Today I wondered if we really do celebrate weight loss a little too much in our society.  We love a story about someone who loses a huge amount of weight without stopping to think that maybe, just maybe, they shouldn’t have put on all that poundage in the first place.

It’s like the bible story of the prodigal son which, to recap for any potential heathen readers, is about a guy who goes out and parties hard.  He cashes in his inheritance and blows it all on good times then, when the money runs out and he’s fallen to fighting pigs for their husks of corn, he goes crawling back to his dad.  The father forgives him and holds a huge party to celebrate.  The sucky part of that story is that the other son, the one that stayed at home and did the right thing – he got no party.  He got no warm welcome.  No one said – well done son for doing the right thing and being good and stable and not prodigal.

Nobody celebrates moderation.  No one celebrates when you stick to a two drink limit or you don’t go on a cocaine bender.  No one congratulates you on not getting fat.

18 responses to “Moderation

  1. Huh, I always thought the prodigal son story was a load of codswallop anyway. Just like the whole catholic sin-and-absolution thing, really. Do anything the hell you like, then confess and she’s right, mate.

    I’m not religious – does it show?

    Anyway! That’s an interesting point. And what about maintaining AFTER you’ve lost weight? Where’s the recognition? Does anybody realise how much restraint and discipline that takes? I wonder.

  2. i am always telling people that they look awesome and that they should be proud of how hot they are. I havea friend who recently lost heaps of weight coz she had a break up and started spewing from stress. Everyone was goign “congrats” but i just couldn’t bring myself to say anything coz she hadn’t done it tough!
    interesting thought…………

  3. Thought provoking topic- i had a really interesting conversation when i told a guy once how much weight i had lost he said to me, “Wow, how did that happen?”. I presumed he meant how did i lose that amount of weight weight, since that is the usual response- admiration for the weight loss and wanting to know the “big secret”.

    Since he phrased it in a slightly unusual way, rather than launch into my standard response, i said, “How did i lose that much weight you mean?” and he said, “No – how did you FIND that much weight?”

    I swear it was such a moment for me. Much analysis and some interesting conclusions followed…no one had EVER asked me that and not really sure i had asked myself….

  4. PS Good luck for a great run sunday, hope you back and legs go ok and you are able to really enjoy it!!

  5. We all seem to celebrate what is considered extreme, out of the ordinary and anything that challenges us but it is sad that maybe someone who gives up their life to charity or something equally amazing does not get the same recognition. Take an athlete for starters, they are treated like gods.

    I celebrated when I got to goal because I finally dealt with my shit and got off my lazy “woe is me” arse. I’ll acknowledge my “getting to goal” anniversary but that is more to remind myself that I never want to go back to what I was.

    Either way, I reckon celebrating is good. It gives others hope, promise and I know with weight loss, if I didn’t have the support of my fellow bloggers celebrating every small milestone with me through my journey, I might not have stuck with it.

    I think we celebrate whatever journey someone embarks on and who makes notable achievements. We obviously focus on weight loss because that was what we needed to do so it seems more at the head. But there is so much more to it. I think we have achieved so much more than weight loss 🙂

  6. Oh yeah, and I didn’t really address the moderation but did I. Mmm, I know I have less sympathy for myself now about putting on the weight. Not that I really had sympathy for myself before. I got greedy and lazy. Nothing to be celebrated there at all but the decision to do something about it is. I reckon 🙂

  7. Oh and I understand and appreciate people who look after themselves so much more now!

  8. great post 🙂 you know every time someone squeals at me “OMG You’ve lost 80 kilos!? Congratulations!” i can’t help squirm and think, yeah, that just means I had 80 kilos too many. what an achievement 😛

  9. an interesting thought.. i must admit i always felt sorry for the other son.. but unfortunately the ‘naughty’ people are always congratulated when they do something right whereas it is just expected the people who do the right thing all the time will continue to do so as it is nothing out of the ordinary for them.. not really fair though
    ..oh and have FANTASTIC run..will be thinking of you guys

  10. It’s about the word ‘should’ – of course people ‘shouldn’t’ run off and blow the inheritance, or gain 80kg, or drink too much (like I do). The parable is about saying, whatever you’ve done, I love you and I’ll help you. BTW I think the other brother should have had a party too.
    Have a great run tomorrow 🙂

  11. I think part of the reason might be that it is oh so much easier to put the weight on, than it is to take it off. Same as it takes dedication and discipline to maintain it as well.

  12. I meant to say last night, GOOD LUCK for Sunday! Hope you have a goodun 🙂

  13. I think society congratulates and rewards thin people for being thin in a million different ways, every single day. Anyway, your achievement is awesome, and I wouldn’t discount it. I have a lot of admiration for people who take on a big lifestyle change, and follow through; it shows real strength of character.

  14. Hey

    Good luck for sunday.

    it is funny when people say to me it is great that I lost 17kg all I can think is that i put on 17kg and no one thinks that is great. sadly now i have put on another 9 which i am slowly losing, people are noticing that i have lost some and telling me that is great, I remind them that i put on 9kg and have to lose it.

  15. I love your t-shirt on Marys blog.


  16. I think we don’t celebrate moderation because “Virtue is indeed its own reward”. (Claudianus)

    I’m glad that the physio thought you’d be ok to run on Sunday. Now I’m looking forward to hearing how you went.

  17. Have a good run on Sunday!

    People around me have no problem pointing out the 20lbs I gained extra…that’s why I’m used to the congratulations when I take it off.

    But you’re right about the moderation bit. It’s crazy hard to maintain your eating habits, especially once you get to goal weight.

  18. I think it’s a case of the squeaky wheel getting the grease. That and people congratulate when they see someone is putting in effort. For most people, weight loss = effort. I guess people don’t consider that it may also take effort to not put on weight, remain sober when you have never before had a drinking problem etc. I think too that people have a problem with being ‘average’, even though obviously the vast majority of us are, and so it takes a fair difference from whatever is normal for people to comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s