Advertising
Advertising

The Top Five Reasons Why Weight Loss is Temporary

The Top Five Reasons Why Weight Loss is Temporary
Top Five Reasons Why Weight Loss is Temporary

    We all know that the vast majority of people who lose weight, regain it. And while we know that nobody who loses that weight actually wants to put it back on, somehow we’ve become really good at it! Some of us have spent a lifetime cycling between the fit and fat versions of us. We even have the small, medium, large and industrial sections in our wardrobe. What a miserable and frustrating cycle that is. And I’m not talking about minor weight fluctuations here, I’m talking about a range of 10-50 kgs (22-110lbs) or more. We get on and off the weight-loss roller coaster for a bunch of reasons but here’s what twenty five years of working with people in this area has taught me. My top five observations anyway…

    Advertising

    1. We don’t keep our head in the game.

    Advertising

    For a range of reasons, somewhere along the way we lose it mentally and emotionally. And when the discipline, the self-control and the can-do attitude go out the window, so does the new and improved body. Pity. We know that what happens below the shoulders is driven by what happens above them (our physiology is a by-product of our psychology), so for most of us, mastering our mind is the key to mastering our body. Creating life-long change (in this case, weight-loss) ain’t about carbs, protein shakes, treadmills or pump classes, it’s about what’s happening between our ears. I know that this is a message I share regularly but it still seems to be missed and/or overlooked by the masses; fix the head to fix the body. Do whatever you need to do, to maintain focus, commitment and momentum over the long term. And as for that whole “it takes thirty days to create a new habit” thing… crap. As a rule, it usually takes much longer. Very few of us (okay, nobody) will undo thirty years of destructive behaviours, habits and thinking in thirty days. As is often the case, the theory and the reality don’t actually merge.

    Advertising

    2. We do stupid things to our body.
    Oh how we love extremes when it comes to weight loss. Four lettuce leaves, two carrots, some diuretics, a few fat-blaster tablets and three workouts a day. Great plan. If you’re an idiot. And if you wanna lose a heap of fluid and muscle. And energy. And health. Extreme never works. Yes we all think our body is special and unique but… it’s not. It amazes me how many ‘smart’ people do stupid things to their body. Drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, excess food, no food, no sleep, poor hydration, over-training and under-training, just to name a few. Be emotional and silly about your football team by all means, but not with the decisions you make about your body.

    Advertising

    3. We start things that we won’t maintain.
    We know that diets don’t work but geeeeze we’re good at doing them anyway. For a week. Despite being more educated than we’ve ever been, we (our society) still embrace what we know doesn’t work; the watermelon and air diet. And the boiled egg and grapefruit diet.

    4. We get in shape for events, but not for life.
    Yep, I’ve said it before, we’re great at losing weight for birthdays, weddings, school reunions, big social events and even summer. And then we’re great at getting fat again. It’s what we do. Don’t get mad at me, just take a look around. If only life was one long birthday, we’d all look amazing 24/7. We change our behaviour for a while, but on a level below our conscious (and temporary) behaviours, we’re simply waiting to go back to normal. Normal being the same behaviours that lead us to obesity in the first place.

    5. We don’t have a plan for life beyond the weight-loss.
    Some of us are pretty good at the losing bit… but kinda crap at the maintaining bit. We arrive at our destination (Skinny Central) and start to eat. And eat. And eat. After all we deserve it, we’ve been ‘so good’. And then we wake up six months later and realise that our trim body has well and truly left the station. Toot, toot. Losing weight is relatively easy. Maintaining habits, behaviours and weight loss for life is the real challenge.

