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Let’s Talk About the 5 Percent

  1. Joanne Soolman says:

    Bravo! Excellent piece. My sister is a WW leader and it has completely consumed her life. I am waiting for the day that she will finally see the light, but I’m not holding my breath! Thank you for writing this!

    • GlenysO says:

      Ah, my sympathies. I was a WW member and employee back in the day and it is definitely a cult. I’m glad I never became a leader, as was my intention, right before I was introduced to HAES. She may see the light if she eventually gains all her weight back, as many of the WW employees do.

  2. jjjorgi says:

    Just in time, thank you for reminding me that diets don’t work as I was just scoping out another low carb plan. But only because my 15 day juice diet made me feel like hurling .. sure I lost weight very fast but it’s unsustainable. Oh yes, and the high fat low carb diet straight after the juice only diet!!

    I mean what the hell … really!? It’s so obvious to me that “diets don’t work” and I’ve known this since reading Bob Shwartz books “Diets Don’t Work” and “Diets Still Don’t Work” written in the 1970’s. I still have the books.

    Atkins was huge then and it was my first experience with dieting after WW refused to let me join as I wasn’t overweight and I was only 14. Atkins was easy and I became severely underweight .. as always I became sick of Atkins and gained the weight back plus a heap more, now I was overweight where as I was the perfect weight before.

    I tried vegan diets and Susan Summers etc etc and just got heavier, I believe the cortisol theory re stress and releasing fat absorbing hormones, or however it goes.

    Then one day in the Health” section of the local book store, I saw in big letter Shwartz book Diets Don’t Work, eat like a thin perso, eat whatever you want.. and I thought ‘what the hell is this dude on about??’ I bought the book as I hated dieting with a passion and I loved food so why not.

    Within a hours of reading his theories about The Last Supper, deprivation and his experiments and observations with “naturally thin” people I felt s HUGE release from stress, food obsession dismay and all the food crap luggage I’d been brainwashed with. I’m not exaggerating one bit.

    I decided to eat like a thin person. I started walking to this cafe to meet a friend for coffee, I would order whatever I wanted. Fries with gravy, very Canadian at the time. I ate maybe a third of the plate and then left the rest. It’s wasted if I ate it or threw it away.

    I could go on and on about this but have to meet a friend for coffee in a few minutes .. keep on keeping on with your message I love reading your work X

    Ps I lost 7 pounds the first week

    • GlenysO says:

      I can definitely get behind the “eat whatever you want” theory! I am just wondering – is the “eat like a thin person” philosophy being sold as another weight loss solution? For instance, would the author be encouraging of someone “eating like a thin person” but remaining fat? Because certainly, I eat like many of my thin friends do and do not lose weight, and I think this is probably true for many fat people. And of course, it’s not my intention to lose weight, only to be happy with my diet and relaxed around food (which I am). If you hadn’t lost 7 pounds, or even gained weight, would you continue on with this way of eating?

      • jjjorgi says:

        Good questions,.. I believe Schwartz was selling a new way to lose weight as well as sharing his unorthodox findings and the shock factor of claiming that diets don’t work. Even though he wasn’t the first to discover intuitive eating, he was one of the pioneers.

        Would I have stayed on his plan had I not lost weight on it? Absolutely not. I felt release becaus I believed I was about to have it all, the weight loss and the freedom from obsessing about food.

        Today I listened to the pod casts from the two dietitians and again I can relate to their theories. But if I’m being honest I do not find beauty in obese bodies, especially my own. I have a lot to learn about loving my body unconditionally, s lot! But I refuse to keep pounding my head against a wall trying to stick to a ridiculous diet, of course they fail. X

  3. I sort of intentionally lost weight, but I did it by quitting a stressful job and integrating more physical activity into my day. With less stress came less stress-eating and -drinking, and I lost about 18 lbs over 3 years. Six pounds a year is really slow, but it hasn’t come back and I don’t feel deprived. I wouldn’t say I feel “confident” around food, but I just don’t think about food much at all except when I’m hungry. I find the topics of food and weight loss to be pretty boring. I think you can lose weight and keep it off if you keep moving towards a healthier, more active, less stressful lifestyle, lose the weight gradually, and don’t expect big quick results.

    • GlenysO says:

      I agree diet and weight loss talk is very boring!

