It's not just a Sumatra lily. It's an aged Sumatra lily whose petals and leaves have fallen off their stems and I have tried to artfully rearrange the failing bits on the scanner.
This is my Science Sunday tip that many following the Weight Watchers® program may not want to hear but given that I've attended meetings weekly for six years, and been a lifetime member for five, I feel I've got at least some street cred on this topic.
There's a quote from Pico Iyer's TED talk that sums it up.
“The more we run from a problem, the more we're actually running into it.”
Maintaining a weight loss is complicated, far more complicated than losing the weight in the first place.
In order not to be rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic you have to avoid deceiving yourself, use your imagination and, yes, sometimes look beyond WW suggestions. The statistics are discouraging but I don't need these studies to confirm what I see and hear every week in WW meetings and experience every single day in my own life.
When the “bloom is off the rose” (after you've reached your goal weight), the real work begins.
The WeightWatchers® program has much to commend it and I continue to benefit from their food plans and support structure. But, and it's a big “BUT”, they recommend to Lifetime members two things I think are dangerous. In fact, I think two of their suggestions increase the likelihood you'll regain your lost weight.
I've watched others who reached their goal at the same time I did, steadily regain their weight over the past five years, and, listened to countless others share their gain and regain stories. I know it could happen to me if I start down the negotiation road.
So, I think my thoughts are worth considering.
WW says you can add points to your daily intake after reaching your goal.
I say DO NOT add any points to your daily intake. Why? Cuz for some damn honest-to-god scientific reason once you've been overweight for a significant period of time, and been one of those rollercoaster up and down dieters, and you've finally lost the weight, your body simply doesn't want to maintain that weight. Does. Not. Want. To. This is discouraging news but best to know it so you can plan to deal with it. Google it. I'm not making this science up. It's there for all to see even though we'd like to avert our eyes.
Maintaining your slimmed down 140 lbs weight takes fewer calories and more exercise than a regular person's 140 lbs. So, don't think you've got more calories to play with. You don't. You won't keep losing weight cuz for most of us, when we finally reached our goal weight, it was a torturous last several months as our bodies were already adjusting to the “diet plan” allotment and thinking it a regular, maintaining amount. Losing had become slower and seemed to plateau for weeks, even though we were following the program exactly.
In essence, your body doesn't want to remain that thinned down weight and will send out signals and cravings and suggestions that are not in the “let's maintain our weight shall we?” category. It wants to regain it. In essence: It s**** to be us.
But, that's the truth of it. Hope is in dealing with facts rather than avoiding them.
Ok. If you accept that, you then need to ditch their second suggestion which is that Lifetime members only have to weigh in once a month (and be within two pounds of goal weight) in order to maintain their lifetime status.
It is working against you to be “in the dark” about where you are on the scale whether you are losing or maintaining your weight. The option WW gives of checking in to the meeting but not weighing in ultimately works to your disadvantage. You may think it helps you not to know. But, there's no way to pretty it up. It appeals to the “run run runaway you” which helped us develop this problem in the first place.
Being honest is what helps. “The more we run from a problem, the more we're actually running into it.”
And, in fact, you actually “feel” better knowing the dreaded number and are more likely to turn the tide in a positive direction a whole lot faster knowing it than giving in to the allure of not knowing/deception.
That fog of negotiation (I'm gonna skip weighing in this week so I can turn it around, have a better upcoming week, and then simply weigh in next week and “like” the number)…that little mental negotiation ditty is a sure sign you absolutely need to weigh in. DO NOT PASS GO in Monopoly terms.
Avoiding it may keep you coming to meetings and paying the fee, but it does not increase the likelihood you'll turn it around in subsequent days or weeks. For some damn reason we are not good at negotiating with this problem. It is far trickier than we are. It is much easier to simply take that “do I weigh on or don't I” option off the table. Use that mental energy and negotiate with other issues that are not toxic.
And, lastly, you need to maintain more activity in maintenance than you did in the losing phase. Yep. More. If you can't physically do this activity due to age or disability or disinclination, then you have to eat less.
So, my simple summary of Science Sunday on this lovely June day is this:
1. Do not under any circumstances think you can add any points to your daily intake after you've lost weight.
2. Weigh yourself every week (every day is recommended by many who have successfully maintained their weight loss) and if you start hearing yourself say to yourself, “I'll wait till next week”, put both feet on that scale as fast as you can and liberate yourself from that whole SHUT MY EYES School of Wisdom that is not at all wise. I've got a Ph.D from that school, believe me. I know how to ace their pointless exams, too.
3. Exercise more not less and if you can't physically do the exercise or movement, then eat less.
4. Bonus tip!! Do something creative that has not one goddamn thing to do with your weight or food. Experience your worth in terms other than kilograms or ounces.