The Impossibility of Losing Weight

Cynthia Wylie
3 min readOct 12, 2023
Photo by Maria Lupan on Unsplash

I recently read with great interest an apology in the Wall Street Journal from WW previously known as Weight Watchers entitled, “The Company That Defined Dieting Is Sorry It Told Us to Have More Willpower.” The CEO of WW also said that there’s no shame in being overweight or in taking new weight-loss drugs. Geez. Thanks?

I decided to experiment on myself during the pandemic because I had the time to do it. I wanted to see how hard it would be to lose twenty five pounds. You know, that proverbial, last, stubborn twenty five pounds.

It was hard.

The timing was good. There were no dinner parties with friends or backyard barbeques because … the pandemic. And I wasn’t going to restaurants, usually an exercise in self-sabotage because … the portion sizes. I also had time to walk for two hours every morning and lift weights for thirty minutes a day. I wasn’t overweight per se and twenty five pounds really wasn’t that much; many people want to lose much more than that. Those are some of the things I had going for me.

I lost the twenty five pounds, but it took almost two years accompanied by an amount of exercise that most people would never have the time to do.

Initially, it felt like I was starving myself. Of course, I wasn’t starving, but it felt that way because we Americans eat such ridiculous amounts of food, that to start eating in a responsible manner based on what our body actually needs, feels like starving. (Not talking about or demeaning the rising number of people especially children who are food insecure these days.)

What do our bodies need?

Not that much as it turns out — especially if you are already a grown adult, not a professional athlete, or aren’t performing laborious daily tasks.

Some people I’ve talked to feel deprived if they’re not eating thousands of calories over the amount they need. If they go to a dinner party or cookout or restaurant where the sheer amount of food being offered is staggering, they somehow feel the right to overeat even if their bodies don’t need it. I’m pretty sure that’s hardwired into our DNA going back to the feast or famine nature of our early ancestors.

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Cynthia Wylie

Founder of Bloomers Island. Published children’s book author at PRH. Writes about big kid’s stuff like economics & business, too. TheProjectConsultant.com.