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Have you ever heard the famous quote from Thomas Edison: “Success Is 1% Inspiration and 99% Perspiration”?  Well, several issues that sort of morph away from the credit given to the famed inventor, Edison:

  1. Edison is really not the source of this famous quote.  Turns out that a different person produced this line.  In the early 1890’s an academic named Kate Sanborn delivered a series of lectures on the topic “What is Genius?” She defined genius as a mix of “inspiration” and “perspiration”. “Talent isperspiration,” she said, explaining that genius required more perspiration than inspiration. If she provided a ratio, it was never recorded.
  2. Over the years, the quote was changed using the word “Success” instead of “Genius”.
  3. Edison, later asked for his definition of genius is said to have answered, “2% is genius and 98% is hard work.”  When probed on whether genius was inspired, he replied, “Bah! Genius is not inspired “Inspiration is perspiration.” Within a month of Edison’s comments being published, several writers and speakers re-jigged his statements – and after clever re-writes (without his further input), this eventually culminated in the quote as we now know it.

Okay, se we established that Thomas Edison was not the source of this famous inspirational quote and that “genius” was the actual word, not “success” so what does any of this have to do with weight control?  Here goes:

  1. “Inspiration” is often needed for people to be committed to losing weight.  That inspiration can come from different sources:  
  • Being recently diagnosed with a weight-related co-morbidity/being placed on a medication(s)
  • Looking in the mirror or seeing a recent picture of yourself and not being happy with who you see.
  • Having a loved one(s) tell you how important you are to them/how much they love you and why they need you to be healthy.
  • Having pain or other symptoms that you know would be alleviated with losing weight
  1. “Perspiration”, referring to “hard work and effort”, is needed for people to be successful in their weight loss efforts.
  • Planning meals and snacks
  • Purposefully avoiding the derailing foods and drinks
  • Exercising regularly
  • Being strong and not succumbing to the immediate gratification behaviors that produced the weight problem to begin with.

So, I am morphing Ms. Sanborn’s and Thomas Edison’s statement to this, when it comes to successful weight control:  This needs 50% inspiration and 50% perspiration.

Summary: Successful weight control requires a person to be inspired and then work hard on the steps needed to control weight