To recap: diets don’t work. Diets don’t work. Diets don’t work. Period, full stop. Don’t take my word for it, please see this.

Exercise is not a weight loss program. I won’t repeat myself on that one. You said this, SN, but I’m underscoring it. PLEASE do not work out expecting to lose weight. NO. You might even gain it. You tighten, but depending (natch) on your food intake, you may or may not lose inches.

A Fitbit is NOT an excuse to gorm sports drinks and sports bars. Just. Don’t.

The worldwide diet business is approaching $400b. They only succeed when we fail. The $100b worldwide fitness business only succeeds when we fail. Because this is not just an issue of willpower. It is an issue of fundamental retooling. Minute to minute, hour to hour, day by day.

Your success is based on two things: sustainability, what you WILL do and not hate because it sucks, and patience for LIFE. Because even if you do lose the weight, you need to know this (from the article above)

For 60 years, doctors and researchers have known two things that could have improved, or even saved, millions of lives. The first is that diets do not work. Not just paleo or Atkins or Weight Watchers or Goop, but all diets. Since 1959, research has shown that 95 to 98 percent of attempts to lose weight fail and that two-thirds of dieters gain back more than they lost. The reasons are biological and irreversible. As early as 1969, research showed that losing just 3 percent of your body weight resulted in a 17 percent slowdown in your metabolism — a body-wide starvation response that blasts you with hunger hormones and drops your internal temperature until you rise back to your highest weight. Keeping weight off means fighting your body’s energy-regulation system and battling hunger all day, every day, for the rest of your life. (author bolded)

Are you willing to commit to that last sentence? I was. Still am. WTF do I know? Thirty three years ago I dumped eighty pounds. It has not been invited back. At 67 I am a very serious athlete. I will tell you that yes, this is doable. But once you start, you are either committed fully for life or you commit yourself to the circular insanity of losing, gaining it back, losing, gaining it back.

You penned a terrific article. However, from where I sit, having spent half my life fighting the fat and losing the battle, then dumping the weight and keeping it off for approaching four decades, I can speak to just how hard this can be. Yah, I still have a donut. But the next few days I mind the farm. It’s not about perpetual suffering. It’s about perpetual self love, self care, self respect, and NOT determining our human value solely by the number on the scale. And that is perhaps the most important journey of all. You aren’t your body. You aren’t your weight. You’re a valuable human being no matter what size you are. And that, Shilpa, is true freedom.

Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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