Monday, 3 March 2014

Once again: Weight isn't Behaviour

Just saw this on tumblr. A chart entitled "Stages of change in behaviour to support successful weight management" is never going to turn out well.

Weight is not behaviour and there's something desperate about framing this as "doing something" "hat is that something exactly?

This is also the basis of assuming that you can tell a person's behaviour from their size. Though for some reason, this is not acknowledged by many of those complaining about "thin shaming."

A reminder than those who think this way do not think from the same root or imperatives as those looking from a more reality based viewpoint. Either genuine scientific study or first person experience.

What the above chart does of course illustrates is in some ways rather poignant wishful thinking. If weight is a behaviour, like smoking or taking drugs. It can be directly adjusted.

In order to make such an absurd assertion, you have to distort the nature of human metabolism and agency, to the point where it bears no relation to what we know.

Weight doesn't fit any of the previous moulds. It's not neurosis, it's not addiction, it's not habit, nor is it directly amenable to will.

Neuroses, from depression to anorexia, yield directly to the application of conscious direction, they even yield readily in many cases, to placebos. Both anorexia, a genuinely deranging condition and depression yield partially or wholly to contrary actions, forcing yourself to eat/ be positive about 3/4 of the time.

Weight loss dieting is said to succeed in significant weight loss about 3-5% of the time. That in itself shows that we are not dealing with the same thing at all.

Eating is not a habit, its an innate drive that we habituate. Like sleep.

You could not do well with little or no sleep. Despite effort the imperative would remain, looking to make good any deprivation. The effort of which would unbalance its whole rhythm.

Another key difference is stopping smoking, being more positive, calming down, eating again are moving from unhealthy to healthier. Weight loss dieting is a pathology. No matter whether you start off well or not.

That is why its not so much hard as dysfunctional.

No amount of re-framing weight as directly under the control of our minds will change any of this. It's not so much impossible as we haven't found out how and this kind of thing shows it doesn't appear to be a priority.

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