One person weighs 160 pounds and ‘the chart in the doctors surgery’ says that their ideal weight is 100 pounds.
The second person weighs 220 pounds and the “chart in the doctors surgery” says that their ideal weight is 160 pounds.
Both of these people are 60 pounds overweight.
Then consider your own statistics in comparison to these 2 imaginary people…
Who is worse off?
You could debate to yourself about who of these other two people is worse off. The heavier one is also taller, this is why the chart has given a higher ideal weight. If you are quick with figures you might decide that the first person is clearly worse off because they are 60% over their ideal weight. The extra 60 pounds is only 37.5% over ideal weight for the taller person…
Then you might wonder about build, are these people slight, medium or heavy build? What does that even mean exactly? Then if I told you than one of these people was a couch potato in their spare time, the other hung out in the gym…
This type of thinking is part of the problem. We tend to use rationalization whilst comparing ourselves with others. We all have an internal narrative where it is easy to feel better that there is someone else worse off. That you aren’t doing that badly compared to some other people.
Lets face it no-one wants to be overweight or obese
For so many reasons. The ‘fat and happy’ or the ‘plus-size glamour’ or the ‘big is beautiful’ movements are complete falsehoods or denial mechanisms. These rationalizations are created by the ego’s of people who have failed repeatedly to lose the weight.
No-one wants to think that they are losers or failures so it is easy to descend into a state of part denial and part fantasy thinking. These people are just fooling themselves.
In the 4 hour body Tim Ferriss mentions a quote that he had heard. About a diet technique. It goes something like this:
“You can eat anything you want, you just have to do it while sitting in a room full of naked fat people.”
That is the brutal truth. If you are involved somehow in ‘fat rights’ such as complaining about thin models in the glossy magazines … Or airplane manufacturers making seats that only fit the behinds of people up to 250 pounds … You are fighting the wrong battle. You are in denial. Your ego has constructed many different narratives and twists of reality to make you feel better about yourself.
Think again about the chart that we have all seen in the doctors surgery, or wherever. The one with ideal weight depending on height, then the bands of underweight, overweight, obese, or morbidly obese. These charts were not created by a bunch Super Models just to tease you!
If you take away the fat, your skeleton and muscles will be similar in dimension to everybody else. Sure you might be a bit taller or shorter, your skull might be a bit bigger or smaller. Maybe you have slightly thicker bones in your fingers…
Overall, your skeleton represents very little of your total weight. The hard and heavy part of your bones is the thin layer on the surface. The middle is much lighter, it is the marrow that is softer and cell like. Ask Fido.
So now, if you are still reading after my previous reality slap, if your ego can handle the truth, lets quantify this extra blubber spread over the fat persons body.
(I hope you don’t mind me calling it blubber. Nothing personal, I probably don’t even know you. Just to remind you, I’m an ex-fatty and I’m like an ex-smoker. Ex-smokers often had a level of self-loathing while they were smoking, and the anger persists after they kick the habit. Partly because they hate the habit, partly to stay strong.)
So, as an exercise, lets figure out what this extra weight represents.
Go and find an ‘ideal weight chart’ on the internet, or an ‘ideal weight calculator’ … Just do a quick search on the internet… Perhaps you already know?
Go and weight yourself right now….
Still here? I don’t care if you just ate or you haven’t ‘evacuated’ yet today! In the scheme of things, a few pounds here and there don’t matter.
Just do it.
Now lets think of ways that we can quantify that weight in visual terms. If you are only a little overweight then you can find enough in your kitchen cupboard. Go and start selecting packets and cans to represent your extra fat. Look for the weight measurements on the side of the packets and cans.
(Remember that there could be the issue of gross or net weights, maybe you should use your bathroom scales to build your ‘blubber bucket’).
If you are obese then maybe you don’t have enough food in the house! Maybe you just ate it all! (Sorry.) In this situation go to the supermarket. Look at the 10 or 20 kilo sacks of rice or potatoes.
Once you have established the amount of food representing the extra weight you are carrying, get to know it a bit better, if it is represented by sacks of rice or potatoes in the supermarket try carrying them around for a while.