      When you say you think that people can lose weight and keep it off if they keep moving towards a healthier, more active, less stressful lifestyle, what is your evidence of that (aside from yourself)? So far I have found that there is simply no evidence to show that this is true for the majority of people. There are many fat people out there with low-stress, healthy lifestyles who remain fat – does that just mean they are “doing it wrong?” I definitely support reducing stress, healthy eating and exercise habits, etc. I am just dubious that they lead to significant, long-lasting weight loss for the *majority* of people because there is no reliable, consistent evidence to show this is true.

      • I am only thinking about anecdotal evidence: myself and a few friends. I think it’s very hard, and not very useful, to make broad generalizations, so I shouldn’t have done so. I basically agree with you that dieting is not helpful and that weight loss shouldn’t be the main goal of lifestyle changes.

        I think that what happened to me is that I moved from the upper end of the range that is “normal” for me (based on stress-eating and a sedentary lifestyle) to the lower end of the range that is “normal” for me (based on, e.g. not polishing off entire bags of trail mix in an afternoon, and getting some exercise most days). The real goal was to feel better and have more energy and less anxiety; a limited amount of weight loss (about 18 pounds) was a side effect of that. I never said I became skinny, however. I think it’s definitely possible to be healthy and fit, and still be fat by society’s standards.

  4. jjjorgi says:

    Just in time, thank you for reminding me that diets don’t work as I was just scoping out another low carb plan. But only because my 15 day juice diet made me feel like hurling .. sure I lost weight very fast but it’s unsustainable. Oh yes, and the high fat low carb diet straight after the juice only diet!!

    I mean what the hell … really!? It’s so obvious to me that “diets don’t work” and I’ve known this since reading Bob Shwartz books “Diets Don’t Work” and “Diets Still Don’t Work” written in the 1970’s. I still have the books.

    Atkins was huge then and it was my first experience with dieting after WW refused to let me join as I wasn’t overweight and I was only 14. Atkins was easy and I became severely underweight .. as always I became sick of Atkins and gained the weight back plus a heap more, now I was overweight where as I was the perfect weight before.

    I tried vegan diets and Susan Summers etc etc and just got heavier, I believe the cortisol theory re stress and releasing fat absorbing hormones, or however it goes.

    Then one day in the Health” section of the local book store, I saw in big letter Shwartz book Diets Don’t Work, eat like a thin perso, eat whatever you want.. and I thought ‘what the hell is this dude on about??’ I bought the book as I hated dieting with a passion and I loved food so why not.

    Within a hours of reading his theories about The Last Supper, deprivation and his experiments and observations with “naturally thin” people I felt s HUGE release from stress, food obsession dismay and all the food crap luggage I’d been brainwashed with. I’m not exaggerating one bit.

    I decided to eat like a thin person. I started walking to this cafe to meet a friend for coffee, I would order whatever I wanted. Fries with gravy, very Canadian at the time. I ate maybe a third of the plate and then left the rest. It’s wasted if I ate it or threw it away.

    I could go on and on about this but have to meet a friend for coffee in a few minutes .. keep on keeping on with your message I love reading your work X

    Ps I lost 7 pounds the first week

  5. ebay313 says:

    My experience with dieting, not that my dieting ever got me thin, was the same in terms of being all consuming. I spent all my time thinking about and worrying about food and calories, what I would eat when. One of the reasons I’ve given up dieting. It gets exhausting thinking about calorie restrictions constantly.

    • GlenysO says:

      Right! Most people on diets live this way but only a very tiny 5% is actually “rewarded” for it – if reward means a totally shit quality of life when it comes to food.

  6. Great perspective as always. I’ve always suspected that the 5% population of “Success Stories” is really just an artifact of the GOOD NEWS that only about 5% of the population is willing to throw away quality of life concerns in favor of a lower weight for the long term. Means 95% have their priorities straight at the end of the day? Anyway loving the podcasts, keep em comin!

  7. […] and dandy, you think, but maybe I’ll be one of the 5% who keep the weight off. Maybe you will be! I was for a long while – before The Diet Monster took over my life and made me more miserable than I had […]

  8. […] all the available data – will maintain their weight loss, usually through an enormous amount of effort and vigilance. These are the people being tracked by the National Weight Control […]

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