I found this article on weight loss and regain fascinating this morning in the New York Times. A researcher studied the metabolic rates of participants from Season 8 of Biggest Loser for six years after their season ended, and concluded that when we lose weight drastically like on that show, your body goes into overdrive to gain the weight back again. Not only does drastic weight loss lower your metabolism for the next several years, making it harder to burn even the healthier calories you intake, but your hunger also increases, meaning it's twice as hard to maintain your weight loss. Which explains so much, and takes the weight off (your shoulders at least) for the guilt you carry after you regain.
I want to see a study done on mindfulness and how it might help keep weight off. When I started meditating, I lost a bit of weight, not a significant amount, but does my weight fluctuate based on when and how much I meditate now? Based on how "present" I am to the stress of not having comfort food? I think that would be fascinating. Everything is connected in the body- how our minds respond to stress needs to be taken into account too. One woman I was talking to the other day quoted the head of New Ventures West coaching school, James Flaherty, about meditation retreats. He said, "Everyone thinks that when you attend a ten-day meditation retreat, it's all peaceful and you're in this state of bliss the whole time. It doesn't work like that. The first three days are like being boiled in hot oil because all your issues are coming to the surface." I know exactly what he means. As soon as I take some time out to self-observe, issues of the day (that I dealt with earlier by eating) start coming up and demand to be dealt with and processed. So it's a fair question, isn't it? What's the connection between mindfulness and weight loss/maintenance?