Tuesday, 24 April 2012

31 years (and counting)

I read a newspaper article today which claimed that dieting makes you fat.  This article followed the announcement by a well-known British journalist that the five stone (70 pounds) she lost last year with the Dukan diet has all crept back on.  The article alleges that when we restrict our caloric intake, our metabolism slows, making it increasingly harder to lose weight.  On top of that, this lack of calories does something crazy to our hormones which triggers hunger - so we therefore starve ourselves to try to lose weight and when the scales aren't shifting (and we're fainting from the hunger pangs), we binge on all the wrong foods - thereby undoing all the good we've so far accomplished.  The wonderfully positive part of the article said that the average British women spends 31 years of her life on a diet!

Normally I scoff at articles such as this - there's always some form of scaremongering in the Daily Mail (first they tell you red wine is good for you, the next day it's going to kill you, blah, blah).  However, I found myself reading the article with interest because over the past month my weight loss has been exceedingly slow.  In the last 30 days I have lost only 4 pounds, which is very disappointing because I've been rigorously monitoring my food intake and I have also started exercising again following a lung infection in February/March this year.  My plan throughout this year was to lose at least 2 pounds per week, ensuring that I would reach my goal by September.  Now, I know there could be a variety of factors explaining the slowing of the weight loss.  I know for example that your body tends to hang onto water when you start exercising, so maybe this could be a factor.  But it does discourage you sometimes when you think "I'm busting my backside here, and practically starving myself for not very much reward at all!".

I am a glass half full person.  I will always try to remain positive, regardless of my circumstances.  So, though my eyes are reading the article telling me I'm doomed to be overweight forever; my brain is saying "hang on in there, sooner or later all of the weight will come off"!  And the thing is, I've done it before and on a much larger scale (I lost over 100 pounds a few years ago), so I know it can be done, but when things don't move as quickly as you expect it's easy to get discouraged.

The bonus in all of this is that I'm still utterly determined to succeed.  And perhaps it's a lesson to not become so obsessive about weight as a number (and therefore try not to weigh myself everyday - or every other day!) and focus on how I'm feeling (which is pretty darn good right now) and my measurements (which are still decreasing).  I still have 48 pounds to go, so having lost 32 pounds already I haven't quite hit the halfway mark yet.  I'm determined to go the whole way though - even if it takes me 31 years to get there!

1 comment:

  1. There is some truth to that article, depending on how you define dieting. Yes, restricting your calories TOO MUCH will cause the problems listed--as well diets that restrict nutrients (such as the Dukan Diet). But as long as you are eating enough to stay out of survival mode and you are eating a balanced diet, you'll get there!