Slow And Steady...Or The Biggest Loser Fatback Phenomenon

Sorry I was AWOL on Tuesday. The weather has not been kind to our region. We've had widespread power outages and let's just say the local tornado sirens are not my friends.

I've always used reality TV as a distraction and for the times we had electricity, this week was no different. Oprah said farewell, and there were winners crowned on Dancing With The Stars, American Idol and The Biggest Loser.

As I watched the finalists weigh in on The Biggest Loser I couldn't help but wonder what they would all look like a year from now. The National Institute of Health has estimated that dieters can expect to regain two-thirds of their weight within a year of completing their diet plan. And if that wasn't bad enough, these dieters will probably gain back all of their weight, and possibly more, within 5 years.

That's why we don't see most of the previous contestants from the show ever again. They balloon back up to their starting weight or beyond. Okay, so I'm a pessimist. But why shouldn't they? During the show, they lose pounds at a ridiculous rate. These people are dropping nearly half their body weight in a matter of six months. Can you imagine exercising six hours per day? Very few can keep that up and live a regular life with the demands of family, friends and a job.

As someone who's been on a lot of fad diets, I've learned it's better to go slow and steady (hail to the turtle). Practice makes perfect and all that, just look at our writing journeys. We've all heard stories of the Premature Querying Syndrome, or *gasp* the even worse I-Just-Wrote-This-Tonight-In-A-Drunken-Haze crit request

I beg you not to let yourself be called The Biggest Loser for all the wrong reasons. Revise, revise, revise. Find wonderful blogging buddies to ask advice from and if you're lucky, find a great crit partner or two that can hold that beautiful balance between cheerleader and brutally honest hardass. BE the turtle.

Have a wonderful and productive weekend. I don't know about you, but Mother Nature owes me one!


Rogue Mutt said...

Even that fancy stomach surgery doesn't work. At least it didn't for my brother. The problem is that people change their habits for a little while, but they don't change their mental attitudes about food, so eventually they go back to the same thing.

For the most part I think you have to look at it as an addiction like drugs or alcohol. It's the same kind of dependence really.

Jolene Perry said...

Well said.
All the way around.

My biggest problem is rushing, I know this already - FORTUNATELY I have an awesome group of readers :D

Danette said...

Lisa: Tag! You're it!!!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Lisa,

I love the turtle pic. Unfortunately you are right. People do gain all that weight back plus. One must realize you have to create a lifestyle that is comfortable in order to stay in shape.

I realized that on my extended trip to Florida. I lost a bit of weight and I plan to keep it off. I created a schedule to fit in exercise and eat right.

BUt you are also correct in doing slow and steady. I have a few more pounds to loose, but now I plan to loose them slowly. I just wish the weather would warm and clear to do my powerwalks.

I'm with you on the weather. Thankfully we don't have the tornados, but the fog, rain, and chilly weather is not welcome.

Thanks for the great advice ...


Danette said...

Shew! Now I am back to comment on your post because I wanted to take care of that before I settled in to read blogs for the evening (crazy week!) The weather has been nuts, huh?!? We've had rain like no one's business! Someone forgot to explain to Mother Nature that Colorado was semi-arid and that the rain should pass us by! Almost two straight weeks!!!

I am with you on the weight loss thing!Steady and slow! I do not do fad diets at all and in fact I am a firm believer that they are part of the cycle that keeps people on the wheel of weight gain/loss. As a society we're addicted to fatty foods-- gain weight and feel guilty. Go on the latest diet, spend tons of money and lose all of it (or maybe just some of it...) Then fall off the wagon because MacDonald's calleth and gain it all back again. It's a terrible cycle. for my part: I've decided I'd rather be a bit overweight for now and try to get some regular exercising in. I've cut out many fatty foods (red meat, sausage, etc.) I just need to cut back on *big gasp* sugar (although I don't drink soda anymore!). But one thing at a time. I can't give it all up at once or I'll fail.

Jenna Cooper said...

They did revisit one guy who had regained all of his weight. Yikes.

This is a really good analogy. You can't get anything good in life fast, whether it be weight loss or writing.

Old Kitty said...

Yay for this wonderful post!! I always feel like a turtle or what I call myself - a very late bloomer!! It;s only when I turned 40 a year and a half ago that I truly feel I'm hitting my stride. It's taken me decades to feel this comfortable in my own skin and I wish I could return to my 18 year old self and tell her not to rush and to not feel a failure cos things will pick up in 20 years time!!

Turtles ROCK! LOL! Take care

Kari Marie said...

I always wonder what the value of the biggest loser is because you are right. Those folks make changes to their lives in a vacuum. They are only at home near the end for a month or so. How can you possibly learn how to maintain a normal lifestyle (and find a healthy balance) to keep the weight off if you lost it all by doing nothing but focusing on losing weight for three months (or however long)?

I read Women Food and God by Geneen Roth and I will never diet again. Ever. You are right, in writing and in losing weight, slow and steady wins the race.

I hope you get the good weather you seek! Weather has been crazy. They said on the news last night that in 2011 we've had 504 deaths from tornados. In 2010 there were 46 (if I remember correctly). Freaky.

Zan Marie said...

I'm not a reality show fan, but even I knew about Oprah, Idol, and Dancing. Biggest Loser just doesn't get my vote. ; ) I can't stand to exercise--why would I want to *watch* others do it?

Did my comment go through? I'm having trouble with blogger and commenting.

erica and christy said...

Gosh, the weather has been horrid lately all over, but the lower midwest has had a particularly hard time lately! Glad you're safe!

Weight. blech...I constantly want to lose that last 5 pounds of "baby weight" (I KNOW he'll be five next week, so be quiet, hehe), but just when I do, it creeps back on. One of the (not) great things about being in my "mid-30s". >:(

Christine Rains said...

Excellent post!

I live in southern Indiana, and the tornado sirens went off six times. The sirens are at the church right behind my house and I was trying to get my baby to sleep! There was no damage in our neighborhood, but that was a nasty storm system. Boiling hot weekend ahead!

Anonymous said...

Cute turtle, I often think of the Hare and the Tortoise fable about writing, not so much weight loss. (Looking over my shoulder at the lonely treadmill)
Great advice about the writing, and I think the longer you are in the business the easier it is to do.

Regina said...

I have been fighting internet outages along with the power. These storms have really taken a toll on everyone.

Jeanne said...

Well said blog. Take time to do your writing. I used to "rabbit" my writing and find out that I was hurrying and not getting quality. However, we have to find a balance. I find there are people in my crit group who write and rewrite and never get to trying to send it in.

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