Sunday, August 4, 2019

The Funnel of Weight Loss

I've done daily grueling gym workouts, avoided restaurant and snack foods, and generally eaten immaculately for four days.

I'm sore, I'm slightly disoriented, and I've let other elements in my life go a little....with absolutely nothing to show for it. If I were to keep this up for three weeks - an immense achievement requiring huge sacrifice - I'll have lost 3 or 4 pounds. Nearly insignificant!

In the cartoon version, it makes clean and tidy sense. A pound of weight loss per week is to be expected, and, hey, it's good to shift priorities to healthier living. There! Done!

But we don't live in a cartoon, we live in the living. And in the living, I'm doing a very hard thing, with considerable sacrifice, for a great length of time. A two month hospital stay for physical recuperation would be a tumultuous life-wrecking disruption. You'd send me cards! And this is only a couple notches less disruptive, and will take twice as long.

My little-understood (judging from the comments) posting titled Losing Weight Costs $1000/pound" really stands up, I think. The monetary value of a serious weight loss regimen is $1000 per pound. One must budget accordingly.

Consider this. If I were to ask you to upset your rhythms and patterns for three weeks; to lose your free time, change your diet and deemphasize your social life; to go beyond your comfort zone and feel sore and disoriented while letting some parts of your life go a bit, what would I need to pay you? You'd demand $3000, bare minimum

If you're accustomed to Pringles, iPads and sofas, it's an enormous change. Four days of this feel like an achievement - with no actual visible indication of achievement. Three weeks, which feels downright Olympian, buys you only a small token; a bit of slack in the waistband. You really can't make this work without reframing perspective. You need to shift to liking it, to being it. "Means-to-an-end" thinking only takes you so far.


Display Name said...

I struggled with my weight for many years Jim. I even went mostly raw vegan for a good part of a summer. My black raspberry patch was a huge help. Then that november I took a life transformation course at the local raw vegan cafe. I got a free green smoothie daily to help me on my journey. I took the course with two friends. The one friend made sure we got at least one more smoothie at home as well. The weather was lovely that november. I took the course to keep my friend company and be supportive. The smoothies gave us so much energy our dog got like eight shortish walks a day. I didn't weigh myself. I wasn't trying to lose weight. Near the end of november I tried on a sparkly tight skirt I had to maybe wear on NYE. The skirt went plop and puddled around my feet. I was shocked. I went to a clothes store and tried on a few things. I went down a full size. I never did weigh myself but I did buy some new clothes that fit. I've kept the weight off even after mostly straying from raw vegan to a "balanced" diet. A few years later my friend wanted to join a gym. I was like what the hell? Why not? We lift three times a week and sometimes go swimming too. I am less clumsy and my skin feels nicer. My newish clothes look even better on me. I still haven't gotten around to weighing myself. Oh yeah we still have a green smoothie every day. I love my vitamixer. Good luck on your quest. The social isolation on the raw vegan campaign was a real bitch. I was lucky to have a traveling companion or I never woulda suceeded.

Display Name said...

My friend and I ate some tjs oat yogurt cookies in your honor last night Jim. I would say they were indeed devastating but I hate the word indeed so I'll stay within the lines and give them a yay. I never would have tried them. Thanks! My parents had a dive bar with their business partner so I grew up in a bar and was raised to Mind My Own Business. This is hard for me to ask but I wait all year for local produce. I've been swooning over cantalopes, tomatoes and corn and all the ways to eat them. All year we wait for this glorious bounty, bounty that doesn't last. Seems to me your timing is off on your recent endeavor. Why oh why right now? I know I know it really isn't any of my business. But I will be thinking of you when I eat my tomato sandwich and have corn and who cares what else CORN for din din.

messr. said...

Try road biking. It's fun and relaxing particularly if you find a good rail trail to avoid the dangers of car traffic.

Anonymous coward said...

Often when I lose weight, I'm barely aware of it. I've had a full gauntlet of experiences from huffing and puffing casually with very little thought, running. To college level physical education, weight lifting class and aerobics, exercise addiction, and finally full blown quackery.

My advice is make it fun. I completely disagree about the $1000 pound. Let's reverse engineer this if somebody paid me $100,000 to gain 100 pounds I would do it in a second. Or a magical being appeared and offered to give me $100,000 for 100 pounds to instantly appear on me. Weight loss doesn't work in my experience if it is not fun. Positive training works better than punishment.

Have fun, the exercise is the end not the means. That being said don't let your self-reinforcing exercise regime turn into exercise addiction. I fell into that trap way before I got caught up in quackery. To beat exercise addiction time everything. Stick to an hour of cardio max and ask for help if you cannot stop after an hour.

My college level weight lifting professor told me proper form and muscle balance was key. I can't verify every bit of data, but I will say misinformation is rampant and better from a college professor than a random person at the gym or online.

Weight loss from exercise is just an added bonus. With the exception of extremes exercise seems more important that diet. Malnutrition is the main problem with diet. Make sure to get your blood tested from time to time for nutrient deficiencies. Other than that aim for an enjoyable balanced diet. I beg to differ about your immaculate diet, I think you are causing yourself needless struggle and suffering.

To sum up how to diet and exercise:
Fun, balance, don't over do it, and avoid quackery.

My personal diet and exercise regime:
Eat whatever I want, diet has so little effect on health that it is irrelevant except nutrient deficiencies.

As for exercise, water wading 6 laps, back and forth three times each, lots of walking, weight lifting, stretching, and 5 crunches a day. I plan to up the laps and weight eventually as well as crunches and add in some pushups and pull-ups.

Is this ideal? Of course not, but it is better than reading endlessly trying to get the perfect work out. I went to an upscale shopping center and there was two boot camps, one juice bar, and one health and lifestyle coach. All probably charging lots of money and contradicting each other.

Is it paleo, vegan, raw vegan, raw paleo, wheat belly, Atkins, fruitarian, or breathtarian all contradict each other and all are quack. Exercise is somewhat better, is it squats, crunches, superman, yoga, Pilates, running barefoot, running with shoes, and so forth? All contradict each other but oddly enough all are correct in my opinion. In the sense you are better off doing an exercise that is 40% effective as oppose to 0% effectiveness of indecisiveness. There can be more than one correct answer just as there can be multiple incorrect answers.

Who has the time and energy to sort through the deluge of information and misinformation out there? In fact sitting on your butt staring at a computer screen reading all that information about diet and exercise is unhealthy within itself and will lead to weight gain.

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