Lonie McMichael over at BFB has a good post up about how the odds of diet success don’t change because you’re doing it for your health. Regardless of your reasons, you’ve got a 5% chance, if that. And as she points out, a lot of those 5% gained weight due to pregnancy (or illness, or meds, or a number of temporary causes). These aren’t people who’ve always been heavy, for the most part. They’re people who dieted once, and probably stopped when they came back to their natural set point.
She also touches on the addictiveness of weight loss.
This is the thing: we have a tendency to fool ourselves. We tell ourselves it’s for our health. However, if that were true, then HAES would actually be a better option. We tell ourselves we only want to lose 10%. I have found (a phenomena noted in Hirshmann and Munter’s When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies) that I don’t want to stop until I’m what society thinks is perfect. A little weight loss almost always leads to the desire for more.
I’ve been there. I occasionally want to smack the Kelly of 10 years ago upside the head for thinking I was still “a little fat” or “had 5-10 more pounds to lose” when I was average, not even overweight by body fat percentage. (I don’t know about BMI, but that’s a crock anyway, so who cares?) And while I’m okay with my body just as it is most days, I do wonder if I might be less fat now if I hadn’t dieted so much before my immune system decided to start picking on my thyroid.
But if I’m smacking past Kelly upside the head, I can also smack the folks at the gym, who even as they were telling me I was in the “normal” range for body fat percentage, continued to encourage me to lose.