Monday, July 26, 2010
I am sadly amazed at the number of people on SparkPeople who have said they were on Jenny Craig or some other program, only to gain it back, yet NONE of them have come forward to say whether they made it all the way through the whole program or not, or how long it took to gain it back, or what they learned that positively changed their lives, even after they were asked directly.
So I will. I lost 50+ lbs on Jenny Craig. I admit it gladly. I learned oodles of good things from them and I implemented them because I didn't want to have to go through weight loss again. It took me 10 years to gain only part of it back. It happened because I decided I could go back to my old style of eating and portion sizes. That was my fault, not JC's.
So I gained back a few, but now I'm 10 lbs from my goal, using the Jenny Craig program in conjunction with SparkPeople. I've learned oodles from SparkPeople, and from Weight Watchers, and from books and videos, and from doing research on what the body does and what mine will do, over time. I made mistakes, I have bruises and cellulite, and I have victories, and saggy boobs (that will be a story for the future), like all the rest of us have.
After talking to a number of people (outside of SparkPeople), I found the ones who were successful in keeping it off after years were the ones who saw their respective weight loss programs through till they'd gone past the maintenance part of the program, or at least paid close attention to what they were doing. They learned about portion sizes and food content (yes, most of these programs teach this and some even give reading material on the subject). Those that weren't so successful had to quit because of expenses, self denial and excuses, or didn't use what they'd learned from the experience to carry them forward. Mostly tho', what I've seen here was that the major reason for people quitting their weight loss programs was the cost.
In comparison, although I haven't researched it to determine the numbers, I will say that I personally know several people who were on SparkPeople (the least expensive of any weight loss/maintenance system I ever heard of) who lost it and gained it back too. Or got only so far, then stopped. So cost is not the only major factor here.
We all know what needs to be done - we have to be able to hold our own. This means having to research your new lifestyle and implement the new habits, learn about food and how it effects you, and cover your own rear end with knowledge - YOUR knowledge, not just THEIRS. And for gods' sake, learn how to cook and DO it from time to time. This takes monumental effort, and the reason why the diet industry is the way it is (profitable), is that no one wants to make that effort.
Ultimately, the lifestyle these programs put forward for their maintenance is the same - eat healthy, exercise, and take care of yourself. Sounds simple, but its not. The failures lay in our personal lack of vigilance over care for our own health. It's our own fault - its just easier to blame others. Let's present the facts. We individually are responsible for what we do and what we eat and the consequences therefrom.
Some people who are at critical stages in their efforts depend on the objectivity of their Spark family and trust that the feedback they get is going to be a good tool to use. When you're on SparkPeople forums, be kind because you don't know who your words are going to effect. Don't bash or flame. And by all means, let's be honest with ourselves too, even if its just in private.
Let's own up.