The realities of trying to lose weight — fast

When it comes to weight loss, Maria believes that patience is the ultimate virtue.

How long will it take?

How quickly can I lose this weight?

Which diet will help me lose 20 pounds in a month?

Can I be thin by my birthday?

I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure the first question anyone asks when approaching a new workout routine, diet, exercise system, oh-my-god-can-I-just-be-thin-already program, is time related.

How long until I RECOGNIZE myself again?

Sad but true. Of course, there are those realistic souls out there who know and understand that it doesn’t work that way, especially for results that last. Then there are the souls like me that want it all and want it now — whether it’s crazy talk or not.

Can you blame us? We’re surrounded by endless magazines, books and diets that over-promise and under-deliver. Oh, how many times have I walked up to a register in the bookstore to pay for some book, telling myself, this is it — this is the one that will take.

Sucker!

And then there are shows like The Biggest Loser that feature contestants losing 20 pounds in a week and you just have to laugh (laughing burns more calories than crying — at least that’s what I tell myself). Of course, you then discover that what they lost in one week was mostly water weight — and only after a very restricted diet and a ridiculous number of hours of exercise each and every day. So misleading, and yet, I keep wondering when The Biggest Loser is coming to Canada so I get me some of that action.

The sad, but realistic fact is that losing the weight will take time to lose, just as it did to gain. Doing it quickly almost always guarantees regaining the weight lost, and then some. Again, The Biggest Loser is a perfect example of that sad fact — many of the contestants gain at least some of the weight back, if not all of it.

When it comes to weight loss, although I hate to admit it, I’ve learned that patience is the ultimate virtue.

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