Monday, September 21, 2009

Just Wondering...

We all know the statistics and they aren't pretty: the vast majority of people who lose weight will gain it back and more. I found this post, where the writer states that the statistics are "bleak" in that 83% of those who lose weight will gain it back within two years. From everything I've heard, that's a pretty optimistic figure. Many people don't give successful losers more than a 2% chance of keeping the weight off permanently (which I think is only defined as five or so years later).

The photo here is of The Biggest Loser's Season 1 winner, Ryan Benson, AFTER his win. He has regained almost all the weight lost.

OK, now that I've depressed you beyond belief or gotten your dander up (not me! I WILL succeed you lousy, negative nay-sayer), here's what I'm wondering about:

Do you feel that the Internet has a positive effect on your weight loss efforts?

And more importantly, do you think the Internet will (or is already) helping you to maintain your new, lighter weight?

Personally, my jury is still out. I've only been on this voyage for 9 months. It's too early to say, though I've really enjoyed making new friends and learning from the experience of others. Taking stock--not every day or even every week, but after a significant length of time--is going to be an important exercise for me. I think the one-year mark is going to be interesting and hopefully heartening. It's the long-term that counts. I don't think that I'm being self-defeating to hope for a long-term, modest weight loss. There are too many of us out there who have accomplished a stunning weight loss several times, only to gain it back. None of us want that.

So, will our little group of merry weight-loss travellers (notice I don't say "warriors" though it is tempting) make it where so many others have failed? And will we feel that it's the support we find on the Internet that has made the difference?

I think my question would make a great PhD thesis. Anyone want to take it on?


  1. I like the accountability of my blog, to myself and to anyone that reads it. But that won't keep the weight off. Adopting new habits will.

    I enjoy reading other people's experiences, as it gives insight into my own. It's nice to feel like you're a part of something - the merry weight-loss travellers.

  2. Well, I think it is the accountability that helps, it is for sure to soon for me to tell I have only been doing it for a month or so, but I do love it, and reading other peoples journey helps me see that i am not alone, but I have actually gained weight since I started blogging, so not sure the overall progress yet,but I have made some new and interesting friends and if you were to ask hubby Sean about this he would have a whole different response...

  3. I believe that blogging has helped me stay on the road to health. Sure i have times where i veer off but i'm pretty much staying on the center line :) Oh and i get to meet great people!!

  4. I really feel that maintenance blogs are going to be the next big thing, lol!

    Blogging and, above all the lovely bloggers, have been the one single thing different on this attempt to lose weight, so I do think it is a powerfully successful tool. For me. It may not be for everyone, though.

    Support in real life is quite often patchy and, sometimes totally lacking. In Blogland, there is always someone there for you, no matter what.

  5. Although I think the blogging world is a HUGE support, in my personal opinion, I'm not sure that the support is enough to guarantee long term maintenance success. I wish with all my heart is was though.

    The reason I think that is because for me, even with a great "real life" support system during and after my weight loss, my best support came internally. It came from inside myself.

    My husband and friends were there for me every step of the way, but if I had started to regain, I'm not sure their support and encouragement would have been enough to turn me back around.

    You can tell from my comment that I'm just not sure about this one! Thanks for providing me with something to think about!

  6. Hi Leslie. I agree with Diane that it's where you are in your head that counts the most. But external support of any kind is always helpful.

    Blogging helps me because I don't have to deal with all my worries about being rejected due to my appearance as no-one can see me on the net.

    But in terms of long term maintenance ... I think it's very easy to stop blogging either when you reach goal or when things go wrong. I don't think it's powerful enough to stop a slide into bad eating habits. But I suppose we'll only know the real answer many years in the future.

    I'm sure there are loads of PhDs being written on blogging already!

    Best wishes,
    Bearfriend xx

  7. I think it's very helpful to me, not that I get a whole lot of support, but I get some very good support from a few readers. I would be embarrassed to report weight gain, as I was embarrassed to admit I had started smoking again 2-3 times. I found an interesting article on some differences between weight losers and others, I'll likely post it after I read it to make sure it doesn't sound like a lot of bs.

  8. I think the biggest determinant of whether we will keep the weight off or not is whether we have truly made a lifestyle change and said sworn off the things that make us fat. As long as we're still standing with one foot in our other lifestyle, or see this as a diet, we are setting ourselves up for a regain. The other important aspect is of course how we've adapted our environment...

    I find that blogging has definitely helped me.

  9. Wow - some sobering thoughts to ponder. I think the only thing that could be more depressing for than failing at this diet attempt, would be to succeed, then re-gain all the weight back.... Trust me, I am no stranger to yo-yo loss and gains, but always like 5 or 10 pounds. I'm into 30 or so lost this time - and I don't think I have ever in my life "stuck with it" to this extent. I don't know about how the blogosphere helps. Sometimes it does, and sometime it doesnt. Alot of times that is a hot and cold issue. I do know that using Sparkpeople on line has been a lifesaver for me. I honestly never had a clue as to the type of calorie loading I was doing until I began usuing that system daily. In that respect - the internet has been one of my strongest tools...