DEAR FFG: Do you think anyone can lose the excess weight, or do you think some people really can't, or shouldn't try, because of genetics, or medical reasons? — Katie
DEAR KATIE: Hmmm. I was telling someone the other day that if I had to write my book all over again, I would add an eighth secret (although seven sounds snappier, huh?). And that eighth secret would be: Make It Your Goal to Just Try. The point of this secret is that if your goal is to drop a certain number of pounds, or to get into a particular dress size, then there's a good chance you won't get there and stay there. And that's what we all want to do, right?
The goal, instead, should be to just try. To adopt those behaviors that get you to that healthy weight … to eat right, to be active, to take time out just for you. Making those things the goal means that a) you will walk around feeling more successful, because you have much more control over whether you go for a 30 minute walk today than what the scale will say the next time you step on it; and b) you will be healthier, no matter what your size.
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So, do I think some people shouldn't try? Well, if you have a medical problem (say, a heart condition) that might make exercise dangerous, then you need to talk to your doctor about how to deal with that. And if you are severely overweight, have family members with serious health issues, or otherwise have any reason to think making healthy lifestyle changes could be bad for you, you should consult a doctor and/or get a professional to help you design an eating and exercise plan.
I think the underlying question here, though, is should you not try if you think you might fail? Well, if you are truly approaching this as a Future Former Fat Girl, then trying is your goal. So you only fail if you fail to try. Is that confusing enough for you?
Lisa Delaney is editor of Spry magazine and author of Secrets of a Former Fat Girl. Click here to ask her a question.