Skinny Daily Post


Kat spun my head around.

Kat, aka SkinnyKat, a woman who writes online about weight and weight loss and other things, moved my mind when she said we should understand more than the “how” of weight loss, but also the “why.”

As in: Why do I easily gain weight? Why do I want to lose weight?

These may seem like easy questions to answer, but today I’m taking it slowly, answering them carefully. They deserve some attention.

I know why I gain weight easily. It’s because I eat too much and too little of the right foods, and I move too little. But, why?

Why do I eat too much? And too little of the right things?
I love the taste of terrible food.
Food is a reward, a solace, a comfort, a prize.
Food is addictive.
Food is a guilty pleasure.
Food is there.
Food is reliable.
Food is social.
Food is something to do.
Food is my art.
I’m in a hurry a lot of the time and eat mindlessly, forgetting how much I eat, or eating so little that when I finally get around to eating, I overeat.

Why can’t I control my eating when I want to so much?
Food is one of the few pleasures in my hectic, deadline-driven, scary, sad, world. I don’t drink to anesthetize. I eat.
I’m often hungry for more calories than I burn off.
(These answers tell me I need to diffuse the power of food in my life. I need help for this.)

Why do I move too little?
I work on my keester all day long.
I have only a couple of hours with my family at the end of the day. We gather around a table, on the couch. I should spend this time at the gym instead? I don’t think so.
I have a hard time putting my body care ahead of my job or my family.
I don’t always remember to sneak in movement during the day, especially when I’m on deadline.
I don’t like to exercise, even though I do like the result. Still, I’d rather read. I would always rather read.
(I need to find ways of being more active all day without making a big deal out of it or trying to transform myself into an athlete. By sneaking in lots of little bouts of exercise, developing an introvert’s exercise habit, I can slay the big exercise beast.)

Why is maintenance so hard?
It feels as if I’m pulling against a very large bungee cord. The cord is pulling me back toward my old habits while I keep on working to stretch toward a new way of living. I have to keep pulling until the elastic gives out and lets me stay put. And it takes years for elastic to lose its snap. Meanwhile I pull and pull and pull. It’s tiring.
(This just means I need to be respectful and patient of the process. It does take time, it is hard. Breathe.)

Why work so hard to lose weight and keep it off?
I lost the weight for my health. Is maintenance now about health or beauty? Is it both? For me it hasn’t been so much about beauty. It’s much more about not wanting to die early. Beauty is the sticky side trip, a distraction. I need to remember this work is for good health, good mood, good BP, smoothed out hormones, a working brain, a working heart, working guts. I want to keep functioning well for a good bit longer. These answers make my goals less about a size, I suppose…
(This is a big deal. This is a big deal. This is a big deal. I need to think about this some more.)

So now, what are your whys? Write them down and answer them in your body log, journal, or blog. Your questions and answers will probably differ from mine. I suspect that once we know all about our own whys, it’s a lot faster and more fruitful for us to develop our own personal hows. I can see right away how I can choose my goals with more clarity and accuracy. I can see how finding strategies for managing my body can be done with much more precision.

This is good. Thank you Kat.

Skinnykat’s Litterbox

4 thoughts on “But Why?

  1. Mary Beth says:

    JuJu! YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD FOR ME! My answers are almost identical to yours. All my adult life, I keep wracking my brain, trying to come up with answers to all my “whys?”, but to no avail…until now. I keep telling myself that there must be some deep reason I overeat. I’ve been struggling for over 2-1/2 yrs to get my weight down. I’ve done WW and South Beach, but I just can’t seem to keep going on any kind of strict program. I have changed my ways and am now taking it “day by day”. I read your column faithfully and you help me tremendously. Thanks for your honesty and the gift of you.

  2. Dana says:

    Yes, definately needed this today.

    Saturday morning I woke up, weighed myself, saw that the scale did not budge and then promptly asked my husband a very loaded question, something like — “Do I need to lose weight or am I just a bulky person?” He looked at me with fear in his eyes, told me that he wouldn’t answer that question and that I was beautiful, and then ran into the other room.

    So, after apologizing for putting hubby in that awkward position and talking through a bit of my frustration, I went for a long run to think about why I was exercising and why (or if) losing weight mattered.

    And I came to a conclusion that mirrors some of your words above, Juju. I thought about health versus beauty. How focusing on health is well-worth my time and energy, though dwelling on an unrealistic standard of beauty is not. How feeling more comfortable and keeping up physically with my friends and family is important, though receiving compliments and flattery is fleeting and momentary. I thought about how good health will enable me to live a better life, while the pursuit of beauty will send me running in circles.

    It’s sticky business — understanding the “why” behind weight loss. But, I think it’s also the key to the “how.”

  3. Suburban Island says:

    It was great meeting you at JournalCon and having lunch at the Firefly. Bozette put up some great pictures of the conference including on of that lunch. I am going to read the book you recommending and of courese I going to add you to my list of must reads immediately. I also write a blog on suburban life – in addition to my diary Suburban island –

  4. Jan says:

    The whys of overeating are right on target for me! Egad! Someone with my own problems! I also need help with diffusing the power of food. I do WW and have lost45 pounds since 11/14/03. I get weeks where I don’t want to journal and I don’t want to leave bad stuff alone. Then I get real and go back, always with success. But why do those weeks sneak in there? I have 15 pounds to goal (actually 17 since I gained 2 lbs watching the Olympics late night!) and it seems so close yet so far! I’m starting to try the new Turnaround plan, so we will see how it goes. Any help or comments from anyone – email me!

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