Generally, and not focusing on weight control, I believe all of us have, at times in our lives, experienced what I call the “I Give Up” mentality. Personally, I am completely inept when it comes to doing mechanical things such as putting together a gas grill or furniture that need assembly. Often I have reached the point when I “give up” and pay someone to do what comes easy to most other people. I would bet that many of you can relate to certain activities in your lives when you simply became too frustrated that the outcome you were expecting was not occurring so the “I give up” situation took place. (Any frustrated golfers out there???)
Now, let’s head back to the weight control arena. By a show of hands, how many of you have had a one-time experience of deciding to shed weight, were very successful in this endeavor and the weight never came back on? Hmmm…I do not see any hands being risen. The most frequent scenario in weight control? Multiple “dieting” experiences with weight loss followed by weight gain and that cycle repeats over and over again.
Past history doesn’t always predict future outcomes, but clearly, to avoid the past being a predictor, approaches need to change. For weight control, as we have often discussed, this cannot be a mindset of “dieting”, but rather, “life-style changing”. Modifying long term behaviors, especially when this requires prioritizing delayed gratification over immediate is not easy. However, if the last failed weight control effort is followed by the “I Give Up” mindset, then, all hope is lost for the healthier/happier life that long-term weight control will provide you.
The following quote was attributed to the great Nelson Mandela in the 1980’s:
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
In the weight control arena, we will all “fall” (place weight back on) at times, but we should all pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get back into this with greater resolve and purpose. Never “GIVE UP”!