The biggest losers all got fat again…so what’s the point? (There is one)
So it was an interesting week. Confronted with a request to take another 21-day-challenge a few weeks ago, I was forced to admit to myself that I have not been diligent in my food choices, and because I workout alone I was definitely slacking in workout intensity. It was tempting to spend a significant amount of money on this challenge in the hopes it would get me fast and dramatic results since ‘nothing else was working’.
Now, because we work in the fitness industry and we see these things come and go all the time, I did know I was courting a magic bullet, but it had worked for so many other people, why not me? That’s when I had to get honest with myself and really admit that I have all the tools and information I need to be as healthy as possible and I’m not doing. I decided to go on my own 21 day challenge eating the way I know I should and putting my all into Tony’s workouts.
After one week, the results were meager. 1.5 pounds (we didn’t get around to taking my measurements) after 7 DAYS with NO sugar, processed foods, gluten, blah blah blah. I was pretty pissed off and disappointed to be honest. Then I read an article about how all the biggest losers gained their weight back. It was a really long article, but the gist of it was that after losing a bunch of weight by exercising 9 hours a day and eating severely restricted diets, 13 out of 14 contestants were unable to keep it off.
Many of them kept eating well and exercising, but most also found they were extremely hungry all the time. Even more shocking was that their metabolisms were burning much fewer calories than was expected for their size. Their bodies were double-whamming them to a) be hungry and eat more and b) burn less. It’s a recipe for weight gain! The one person who did keep losing and keeping it off also had the reduced metabolism and cravings but someone muscled through them. The researchers basically said if you want to keep weight off you will just be hungry all the time.
Now, because this perfectly mirrors my experience with weight loss, I kept eagerly reading, to find out how to fix it. But guess what? Nope! Nobody knows what to do from here. So, you might ask…what’s the point?
There are a lot of points, but they all fall under the umbrella of valuing yourself and your health more than you value eating things that are truly bad for you or looking like a photoshopped image created to make you feel insecure so you buy stuff.
If you’re struggling with a number on the scale, and the realization that you might never get there makes you want to give up, maybe you can reframe your perspective and incorporate some more honoring goals that will serve you better. For example, you don’t have to be skinny to be able to walk and run without feeling like you’re going to die. You can eat healthy and avoid hideous sugar crashes and skin breakouts. Your heart definitely appreciates a good exercise routine.
At the end of the day, it’s NOT all about the weight loss. It’s about so much more but I think when we make it about scale and image, and when our bodies turn against us it’s easy to want to just give up. Instead, hold onto a more meaningful WHY – one that has nothing to do with the scale and everything to do with what’s really important.