Monday, January 9, 2017

The Panda Bear on Weight Loss, Inequality and New Years Resolutions

Like many living creatures, this year the Panda Bear is resolved to lose weight.   She has gained twenty-five points over the past twelve years.   In addition, the Panda Bear has over the past two years has developed knee pain; she has been told that reducing weight would lessen the knee pain (there would be less weight on her knees).

However, the subject of weight loss makes the Panda Bear aware of life's inequalities.   Men can eat more than women without gaining weight.   Tall and large boned people can eat more than short petite people.   Furthermore, as people get older their calorie needs decline.

As a small woman, the Panda Bear has always been a small eater.   Even when she was a child she had to go on diets.    However, the Panda Bear has discovered that dieting is harder as one gets older.  Furthermore, with knee arthritis she has some activity limitations.    Though for most people the cause of weight gain is the same (eating more calories than one needs), the absolute food calorie requirements of people are different.    It seems so unfair.

However, after raging about the nature's great injustice, the Panda Beat has lost five pounds during the holiday season no less.   The Panda Bear knows her downfall is that she eats too much after work/in the evening.   Slowly the Panda Bear is working on changing her eating habits.

Recently, the Panda Bear has heard of some weight loss strategies which she thinks has a downside.    Some people takes bets on who can lose the most amount of weight over a certain period time.    Another is to set a goal to of a certain number of pounds by a certain date.

The problem with both strategies is that they depend on things outside a person's control.  While one does have control about how many calories one eats, one does not have control of how much or how fast one loses the weight.    Some kinds of weight easier are to take off than others.   The Panda Bear has heard that the last ten pounds of weight loss can be slower and harder to take off than the first ten pounds.   Older people tend to lose weight more slowly than young people.

The problem the Panda Bear thinks with a lot of New Years resolutions (and other goal setting) is that their success depends on factors outside of one's control.    Instead it is probably easier and more rewarding to focus on developing certain behaviors that will enhance the changes of one's obtaining a goal.   Our behavior is in our control; often the outcome is not,



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