If you are at home maybe you can stuff it all inside your clothes and wear the extra food storage for a few hours. Why not photograph yourself with this extra “food fat suit?”
This is an exercise to really get to know the extra weight
It is what you have been doing unconsciously ever since you put the fat reserves away in the first place!
This extra weight goes with you everywhere! It is wrapped around you while sleeping effecting your sleep. It is sapping your energy and zest for life during everything you do.
Another point to consider
We often hear the an obese person is putting extra strain on their internal organs such as the liver or heart. Have we really thought about this properly in our state of fantasy thinking and denial?
Imagine that your heart is like the engine of a car. Your bones are the chassis, your joint cartilage is like the shock absorbers. Now imagine buying a large truck, but replacing all the parts with standard car parts. What do you think will happen? Exactly.
Why are you doing it to yourself? If your ideal weight is 160 pounds then your heart, circulatory system, joints etc will be in balance. Nature knows best. As you get fatter and fatter maybe some of your muscles might grow because of the extra load. Many important parts will be under huge stress.
Incidentally, I am writing this at 214 pounds. Within the last year or so I have weighed as much as 255 pounds. Until recently, I have dismissed the chart reading of my ideal weight of 165 to 185 pounds as ridiculous.
“Not for someone with a large build” I said, “not for my genetics”, “I don’t want to be too skinny…” I remember being angry at the 165 pounds, or the fact that I was in the “obese” band. It was if I thought that overweight was OK, that there were much fatter people than me… Familiar? That’s the ego in denial.
The reason I mention this, and that I am sure of my view is as follows. I have just lost 40 pounds. I am wearing clothes that didn’t fit me for years. I have managed to wear a belt and a few T-shirts that were gifts and that I had never worn! I STILL FEEL FAT HOWEVER.
You might think that this is a case of anorexia or dysmorphia but I don’t think so. The reason is that if I grab fat from my waist I can feel a lot of fat. (That is the bit that won’t tense up like a muscle, the bit that wobbles if I jump up and down.) I also notice that I have this fat layer on my legs. I used to tell myself that my legs were okay, because they are muscular. (Even at 235 to 250 pounds I have been a regular gym user for years.) Of course the charts are right. I am still fat, I am 30+ pounds over my ideal weight. Yes, I have an above average muscle percentage, maybe I will be happy at 185 pounds but that doesn’t explain the extra fat deposits.
I have faced reality on this issue for the first time in my life. I regularly set goals for myself, and do my best to stick to New Years resolutions. Some resolutions have stayed the same for a few years in a row until I have eventually achieved them. The weight loss goal has been the most common and most stubborn. My target always used to be 220 pounds. Invariably, that tended to be my ceiling in my yo-yo from 220 to 260 over the years.
This year I did something different. I changed my goal weight to 200 pounds. For the first time ever. I had started to face reality. Now at 214 pounds I can see that 165 to 185 pounds is exactly right. This is a weight that I have’t been since the age of 11 or 12. I remember being 14+ stone (196 pounds) at 14 years old. I was obese even then, 25 years ago.
I have made a promise to myself to always live in reality, no matter how difficult it is to accept.
You might wonder if it is true that I am writing a post about dieting when I’m only half way there. You might wonder If its even true. I’m not interested in trying to ‘prove myself’ to anybody. (Besides you already bought my book!)
On this matter, and it amuses me to think about it, I know that I have full understanding of the reality of my situation, and the factors involved. I have spent a lot of time researching topics such as toxic additives, self-denial and goal setting
I understand all the processes all the factors and the solutions are obvious. It’s like a ‘Eureka’ moment. Like the lights have gone on for the first time.
The solutions are simple. No calorie counting, no surgery, no strict regimes. Just knowledge. Knowledge that is freely available to anyone who can read and who can be bothered. Instead of reading about the tricks that the junk food manufacturers use, simply opt out from eating the rubbish.
Instead of punishing yourself in the gym realize that although exercise is important, the food that you eat is responsible for the excess fat. It is that simple. It is so simple that I don’t have any doubt at all that I will continue to lose weight.
My only regret is that I didn’t get off my fat ass earlier and educate myself properly. (Sorry if you have a fat ass and feel a little offended… That is your ego again! Get over it!)