Food · Musings

One Size Does Not Fit All

I recently came across a video on YouTube from a person who was following a major weight loss program. Apparently (I’m only guessing) her aim with her vlog was to talk about how she was faring on the program and to share information and ideas about the program with her followers.

After watching the video, I came away with some thoughts that I’ve shared in one of my Facebook groups. I want to speak more to those thoughts here.

Let’s start with a basic. Weight Loss Programs are a Business.

Their entire purpose is to make money selling their program(s). Some provide guidelines and tools, others include food products. Many require some sort of subscription fee. Bottom line: it is the way they make money. Are they expensive. In many cases, yes. Why? Because the nature of their business is predictably cyclical. They understand that the majority of their subscribers will only be subscribers for a limited amount of time, either quitting because the plan did not work for them or they found a less expensive way to continue.

Does this mean that the programs themselves are faulty or bad? Not necessarily. Does it mean they are not nutritionally balanced, etc.? Not necessarily. To be honest, to pretty much every question that could be raised, the answer would, most likely, be “not necessarily”.

It Isn’t Just The Program

Cardboard is cardboard any way you look at it. Weight loss programs are not like cardboard. Each one is different.

The Humans who choose to participate in (follow) those programs are all unique, too.

I know of many people who have no clue what constitutes a balanced diet. They do not know what an actual serving size of anything is. And when they find out, many times they are shocked. They have heard the sound bites or read the articles about eating healthy but the puzzle pieces do not connect. Sometimes due to lack of knowledge, sometimes due to lack of education people find themselves going along with the latest fad thinking it is a good, solid option.

Many people do not realize that each body reacts differently to different foods. We know about allergies, but what about sensitivities to foods? How do they create weight or health issues?

I have friends and acquaintances who have a wide array of reaction to the same types of foods. One person, for example, has such a severe reaction to gluten that one slight mis-step will put him down for days at a time, while another has only a mild upset.

Some folks can’t eat dairy without gaining weight. Even low to non-fat dairy items.

I know of folks who need a lot of guidance on what to eat, how much, when, etc. At the other end of the spectrum, we find folks who understand portion and calorie control, know about exercise, can set limits for themselves and manage quite well without all the fancy (expensive) bells and whistles.

I don’t know about you, but I suspect that you’ve also encountered the same things I have over the course of many years. The assumption that everyone reacts exactly the same to every issue. That all it takes to lose weight and get healthy is to stop being lazy. That it really is easy.

I could go on, but you get the gist.

From what I’ve learned and observed over the years, the process is rarely ever easy. If it were, there would not be the need for more than one program out there and we’d all be fit and healthy.

My Thoughts and Suggestions

Know yourself. Do you need strict guidance, or can you manage to manage yourself? Would a group setting be a benefit to you? What are your triggers? What foods should you stay away from? What amount of exercise is reasonable for you? Do you understand portion control? Are you willing to be honest with yourself and follow whatever program or plan you decide upon? Are you willing to make changes in your lifestyle and habits to meet your goals?

You Are the Main Factor in Your Success.

At the end of the day, the only person who can answer any of those questions is you. Doctors can prescribe programs and plans. Friends and family can try to help. You can go broke subscribing to programs.

While it would be easy to make you feel bad about whatever you are dealing with, that would not be helpful for anyone. You don’t need anyone to make your journey more difficult. What I would suggest is that you decide what your journey will be, what you want success to be, and find ways to achieve that. If it is losing weight, gaining more strength, finding new foods, whatever. Or, and here’s something rather radical to suggest, maybe you choose to stop pretending that you want something you really don’t, or are not ready, to do.

Life is not lived in only one moment.

You are more than the sum of your dress size and your measurements.

One Day At A Time. One Step At A Time. If you make a mistake today, tomorrow you can start fresh.

What do you think? Leave me a comment.