Thursday, 2 July 2009

It's all about fear.

First of all my apologies for the delay between posts - a busy life coupled with a problem logging in has caused the radio silence. Hopefully the login issue is resolved now, because here I am!

Today I have mostly been wondering what holds us in the grasp of diet plans such as Slimming World and Weight Watchers, or more specifically what makes us shy away from other methods such as very low cal diets (Lighter Life, Cambridge etc) or even surgery?

I'm sure that I'm not the only diet blogger to receive numerous messages suggesting amazing solutions to my problem, or asking me to recommend things to my readers. It's the reason I have my comments set to moderate, and those messages tend to be binned as spam. However I have recently received such a message from a person that I know, used to work with in fact. So this gave him a unique chance to be heard. The message was pretty much the same as everyone else's if I'm honest - scientifically proven shakes, bars and supplements, FDA approval, success stories, and some emotive language thrown in. I'm sure that the "2 shakes and a bar" method of dieting would be effective so why don't I want to try it (yet!)?

Well first of all, I like food. Liking food is of course what has put me where I am today, but I'm not blaming the food for that, and I'm not going to shun it. Every day I have to prepare meals for my family, and that remains true even if I personally am not eating them. I struggle to see how me not eating food would set any kind of positive example for my impressionable 7 year old, and I also fail to see how doing that would in anyway help me learn how to eat healthily. But those concerns aside, there's something else stopping me.

I remember a few years ago, on a diet forum, one lady was having great success on a liquid diet, success I freely admit to envying. But among all the congratulatory posts, there was one member who was a consistent voice of doom. "It's not good for you, it's not healthy, it isn't sustainable, you'll regain all your weight as soon as you start eating" and so on. We all know someone like that don't we?! I don't know whether the person was jealous of the lady's success, genuinely concerned for her health, or just a bit of a bitch. But I do know that there is a perception that anything that is in anyway different from normal is cheating or wrong in someway and a huge part of me wants to avoid any hint of that attitude.

In darker moments I've considered bariatric surgery (gastric band). Witness the outrage and scorned heaped up the lovely Fern Britton when the press revealed that she had undergone bariatric surgery. Why on earth anyone thinks life threatening surgery rendering you unable to enjoy a hearty meal ever again is in any way the easy option or cheating is just beyond me. Fear of death is what keeps me from asking for surgery. Fear of derision isn't far from the door either.

So largely it's about keeping up appearances then. Or certainly avoiding bringing any more negativity into my ife than I have to. It's about fear of the unknown, it's about fear of being hungry, and maybe most of all it's about fear of failure. Imagine how much of a failure I would be if I failed at those last resort options!

I'm not ready for last resorts yet!


Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit said...

I think the problem with the "two bars and a shake" method is that it does nothing to get at the root cause of why we are like we are.

Even if that method works, chances are you'd quickly yo-yo right back once you went back to eating regularly (or irregularly, as is the case with many of us).

Call me old-school, but I'm promoting the radical new "eat less, exercise more" method of weight loss. True there's nothing to buy and it's not overly sexy, but it seems to be getting the job done in my part of the world.

Good post.

outlaw said...

I think that there are different ways to think about weight loss. A move to shift baby weight after previously being slim might be served by the 2 shakes and a bar and perhaps LL can help people kick start things. and sometimes dropping the first half of a big bunch of weight can be helpful. Yes, in the end it's confronting WHY but given that *one* can totally take food out of the equation with the 2shakes+bar for, say 6 months, and then start again, I'm not totally agin it.

gastric bands... I share your fear.

Lisa said...

Even with those surgeries you have to learn how to deal with your food habbits/addictions in oder to keep it off so why not just go stright to that and not risk being that 1 in every 200 people who dies?

tisha said...

I'm a "two bars and a shake" woman. I agree with Jack Sh*t in that it doesn't get to the root of issues and might not prepare us for the mean ole world of eating real food. I think diets works, a healthy lifestyle works, it's what you put into it. My journey has been successful. Am I kidding myself to think it will be easy once I reintroduce real good? Hell no. It's NEVER going to be easy for me. I love food too much. What I AM learning in my behavioral class is what I need to do to become successful long-term. Exercise will always be a part of my life. Calories in versus calories out. That's what it comes down to.