Monday, 6 December 2010

Seeking failure to succeed

Weight loss dieting 'success' can just as easily be read as the failure of your body's defences to fulfil their purpose-to make good any calorie (and/ or weight) deficit.

It is important to say this not just to put the another point of view, although that is worthwhile in itself, but because there are many people out there who think that because they are 'successful dieters', that is they can go on diets, find them easy and that they are either pain or discomfort free (or not in a way that bothers them) and lose weight on them. They of course rebound the same as any one else too.

They can tend to believe the claim diets don't work doesn't apply to them mainly because of that absence of any (great) pain or discomfort, the failure of dieting keeps being put solely down to this-some feel bad that they've not really experienced it. They have trouble understanding that the failure of dieting in their cases are no less an indicator of WLD's uselessness than those in (more) distress.

What they have to understand is that the issue of diet failure is not in the pain and discomfort, important as that is, it is in the function of the defences set up to stop it working.

Weight loss dieting has been presented as weight loss and the only truth when whatever your opinion on dieting, that is only a point of view. One that has been made to look like the only possible interpretation because it has gained dominance and gone mostly unchallenged.

And that (although to a lesser extent) includes us in FA, who are still mired within the dominance it has gained over the collective mindset. We may be trying to get away from that, but we are still part of the way society has seen weight, we are society. Whatever dominates it to this degree, tends to dominate us too, albeit differently.

This means that although some of us see this, we and supporters of WLD alike tend to use the same language which is focused around shoring up dieting's 'validity' which is theoretical as it is not replicated in practice.

We speak of being able to diet when actually dieting tends to proceed mainly because those built in defences either come into play slowly enough, hardly or don't really come much into play for some reason.

Not only that, the way it feels to us when those defences are in effect can differ a lot between people, for reasons one can only speculate on-we know that some of us like guitars are strung tighter than others (our nervous systems that is) and it may be this that is really causing the pain and discomfort when those defences are operating through that it. It can also be the other way around, this what is essentially a battle, can ratchet up the tension like you wouldn't believe and that is the cause of distress.

Certainly it is implicated in a lot of the suffering and aftermath of dieting, from eating disorders disordered eating, to the sensitized nature of a lot of battle fatigued fatties who end up in diet burn out, fed up of unyielding and unwavering critiques of whatever they've tried to do, even if it is precisely or more than what they were told to.

Physically speaking when you nervous system is exhausted by these repeated assaults upon it the capacity to diet abruptly maxes out or diet burn out. That's why when someone described it as having a nervous breakdown, but just in this area, was having a moment of brilliance because that is exactly what it is like and indeed is a microcosm of a more general nervous breakdown.

This is why I've always protested when people keep stating that diets fail because they are painful. No, diets fail because of the operation of these in-built defenses against self induced 'famine' or dieting. Whether that hurts or not may affect the duration of the diet in the individual, but is not really the decisive factor overall, if it was those pain free dieters would remain slim(mer). Instead the rebound is the same as anyone else's except maybe a bit more stealthy because it is not quite as hard won. Although I would not dismiss their experience, they are still inconvienenced, lead up the garden path, liable to the possibility of extra gain and any consequences of yo-yo dieting. This isn't about pain v ease, it's about a bad experience looking better because enough of the others had quite unspeakable experiences.

Its a bit like a car, you can have a basically sound clunker that chugs and grinds along making a riot of noise in getting you from A to B. Or you can drive in a car so smooth and quiet that you have to make sure you don't drift into a trance like state and forget you're actually on the road.

It is not the noise that gets you there it is the functioning of the vehicle.

Remember, levels of pain can also vary in the same person from attempt to attempt. Obviously pain (((((((really hurts)))))))), it's upsetting, it can punch way above its reason its supposed to that is its purpose, to get noticed and make it (increasingly) imperative that we act to relieve/remove it asap.

So in virtually any situation, pain gets the recognition, pain gets the noise and so it should, but that shouldn't make us ignore other cases and that it is not necessarily the definitive factor stopping something occurring, because that obscures the reality and makes it harder to understand or even perceive whats going on.

If you believe WLD's work or still use the language of it, you speak of someone succeeding or failing at dieting. If you try to define things by how the body responds to dieting then you realise that for dieting to succeed in any way whatsoever for any length of time, no matter how short in duration or far away from the 'goal weight';

Those defences have to fail in someway to some extent for some time.

Without this failure or lack of engagement of these defences diets cannot continue.

The other factor of course is single minded conscious determination to do what it takes to out-expend your overall metabolic condition. That though has far greater limitations than the extent to which your body fails to see off dieting. Some are able to play both those ends against the middle.

If we have a different point of view about things, we should explain those views according to those views, not according to the views we have rejected.

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