I have issues with weight loss schemes. Well, yes, I have loads of issues in general but this is one of the big ones.
When I was a teenager, I weighed about 165 lbs. As tall as I am (I was still growing at the time and was between 5’8″ or 5’9″ at the time), that’s not overweight. But I had a little baby fat, a certain softness that comes with puberty and just being 14/15 years old. To my mother, it was a big deal. I’m not quite sure why. I think perhaps she worried that a little baby fat would become something more if left unchecked. Unfortunately, by trying to check it herself, she pushed me towards the freefall I’ve had since then. At her urging, I took salads to school and spent hours in the basement working out with one of those pulley things that you slipped over a door handle. That’s not really the way to make a Taurus do what you want her to do. It is, on the other hand, the way to make a Taurus do the complete opposite.
And, since then, I’ve chafed at “diet plans” and weight loss organizations like Weight Watchers. I actually attended a WW meeting once and found it so excrutiating a thing to sit through (disappointing, demeaning, ridiculous in parts) that I never went — and never will go — back. Touchy-feely, group meetings are not my thing. I understand that they work for other people but I get nothing out of sitting around listening to someone preach to me about how they lost 25 pounds using whichever plan it was and kept it off for 5 years.
A friend of mine started the Bernstein Diet at one point. It was incredibly expensive and was essentially a medically-supervised starvation diet. (I love the quote from Dr. Bernstein in that CBC article: “But tough means come to us, follow our regime, we’ll teach you what to do, we’ll teach you how to eat properly and we don’t take excuses.” I’m sorry but putting someone on a starvation diet does not teach them how to eat properly. My friend ultimately decided it was insane and stopped going after less than a month.
Over the years, my mother and I have discussed gastric bypass surgery. An in-law of my sister’s had undergone the surgery as had a cousin of ours. We had agreed that it was a dangerous choice to make. Neither woman looked particularly healthy as they lost weight — they looked (and were) tired and sick. Imagine my surprise a few years later when my mother suggested that I undergo the surgery myself. Making my stomach smaller isn’t going to teach me self-restraint or how to eat properly — I’m a binge eater; I’m used to eating past the point of being full or nauseous. I need to address the psychological issues behind my food issues because, without that, nothing will work. But, for my mother, the weight loss would be worth the attempt. (We’ve agreed to disagree — and neither of my parents are now allowed to talk to me about my weight.) I’m a little horrified at the popularity of the surgery (and its cousin, the lap band), especially among those who really are not that overweight or who are very young. It’s become a quick solution to a very complicated problem.
There are no miracles. There’s hard work. There’s reducating yourself and changing your lifestyle. But that all takes time, energy, and desire. None of it comes quickly.