- It’s funny how things work out, by Will Saunders
I was thinking about a pal of mine who had been sick for nearly 2 ½ weeks. He didn’t eat very much and lay in bed all day on most days during that time. That period of not eating much and convalescing with little to no movement, he lost 12 pounds.
Then on the flip side, I think of people I know who purposely eat fewer calories – and they get regular exercise; however, they still seem to struggle to shed the pounds. Sometime people might even gain a pound or two. What irony. This reminds me of a funny dialogue years ago between two friends of my mom at a social function.
Gwen: Wow, you look great Sherman. Wish I could lose these pounds like you did.
Sherman: It wasn’t by choice. I lost them when I was sick, following my surgery.
Gwen: Shoot, let me go have some surgery too, then.
We all had a long, hearty laugh about that. Weight maintenance is indeed no laughing matter, especially if you’re one of those people who find it an up-hill battle trying to shed those pounds and keeping them off. It’s a struggle for millions of people. In fact, because of the difficulties in losing and keeping the weight off, many people stop trying. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association in a March 2017 article titled Change in Percentages of Adults With Overweight or Obesity Trying to Lose Weight, 1988-2014, it’s not uncommon for people to simply give up or not even try in the first place. I’m here to tell you it definitely can be discouraging. I try to focus on reignite my weight management plan pretty quickly after I realize I’ve put on a few pounds. Somehow, I noticed around my birthday in April that I had gained about 15 pounds. I let myself go a bit, and as hard as it’s been to get back on the wagon, I’m glad I only had 15 pounds to get back to my target weight. I cannot even wrap my head around the difficulties people must face who have double that (or more) to lose. It has to be overwhelming.
I’ve talked to a few people, offering encouragement, advice, or just an empathic, non-judgmental ear. It’s hard. After all of your efforts, your clothes are still too tight or the number on the scale doesn’t go down any further – or you eat right and exercise and to your surprise (and dismay), you’ve gained a couple of pounds since your last weigh-in.
When I first began writing this, I was going to offer tips and recommendations. You can search my archives for that, as I have written about it before. But, I’ve come to realize that no matter how good the advice may be, some things won’t work for everybody. Nonetheless, there is one thing I have found that can help immeasurably, and that is having a good network of people around you. Whether it’s that person who offers you authentic compliments or someone to whom you can be accountable, that connection can be one of the best motivators. It can be friends, coworkers, or your online pals. There are even some apps that do this too. Having someone with whom you can check in regularly could mean the difference between your success or failure.