The reaction around the fatsphere to a study and which found that losing weight has been linked to a lower life expectancy has reminded me of one of the dysfunctions inherent in weight loss dieting. It doesn't alter underlying weight status-except so rarely that it can barely be predicted- it only interrupts it.
The technical term given to this reduced obese-that is a fat person who has lost weight, but metabolically is basically in a state of (energy) conservation. A bit like mammals at certain stages of hibernation. This means that they need a lot less energy in comparison with those of a similar weight who've not been fat.
This is what is being referred to when people talk about "keeping weight off"; they mean that you are fending off the body’s in-built drive to re-impose it's thwarted weight settings. I suppose the body becomes like a cell that is partially emptied and yet it's metabolism still functions similar to before and it's outer membrane shrinks or becomes slightly withered.
Just getting on with your life and not making the diet the absolute centre of your existence can be enough for a ball to drop and your dragged back to square one, with the runaway horse that is rebound. Even if you can stick with constantly interrupting your bodies desire to replace what you are losing, it exacts a toll. Those who last tend to burn out eventually, rather like a career of dieting overall when you just find you cannot do it anymore.
It’s the nervous energy that you use up not only keeping where your body wants to go at bay, but the fight that your body is putting up to reassert its plan. Then there’s the monitoring and counting of calories, the endless using up of energy in the form of physical exertion, not for pleasure or reward, but to waste energy.
This has the effect of making you feel like you are fighting with yourself and that feeling can increase over time and become intolerable, even if it abates, you can still find yourself sick and tired of the tyranny of being a servant to your calorie restriction regime.
It’s important to say that this is entirely normal and has absolutely nothing to do with self control, it is not about having a flawed character, exhaustion, physical, mental or spiritual is a way your body signals you’re using up a hell of a lot of energy and have had enough.
It isn't clear from the reports of this study, what is causing this weight loss - dieting or a side effect of some facet of the ageing process, so I'm not commenting directly on the study itself. It's more that it reminded me of a phrase you rarely hear and it should be in common parlance reduced obese. When we speak of fatness and weight because unlike things like "morbid/super morbid obesity" and other such nonsense, it's purpose to illuminate rather than to conform to bias, but to add to the barrage of scare tactics used by those who wish to undermine the peace of mind of fat people. and everyone else.
This reduced size pattern often goes for slimmer people too, they are merely interrupting their weight too, which is why so many of them repeatedly lose 10lbs etc., over and over again.
that's the truth about weight loss, mostly those for instance fat people reduce, they do not actually become slimmer in anything but appearance. If you bear that in mind, rebound weight gain makes a lot more sense.
There are numerous excuses as to why people re-gain weight that are deeply unconvincing. In say the case of someone who's made it to their goal, you have someone who's gone on a diet, often for at least months, has proven they can live that way, has gotten over the worst humps, earlier on, as gotten through often more than one period of plateau. And achieved their goal weight, usually ecstatically happy, only to re-gain the weight.
It makes no logical sense whatsoever, there is no reason for them to re-gain, they've often been on a diet long enough to forget what they used to eat and yet somehow, they apropos of all this, decide to start eating what they used to again, even though at that stage it's probably harder for them to do this, than to stick with their routine that has become ingrained.
Explanations given by the people themselves, in the light of the diet brainwashing of fault, they 'admit' they've returned to their old habits-why?- they took their eye off the ball-like a slim person? Etc., all signs of people who have no idea why they were dragging back inexplicably to a starting point they have proven they can leave. For no reason.
That is the body winning, as it's designed to do, like the casino, the owner wins, virtually always, and always overall. Do you hear that obesity hustlers?
So when people speak of returning to their old habits/weight, or even to some extent, returning to their set point, they are being mislead by the appearance of change which is very real, on the surface where we can see it, but not underneath, where we can't. Rather like our conscious input in eating and the unconscious making up of our appetites and hunger. We make the same mistake there too.
I'm often very harsh and condemnatory about 'obesity science' it's a lot to do with my profound disappointment about what has at times sought to actually investigate this, in many ways fascinating subject, without fear or favour. Only to be repeatedly subsumed in an ordure of extreme bias. It seems worse, now, as if it is regressing to an almost primitive level. It makes a mockery of science and should be looked at.
Seeing terms not cut out of the same cloth as "morbidly obese" and other terms motivated by things that shouldn't belong in science, the desire to control and manipulate behaviour, rather than answer questions and build up knowledge shows us what we are losing in this crusade. It shows what could be achieved without it's distortion.
Now I don't believe for one nanosecond that this is the only way it can be. If we look at slim people, we know that their weight is rarely if ever down to their conscious effort- if it was technically speaking they're probably not actually metabolically slim. As it is not conscious, then something else is doing the work and they are claiming that as the outcome of their will. That something is to do with the underlying metabolism.
It goes to show how easy it is to mistake the actions of one's body for one's will. Something that has enabled fat people, especially, to be mind warped to heck. We often make that mistake until we learn more. I'll never forget the story of an inmate of the Bedlam asylum a couple of hundred years ago. She was diagnosed as insane and she was certainly mentally disturbed. They retrospectively diagnosed her as guess what? Being diabetic. She had diabetes and her mental disturbance was the direct product of that, because in those days, there was no treatment for it.
Weight seems to be set mainly by the actions of one’s metabolism not mainly, even rigid conscious control, and if weight can be adjusted from the that end/point, that should set/re-set weight, up or down rather probably more than genes' or even environment. The fact that we are constantly told, not by fat acceptance-which itself accepts this-but by those in the know is a really intriguing question. I can't help but suspect that it is undesirable that we should have the ability to control our weight in ways that are viable and frankly, easy.
Make of that what you will