My vent of the day. Warning, it got longer than I expected.
I was reading an article in Reuters Health about a study showing how obese patients who took the diet drug Meridia and received intensive weight-loss counseling lost twice as much weight as patients who only took the drug.
As my four-year-old is getting fond of saying, "DUH!"
Aside from that gem of wisdom, there were a couple other things that made me envision Gem's cherubic little face twisted with exasperation. (It's cute now. In a few years it's going to be insufferable.)
Those who JUST had the counseling lost as much if not more than those who JUST took the drug. (Makes you realize how important the behavior-modification aspect of lifestyle change is.) The combination of drug plus counseling increased weight loss two-fold. And those who regularly logged their food consumption lost almost three times more than those who did not track what they ate.
But while all of this seems like pretty straight-forward common sense to me, one of the other lines in the article really caught my eye.
"U.S. Food and Drug Administration regards a diet pill as effective if it helps a 200-pound (90-kg) person lose at least 10 pounds (4.5 kg) in a year. Although most obese people need to lose far more than 10 pounds (4.5 kg), doctors contend even a moderate loss has health benefits."
Think about this, especially in terms of the "magic bullet" that everyone wants to find with weight loss. Ten pounds a year. That's less than one pound a MONTH. And that's what the FDA regards as "effective."
Ten pounds may seem like a drop in the bucket when I see the 100+ hanging on my body that I need to lose. Ten pounds may seem like nothing to those of us who are morbidly obese and struggling with health issues that are only compounded by our weight.
But ten pounds is a TRIUMPH! Ten pounds is cause for celebration! Ten pounds is "effective" and "moderate" and confers "health benefits."
And ten pounds lost in a year means that next year, I only have to see 90 pounds hanging on this body. It means I've moved forward. It means I've succeeded in learning healthier eating and living habits and putting them into practice. Even if I don't do it right 100 percent of the time, I'm doing it. I'm learning. It's becoming part of me, of who I am, of my goals and my choices and my lifestyle.
And it sure as **** beats the 3-5 pounds I've gained every year since I can remember!! Fighting that "creep" and beating it back and then some, is a triumph that we can all celebrate!
So quit it! Quit beating yourself up over one "bad day" or one week "off program." Quit hating your body because it isn't perfect, or even as responsive as you'd like. Quit despairing when you don't lose every single week, or you lose "only" a pound, or when you hit a plateau where your body is re-settling in at a lower weight for a month or so. It happens. It's normal. It's a process, not an overnight thing. It's a lifestyle.
Own it and keep going.
There is no magic bullet. There is mindful eating, and exercise, and portion control, and journalling, and making healthy food choices, and making plans ahead of time for the situations where there won't be healthy food choices, and yes, there is falling down and *****ing and depression and self-loathing... and then there's picking yourself up and going on.
But most of all, there is triumph. Celebrate your life, every pound of it, every bite and step and laugh and tear of it. It's the only one you've got.
*steps off her soapbox and puts it in the corner for the next person to use*