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Friday, 2 February 2007

Do as I Say, Not as I Do

It still surprises me when I browse some forums how people are so full of advice. They almost treat a diet, or eating choices as a religion.

Whether it is discussing how many exercise points you should eat [only WW will understand that statement], whether to count total carbs or net carbs, whether aspartame will stop you losing weight/give you cancer or whether the fat burning zone is superior to high intensity cardio, everyone has an opinion that borders on the fanatical!

Now I think that the religion comparison serves us well. And I do have some experience in this field. Those of you who have read a lot of my posts will recall that I was brought up in a Pentecostal church where my whole family was "born again". I no longer subscribe to an organised religion but I do believe in God [or a supreme being or whatever you want to call it]. Bear with me, I will get to the point...

I do believe that mankind is created in the image of God. But how can that be, when we are all so different? Even identical twins are different. There are no two human beings who are exactly alike. So if we are made in the image of God - what does he or she look like?

My logic tells me that God is as complex as the sum of all of us put together, and my own God and experience of Him has to be different to yours because I am different to you.

You've bet me too it - haven't you ...

My experience eating and exercising has to be different to yours as well. What works for you - your age, size, shape, muscle/fat ratio, skin colour, family history, boredom threshold, enjoyment level - won't necessarily work for me. So how can you give me advice?

Until I find someone who is 42 years old, childless, 18% body fat, 61kgs, been overweight since puberty but recently lost 18kg and kept it off for two years, lifts weights, has ballerina's calves [and hips - ballerinas know what that means], sensitive to carbs, doesn't enjoy alcohol etc. etc. etc. I will take your advice with a grain of salt.

I love to read about what works for you and what doesn't, but don't think for a moment that this qualifies you to tell me what I should and shouldn't be doing. I can follow a diet "by the book" and still not get the results everyone else does. I have to find my individual "tweaks". I have to find a way through everyday that is simple, healthy and sustainable. But I have to find my own way - you can't expect me to just follow your way with blind faith that it will work. [Did you spot the hints that I don't like being "told" what to do as a general rule :)]

Just because I drink Diet Coke doesn't mean I'm doomed. I don't think there is any book that will wholeheartedly endorse that diet soda is good for you - I know that it is not. But in my universe, on this day of my journey, Diet Coke is one of my calculated risks [so is riding a motorbike but let's not go there].

What makes me feel most cross is that most people laying down the law are often still along way from goal, exercise infrequently, or are struggling to maintain a recent loss. The message: "Do as I say, not as I do." The people who have lost a significant amount of weight they have carried most of their adult lives and remained at goal for a long period of time are few and far between. They either don't frequent weight loss forums [because they have got on with their lives] or they don't exist!!!

Don't knock on my door and try to convert me to your religion - I'm not interested. "He who is convinced against his will is of the same opinion still" - sorry, you just can't talk me into it.
Don't dole out advice unless you are in my shoes. If you are - I would love to know how you did it.

Your mileage may vary - mines does!!!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Katie,
    Thanks for the sweet comments on my posts lately. Very thoughtful and honest post you wrote here. Keep experimenting and doing what works for you, even if other 'experts' try to tell you otherwise. After all you are the one who has worked so hard to come so far. Your results speak for themselves and at the end of the day, we are the ones taking charge of our lives so we need to do what works for us.