Conversation with one of Al’s co-workers…
Co-worker: I’m on Weight Watchers. I’ve lost 20 pounds.
Me [non-snarkily]: Good for you.
Co-worker: The thing is, I just feel better.
Me: Well, I would argue that the focus should be on feeling better, regardless of whether you lose weight. You might gain it back, some people might never lose it in the first place, but nearly everyone can feel better if they exercise and eat a balanced diet. They just might still be fat.
Co-worker: Yeah, you know, I totally believe that. I have a relative who’s always been big, but she’s always been really active, too. She’s healthy, but she’s never been thin.
And from there, the conversation went on to more interesting topics.
Would that it were always so easy, huh? One (sadly) important point here is that the co-worker in question is male — he’s not steeped in the conventions of Lady Diet Talk, so my saying it’s possible to be healthy and fat, and weight loss is no big deal, didn’t make his head go asplodey. He never thought I was criticizing him or infringing on his right to diet or trying to break his will so I could stand over him going “Mwahahaha!” while he asphyxiates under a pile of donuts. I was just um, what’s it called? Making a logical point.
File under: Concept, what a.
Quote of the day, courtesy of Joy Nash:
Obese patients are often encouraged to believe that weight loss is an appropriate way to combat depression, save a failing marriage, or increase the chance of career success. The irrationality of hopes pinned on weight loss is so striking that dieting might almost be likened to superstitious behavior…. Passing from childhood into adolescence, leaving home, marrying, starting a new job, having a baby, experiencing marital difficulties, adjusting to children leaving home, and growing old — all these life situations may become unexamined reasons to diet. In other instances, concerns over weight mask even more serious problems.” (Wooley 1991)
-“Obesity Treatment: The High Cost of Hope.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association.
As always, you should be reading Sandy.