This is a question I've pondered for a long time. It might seem like a ridiculous thing to bother thinking about, but it's not.
I remember back when Oprah lost a ton of weight and wheeled her wagon of fat out onto the stage. My mother loved Oprah. She and her friends were in awe. But the general chatter was, "If I had the money SHE has, I could lose weight too!" They'd talk about her having personal chefs and dietitians, counselors if she needed them, all the exercise equipment she could possibly want. Everything would be top quality! The freshest vegetables and lean meats cooked by the finest chefs, every calorie already calculated for her. A personal trainer, a whole team of people making sure she ate right an exercised! Of course, people said, "if I had that kind of money I wouldn't be fat either."
And then she gained the weight back, just like lots of other rich and poor people do. And the chatter became, "if SHE can't do it with all that money, a personal trainer, counselors, a chef, and anything else she wants for support, then maybe NO ONE can!" Of course, there are people who keep it off, but the whole drama seemed to prove that it is beyond a person's control, even with millions of dollars worth of help.
Now, I never really followed Oprah's story beyond what my mother told me. I was 14 or 15 when I used to walk through the living room in the mid-80's and notice Oprah on TV and my mother planted on the sofa watching her. I saw tabloids on the shelves, I heard chatter, I see something on the news now and then. But truth be told, I didn't watch her show and I don't know whether she's lost the weight again or not. I don't know without Googling what her current weight status is or what it has been for the last 20 years. I don't know what she's done or tried or how she feels about it. In fact, this post isn't about Oprah at all. It's about you and me and why we are fat.
If money were no object, would you still be fat? Would you still struggle and regain and would it still be hard? I'm talking to the people who, like me, have been battling weight issues for awhile. We have all the reasons in the world to lose it: family, friends, kids, vanity, health, comfort, longevity. Yet we don't. Or we do, but it is a long, arduous process. Do you think, if someone handed you ten thousand dollars, or fifty thousand dollars, or a hundred thousand dollars, you'd be able to easily become and stay at a healthy weight? Do you think if someone magically paid off your mortgage and bills and gave you enough money to live on for a year or two years or five years, including whatever you needed for weight loss, it would happen? If you had a million could you be and stay thin then?
I think I could. I might catch some flack for this, but I do think I could. Maybe not everyone could. I don't know. But think about it for yourself. How about that Mega Millions winner? If they are careful with that money, would they be able to do it? What about you? If you got a blank check to use towards weight loss, what would you use it for? In two or five or ten years, would you still be fat?
Make a list. Frivolous as it sounds, make the list of what you'd do with the money if this happened to you, if you believe it would make the difference in your weight loss.
When I imagine this scenario, I think of:
a new house with room for a home gym, with a little playroom off to the side for my daughter to play in while I work out
a membership to a private pool where I could take the kids and swim everyday if I chose, getting the pressure off my knees
a personal trainer to help me get the strength training right
all the freshest, best quality healthy foods we need
good shoes and a fitting to help my feet so I could walk more
a home with a setup with my bedroom away from the main living area so I could get some sleep
someone to cook my meals for me and a dietitian to figure out the details
an occasional maid to come in and do a bit of cleaning once a week, change sheets and such
an eating disorder specialist to talk to about any lingering issues
a doctor to see regularly to stay on top of any health issues
Yep, I think if I had all that, the weight would peel off and stay off. I do. And do you know why? Because of how much it would plummet my stress level. ALL of those things are the things I stress about, can't have access too, can't find time for. ALL of those things feel beyond my control for one reason or another. If they were in my control, my eating would be also. I believe that. All of the right support and equipment combined with the hard work I am already putting into this... yes. It would happen.
That's not to say it won't happen *without* all those things. It is just a lot harder and is taking a long, long time with the partial regains and ups and down and such.
Now the reason for making the list. Whether you think money would change things for you or not, this is a great insight into *why* you (and I) struggle with weight loss. Look at the list. Turn it around. See what it is saying. Mine is saying
it is inconvenient to work out and I don't have access to the right stuff
I am tired and not getting enough sleep
I wish I could swim
I need support (personal trainer, dietitian, counselor, doctor)
I am overwhelmed (maid, chef)
So if all those things were fixed, no matter by *what means*, I believe I would find weight loss much easier.
That is the key, here. You have to examine in a different way the *whys* of your struggle and then *do* something about it. All the thoughts aren't enough to make anything happen. It takes action.
I *can* save up for good shoes and have them within a month.
I *can* rearrange my office a bit to make a more convenient workout corner, and look on Craigslist for some used, cheap, small equipment and an outdoor semi-recumbent bike.
I *can* check with my insurance and see if a personal trainer might be partly covered, or go back to physical therapy for more guidance.
... and so forth. I have to look at that list and change the things that *are* in my control, and keep working at getting the weight off. Find ways to change those things *without* being rich. Because there ain't no money raining down out of the sky. So I will just keep working with what I've got.
Friday Update and Reality Check
2 days ago