Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Real Question

Recently, there was a thread on a popular weight loss forum in which someone said something that was on the order of ‘do you ever feel bad for telling people that you lost weight by eating less and exercising more?’ This was followed by a variety of posts that pretty much assumed that people who ask this question want some magical answer like you’ve been ingesting goat placenta on a regular basis, or you took a pill and that squashed all desire to eat calorie-dense food or tasty, empty calories.

Personally, I don’t think people who ask this question are looking for a “magical” answer. I think what they’re looking for is the answer to a question they don’t have the insight to ask because you only really know the question once you no longer need to ask it. That real question isn’t about the mechanics of losing weight, but rather about how one goes from being a person who is incapable of following such plans to the type of person who is capable of doing so. In other words, how did you mentally transform from the thinking that made you fat to the thinking that made you thin? Clearly, something changed in your head since you couldn’t control your eating before.

The reason most people focus on the plans is that this transition is difficult to explain or pin down, so they hope that the plans themselves are what cause the change. One of the reasons I wrote out my plan and posted it was that I knew I was going to be asked, and I didn’t want to offer the lame answer of “ate less, moved more.” Yes, this is what I do. It doesn’t tell anyone anything about how I did it this time when I couldn’t do it before.

I say that is a “lame answer” because it doesn’t provide insight or assistance in making a mental or physical transition. I can explain those transitions now and I have done so. Yes, I eat less and move more, but it wasn’t some great surge of willpower in me or my super strong character that got me here. It was behavior modification techniques that just so happened to work out for me so that I could make the changes and a strong motivation with a deadline to change my life.

No comments: