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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Dieter Tolerance: Letting People Do It Their Way Without Neener-Boos

Let me say up front that, like most human creatures, I have a critical streak and a judgmental birthmark. We all have it--fess up, you know it!

But one thing I wish we could have more of in this fatfighting microcosm online is tolerance for the way each person feels they need to journey toward a better weight and better health.

Not every body, every mind, every emotional situation is the same. Some people will never understand those of us who do emotional binge eating. I will never understand people who can tolerate liquid protein fasts or, egads, puke up meals. (I have a serious pukephobia. I'd lay in bed trying hard to not puke even as a kid with stomach flu. I hate the sensation of food and bile coming right back up my throat. How do bulimics do that???)

But I can UNDERSTAND that we got fat--and STAY fat-- for more reasons than just "ate too much". Ate too much is fundamental--more calories than our bodies can handle and we gain weight. That's the basic layer, the thick heavy poured-out root of the structure.

But physiologically, some people handle sweets and carbs better and others are absolutely sent off on highs and lows and binges by them. Some livers handle things better than other livers. Some of us have non-functional (or minimally-functional) thyroid glands, and others have normal or hyper ones. Some of us got put on appetite-increasing (but essential) medications, and maybe others got on needed (or elective) medications that revved up metabolism or reduced appetite. Some folks are tall and some short, some male, some female, some mushy and some muscular, so some can eat more than others even with activity rates factored in. Some of us have moral issues for or against eating meat --or how animal products are raised and  butchered--and some of us have environmental concerns about pesticides or responsible farming and others don't. Some have tight budgets and some lavish ones. Some of us suffer from depressions that, rather than curtailing appetites (gee, why couldn't I have THAT version), have depressions that send us self-medicating with food to raise mood. Some of us had parents who took effort to make healthful, low-caloric meals. Some of us had moms and grandmoms who were food pushers. Some of us were abused and castoff, some of us were nurtured and valued. Some of us thrive on exercise, love it like some love a glazed donut; others hate to sweat and would rather have dental surgery than go to the gym. Some of us have terrible joint pain upon movement, so moderate to vigorous exercise can prove excruciating. Some of us have high-stress cranking out the cortisol, others have more leisurely lives. Some of us have to cook for various people in a household with various tastes, some only need to cater to a couple, or just to ourselves.

I was reading Lyn's excellent blog, and she's apparently getting grief about Medifast as a diet choice and its sustainability lifelong.

Well, I'll say this: I am leery of packaged foods diets a la Nutrisystem, MediFast, Jenny Craig, ONLY cause I really do think that natural food is generally better for us and fresh organic even moreso, and because I am concerned about hefty caloric restriction causing metabolic issues (which I suspect is at the heart of some gastric bypass folks regaining weight on much lower caloric levels than normal).

But ya know, we're different and we gotta try different things to learn how we handle stuff. And we gotta realize none of us is the expert about another person's life and body.

I would even try something like Medifast or Jenny Craig in order to LEARN about my body and self and nutrition, etc. I might not keep doing it or like it, but I think every diet can teach us something. Lyn has learned a lot on MediFast, and while the pics of MediFast food grosses me out, she's losing weight and feeling great and she realizes she does better on low carb. Period.

For people to start harping about sustainability isn't going to help. And what we fatfighters want is HELP, not the critical gallery. If Lyn had been doing, say, old Kimkins, with 500 to 800 calories and minimal fat and not enough nutrients, I'd say, "Hey, girl, you're damaging your body with starvation levels of calories and not enough nutrition. You're gonna go bald and have metabolic slowdown!"

But as long as she is well-nourished (and she is) and she's feeling health and emotional improvements, who the hell am I to neener-bo her?

No, I am too busy neener-booing myself. :)

What I need from you , what I really want, if you're willing, is the good word that's gonna be the wind at my back to move me along, even if just a little, towards my goals.

If you don't have that good word: move along. I don't need a downer.

Please, when you visit assorted blogs, even if you have misgivings about the ultimate success of A, B, or C diet or weight loss technique (and let's all laugh through our tears together at how ineffective just about all of them have been for most Americans so far in terms of sustainable losses), as long as the person is not anorexic, bulimic, or doing something patently nuts, let's give them a cheery "I wish you well; I'm rooting for you." And if you have a good, solid, positive tip in your own successful journey, go for it.

If a plan or technique fails for someone, it will be evident soon enough. That's life. But it's really kinda a bummer, not to mention not at all helpful, to be told "Oh, you can't keep that up. You're gonna fail."

How does that help? Hmm?

Let people try stuff. Let people ride their wind. And if they fail, then help them get back up.

The world has enough neener-booboos.

Now, that's not to say we shouldn't HAVE DISCUSSIONS in general about this stuff--what we see might be dangerous, fallacious, ill-advised. I do believe in informed consent re lap bands and gastric bypass. But as long as people know the pros and cons (of diets, of training equipment, of particular supplements or foods, etc), if they wanna go ahead, then let's give them the cheerleader's rah-rah. We should want EACH OF US TO SUCCEED. We should wish for it. Pray for it.

And we should want the dieting odds to be beaten to a bloody pulp in every case.

So, like so many others are doing for the summer, I'm taking on a summer slimming challenge. Do challenges help ultimately? I dunno. Maybe to refocus us on good habits for weight loss and to get support. But I know it's better to keep fighting and trying than to just look at the bad odds (98% of dieters fail) and say, "Oh, well, might as well order a double-meat pizza."

Here's to everyone trying to get healthier and slimmer. I want you to win, and I want to win, too.


Ex Yo-Yo Dieter Debbie said...

Amen to that!

I saw the drama unfolding on Lyn's blog and decided not to comment today...what works for me may not work for you and vice versa, and the back-stories are all so varied!
I'm just happy for Lyn that she has lost weight and feels much better, physically and mentally.

This battle is hard enough without fighting with each other!

Mom to the Fourth Power said...

Very well stated post!! The enemy is the fat/sugar/extra pounds! Best wishes to everyone fighting such a battle!!

Weijourn said...

I can't imagine taking diet pills or whatever because I don't only eat when I'm hungry. If I thought that there was something out there that would stop me from eating what I shouldn't, then I might try it. But that's just me and my own struggle and I have to find my own way. When I read the blogs I'm looking for someone who is on a similiar journey. It doesn't matter if we take a different path. We're aiming in the same direction.

If someone finds a healthy way that works for them, there are probably a lot of people who would like to hear about it. If there are people who don't agree with her, then why are they bothering to read her blog? There are lots of other blogs out there.

Anonymous said...

Well Said!

Lyn said...

What a great post, and thank you for writing it! I came by to read your protein shakes article but so glad I scrolled back and read this as well. I appreciate all the support you have given me FOREVER. And it is nice to know that we can all do "our thing" and try stuff and see what works, and not get grief from everybody over it :)