The weight loss industry is a $60 billion dollar industry with a failure rate of over 95%. I confess. I’m part of the 95%. I’m a failure. What about you?
Are you like me: you’ve lost a lot of weight but it came back? A few years ago I thought I had it all figured out. I weighed less than I did in eighth grade. I’d lost 10″ around my waist. My doctoral project focused on the subject of gluttony. But that was then, this is now. And now too much of the weight has come back. Has this ever happened to you?
If the answer is “yes” then you may have embraced a deadly conclusion: “I can never lose weight and keep it off.” Deadly? Yes, excess weight is a killer. And as I age, it’s dawning on me I don’t see too many old people dragging around a ton of extra weight. My guess is they didn’t make it to old age.
Do you see the problem?
When you embrace the self-defeating conclusion you can never lose weight and keep it off then you’ve embraced the possibility of a shorter life.
Be honest. Have you given up and possibly sentenced yourself to a shorter life? Yeah, me too.
Let’s have a candid discussion. Just you and me. Make a list of what the extra weight is doing to you.
- Do your knees ache?
- Do you not sleep as well?
- When you walk up steps or down the hall have you started puffing?
- Do you have energy to play with those grandkids?
- And let’s throw in the possibility you might die too soon.
Is all this a fair trade-off for a cookie, ice cream, and a McDonald’s hamburger? Nope. Part of my brain screams at the stupidity of the question. Of course this isn’t a good trade. Who would trade years of life for a buffet table. Gulp. I guess the answer is “me.” It’s the stupidest deal you can imagine.
So I’m declaring war on weight. Again. I’m rising up and going to do battle. And I don’t mean I’ll give it a good effort. Nope. I’m going into the battle with a fresh appreciation this is a battle of life and death. It is like a fairy tale where a boy goes off to kill a dragon carrying a little sword. Will he succeed? Maybe not. But he’s going to give it his all. He knows he must succeed or die trying.
That’s me. Here I go off to battle. The decades have come and gone. I’ve fought the dragon of weight and have lost.
But I’ve got one more fight in me. I’ve told people who struggle with destructive dragons the biggest sin is the sin of giving up. I’m not giving up.
So what about you? Have you given up? Time is running out. I’m extending an invitation for you to join me to go kill dragons. Two swords are better than one.
My DNA has not cursed me with the tendency to gain the type of weight that is debilitating. However, I still know what it feels like to be under the influence of unhealthy eating. It makes me tired, sore, unmotivated, and basically just not very proud of myself. And even though people with DNA more like yours think I’m ridiculous… I do so hate the beer belly that I sport. (especially in the summer when I want to swim with my kids and get a tan while mowing the lawn.)
I don’t really believe in any of the crash diets that are out there, but I have had some good moments in time when exercise and limited calories were a part of my “schedule.” I’m all for that again. I know my wife (your daughter) is ready too. My kids (your grand-kids)… not so much, but they’ll survive. And MAYBE, we can help them avoid having to do this stuff their whole life if I do a better job of setting the example.
So yea, we’re “in” with ya. Not sure what that looks like, but we’re in!
I was recently at a seminar about Thomas Merton, the famous 20th century monk. When asked what the monks did all day in the monastery, he replied ‘We walk, then we fall down. We get up and walk, then we stumble. Then we brush ourselves off and get up until we fall again.’ He was illustrating how imperfect human beings who are spiritually attuned recognize that life in the mystery of God is all about continuing to get back up after we stumble. That applies to my repeated efforts to lose those extra pounds. Keep at it. It is the journey that counts!
Hi Randy, What tools are taking to the dragon fight (other than swords)? I’m in the same boat as you but my boat is even larger! And I’m sure that the effects more devastating since I’m also older than you. My knees, my back (because there is so much front), and my energy level are all feeling it. So, interest – definitely! Hopefulness – diminished. But willing to give it another try… Let’s go!
Hi Jane. Thanks and congrats for being “in!” My goal in writing the post was to make people consider embrace another try at success. When it comes to “tools” I have a few ideas but find myself still working on them. Weight loss can be a complex issue, as evidenced by the huge failure rate. Maybe in the next week or so I will post a few thoughts on the subject. To be transparent I do plan to check out Weight Watchers. It’s changed a lot in the last ten years, especially with the advancement of technology. Good Luck. DON’T GIVE UP!
Well…yes, and no…
Yeah, I’m in. Kicking and screaming. My weight has been up and down my whole life. I am on a perpetual diet. While I’ve been successful at times, I always go back up! Here’s a different spin on this topic: After many years of gut problems, I was recently diagnosed as being food intolerant to 61 foods. All dairy products, anything that has egg in it, all wheat, and other grains, breads, like corn, barley, also sugar. I am on an elimination diet. If I do eat these forbidden foods, they make me sick. It is very difficult to live like this, it is like being on a permanent Atkins diet. It’s so bad that in a health food store, I could not find very many foods that I could eat. So far I’ve lost about 11 pounds. Believe me, you don’t want this diet plan!
Count me in……
Great ongoing topic in our culture of food, food and more food…plus less activity! I am a Weight Watchers advocate. Successfully joined and lost weight twice…so what does that tell you?! Even though it’s a great program I’ve had several “do overs”. It is a sound nutritional program and encourages an active lifestyle in simple everyday terms (like getting up every hour & moving when sitting watching TV or folding laundry while standing to burn more calories). The food program is easy to follow because WW has done all the calculation & uses a point system to track food intake. The thing I like most is it is not a fad diet but teaches a healthy way to lose weight & keep it off. The hardest thing is the discipline to keep with the program as an ongoing way of life (thus the reason I’ve been back a couple of times!!
Randy I read your answer to Jane again & wanted to add that between my first Weight Watchers in 2007 and my last one in 2012 there were some great technology additions like Smart Phone apps for tracking & scanning foods at grocery stores that made keeping track easier. Again I highly recommend the program!