Dieting makes me smug

  • Article by: MICHAEL GERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 17, 2012 - 7:52 PM

Funny what a diet will do to one's perspective.

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crystalbayApr. 17, 1210:16 PM

This may not fit for most people, but my belief is that excess weight is too often a sign of an unhappy lifestyle or even mild depression. I was overweight for 20 years while in an unhappy marriage. At 60, I divorced and immediately lost 185 pounds (his), and within a few months 40 of my own. No diet even, just lots of dancing and the kind of joy only a life of emotional integrity can afford. Looking back, I actually tend to think that being out of shape was a reflection/function of what kept the marriage going far too long, so when it ended, the reason for turning to food for solace also ended.

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pumicevilleApr. 17, 1211:30 PM

"Looking back, I actually tend to think that being out of shape was a reflection/function of what kept the marriage going far too long, so when it ended, the reason for turning to food for solace also ended." - Why do women look for comfort in food when they are depressed? The last thing I want to do when I am unhappy is eat.

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crystalbayApr. 18, 1212:31 AM

" Why do women look for comfort in food when they are depressed?".................Both men and women do this. Food is immediate gratification and for many a sense of soothing. IMO, overeating is really a symptom of spiritual/emotional emptiness. Human beings feel compelled to fill that void and, since we have to eat regularly, food is the path of least resistance.

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ammunraApr. 18, 12 3:38 AM

"The last thing I want to do when I am unhappy is eat." -- Depression evokes different responses in everyone. Some people lose all appetite and simply won't eat for long stretches of time, whereas others binge. It has nothing to do with men or women.

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waddlebackApr. 18, 1210:31 AM

Like government spending, fad diets are not sustainable. Eat a wide variety of food in reasonable amounts and get moving. It's not rocket science, burn off more than you take in. Problem is, you can take it in a lot faster than you can take it off because food is so calorie-dense compared to exercising.

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actualreaderApr. 18, 1211:01 PM

Two things come to mind: when I'm exercising regularly I just have no interest in 'unhealthy" food. Whether that's subconscious or unconscious wiring I don't know. And I've been around people who've lost lots of weight, and I wouldn't say they're smug; they're kind of like diet evangelists. It's such a world change for them they talk about it all the time.

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merkinApr. 19, 12 7:59 AM

Eat less and exercise more. That about sums it up, folks. Notice there isn't any mention of dieting in that sentence. Why is that? Because dieting doesn't work. When you diet you lose muscle mass as well as fat. Your body adjusts to the new food intake, and then you put the weight back on--all as fat.

Eat real food, not processed food. That way you can control what the food is made of. Processed food is too laden with fat, sugar, and salt, the three things that were in short supply a thousand years ago and are readily available with today's mass food production.

Build exercise into your daily routine. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Hit the gym before you go home. Bike to work, which everyone can do no matter how far from work they live. If you're 50 miles from work, drive in 49 miles and bike the last one. Then slowly increase the distance.

And keep at it. We're our own worst enemies, so it's up to us to kick our own rears and get in gear. No one is going to change your diet for you or exercise for you.

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