As someone who has struggled with their weight since university where weight gain was caused by my ability to consume pints of Guinness in Olympic quantities and believing that the walk to the pub constituted enough exercise, I can fully relate to the fear people
who want to or who are trying to lose weight feel about the simple avocado. I KNOW, sounds ridiculous. As a close friend has often said to me “no one ever got fat on too many avocados”. However, mention one of my favourite breakfasts of avocado with Whole Earth Chunky Peanut Butter (never Sunpat people thats like comparing a low fat yogurt to proper lush greek yoghurt) to a member/leader of weight watchers and you may need to
a fan to cool their fevered brow and resuscitate after they have fainted. After all these are people that experiment with balsamic vinegar and diet lemonade to see if it tastes the same as Pimms and lemonade but calorie free (I KID YOU NOT).
I don’t blame them. The weight loss industry for whom I worked for two years, spends their time and our money on convincing you that fat is bad, low calorie is good. They also make us believe that the only way we can lose weight is to follow their regime and to aid our weight loss, consume their own brand, flavour free, additive high and as far away from natural as Mickey Rourke is, processed meals, chocolate bars and crisps. If you speak to anybody that is trying to lose weight the majority are doing it by following a certain plan, most of which I have tried; Weight Watchers, Slimming World, 5:2, no carbs, no fat, calorie counting – the list goes on. When did it become so hard?
Hey, I lost a hell of a lot of weight through weight watchers and when working for them helped a lot of people lose weight, but this is where I believe the problem lies. Its all in the end result – losing weight. We all want to see the number on the scales diminish, however we get there, at whatever cost. Take the Lighter Life diet, I once met a bloke who had lost 5 stone in 17 weeks on that plan. That is just over 4 lbs per week. He looked awful, grey and had major health problems as a result of this restrictive ridiculous plan. Why? The body will take energy from anywhere in the body if you restrict its calorific intake, this includes lean tissue (muscle mass). Maybe we are focussing on the wrong goal, the numbers on the scale are after all just a number that fluctuates throughout the day and on a daily basis. The sinking feeling when the number moves up by 2 lbs for no apparent reason is enough to push the most focussed weight watcher towards the chippy. It is demoralising, messes up with our self esteem and puts our self worth on a daily fluctuating dial.
After working within the industry for 2 years I can tell you that any passion for weight loss that they had 50 years ago has been replaced by a business brain seeking profits. I may have lost a lot of weight with them but my relationship with food took a massive battering; but of course this is what they want isn’t it? Then you go back out of fear of regaining the weight or because you have regained the weight. Either or they are happy and you are trapped. They even offer you incentives, if you have got to “goal” then hey, no registration fee for you!
So what is the answer, is there one? How about putting the attention on health rather than weight loss? Put the weighing scales away, listen to what your body is telling you and eat with a sense of mindfulness. I am addicted to food and I always will be. It is my first port of call when stressed, hormonal, happy, angry, err breathing and I don’t see this changing anytime soon. But I have ditched the calorie counting forever, because all this does is reinforce my addiction telling me how much I have eaten and how much I could still eat today. Instead, give up the crap; sugar, processed crap that doesn’t require your digestive system to work, trans fats that can actually reduce the goodness taken in from other foods, and mindless eating. You know what I mean, a whole packet of biscuits inhaled when you only truly noticed the first and the last, fruit and nut swallowed without any chewing so it slides down your neck like an anvil down Tom’s in Tom and Jerry. Take a breath before you raid the biscuit tin and ask yourself whether you are actually hungry or is it your addiction talking.
Eating with mindfulness, getting on the yoga mat and banishing the guilt when a slice of cheesecake comes your way. I feel better when I live this way so I thought I would share, plus bloody cathartic to get all the stuff about my old employer off my chest………….finally.
I can thoroughly recommend reading “eating less, saying goodbye to overeating”