I think I’ve made my position clear before – losing weight sucks. The process in general sucks, the mental gymnastics suck, the frustration sucks. Probably what sucks the most are the people constantly on your back about weight loss. Particularly since they’re largely full of shit and just trying to make you feel bad.
So about them being full of shit: Myths of Weight Loss Are Plentiful, Researcher Says
Now, he is trying to set the record straight. In an article published online today in The New England Journal of Medicine, he and his colleagues lay out seven myths and six unsubstantiated presumptions about obesity. They also list nine facts that, unfortunately, promise little in the way of quick fixes for the weight-obsessed. Example: “Trying to go on a diet or recommending that someone go on a diet does not generally work well in the long term.”
This article isn’t so much there to tell you what bits of weight loss canon are bullshit – though there’s a handy-dandy quick list at the bottom of it you should really read – but to point out what a shambles research into weight loss seems to be. And it should highlight that if anyone tells you they have all the answers, they are probably full of it, or outright lying to you.
At this point I’ve managed to lose the magical 25% of my starting bodyweight. It actually makes me feel a lot better to know that it’s not unusual at all that I’ve plateaued. Sometimes the truth isn’t what we’d like (sure, I’d love it if riding my bike literally melted fat, but how about I just ride my bike because it’s fun) but it’s better than beating ourselves up over a misconception or a lie.
Beating yourself up at all doesn’t accomplish anything. There’s plenty to fight out there, and none of it should be you. So don’t do it, okay?
Speaking of Gina Kolata, she’s written a book about weight loss research, which I own – Rethinking Thin. At five years old now, it might be getting a little dated, but it was a good book to read since it’s all about where the science was at. (Or wasn’t at, as the case often seemed to be.) I can’t say I exactly enjoyed having that many not-fun truths dropped on me, but there’s a certain power to, after having been struggling up a mountain for years, having someone confirm that yes, it’s a fucking mountain. Losing weight does suck.