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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

In Honor of Natonal Eating Disorder Awareness Week

BEFORE YOU START YOUR NEXT DIET...

ASK YOURSELF EXACTLY WHY YOU WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT.


MOST FREQUENT REASONS GIVEN FOR DIETING:

  1. TO IMPROVE LOOKS

    Many people assume that if they lose weight, their looks will improve. Yet most "before and after" shots show such strong contrast because of many other reasons. The "after" photos include a fashionable new outfit, improved posture, stylish hairdo, professional make-up job, and a big self-confident smile. The actual weight lost is insignificant compared to the change in attitude. Improving your wardrobe, your grooming, and your self-image are all quite possible without dieting.

    In addition, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Not everyone shares the same aesthetic tastes espoused by the media and advertising. Some men and women prefer to date and marry those who are darker, older, shorter, or larger than the average fashion model model. Many others place a higher priority on inner beauty than outward appearance.

  2. FOR A SPECIAL OCCASION

    If you're trying to get down to a certain size for a special occasion such as your wedding or class reunion, you will probably succeed if you time your diet just right. But are you willing to risk the weight gain that is likely to follow the special event? Over 90% of all dieters regain some or all of the weight originally lost and at least one-third gain more. Who are you trying to impress anyway? You were probably at your current weight when your fiancee proposed. and all brides are beautiful - no matter what the dress size. Your former classmates will be more impressed by your loving family. charitable works, or job promotion than by your weight.

  3. TO IMPROVE HEALTH

    Many specific medical conditions require a change of eating habits, such as lowering salt. sugar. or fat intake. Such changes, especially combined with a moderate exercise program, can improve health. However, judge the success of your eating program by the improvement or alleviation of your specific symptoms, not by number of pounds lost. For fat people, any weight loss which accompanies such dietary changes may be slight and may only be temporary. Also ask your doctor what additional treatment they recommend to thin patients with your medical problem, and follow that advice.

  4. IMPROVED GENERAL WELL-BEING

    Many people say they just feel better at a lower weight. This attitude is primarily a result of internalized oppression against fatness. A healthy dose of self-esteem, an active social life, and a moderate exercise program will make a person of size feel better.

  5. IMPROVED TREATMENT BY OTHERS

    If you're fat, you've probably experienced size discrimination of some sort: teasing, unsolicited advice, or trouble finding fashionable clothing, comfortable seats, or a new job. You probably will receive better treatment if you get thinner, but this is an individual personal solution to a general societal problem. Where would the civil rights movement be today if African Americans were still searching for the perfect skin lightening cream or hair straightener Instead of changing your l-body. why not change other people's attitudes or challenge a few laws? Join NAAFA in fighting size discrimination at all levels - from social to political.


BEFORE YOU START YOUR NEXT DIET...

YOU SHOULD ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS:

  • ARE YOU NATURALLY FAT?

    If you've been fat for most of your life and several other family members are also fat, the odds are that your natural body size is larger than average. Children with one large parent have a 40% chance of being large, and children of two fat parents have an 80% chance of being that size also. Current setpoint theory states that everyone has a natural weight which their body will automatically protect. Diets are nothing but voluntary starvation. The body protects itself from perceived famine by increasing energy efficiency and raising its set-point even higher. This theory explains why diets more frequently result in weight gain than in permanent weight loss.

  • DO YOU CURRENTLY HAVE AN EATING PROBLEM?

    Not all binge eaters are fat, and not all fat people are binge eaters. On the average, fat people eat the same amounts and types of food as thin or average size people. Instead of being a cure for binge eating, dieting can actually cause binge eating. Bingeing or "overeating" is a natural reaction to food deprivation. The dieting process itself often starts a vicious "binge/purge" cycle which can lead to serious eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia nervosa. If you suspect that you have an eating disorder, contact your doctor, counselor, or a support group.

  • DO YOU ENJOY HIGH RISK ACTIVITIES?

