Monday, January 20, 2003
Like a Yo-Yo?
posted by Julie |
Happy Monday, friends.
And thanks, again, for reading The Skinny Daily Post. The number of hits and list of subscribers just keeps growing. I’m encouraged by these numbers! I know many of you are sharing the post with your buddies, helping to spread the word about my little project. And that’s exciting and terrifying. I’ll do my best to live up to your expectations.
Today I’m thinking about diets. I went on my first diet when I was 13, and by the time I hit my 40s, I lost count of the number of times I dieted, usually successfully losing a substantial amount of weight, but then slowly but surely putting it all back on and more.
I’d lose 20, gain 30, lose 50, gain 70, etc. I can track my weight as it bobbed up and down over the past 30 years or so.
That kind of behavior… it ain’t good.
It’s also not uncommon.
The diet scholars have a couple of terms for this. It’s called “chronic dieting,” and “weight cycling.” The former term is usually used by people concerned with the psychology of constant dieting. The latter by health professionals interested in the biological response to what the rest of us call “Yo-Yo” dieting.
They don’t all agree on all facets and outcomes of this behavior, but they do agree that generally speaking… it ain’t good.
From my point of view, the worst thing about yo-yo dieting is what it does to your self-esteem. I began to think of myself as someone who is supposed to be fat. I thought I had an incurable condition. Shoot, I’d been told as much by medical professionals. No kidding.
I’ve heard the same stories from so many people who struggle with extra weight and obesity.
But it’s not as hard as you might think to break the cycle. First, decide you’re not on a diet, but making lifelong changes. Say, “No, thanks. I don’t eat sugar,” rather than, “No, thanks, I’m on a diet.” Decide now that the exercise you’re getting is what you’ll be doing forever, not just to lose that extra 10, 50, 100, 200 lbs. Get used to the idea that to maintain your new fitness level and healthier weight, you’ll have to keep eating and exercising differently. Forever. Embrace it. Know that the time you’re spending is worthwhile, and you’re worth the changes you’re making.
It’s mid-January, and many of you are getting sick and tired of your New Year’s Resolutions. This is right about the time that the numbers that had swelled at the gyms during the first week will begin to dwindle back to “normal.” This is the week when the initial water loss on a new diet settles down to a more realistic pace or even a plateau. This is the week when many people give up on their resolutions and on themselves.
I hope you won’t do that. I hope this week you get out your journal, write out what you’re feeling, and challenge yourself to stick with your goals, tell yourself that your happiness and well-being are worth the changes you’re making. It will get easier. You will feel better and better.
Not even tempted to give up? Cool beans. Pat yourself on the back, go to your journal, and raise the bar this week.
Chronic Dieting Defined
WebMD article about Chronic Dieting
Yo-Yo Dieting Does Hurt
Yo-Yo Dieting Doesn’t Hurt