Philosophical advice to a yoyo dieter

Qian asked:

I have been an yoyo dieter for 5 years.

Somehow I cannot shake off the feeling of defeat and deep guilt every time after I eat something enjoyable and indulge my id.

Is abstinence really has the moral high ground compare with indulgence? Or I am just misguided by the other?

(I hope the question make sense… my English is not that good)

Answer by Shaun Williamson

How the hell are we supposed to help you? You tell us nothing! We don’t even know if you are overweight!

You are not addicted to dieting you are addicted to failing to diet. Like a compulsive gambler who has to keep on gambling until he has lost everything, you are addicted to the guilt and defeat the comes with failure. Your dieting is not about losing weight, it is about punishing yourself. You really crave the feelings of failure and guilt.

There is nothing moral about dieting or abstinence. The only reason to diet is to try to keep to a reasonable weight because it is better for your health. Being obese is bad for your health, if you are just overweight then that is unlikely to effect your health.

This is what you should do if you really are overweight, you go and join a weight watchers group. This will cost you some money but not that much. You go to the weight watchers group every week. When you fail to keep to the diet then don’t make a great drama out of it. Nobody is interested in that. You keep going to the weight watchers group and when you grow bored with failing and stop pretending that your failure is some great drama then you will be able to control your weight in a way that you are happy with.

If you are not overweight then get some help from a counsellor or psychiatrist.

One thought on “Philosophical advice to a yoyo dieter

  1. Thanks for the answer, it is very rational and should be helpful.

    I guess I won’t be classified as overweight (I was 48kg 164cm 3 months ago and 58kg now. I am quite sure I will be under 50kg again in 2 months)

    However, even BMI says I am not overweight until I am over 60kg
    fashion magazines tells me I am overweight if I am over 50kg.
    And I cannot fully submit to either of the two authorities, they both seems only partially justified, and supported by two sets of ideologies.

    58kg is not overweight, but 48kg is also not underweight
    Ever time I am about to eat a little bit extra, I cannot decide whether I am letting myself enjoy life, or just trying finding some excuses for being lazy.

    Maybe I should see a psychiatrist, I am just a little be afraid psychiatrists would not only help me staying being lazy but also feeling it is OK to be lazy.

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