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Is weight loss all about self-control?

by January 15, 2016 Healthcare

Very little has to do with self control. It’s about people not having enough time and money to exercise and eat right. The worst foods for you are the easiest, cheapest and fastest to make.

Maintaining your weight isn’t hard if you have enough money and time to buy healthy foods and prepare them. Most people don’t. Sure you can cut out calories, but then you’re also cutting out nutrition. I could get my daily amount of calories from two cinnabons or something, but then I’d die.

I have two hours in the day to exercise, I have a boyfriend who cooks me healthy meals. This is why I’m thin. I have little self control. I really try and only eat one serving of cookies or ice cream a day, but it’s hard. Actually, I try to eat none, but that’s not gonna happen.

In many cases being overweight is an issue of time, money, and perhaps under-education. I currently live in a very working-class neighborhood and it’s hard not to notice that A)generally speaking, crappy food reigns supreme – a million McDonalds and NO farmer’s markets and that B) many people are ill-educated, have a large number of children, and have very little money. They are also generally much more overweight than in the higherclass neighborhoods in the area. Of course, when one can’t afford to buy much food, the cheaper, quicker option will always be taken. So where it costs $3.99 a lb for asparagus, 4 bucks will provide and entire meal at McDonalds and there’s no cooking involved. In these respects, certain people are much more disadvantaged when it comes to weightloss and healthy eating.

That being said however, I think self control and discipline do play a big part. It’s a matter of priorities. Albeit there are certainly cases such as those mentioned above where people really just can’t afford to eat well and cases of people with eating disorders (binge eaters) or illnesses like hypothyroidism and etc. but that isn’t the norm. Generally I think most people just expend their self discipline in other areas of their lives and healthy eating and exercise fall by the wayside. For example, consider thought processes like the following: “I’m going to stay late at work and kick my butt to get this project finished”… then later, at home… “I deserve to eat a bunch of ice cream because I was so dedicated at work today.” That’s an issue of discipline certainly. People tend to see food as a reward in and of itself. It takes self control to change these sorts of associations. In my case, I work very hard and still make sure to go to the gym and prepare healthy meals. After all of it, when all is said and done, I have about an hour to read at night before I go to bed. In fact, where one person might see ordering food in and watching a movie as a good way to unwind from the day, hopping on the treadmill and running is one of the only ways I can really get my mind off work and switch into relaxation mode.

Now I suspect most people will see this and think… OK, she’s just crazy, most people don’t like exercise or find it relaxing at all. A while back I would’ve agreed. I’ve only really become this way in the last year or two because for a few months I wanted to lose a couple pounds and forced myself to go to the gym after work etc. It was a total chore in the beginning but now it has become my reward for a day of hard work. This is where self discipline comes into play, I think. It takes self discipline to make new habits and to change one’s attitude towards health, food, exercise etc. People just tend to put other concerns first. So while it’s true that maybe self control isn’t the end-all-be-all answer to why people become overweight, it certainly plays a big part in reversing the situation.