Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Better advice for a woman losing weight.....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 10-29-2013

Yesterday, Monday, 10-28, Dear Abby answered a man who wrote in for advice.

It seems he and the woman he is about to marry decided to both lose weight for their wedding.

Apparently as does often happen, he lost weight faster than she did.

Dear Abby’s answer was OK but not great either.

Given how important this subject is for good health and the fact that the man clearly was a nice guy wanting to help his lady feel better, I thought she could have done much better in both areas.

In our paper, his question and her answer appeared like this:

“DEAR ABBY: My fiancee, "Tina," and I made a resolution to lose weight for our wedding. Everything has been going great except for one thing. Because men lose weight faster than women, I now weigh less at 6 foot 1 than she does at 5 feet 4.
Tina already has self-esteem issues. I want to look good for our wedding, but not at the cost of my fiancee's hurt feelings. What can I do? -- AT A LOSS IN MICHIGAN

DEAR AT A LOSS: Continue being supportive and help Tina to maintain her self-esteem. But her weight issue is her responsibility, not yours.”

(On the website, the part they edited out ended with: 

“If she becomes frustrated or depressed that she isn't losing quickly enough, suggest she consult her doctor or a registered dietitian about the reason why.”)

It seems to me he was asking for help to talk about the issue in a way that would be good for her self esteem.  If he knew how to help his lady  “maintain her self-esteem”, I’m not sure he would have written.

Yes to lose fat, she has to take the actions to make that happen.  But based on his description she could use some emotional support and encouragement from him.

Dear Abby did neither thing AT all!

Secondly, while there are some Doctors and Registered Dietitians who ARE knowledgable about the methods that produce the lifestyle upgrades that cause permanent fat loss, most doctors know little and even most registered dietitians still think that temporary, every day eating less works for fat loss.  At least most of them do know to have people stop packaged treats and fast food;  and more and more they do know to say to stop soft drinks.

I went on her website and wrote this: 

“Your recent answer to the man who was losing weight faster than the woman he is engaged to was OK.

1. But I think helping him give her emotional support and positive feedback for the efforts she clearly has been making would have been better. 

For example, you could say, to …her you are so pleased she helped get you started and praise her for the efforts she is making.  (He did say she is losing less weight not stopped entirely!)

Then he could go right into how happy he is they are marrying.  That might help reassure her and yet make it likely she will continue.

2.  And, as I'm a fat loss expert, if you still can pass this on to him, here's some information.  Most women who work to lose fat don't yet know to do strength training. But not only does doing it a little as 20 minutes two days a week help people lose fat and keep their muscle mass, within two or three weeks of starting to do it regularly the self esteem of the women who do it goes up!  By all means pass that on to him!”

1.  He could also look at her warmly and hold her hands while he says all that.  He could also ask if she’d like extra flowers for the wedding and which kind if so to  turn down her emotional  intensity after he says that.

2.  My regular readers know that in the San Francisco Bay Area/Silicon Valley and in Southern California, affluent people can go as little as once a week to “The Perfect Workout” for the best in class of exactly that kind of strength training exercise and support and instruction.

In other parts of the country, the part strength training and part more intense cardio brief sessions for women by the outfit, Curves, two or three times a week is pretty good. It’s also much more affordable.

In addition, that having her start kind of exercise begins to reverse the health damage from the lifestyle that made them each fat to begin with. 

And, exercise is an empowering, “keystone” habit. 

People who begin to exercise regularly almost always can then make health oriented upgrades in what they eat too. The great good news is that they will do so and can do so, when they would not have even tried it before they began to exercise!

That means in this man’s case, by helping her get into exercise, she will then become better at her eating habits too.  And, she will likely do so without him getting on her about it and causing the problems he wants to avoid!

(Both The Perfect Workout and Curves will also give advice on eating for fat loss if asked.  The Perfect Workout’s version is a bit better; but the advice Curves uses does work well for some of the women who go there.)

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