At this point, I just want to take the opportunity here to write an opinion post regarding “organized weight loss programs” before I go ahead and publish the next 6 weeks of Journal entries.
Let’s be honest. The “Weight Loss” industry is probably a multi-billion dollar facet of the marketing economy. It is one of the top industries of our society. Losing weight and/or getting physically fit are one of the prevailing concerns of our culture. Facets range from undergoing surgical procedures from liposuction to skin removal; taking weight-loss pills, liquids and herbs; eating pre-packaged meals; following a specific diet fad, ie. the grapefruit diet; buying cases of “shake” products; investing in work-out books, DVD’s, weight or pulley systems, machines and gadgets; joining gyms; joining sports teams; taking up dance/ballet/hip hop/hula; taking up jogging/speed walking/nordic pole walking; joining organized weight loss programs; to illustrate a few.
I do not endorse any of these methods, nor do I condemn them to hell. I am pro-choice. People should try out different things to see what they enjoy and also what will work for themselves and their own life style, and that’s really none of our business. There are some gimmicks out there that just take your money, so sometimes people get burned, too. I think it’s important to encourage people to keep trying to find something that will work for them. The health benefits to your body when you lose that extra weight and get into better shape are well worth the occasional experimentation.
One of my favourite books is Body-for-LIFE by Bill Phillips. I believe I can relate to his work out program because I used to be a runner and a committed tennis player. I understand his writing style and his subject material. This works for me. I also have books and publications on running and walking.
On the subject of joining a “weight loss organization”, I want to encourage anyone reading this to join which ever one works for you. The benefit of joining a group type, where there are weekly meetings, discussions, a group leader, and possibly online support, is the best way to do it. Yes, you can diet alone at home, using a book, DVD or online resource. But, you are going it alone, and it becomes very difficult to continue when you encounter confusion, doubt, frustration or disappointment.
One of the things I have in common with every single person sitting in that Weight Watcher’s meeting is a love of eating. And not only that, every single one of us loves to eat the bad stuff. Sour cream, ice-cream, chocolate-covered pretzels, caramel (on anything), etc. And there is comfort in that. They know how I feel and they know what I am going through. Knowing that we are all in the same boat comforts me.
I have previously belonged to 2 others. All 3 organizations offered me the same things: togetherness, information, tools to succeed, leadership and understanding.
One of the aspects of this program that I have joined is that I am continually setting my expectations too high. For example, I expected to lose 5 pounds the first month, but I didn’t and I was disappointed in both the WW program and myself. The pleasant surprise came when my body measurements shrank by 2 inches in just 4 weeks. So, it’s pretty easy to set goals but it’s another thing entirely to get your body to do it.
Another aspect of the program is that you need to be active every single day, or you might just sit there at zero loss for the week, or you might lose a small amount like 0.4 lbs. When you combine healthier food choices with activity, you will produce the winning formula for losing weight. Ask anyone. It’s true, we just don’t wan to do it. It seems like hard work. The magical thing about it is, the more we get into shape, the easier it is to be active on a daily basis. So you’ve actually got that to look forward to!