My friend, Sam Ramdenee summed it up beautifully, ‘I find I am either in a getting fatter phase or a getting slimmer phase’. Now Sam is an ex-dancer, so somewhat slimmer than my little finger. From time to time she tells me she is fat. From time to time I tell her I’m changing my name to Tubs. To hear us talk, you’d think we were a pair of barrage balloons, which is far from the case. Nevertheless, what she says about it all is absolutely true for all engaged in weight maintenance. People decide enough of being a lard arse, go on some regime or other, lose all the unwanted wobbly bits, and then assume that’s it. They will now Be Slim. They stop their chosen regime and go back to what they were doing before. And as time rolls along, all the lost fat rolls right back around them, plus a little bit more. They get stuck once again in the getting fatter phase.
To lose a significant amount of weight is not easy. It takes time and commitment. Once the fat is gone, that commitment continues. The problem with following an imposed regime is that when the goal size is achieved, the regime is stopped and only too often people have not learnt a personalised way of eating that helps them maintain weight – and, as is completely inevitable, lose a bit of weight again in due course.
So by becoming slim, it is not the end of the story. The waistline – or bottomline – has to be carefully monitored and action taken as soon as the belt’s hole starts to get strained, for once we have left the ‘I’m getting slimmer phase’, we pretty quickly enter the, ‘Oh, bother, I’m getting phat.’ phase. And so we toggle around a size that is good for us, rather than dropping several sizes only to climb back up again. This fatter/thinner thing is not a desirable gentle undulation, but a large scale relief map of the Andes.
Another weight loss trap is to use exercise as the prime way of losing weight. This can work if time rich and not prone to injury, so the knees or back never hurt, for example. However, for the majority of people after a stint of heavy exercise, something starts troubling them and slowing them down. Or they get very busy so do not have the time or energy to exercise as hard as before. If they really wellied themselves, when they get less busy, they inexplicably can’t get back into the savage exercise routine. And so the weight comes rolling back.
There is no way round it; for long term slimness, what we stuff down our cakeholes has to be mastered on an individual basis. If what we are currently eating and drinking is making us fat, then continuing to swallow it will continue to make us fat. After all, it really is only a matter of choice. We can choose doughnuts and diet coke or we can choose smoked salmon and green tea. How hard can it be?
Of course, you can always make an appointment and come and chat to me about how to make it all happen. For August only, this consultation will cost £35 instead of my normal £40.