    More by this author

    Why Is Goal Setting Important to a Truly Fulfilling Life? Do You Make These 10 Common Mistakes Before Weighing Yourself? If your Childhood Sucked – It’s Time to Stop Blaming Your Parents! Exploring Relationships with the Single Weirdo Education Should be More than Academic Basics

    Trending in Lifestyle

    1 Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally 2 How to Eliminate Work Stress When You’re Stressed to the Max 3 10 Benefits of Sleeping Naked You Probably Didn’t Know 4 10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day 5 7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on October 23, 2018

    Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

    Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

    My mother was a great knitter and produced some wonderful garments such as Aran sweaters which were extremely fashionable when I was young. She also knitted while my father drove, which caused great amusement. I often wondered why she did that but I think I know the answer now.

    Knitting is good for your mental health, according to some research studies. The Washington Post mentions a 2013 survey of about 3,500 knitters who were asked how they felt after a knitting session. Over 80% of them said they definitely felt happier. It is not a totally female occupation as more and more men take it up to get the same benefits. Harry Styles (One Direction) enjoys knitting. So does Russell Crowe although he does it to help him with anger management!

    The Neural Knitwork Project

    In Australia, Neural Knitworks was started to encourage people to knit and also become aware of neuroscience and mental health issues. Knit-ins were organized but garments were not the only things created. The knitters produced handmade neurons (1,665 of them!) to make a giant brain. The 2015 project will make more neural knitted networks (neural knitworks) and they will be visible online. You can see some more examples of woolly neurons on the Neural Knitworks Facebook page.

    Advertising

    While people knitted, crocheted and crafted yarn, they listened to experts talking about mental health issues such as addiction, dementia, depression, and how neurons work.

    The knitting and neural connection

    The human brain has about 80 billion neurons. Learning new skills, social interaction, and physical activity all help to forge neural connections which keep the brain healthy and active. They are creating networks to control movement and make memories. The knitters learn that as they create the woollen neurons, their own neurons are forming new pathways in their brains. Their creations are mimicking the processes in their brains to a certain extent. At the same time, their brains are registering new and interesting information as they learn interesting facts about the brain and how it works. I love the knitworks and networks pun. What a brilliant idea!

    More mental health benefits from knitting

    Betsan Corkhill is a physiotherapist and has published some results of completed studies on her website, appropriately named Stitchlinks. She conducted some experiments herself and found that knitting was really helpful in reducing panic and anxiety attacks.

    Advertising

    “You are using up an awful lot of brain capacity to perform a coordinated series of movements. The more capacity you take up by being involved in a complex task, the less capacity you have for bad thoughts.”- Betsan Corkhill

    Knitters feel happier and in a better mood

    Ann Futterman-Collier, Well Being Lab at Northern Arizona University, is very interested in how textile therapy (sewing, knitting, weaving and lace-making) can play an important role in mood repair and in lifting depressive states.

    She researched 60 women and divided them into three different groups to do some writing, meditating and work with textiles. She monitored their heartbeat, blood pressure and saliva production. The women in the textiles group had the best results when their mood was assessed afterwards. They were in a better mood and had managed to reduce their negative thoughts better than those in the writing and meditation groups.

    Advertising

    “People who were given the task to make something actually had less of an inflammatory response in the face of a ‘stressor’.” – Dr. Futterman Collier

    The dopamine effect on our happiness

    Our brains produce a chemical called dopamine. This helps us to feel happy, more motivated, and assists also with focus and concentration. We get a boost of dopamine after sex, food, exercise, sleep, and creative activities.

    There are medications to increase dopamine but there are lots of ways we can do it naturally. Textile therapy and crafting are the easiest and cheapest. We can create something and then admire it. In addition, this allows for a little bit of praise and congratulations. Although this is likely not your goal, all these can boost our dopamine and we just feel happier and more fulfilled. These are essential in facing new challenges and coping with disappointment in life.

    Advertising

    “Sometimes, people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, “Oh, I wish I could knit, but I’m just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that.” How can knitting be wasting time? First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. Second, you aren’t wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.” – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much.

    If you thought knitting and textiles were for old ladies, think again!

    Featured photo credit: DSC_0012/Mary-Frances Main via flickr.com

    Read Next