I agree. It needed to be said. So the wellness "expert" doesn't have time to lose weight. Terrible example for her children and her readers.
I'm not sure what obsessing over maintenance means. I still assert that maintenance is easier than weight loss. But of course maintenance is much harder than ignoring the problem which so many people do after they hit their goal weight.
One thing she continues to echo is that it's not willpower. I say it is. Willpower is defined as "self-control: the trait of resolutely controlling your own behavior.". This is all about controlling your own behavior. We now understand the problem, we have the tools here to manage this, the rest is a person controlling their own behavior.
I'd written a blog on the Fat Trap article (sent to me by DDOORN) and then 4A-HEALTHY-BMI referred me to the discussion here: thanks to both of you!
. . what I found useful myself was the research indicating that I'm not obsessing over maintenance . . . and that the vigilance I pretty consistently require to maintain a 90 pound weight loss is in fact necessary for both metabolic and hormonal reasons. What I hope is that the article didn't discourage people from doing what's necessary. Because it is in fact absolutely worthwhile when you consider the alternative: continuing to be obese. With all the physical limitations and health consequences and discomfort and damage to inherent vanity (! especially that last one) which continuing obesity entails.
It isn't fair that a formerly obese person has to exercise more and eat less for the rest of her life. But so what? Lots of things aren't fair. We don't complain about the "unfairnesses" that advantage us (being born into a certain culture at a certain place in a certain era which provides excellent medical care at reasonable or no cost . . . or inheriting reasonable brain power . . . or inheriting reasonable good looks). So why when we readily accept all those "unfair" advantages as little more than our due are we also entitled to complain about the "unfair" disadvantages? And what's the point, since it's self-evident complaining does not change the reality: this is the way it is. So we can get on with it. Or in the alternative, be obese. It's a choice that each one of us makes.
And: I had to make the choice to come back and edit my original comments here . . . a bit too severe for my personality. Yeah!!
Here's the problem. She doesn't want to work at it. Period.
"And then those who succeeded sort of found a place where they could maintain a reasonable weight, but they still had to work very, very hard. And it was - you know, it's waking up every morning and weighing yourself, writing down every bit of food you put in your mouth and really tracking it and reviewing it and staying accountable.
It's exercising to the tune of 90 minutes to two hours a day. It's a tremendous - you know, the average person who has lost weight successfully and maintained it for at least three years, they exercise - it averages out to a four-mile walk every day."
As far as I'm concerned, YES IT IS WORTH IT to weigh myself every morning and write down every bit of food I put in my mouth and track it and review it and stay accountable.
BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT IT TAKES. For me. I am not about to give up and say "Gee, that's too much work, it's too haaaaard!" Because I know where that kind of thinking leads.
It IS a cop-out, and gives lots of readers the license to cop out too. So she better be ready to shut up about not being happy with her current size, and they better too. I for one will NOT be reading her columns about weight, because I don't need exposure to that kind of defeatist attitude.
"We all know people who have lost weight and have successfully maintained it. What is - the similarity among all these people is that they work very hard at the task of doing that. But I would not view this as futility. I would not view this as impossible. I would just say it's difficult, but it is, in fact, doable if you want to devote that much determination to it."
Bravo, Arthur Frank. Well stated.
I lost 100+ lbs once in my 20s and gained it all back plus almost 100 more. I am at my happy size now and I will do WHATEVER IT TAKES to stay here. Period.
Edited by: 4A-HEALTHY-BMI at: 1/3/2012 (20:36)
Never, ever, EVER give up!
From BMI 53 (336 lbs) to under 30. Now aiming for less than 20% body fat.
Yup, you're right, it is hard. I guess I would expect the health and wellness contributor might be willing to put up the effort. I was floored that I hear all the whiny excuses out of her that I see here at SparkPeople. Just a little discouraging and I wonder if the article did more harm than good.
