I noticed on Tuesday on America’s MSNBC news an article about how people who have lost weight are often disappointed with their lives, resulting often in regain of the weight. I quote:
“In a small study presented at The Obesity Society’s annual scientific meeting last year, researchers identified several key elements that lead to weight gain after weight loss surgery. A recurring theme from the study participant interviews and questionnaires was that weight loss could lead to disappointment. In turn, disappointment — whether from the amount of weight lost not meeting a patient’s expectations or that weight loss didn’t fix their problems — can lead to chronic frustration and weight regain, the bugaboo for all folks who have managed to shed pounds. …….While the study focused on those who'd had bariatric surgery, the findings can be applied to those who lost weight through diet or exercise as well, says lead author Lee Kern, clinical director for Structure House, a residential weight loss facility in Durham, N.C. …..‘Anecdotally, patients say they feel better and are happier and studies support that,’ says obesity researcher Dr. Charles Burant, director of the University of Michigan’s Metabolomic and Obesity Center. ‘[Weight loss] puts a spring in people’s step. But to say it puts a strut in their step might be going too far.’”
Reading this can give one pause. Why should I lose weight if I am not going to be happier as a result? The answer is, obviously, that NOT losing weight will lead eventually to further health problems and a possible earlier death. To me, that is certainly reason enough. I am hoping that as I lose my knee pain will get better. What this study is saying, is that I can’t assume that all my problems will disappear if I loose weight. My knee pain will probably get better. It may not disappear altogether.
I suspect that the statistics (of those satisfied with weight loss) for people who exercise regularly will be better. People who exercise and lose are going to feel better than the person who simply had surgery. First, exercise pumps our system with endomorphines, and secondly, the self-esteem that comes from sticking to a plan can not be obtained through surgery.
The bottom line of the MSNBC article is:
“The message is straightforward: focus on the positive aspects of weight loss, such as health and mobility improvements and increased energy. ‘It’s the benefits over time that are important,’ says Structure House’s Kern. ‘The dream life is fantasy, whether you’re fat or skinny.’”
Actually, what they are saying has already been said by Jeane Eddy Westin in The Thin Book . She mentions that to lose weight successfully, we need a three-pronged plan:
-a correct eating plan
-an exercise plan
-a mental attitude plan
We need to learn to value ourselves for all our good attributes (not in SPITE of being fat, either…). We need to want to lose weight for our health and well-being, not for what others think of us. We need to be able to allow ourselves to be imperfect at times, and to set aside time for ourselves. [For example, part of my weight-losing plan is my weekly ceramics class. I don’t have to loose weight to “deserve” it. I am allowed fun, because everyone needs something fun (NOT FOOD) in their lives.]
So if you are trying to lose weight, make sure that you are moving forward on all three fronts.