Thursday, 2 February 2006
Who Said It Would Be Easy?
On weight loss message boards I frequently see posts along the lines of “This program isn’t working. In the last 4 weeks I’ve only lost 1 pound, no matter what I do. If it doesn’t change soon, I’m quitting!” or “I have 75 pounds to lose. At this rate, it’ll take forever. If I don’t start losing faster, I might as well give up,” or “Now that I’m over 50, weight loss is so slow. It’s hard to exercise with arthritis, and my metabolism is slower. It’s too hard to lose weight now.”
I want to ask, where did you get the idea that weight loss would be easy? Most things in life that are important and worthwhile take time, and they aren’t easy. Getting a college degree, raising children, building a good career, finding the right life partner, all of those things take most people years of effort. Weight loss isn’t just about fitting into designer jeans, it’s about adding years to your lifespan, and improving your health and quality of life for those added years. It’s a serious and important undertaking.
So where does this attitude that this SHOULD be easy come from? Is it because you look around and see all these skinny people? First of all, don’t assume they haven’t worked darn hard to get there or stay there. But granted, some people can eat whatever they want without worrying about gaining an ounce. So what? Some people are born rich or with perfect pitch; that doesn’t mean YOU expect to be able to run out and buy a yacht or sing an aria, without working years to get there.
Is it all those TV commercials promising that if you buy their product, you’ll lose 10 pounds in two weeks? Or “I lost 80 pounds with Product X, and I ate chocolate cake and anything else I wanted to. It was EASY! [*results not typical]” Do you really believe the stuff they say in commercials? If so, please e-mail me, I have a few products to sell you that I know you’ll love.
Try reading the real success stories of people who have lost 50, 60, or 100 pounds and kept it off. You don’t find them saying that it was quick or easy. What you DO find is that they say they’re proud of the accomplishment. That’s because they did something that isn’t easy and takes time.
I really think that a lot of the moaning and frustration come from surprise that this is hard, and the realization that it’s going to take time, maybe a lot of time. But it’s not what you’re doing to lose weight that needs to change, it’s the expectation that this will be quick and easy. Just realize that this is another important endeavor, like going to college, that will take effort over a long period of time. The rewards are great: good health, more energy, self-esteem. And you don’t have to wait until you reach your goal weight to start benefiting from your efforts. So just settle in for the long haul and don’t expect to see results every week. Be patient. Keep at it, and you will get there.
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