It doesn’t take any more time out of your day, and doesn’t require buying fancy equipment that you don’t know how to use.
To learn more, schedule a 30-minute call with me here at www.bit.ly/healthchat
Don’t worry- I won’t pressure you into anything. There is nothing that irritates me more than someone who tricks you into talking with them only so they can sell you something. We will talk about what your goals are, and whether I can help you reach those goals. No obligation, and completely calorie free.