… or you might not do it at all! I wanted to write this post to combat a certain mindset that is very prevalent out there, and which gets in the way of a great number of people who want to make their lives better. Many of these people have at least a few hundred pounds to lose.
The concept/mindset that I refer to is a very strong one. We see it in fitness, the military, at work, in school, etc… At its simplest it can be described with mainly monosyllabic grunts like “NO PAIN NO GAIN!”, “LEAD, FOLLOW, OR GET OUT OF MY WAY!”, “BRING IT OR GO HOME!”, etc…, ad nauseam.
It’s a very impatient, uncaring concept, but it has its place. For example, in the military, it’s a very welcome concept. Outside of the early part of a person’s military career, you’re expect to know what you’re supposed to do. You’re expected to be well-trained and ready to do what is needed. The same concept has it’s place in sports, and when it is directed to a person that is on the right level, it is an encouragement.
To a person that is carrying around a few hundred pounds of excess baggage, someone who has problems sticking with or committing to anything physical, the concept is nothing but a discouragement. Tell them “No Pain No Gain” and you may as well be telling them to give up. They experience pain of multiple types every day and the only type of gaining they go through is weight gain. Honestly, when you’re talking about someone who has to deal with this for a significant portion of their life, then they are probably VERY depressed to begin with.
This concept has no place among people who are struggling to lose weight. I’m reminded of a Book of Mormon verse, from the last part of the book, Moroni, chapter 7, verse 8: “For behold, if a man being evil giveth a gift, he doeth it grudgingly; wherefore it is counted unto him the same as if he had retained the gift; wherefore he is counted evil before God.”
The concept that is gleaned from this verse, and even the chapter itself is that if you do something, but aren’t willing to do it right – to commit to it – then you may as well not have bothered in the first place. Before we jump on the Mormons for the insensitive nature of the scripture, lets keep in mind that the Bible is not short on such concepts either, nor are most religions, for that matter.
A few verses later, that chapter points out that “bitter fountains” do not put out good water, nor are good fountains capable of bringing forth bitter water. Reminds me a bit of Isaiah: “Woe unto those that call evil good!” (… and vice versa).
So the point of all this? I’m not saying the scriptures are wrong, I support no opinion on matters scriptural with this blog, which is mainly about losing a LOT of weight, and little else. However, I do believe that it would be inappropriate to liken them to weight loss. In fact, I would say that from appearances, it would seem that if the scripture were applied, then my experiences with weight loss would turn the scripture on its ear.
Sometimes you HAVE to do it grudgingly! I know I do some of my workouts DAMN grudgingly, do you think those workouts have no effect? If so, then my scale says you’re wrong. Sometimes, you have to do it wrong before you can do it right. In fact, when you don’t have positive experience to draw from in an area, to help you do something that you have no understanding about, you HAVE to do it wrong, just to learn HOW to do it right!
In the world of weight loss, that can take a long time! I was binge eater for nearly two decades, yet until this year, there was NO SUCH THING AS BINGE EATING DISORDER! It didn’t exist! It wasn’t a “real thing” until AFTER I beat it! Can I get an eye roll, please?
Look at how many years I went, trying, trying, trying some more, failing, time after time, being discouraged by nearly everyone I worked with, fighting to preserve my own life, and not take it in the meantime.
This concept of “Do It or Go Home” is one area in the world of exercise and weight loss that I’d like to see altered. Inasmuch as it is helpful to a great many people, and is even very present in advertising (Hello Nike!), I don’t believe we’ll ever see it go out of style in the gym.
But I give two pieces of advice: Firstly, to the trainers who work with the morbidly obese, as well as to those who want to help people, in one way or another, that have hundreds of pounds to lose before they’re even just considered “overweight”. To you folk I warn you against using this concept. Do not be a stumbling block to these people. If you’ve volunteered your help, make sure it is helpful. Don’t add to their problems. If you don’t understand enough about us to be helpful, either do your research and learn, or apologize to them, so they can move on.
My second piece of the advice is directed at the morbidly obese: Don’t tolerate that shit! If they start throwing that crap your way, it’s ultimatum time! You don’t need to work with unhelpful people! Stand up for yourself. You know you’re putting your all into it. You know how you can tell that you’re putting your all into it? When they say that you aren’t, that you’re just being lazy, that you don’t have the commitment or drive that you need, and you KNOW that you’ve been doing EVERYTHING THAT YOU CAN, then you KNOW that they are FULL OF SHIT! And you don’t need them in your life.
There ARE people like Dr. Eeks out there; I know, now, that they EXIST. You can find them too.
And whatever you do, don’t let those people get to you. When they tell you that you don’t have the commitment that it takes, they are obviously wrong. You ARE committed, whether you want to be or not. If you weren’t, you’d likely have offed yourself by now.