Have you ever wanted a magic pill, or some miracle diet, that would let you lose weight effortlessly? I did, back when I was a teen and young adult. I remember thinking that if I just took the right pill or ate the right food, the weight would simply melt away, revealing the true, svelte me beneath.
In my efforts to achieve this goal, I tried a bunch of things, including:
Weight Watchers, twice
Supplements that were supposed to help increase my metabolism
Herbs to help my thyroid (although I don’t think anything was drastically wrong with it)
Candida diet (this was mostly so my mom would have someone to do it with)
Avoiding sugars and wheat due to allergies
Going to a camp with a secondary focus on weight loss
None of it worked, but that didn’t stop me hoping that the next time would be different. The problem was, wishing for this type of pill let me think only about the symptoms, not the cause, of my weight issues. Which is a large part of the reason why in almost all these cases I ended up weighing more than I did beforehand.
It was discouraging, but since I didn’t want to think about the reasons why I was eating, I kept on looking for the magic pill. I just wanted something that would allow me to eat whatever I wanted and still lose weight.
I was reminded of this today when reading an article about diet drugs, and why doctors don’t tend to prescribe them, even if they’re effective. From reading this, it sounds like a magic pill might be a reality, or on the horizon, for at least some people.
As a teenager, I would probably have wanted to sign right up, but now, I wonder.
My way of losing weight wasn’t always easy, nor was it quick. On the other hand, it did allow me to eat whatever I wanted and still lose weight. It’s just that I didn’t eat for reasons other than being hungry (well, most of the time).
Plus, I discovered that what I wanted to eat changed radically. If I were still eating the candy and sweets and fried foods and chips that I always wanted when I was younger, it might be a different story, but that’s not what I want these days. I enjoy eating healthy foods now, with the sugary and fatty stuff as an occasional side.
Even more than that, my weight loss process allowed me to learn a lot about myself, my relationships, and how I interact in the world. I could only have done this by taking things slowly, one step at a time, and figuring out for myself what was going on.
Would I have discovered all this if I had lost weight simply by taking a pill? I don’t know. I would probably need to know more about them and how they actually work for those using them.
What I can say is that I don’t regret the time or effort that went into my eventual weight loss. As a teen I thought I needed to be thin to reveal my true self, but instead, my weight loss simply helped me recognize and accept the self that I had been all along. And for me, that is magic enough.