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Happy New Year! New Year, New Beginning, Right? Not So Fast. - January 8, 2014

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

People look forward to the new year with incredible hope and newfound tenacity. They make resolutions, join gyms, and hit the elliptical, Stair Master, and treadmill with an acolyte's zeal.

For most, this frenetic level of enthusiasm will last, perhaps, according to my gym, until mid-March, when they will quit and slink away. It was an impossible dream, or was it?

Statistics state that ninety-five percent of us will fail at this quest, ultimately. Some of us diehards know that the only thing that is keeping us from that oblivion is our connection to this community. No, this is not a paid advertisement for SparkPeople. It's truly the one thing that separates this company from its competitors.

But what about the successful ones? Those five-percenters? Success has been attained, and they are in full maintenance mode. And continuing to do it successfully. But, was it all one thought it would be? And here's the interesting part: Many expect that once that magic number appears on the scale, their whole lives will be incredibly transformed. Why wouldn't they? They did their due diligence, revised their whole thinking about food and exercise. The rest should follow, no? It's logical.

I won't add more, except to say read the link below ("What No One Tells You About Dramatic Weight Loss"). One person mentioned in the article is a former SP'er. She is now an award-winning photographer, and one of the people interviewed for the article. After you read it, tell me what you think. It's quite an eye opener.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I was so blessed last time! It would be wonderful if I am blessed again this time. Who knows?

    Exercise toned even my skin! In the full picture, however, it's about health. Though my body looked great, my emotions still hadn't arrived.

    Thank you so much for this insightful blog.
    2183 days ago
  • JACKIE15108
    I didn't read the article yet, but
    Weight loss is not just the issue.....there are many other factors that have to be dealt with. I've read this in sp already and I'm ony in the first few months of the healthy lifestyle change. There are many other issues, different for every person.
    Maybe there is someone doing this for health / illness related issues, maybe someone else has low self esteem, maybe someone else is bored or missing a purpose in life or a goal to work for, unhappy or depressed for various reasons, etc.
    Hopefully as everyone loses the weight, they learn what it is that they need to learn.

    I'm going to read the article now...

    I'm 53 and started at 338 lb like the girl in the story. I've only lost 22 lbs so far. I'm doing it for health reasons, and because I have an illness and don't want to be possibly bedridden at this weight...who can take care of someone so large? I know about the skin flab but my reasons to lose are more important. At 53 now, when I lose, I'm not looking to fit into a bikini as someone of 29 years old. I'd rather be healthier if possible and have more energy and be able to walk to do groceries, etc.

    Is sagging skin more important or being alive to enjoy life and be able to run and play with your children?
    For the psychological issues of sagging skin and not looking good after weight loss...this is a problem with our society....magazine covers with beautiful thin women and men.....etc.

    Should we be putting more emphasis on not gaining weight in the first place because this is what can happen after weight loss, let alone jeopardizing life?
    Should we be teaching our children healthy eating and good exercise habits? I read today only 1 in 4 children exercise.
    Do we need to learn how to have other goals in life? Then when our weight loss is complete and we are maintaining well (hopefully) we have something else to work towards.

    2206 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/9/2014 7:36:45 AM
    Very interesting, and the photog's website is fantastic. The "Changing Room" series was really fun. The "Half" series was very moving and beautiful.

    The article was very interesting. Clearly, weight loss will not fix everything in your life.

    "Maybe diet culture could stand to take a page from sobriety culture, too. Just as you don't complete the twelve steps and celebrate with a bottle of wine, the idea that extreme weight loss has an end point after which life reverts to "normal" leaves dieters with very little recourse once the thrill of weight loss has ended. For those who have struggled with food, maintaining new habits is a lifelong, day-by-day process." This is so true and it's taken me this long to accept that fact, so I think that this time, I'll succeed and keep it off.

    Thanks for sharing!
    2207 days ago
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    2207 days ago
  • _BABE_
    The changing room pictorial is something that moved me as well....brave girl!
    2207 days ago
    Wow. Powerful article. I can't say I experienced depression, exactly, but I did have to think about what the next phase would require. For one thing that required me to shift my focus from what I look like to being healthy!

    I can empathize with the saggy skin, etc., but I guess I look @ it this way. Yes, it is something that has to be dealt with, but if I DIDN'T lose the weight, I would be dealing with far more serious issues, like stroke, heart attack, death from my obesity.

    I also wonder, maybe, for me being the age I am (significantly older than the writer), if I've had a few more life events happen that could color my perception of what is a problem . . . or not.

    Just a thought. I have been in maintenance for 3 yrs. and, frankly, DO need the connection here. I will do my best not to regress back to the way I was before. For ME, that was a pretty dark place that makes any inconveniences of maintenance seem less important.

    2207 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/9/2014 8:34:23 PM
  • KARL1266
    Interesting article. Thanks you for sharing it. There were several points that made me pause and consider what was being said. But two stuck out the most...

    The first was the depression on reaching goal weight and then finding that the thrill is gone. The scale stops moving. Whatever the case may be. While I am certainly not at goal weight I have "maintained" my current weight for the better part of a year now. Scale not moving. Feeling like I am failing at this. All similar to the causes that were expressed in the article. So I see the reasoning behind that. It is definitely not something you are told when you start this process.

    The second thing was how a certain doctor describes "ideal weight". I really disagree with this definition. I, because I'm using myself as an example, AM eating in a healthy way that I know will continue for the rest of my life. It has become as much a part of who I am as the eyeglasses I put on each morning. According to the doctor's quote...I am now at an ideal weight. As far as I am concerned...not even close.

    But the article does point out the negatives of weight loss that are very rarely found in today's culture and media. Like you, I truly believe that is the reason SP works so well for so many. Real people discussing and helping each other along the entire path of weight loss. From the one who just signed up today to the years upon years maintainer.

    Again...thanks for sharing that.
    2207 days ago
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