“We are all here on earth to help others. What on earth the others are doing, I do not know”.- W.H. Auden
Hello, this is Pat Coakley and welcome to Podsnacks/Art of the diet, the weekly audio version of my blog, www.artofthediet.com
As many listeners and readers know, but for the benefit of new ones, I document my daily challenge of the seventh year of maintaining a 60 pound weight loss on www.artofthediet.com . In my blog, it's all there: my story, the small and large victories, as well as some epic fails, along with short essays, rants and raves about cultural, medical, artistic and even corporate messages about this issue that everyone seems to agree is a problem but few are able to offer reliable long term solutions beyond one year.
Since I am starting my seventh year now of maintaining a significant weight loss, I've come to realize I’m a statistical rarity. National weight loss programs, as well as hospital based programs, don’t advertise their members with long term weight loss records beyond one year. Why? They don’t tell us, of course, but my guess is because the statistics are not good. Everyone can agree that they have the program to help people lose weight, but few have the statistics to demonstrate that their program produces folks who keep it off beyond a year, never mind, year after year.
But, I exist, and on the National Weight Control Registry there are hundreds of others who have managed to do it as well, although the website as well as research studies appear outdated. But, nonetheless, there are individual stories listed on the website of maintaining weight loss from 1 to 66 years!
Their stories indicate that half of them lost weight on their own and the others used national or hospital programs.
They write briefly two or three paragraphs about their story but I’ve always wanted to know more about how they actually continue to be successful.
So, it is my goal this year to bring success stories to your attention. As all of us know, the focus in mainstream culture is either on losing weight or the disheartening statistics about how 90% + regain the weight we struggle to lose.
The complications of maintaining a weight loss seem to be the focus, rather than some of the successful dynamics that can lead to success.
There are very few stories about those of us who manage to do it, year after year, and I wondered myself, after five years, why is it that I’ve been able to do it this time, but not previous times? I don’t credit the national program I used to lose the weight just as I didn’t blame it when I was unsuccessful on previous attempts.
So, I began to document daily in 2015 on my blog, www.artofthediet.com and weekly starting in August, 2015 in a weekly podcast edition, Podsnacks/Art of the Diet, what I did every day to insure or endanger success.
In 2016 I want to broaden the conversation and highlight in this the weekly podcast edition of my blog, what other successful folks do, regardless of what program they do or do not use, simply focusing in on what they do as individuals to navigate successfully these traditionally (at least statistically) doom and gloom waters of long term weight loss.
And, today’s the day of my first interview, with Melissa, a woman as articulate as she is determined and I think you’ll recognize yourself in many aspects of her story.
All I know for sure is that each person finds their own path. And there’s no “fast track” edition to weight management, success is truly one step at a time and as someone once said, it can be as deliberate a step as guiding a toddler down a long staircase.
So this has been a lengthy introduction to today’s first guest, Melissa! She is a very good example of what one woman did to finally achieve her goal and maintain it for six years.
I am hoping that Melissa’s story today will inspire all of us to know that despite our own personal roller coaster histories, a time does come when we can do it. And, like W.H. Auden’s quote suggests:I think that her agreement to share it will help others on this planet earth!
If you would like to share your own, personal success story with me or know someone who might, please contact me, Pat Coakley, at email firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to share what others are doing on a daily basis to maintain their weight loss so others can truly see that it can be done.