When I was in the 9th grade, I decided to lose weight. After all, I couldn't see my toes. So I just cut back what I ate, and walked a lot more, and kept cutting back what I ate. The good news? I lost 45 lbs over about 8 months! The bad news? I still had fat deposits I wanted to get rid of, but my diet was then below 1,000 calories a day and I hadn't lost any more weight for nearly 2 months! I had taken up jogging, and rode my bicycle to school (5 mile round trip) and often rode 10-15 miles on Saturday...and wasn't losing weight.
That was my first lesson in the battle of the bulge. I have long since accepted that I will never be "slim". At one point in college, after being sick a few months, I was down to 5'8" & 115 lbs - and I still had a significant layer of fat around my waist! My cheeks were hollow. I was weak. And...I still had a couple of spare inches around my waist!
I would agree that there are many causes to obesity. Lots of folks don't fight. Or don't care. But a lot of us have noticed that pretty much ANY diet will get SOME weight off. Getting it all off, and keeping it off...there's the rub!
I haven't been very fat since the 9th grade. But I have nearly 50 years of experience trying to not get very fat. I probably sound frustrated. Maybe a bit angry - with myself, not anyone of this forum. Those are pretty common emotions too for those of us who struggle with our weight! Because you can listen to doctors or nurses, do exactly what they and the government and the panels of experts say - and fail! The Obesity Code
argues the problem is in how dieting and "not dieting" affect our hormone levels. The studies he quotes match my experience. However, unlike him, I'm not certain there is an answer. Not if "answer" means "become slim and trim".
In a sense, it is kind of like riding. It is a compromise. Without doing unreal amounts of exercise while following a strict diet every day, I may not be able to become "slim". So maybe "less fat" needs to become my goal. I'll also never be a beautiful rider - beautiful in terms of grace, not appearance. But with some modification of my goals, my horse & I can be happy in what we CAN do instead of what we will never be!
If I define success in dieting/exercise as being able to fit into 33 inch jeans, success seems possible. If it means getting into 29 inch jeans....well, prepare for disappointment! And if I look too stiff and awkward on my horse, yet I stay on him and don't interfere with his back or create excessive peak impact forces on him...maybe THAT is "success"? Watching Bandit and Mia before him, horses seem to judge me by how hard I try
to help them! They are a very forgiving couple of creatures!
One of the ways horses have changed me, starting at age 50, is to teach me to accept things. Not to be "perfect", but to accept "good enough". And by extension, to learn to look at people around me, in my family, church, etc and learn to accept them by their "try" instead of wanting them to meet some goal set by someone else that they cannot meet.
I've always liked this picture of Bandit and I. We're about to drop into a small, narrow wash. It isn't difficult, but I'm giving Bandit a moment to smell & think, so he'll be ready to do what I want him to do. We are not sailing effortlessly over a 5 foot oxer. We aren't hearing adoring crowds cheer us. But we're just out in the desert, doing what we do together. And honestly? Bandit won't sweat an extra 10 lbs on me. We're together, doing what we both seem to enjoy. Like a good marriage, isn't that "good enough"?