It's HAAARRRDDD Bill! The same thinking that keeps people chasing the latest quick weight loss magic feeds into this issue. It's not FAIR that we have to work so hard to maintain our weight loss. Once we lose the weight we should be DONE and able to relax and eat what we want. But that's not the way it works. For a lot of people, it really isn't worth the effort. I see this with people trying and failing, trying and failing--because they aren't (for whatever reason) able to make the sustained effort of moving more and eating less day after day. Good article--thanks for sharing!
How about just including a lot more walking in everyday life. It's worked for me. Some people may do better quitting their desk job and finding a job that requires physical activity. It may be hard to do but I think it's worth it for many. Birgit
You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.
BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.
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I've followed the author, Tara Parker-Pope for the last few months because her articles are kind of interesting. However, I've taken issue with the fact that she's overweight and if you search the internet, you can find pictures of her that probably qualify her as obese. In this article, she states that she's 60 pounds overweight. It seems like qualification number 1 for being the editor of the "Well Blog" would to be in decent shape. The article is a mix of science and personal experience and Parker-Pope lets us know that she has battled her weight her entire and her mother did until the day she died, vacillating between 150 and 250 pounds. Wow.
The science aspect of the article is interesting. It seems established that there is a concerted by the brain to keep overweight people overweight after we've dieted down. Even several years after you've lost weight, the brain is insidiously plotting against you. It is increasing the reward sensation for high calorie treats, meanwhile, your response to exercise from a calorie burn perspective is less than "normal" people. A perfect storm, as the author states, for weight regain.
OK, this is great. We're not crazy. The vast majority of folks have trouble maintaining, but there are a number of folks who seem to have success. The National Weight Control registry has been tracking 10,000 individuals who have lost and kept off more than 30 pounds for over a year. Many of the members have lost much more and kept it off. How? By paying attention. While not on calorie restriction, many members still measure food and track calories. Many still continue to exercise. The people who she spotlights weigh every single day to stay within their "healthy weight". As much as it sucks to hear it, the "just keep doing what you're doing" advice seems to apply when it comes to maintenance.
And here is where I wag my finger at the author. She did a wonderful job of explaining her problem, found some science to support the "why" of the problem and when presented with the solution, made excuses. This sums it up well.
"Just talking to Bridge about the effort required to maintain her weight is exhausting. I find her story inspiring, but it also makes me wonder whether I have what it takes to be thin. I have tried on several occasions (and as recently as a couple weeks ago) to keep a daily diary of my eating and exercise habits, but itís easy to let it slide. I canít quite imagine how I would ever make time to weigh and measure food when some days itís all I can do to get dinner on the table between finishing my work and carting my daughter to dance class or volleyball practice. And while I enjoy exercising for 30- or 40-minute stretches, I also learned from six months of marathon training that devoting one to two hours a day to exercise takes an impossible toll on my family life."
BOOO!!!!!!!!!!! I can't track, I can do some exercise, but I guess not enough, so I'll just be fat. What a lousy defeatist attitude.
So once again, in my opinion, Tara Parker-Pope brings forth some interesting data and some very inspiring stories but leaves me scratching my head. Is it true maybe some of us just want it more than others?
I am only one person, but I can tell you, maintenance isn't THAT hard. I think some of us have to track more than others. Hell, I'm back to tracking because I'm concerned about my protein intake while trying to cut some fat. I couldn't imagine life without tracking, but I couldn't imagine a life where I track every day. That's the balance. While on restriction, calorie burn was all I cared about during exercise. Now I couldn't care less how many calories I burn. I want results!
Another annoyance here, amount of time spent exercising as a final measurement. Bollocks! That's like saying get on the road and drive for 20 minutes. Where? What direction? How fast? Amount of time is almost meaningless. What did you do for 20 minutes? Stretch? Sprint? Lift heavy? Walk? How fast? How heavy? How far? You can exercise hard for 30 minute stretches, Tara, and you don't have to be training for a marathon, in fact, I'd say that type of exercise ranks among the worst. Slow and low sucks if time is a constraint.
So to conclude, I was very frustrated that the author has documented, relatively succinctly, in a very readable way some of the key problems of maintenance, presented some very effective ways to beat your brain and sited some moving examples and then said "meh, that's too much effort". Weak sauce.
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