I read an article last night that made me cringe!
The stupidity of some of the comments – or rather the way in which the comments were reported – literally made me wince.
The Independent headline ‘There’s no point telling obese people to exercise…‘ intrigued me. I have just finished reading a book which contained the same message, so I began reading with hope.
The opening paragraph had me nodding in agreement – Expecting all obese people to lose weight solely by “eating less and moving more” misunderstands the nature of the condition and will never solve the obesity epidemic, leading doctors have said. I was heartened – I cannot recall how many times I have been given this advice. Advice which coincides with me wanting to commit acts of violence!
As someone who has been morbidly obese for a long, long time – and who has tried many diets and been a regular gym goer – this advice doesn’t stack up at times. Some science supports the theory…but there is a lot of evidence to the contrary. Plus, it’s never helpful pointing out the supposed obvious to someone who is struggling, is it?! I don’t know about you, but it drives me crazy!
Anyway, I was hoping that this article would provide some substantiating evidence that I could wave in the face of plonkers who feed me the usual line. I was miserably disappointed!
Here are some of the gems that made me shake my head and resulted in the aforementioned disappointment…
…recommendations just to cut back on high calorie foods might be “no more effective for the typical patient seeking weight reduction that would be a recommendation to avoid sharp objects for someone bleeding profusely”.
Weight loss surgery, which can have has this effect, has been shown to be effective in maintaining long-term weight loss.
…too many people, including doctors, did not understand that obese people who had lost weight would regain it if they took up their previous diet.
Now I am not so sure that including lines about the effectiveness of sharp objects and profuse bleeding quite communicates the message. This type of sarcasm isn’t well received by fat-bashers!
Neither is the promotion of weight loss surgery. And I have to add here that this type of surgery is so new that long-term studies don’t contain enough case studies to determined effectiveness. My experience of people who have undertaken weight loss surgery is that they find it just as hard as anyone else does to both lose their excess weight and to keep it off.
The icing on the cake has to be the fact that doctors and patients don’t understand the fact that if they return to eating the shite that made them fat in the first place that they will get fat again. Really? Fecking really?! I for one can assure you that I am fully cognisant of the fact that if I stuff McDonalds and Cadburys down my neck, that I am sure as hell going to see weight leap – not creep! – back on.
But before I get all outraged, there was actually some quite good content in the article – an article in which the message was lost amongst the shitty headline and attention grabbing statements of stupidity.
There were some comments that really hit home – comments that back up the information that my consultant at the hospital tries to get me to listen too! I too have been brainwashed by the ‘eat less, move more’ message. So to read that, ‘…biology wants them to return to the maximum weight…’ and, ‘Once people have become overweight, then biology changes.’ My consultant explained to me that my body is constantly fighting my weight loss efforts in order to get back to my maximum weight.
That maximum weight was 43st 5.5lbs. I don’t ever want to reach that point again. To think that my body wants to – because I messed up my biology – is quite a scary thought. The article states, ‘Few individuals ever truly recover from obesity; rather they suffer from ‘obesity in remission…they are biologically very different from individuals of the same age, sex, and bodyweight who never had obesity.’
I worry that this might send out a message that there is no point in bothering.
I worry that this article might mean that people ditch exercise, or think that weight loss surgery might be their only option.
For me, this article helped. I have gained 42.5lbs since the New Year. That’s 3st 0.5lbs. I don’t feel that I deserve this weight gain. I have certainly not eaten anywhere near what I used to eat, yet weight has rapidly piled back on. I have been training. I have been eating well at breakfast and lunch. My evenings have gone a little awry…but seriously, it is nothing compared to how I used to eat.
So I guess it’s a lesson. I simply cannot deviate from my healthy eating unless I want rapid weight gain. Weight gain at a rate that I have never experienced before. Maybe because my body is fighting back – I guess it doesn’t realise that I am doing what I am doing to help it last a bit longer!
I don’t know if you remember my last appointment with my consultant. He kept telling me that he would not put on as much weight as I had if he had eaten like me. I kept arguing with him – telling him how much I ate. It didn’t matter what I said, he kept telling me that we are biologically different. He’s probably right. After all, he’s a TV doctor who is well published…then again, Doctor Christian is a TV doctor and we don’t have a great track record!
Seriously though – I am going to start being mindful. What this means for me is that I really do have to adapt for life. There is no ‘diet’. If I see my eating changes as temporary then I will end up back where I started…and probably in a wooden box a lot earlier than I want to be in one.
I cannot deviate from my healthy lifestyle. That’s fine. I can deal with that. I can also deal with it taking longer than I had hoped. This journey is an interesting one and I am learning all the way.
So maybe that article wasn’t as bad as I first thought…
Anyway. Today has been good – great actually. I spoke with my boss – who is bloody lovely – about having a regular work from home day on a Tuesday so that I can use my lunch break to get to my usual Slimming World group. She didn’t hesitate in agreeing and actually told me to block off my calendar each week so that nobody tried to book meetings with me. I was thrilled. It’s so important for me to ensure that I can find that balance – I need to achieve my weight loss / health goals…and if I felt that work was affecting that then I would have to say that I would give the job up. Having been at the point I was at, nothing is going to get in my way when it comes to avoiding heading back there!
So it was a great work day.
It’s been a great work week actually. I got to spend time with some of my Swedish colleagues, and UK colleagues, whilst on a leadership course. It was good fun and I really enjoyed being part of it. I had a couple of cheeky vodkas and enjoyed a few giggles.
What hasn’t been as much fun is the fact that I have really been struggling with coming home shattered and reaching for shitty carby foods – biscuits, chocolate, crisps etc. Last night I came home late and got my PJs on and was sat eating a bag of cheese puffs when I had a bit of a ‘moment’. I stripped my PJs off, threw on some clothes, and drove to the nearest Slimming World group to get weighed and draw a line. I was waiting until my usual group next Tuesday…but needed to shake myself out of my ‘poor me’ mode. The crappy food doesn’t stop me from being tired or give me energy…it makes me fatter and gives me a food hangover. So I went and drew the proverbial line…
So today I drew up my action plan and am solely focusing on getting what I have gained off…and an extra 0.5lbs. I am not thinking past that. Small areas of focus work for me. Once I am nearing that goal I will write up my next one!
It’s hard work. I am no superhuman. It’s a lot of effort and I don’t always get it right. But I know that I won’t give up fighting…and I am now starting to understand that old line about only having to look at a cake and putting on weight!
Thank you, as always, for reading – and thank you for bearing with me.
Weight Loss Bitch xxx