Guest Post: Joesph Jackson
Hello, body. I am your brain. It has come to my attention that you are trying very hard to get yourself to a smaller weight than what I have deemed to be right for you. That is very foolish. I am the boss. I control the hunger, and I can make you eat Mallow Mars until your skin carries the faint smell of chocolate. I can make you crave crispy, crunchy, almost burned bacon on top of your wimpy salads, turning a healthy food choice into a complete waste of your time. Why are you trying to do this to yourself?
Okay, so your brain does not really have a personal vendetta against your body, but there really is such a thing as the body’s set point. Every human has a weight that their body works the best atóthe weight that makes you feel the best. If you get above or below that particular weight by more than a few pounds, you start feeling it. You might feel tired or sluggish. You might feel achy or ill. In some women, menstrual cycles can be thrown off by weight fluctuations in either direction. The set point dictates what weight we are ate for optimal performance for every system, from the cardiovascular system to the digestive system. While you can change the weight that your body is registering, you may never be able to change the set point that it believes to be right for it, so maintaining your weight, especially one that is much lower than your own body is comfortable with will be a constant struggle.
Even getting down below the set point in the first place is a hard task to accomplish. Think about it. Your doctor says that you are fifty pounds overweight (according to his charts) your clothes say about thirty. The lowest you have ever weighed and felt good about yourself was about twenty pounds ago. So, if you start to diet and get to that first twenty pounds off, will you be satisfied? Remember, you feel good now; your body is functioning at its very best. You have high self esteem once again. But, your clothing is still too tight and your doctor is still nagging you to lose more weight. Okay, so your clothing was too tight when you bought it, but you still start working at losing the additional weight. Maybe you get that other ten pounds off. The clothing is still a little snug but wearable. Your doctor continues to push you to lose at least ten more pounds. So, you try to do it. You change your eating habits, again. You add in more exercise again. But, this time, nothing is happening. You are not feeling like you used to either. Phantom aches and pains keep you awake at night. You are more tired than you usually are. It is becoming a sheer act of will to pull yourself out of bed in the morning.
You drop some of the added exercise and stop killing yourself with the diet. Ten pounds creep back onto your frame and suddenly you feel better again. The aches and pains are gone. Your energy is back to normal. You feel like your happy, if flabby self again. Welcome back to your set point, your brain missed you.