    You have about as much chance of winning the lottery as you do of permanently losing weight by dieting. Over a five-year period, only 2-5% of dieters succeed in keeping their weight off. and over one-third of all diets result in long-term weight gain. Would you accept a treatment for any other medical condition that had those "success" rates? If you've dieted frequently in the past, what makes you think this time will be any different? You may be wasting time, money, and energy, and risking your health if you go on another diet. Are the odds worth it?

  • WILL THIS BE YOUR FIRST DIET?

    If you're planning to go on your first diet, make sure that you also plan to make it your last. Many of the 2-5% of successful dieters are those who have never dieted before. If you have a particular medical incentive for dieting, this may be just what you personally need to beat the odds. But if you've never dieted before, also be forewarned of some of the possible side effects: tiredness, irritability, mood swings, obsessing about food, and inability to concentrate.


BEFORE YOU START YOUR NEXT DIET...

IF YOU'VE READ THIS FAR AND STILL WANT TO DIET,
PLEASE CONSIDER THESE ADDITIONAL POINTS:

  • DEMAND RESULTS AND GUARANTEES

    Before spending a cent on any diet program, insist on seeing their five-year follow-up study and their specific claims about weight loss results. Be sure to ask how they handle drop outs. Also ask for a money back guarantee. If you find a diet program will willing to make such a guarantee. please notify NAAFA, because we don't know of any. Don't be misled by "guarantees" which only let you spend more money by allowing you to continue having their special foods. Ask for a concrete definition of "success." Be a good consumer when buying any diet plan or product. Better yet, don't spend any money at all on dieting.

  • THE MYTH OF A SENSIBLE WEIGHT-LOSS DIET

    Many articles claim that diets don't work, so you should eat less and exercise more. (What exactly do they think a "diet" is?) Do not believe that "sensible" eating plans or diets work any better than "quack" or 'fad" diets. There is no evidence to support this claim. Weight is usually regained at about the same rate as it is lost. "Sensible" weight loss programs might possibly be slightly less hazardous to your health and may result in slower weight regain, but the 5-year success rate is no better than any other method.

  • ABOUT THE ADVICE TO "SEE YOUR DOCTOR"

    The common advice to "see your doctor first before starting any diet" is given primarily for the legal protection of the multi-billion dollar diet industry. By all means, see your physician, but remember that most doctors have had little or no training in nutrition and some push a particular diet for their own monetary gain. Medical supervision is no guarantee of safety, since hospitalized fasts are among the more hazardous weight loss procedures used. Nutritionists and dietitians often have more medical information on dieting than general physicians and they may be more understanding about the realities of weight loss attempts.

  • BLAME THE DIETING PROCESS, NOT YOURSELF!

    If you do go on another diet and the lost weight does reappear, don't just blame yourself or your lack of willpower. The dieting process just does not work for the vast majority of dieters. Relax. Reread this brochure. and consider joining NAAFA . Accept yourself at your current size. And get on with your life !


BEFORE YOU START YOUR NEXT DIET...

CONSIDER THE SELF-ACCEPTANCE ALTERNATIVE.

  • STOP PUTTING YOUR LIFE ON HOLD

    Don't wait until you're down to a certain size to lead a full productive life. Accept yourself the way you are and get on with enjoying your life today and every day. Surround yourself with friends and loved ones who also accept you.

  • LEARN MORE ABOUT SIZE ACCEPTANCE

    NAAFA, Inc. has other free or low-cost educational material and runs a book service that includes most of the prominent books on size acceptance. Two especially good books which provide more information on the dieting process are Bennett Gurin's Dieter's Dilemma and Atrens' Don't Diet. Both summarize the numerous medical studies upon which the information in this brochure is based. Contact NAAFA for a current book list.

  • JOIN NAAFA FOR SUPPORT

    NAAFA has local chapters in most major U.S. cities, national special interest groups, an annual national convention, and regional conferences. NAAFA provides personal emotional support for many fat people and their loved ones.


BEFORE YOU START YOUR NEXT DIET...

PLEASE WEIGH THE ODDS CAREFULLY.

Louise Wolfe
MS Rehabilitation Counseling

Info from NAAFA.

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