It would be great if we could all succeed on the first or even fifth try, but for most people, that is not enough. We usually have much more to learn about dieting, nutrition, and what works best for us, before we can succeed. Statistics would tell us that the great majority of people who try to lose weight (some say 95%) fail miserably or have only short-lived success. But I like to look at these statistics in a different way, a way that gives us a chance to succeed.
Do all of the people who are trying to lose weight work very hard at it? I didn’t interview the whole world to find this out, but it’s quite fair to say that the answer is no. People are different, and the amount of effort they put into diets must also be different. Are you willing to work hard at your diet? Perhaps you are willing to work harder than average, or perhaps you will work in the 90th percentile. The harder you work at it, the more likely it is that you will be satisfied with your results. If you are deeply committed to losing weight, then you have just leapfrogged over more than half of the other people trying to do the same.
Another problem I have with the above statistic is that the dieters mentioned surely have varying degrees of knowledge about proper nutrition. For all we know many of “the greater majority of dieters,” are on the “Buckets O’ Chocolate” diet, the “Krispy Kreme Krazy Dayz” diet, or the “Hershey’s Syrup” liquid diet. So, just because someone claims to be on a diet, that does not mean she is going about it the right way. If you lack this knowledge, go get it by reading an unbiased diet book, browsing the internet, talking to friends and professionals, or finding information wherever you can. Once you’ve done that, you can leapfrog over even more alleged dieters.
My last problem with the “Statistic of Fear and Doom” (as I call the 95% failure statistic) is that many of those people trying to lose weight have probably given up after the first few tries. Back in the 1980’s, I had a few roommates who each wanted to lose over twenty pounds. They seemed to take special care in planning their diets, setting goals, and motivating themselves. I wished them success and hoped they could help spur me on to lose weight as well. But after only five weeks, they decided that it was too hard, and they went straight back to their world of pizza and beer. Five weeks is not enough time, and they didn’t even want to analyze what went wrong (though I can tell you it was just more pizza and beer). You can easily leapfrog over these people who give up with barely a fight.
If you promise not to give up, I’ll promise that you have a much better chance to succeed. I almost gave up a few times myself. I put myself under so much stress during college that I decided that I couldn’t afford to worry about my weight. I was too worried about getting “good,” grades so I could get a “good,” job, a “good,” wife, a “good,” house, some “good,” promotions and a “good,” retirement package.
My message to you is that you shouldn’t give up on your diet or yourself. The statistics are not as bad as they seem if you are really serious about learning the nuts and bolts of dieting. Please realize that if you work hard, learn about nutrition and diets, and don’t ever give up, you are miles ahead of those other dieters. Now go lose some weight so I can tell the world that I helped somebody today.