[a weight loss story]
*kathrynoh at nemesis dot com dot au*
Once I was poor and earnt little money. If the government made stupid decisions, I was annoyed but didn't take it personally. Now I earn a bit more money and seem to pay a helluva lot more tax so when the government is thinking about something so unbelievably moronic like giving Medicare rebates to people for going to Jenny Craig, I feel like I am personally being robbed.
I can't find the story to link to, but news story yesterday said that the government are thinking about giving doctors the ability to refer patients to Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig, the patient could then claim 85% of the fee back from Medicare. I know obesity is a growing concern but I don't see how this is going to help. Especially Jenny Craig - will that teach people better nutrition? Will it help them break bad eating habits? I don't think so. In fact, I don't know anyone who's been to Jenny Craig and lost weight permanently.
Now I'm no weight loss expert, but I do know that it takes a helluva lot more than front up to some weight loss organisation to get results. Even with Weight Watchers - sure it works for some people, but even then I think they are the ones that are motivated enough to lose weight on their own. You don't lose weight just by going to Weight Watchers (trust me, I know this from experience). If you are motivated to lose weight, then WW can give people the tools and the support to help them. But you will never, ever lose weight just by turning up at the meeting each week (well unless you live miles away and walk there).
And I really don't think Australia is full of obese people bemoaning the fact that could lose weight if only they could afford to go to Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. When I started losing weight, I was insanely poor. I was out of work and getting enough money on the dole to cover my rent and nothing else. My son was getting a pissy amount of Youth Allowance which had to pay the rest of our living expenses. My mum and sister were going to Weight Watchers and I thought, bugger that. I can do this on my own. I'm not paying $16 a week just to get weighed. So I went to the markets and bought cheap, fresh food and I got out the running shoes and went walking.
To lose weight, I think you need to have two things going for you - you have to want to lose weight, really want it not just think you should or have that wafty "wouldn't it be nice..." kind of feeling. You have to have a burning fiery passion. And you have to believe that you can do it. That it is possible for you to make changes in your life. Without those two things, you can throw all the money in the world at weight loss and all you are doing is making some fat cats in the weight loss industry even fatter and nobody any thinner.
To me, a decision like this would feel like I'm being stole from - that the government is taking money that I could use on my own weight loss, for gym fees or new running shoes, and putting it right in the hands of big corporations. But then, that seems to be what the Australian government is about at the moment - stealing from the needy to line the pockets of their corporate buddies. It makes me so angry.
You've essentially framed the arguments from both sides of the have-have not divide, but more importantly, you've highlighted the essential ingredient in weight loss: taking responsibility for oneself. Anything that dilutes that (like government hand-outs) is bound to be mostly money wasted, unfortunately.
I agree (even though I'm a Kiwi and int's not my money you're talking about!). If they want to ehlp the overweight, maybe classes on nutrition etc would be better - as you say, give people the tools to do it themselves.
I guess they're thinking that spending money on this now will save them on health later. All on a health system that will be privatised before we know it; for lots of earners it probably is!
You said it! You have to really want to do it because no one can do it for you. WW aren't going to be there when you pick up that cake or choccy at the supermarket.
boobs: 100 cm
waist: 81 cm
hips: 109 cm
thighs: 50 cm
Weekly Goal Lifestyle Changing Challenge-A-Rama
Week 1 - Drink more water
Week 2 - Cut out sugary treats