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Weight loss

My Body Beware

I’m in a state of shock. Some huge changes are happening in my life and it’s hard getting my head around them. While some of it’s pretty scary, it’s also a bit exciting.
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I feel a bit like I’m standing on the ground during an earthquake as it shifts and rolls beneath me. These changes are all related to food, my body and above all, my health. There’s so much going on in my head at the moment, I’m struggling to get to sleep – and it’s really hard to know where to begin or how to explain it all. I do know it can’t be contained within one post, so this will be an introduction of sorts.

If you’ve read any of this blog you’ll know that I am a great believer in addressing all the causes of obesity, not just those related to a reduced-calorie diet. My experience – and the weight of decades of science – has proven that reducing caloric intake is just a small part of the equation, and I’ve written extensively on many of those other aspects. But my explorations and research were largely academic. Some of the issues I wrote about applied to me, others didn’t. Until last week, that is.  (more…)

Gut Reactions and Obesity

So you’re on a diet, and your resistance to temptation is firing on all thrusters. You’re out for a jog every day, doing weights every second day. You have 30kg to lose, but when you go to weigh in you find that, despite the fact that you burned 800 calories every day in sweat-filled exercise, and not swallowed a mouthful above your stated 1200 calories per day – you’ve lost almost nothing.

This is the point at which even grown, butch manly-men will cry. What did you do wrong? Why isn’t it working? Why does it work for other people but not you? (more…)

Resistance Support

Grand Canyon, from South Rim near Visitor Center

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I’ve lost count the number of times when I’ve heard ‘weight loss experts’ wax on about how you just need a little willpower to resist temptation. I’ve got more willpower than I know what to do with. I’ve got myself down and up the Grand Canyon in a single day, I’ve hiked for 7 days straight in Nepal at altitude, while fighting off a chest infection and an undiagnosed and un-treated bout of Graves disease, the symptoms of which include exhaustion and muscle weakness, and I’ve written five full-length novels against all odds. I may as well legally change my middle names to Persistence, Determination and Willpower  for all the difference it makes. So I find it infinitely irritating that people think staying on a diet is all about willpower, when anybody who’s ever been on a diet knows that willpower has nothing to do with it after the first couple of days. (more…)

Resisting Resistance

Quarter Pounder with Cheese Box (marketed in E...

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On Tuesday night I found myself sitting on the couch, eating MacDonalds for dinner, for the second night in a row. This was, I should point out, a strange and unwelcome experience for me. (more…)

A Doctor Who Makes Sense

The Doctor, by Sir Luke Fildes (1891)

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One of the worst things about having a weight problem is not just society’s inability to understand or appreciate the reality of the problem – but also the medical profession’s general ignorance about how to treat it.

Doctors, for all that they’re well-meaning, can unfortunately, tend to see a series of symptoms, a pathology, rather than a human being with a problem that needs help. I’ve had doctors tell me just to do more exercise, or stop eating fat, or to “just go on a diet”.

Health professionals look at the results of the problem – your increasing girth – rather than the underlying causes. As a result, they usually miss the real triggers, the real causes, and therefore, miss treating the actual things that will make a difference. (more…)

Being Precious

food sources of magnesium: bran muffins, pumpk...

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There is nothing in this world so easy as failing a diet. It takes no effort at all. Sometimes, no more than a thought will push you over to the Dark Side, and calories are instantly converted to pounds of unwilling, globulous fat. (more…)

The Bottom Line

The Starry Night

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It was on one of many drives to Adelaide to visit my sister that I promised myself I would never go on another diet again. I’d been struggling with trying to lose weight for about 3 months, starting out with determination on Monday, over it by Wednesday, and by Thursday it was all lost so that between Friday lunch time and Sunday morning, food was not so much to be eaten, but to be binged on, as would a starving man.

Such is the nature of the diet/binge cycle that caught me in its grip as a teenager. Me and about 1 billion other women on this planet not living in a third world country in genuine danger of starving to death. (more…)

Hardly a Diet

The original graph of body size versus metabol...

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When we think about a diet these days, we all have the same image of celery sticks, dry biscuits and lettuce leaves: tasteless food and an endless feeling of hunger. A constant feeling of being dissatisfied and wanting more. And the unending desperation to eat something solid and substantial. I’d like to say that these kinds of diets are well out of fashion but alas, there are some out there that still treat the body this badly.

The studies done into ‘deprivation dieting’ (which is what the above description… er, describes) have proven one fact above all else – when you deprive your body in such a way, you both decrease your metabolic rate (because your body thinks starvation time has come around again) and increase your subconscious need to binge eat. These are both unconscious, physiological body responses to a sudden and sustained lack of food. These responses are genetically built into us and were what helped our ancient ancestors to survive fammine. What they are not, is any help to losing weight. (more…)

What do you do when…

Albert Einstein during a lecture in Vienna in ...

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What do you do when you want to lose weight but have absolutely no confidence that you can? Or that any effort, no matter how bold or determined will inevitably end up failing?

No, seriously, I’m asking the question because I hope somebody has a better answer than the two I’ve come up with – either give up, or try again.

The problem with trying again is that after a few attempts, you know it’s going to fail, even before you start. And the problem with that is that if you go in assuming you’ll fail, you will! It’s called a self-fullfilling prophecy. Either way, I end up not losing weight and facing the prospect of question number one all over again. (more…)

A small change in direction

I wanted to start this post with some brilliant observation about life that would completely sum up the last few months in a sentence or two, and thereby relieve me of the need to explain why I haven’t posted much recently. Unfortunately, brilliance is missing from my brain this morning, and instead, I’m just left with the explanation, and an apology.

When I started this blog, I’d wanted it to be a place where all sorts of weight-related ideas and issues could be explored. But before that, I’d also wanted the blog to be a record in a way, of my own journey. Don’t worry – I know full-well what a blog cliche that is. 🙂 For me, however, my own journey is really where all the other stuff comes from. I have a weight problem, and in an attempt to conquer it, I have tried to learn as much about it as possible. Wanting to share what I learned was an automatic next-step for me. (more…)