How much is weight loss worth to you?

Today I had a conversation with somebody who really wants to lose weight.

She agreed it was okay to blog about her as long as I avoided anything that would allow somebody to recognize her, so I will not use her name.

Her reason, she told me, was to actually weigh the weight displayed on her license. She told me she’s 45 and she has lied about her weight on her license since she got her very first license at 16.

Wow! That’s 29 years of living with a lie!

So, I asked her, “how much is it worth to you to lose that weight?”

“Are you talking about money or something else?” she asked.

“Either – both – whatever! How much is it worth it to you?”

“It was a ten pound lie when I was 16. Now the lie is 52 pounds! I never changed it and nobody ever told me I must!”

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You might be thinking it’s not realistic to be 45 and think you can weigh ten pounds less than your weight at 16.

That could be true, but she says, “I was fat at 16. At least 30 pounds overweight.” That bit of information brings me back to the question, “what’s it worth to you to lose weight?”

I wasn’t surprised when she said healthy weight loss didn’t matter.

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In fact, she even said that she’s tried to lose weight in what she described as a healthy way and it didn’t work. I asked if she’d be willing to compromise her health to reach her license weight. She would, but only a little. She qualified that she would not take diet pills that were strongly suspected of causing damage to heart valves (similar to fen-phen). She wouldn’t risk it.

“I don’t think I’d want to damage my heart or gallbladder, but If it was just dry skin, brittle hair and nails, you know, and maybe a vitamin deficiency, I think that would be worth it. I don’t want to lose any teeth! And I’m not interested in trying bingeing, purging or laxatives either.”

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Then I asked how much money would she be willing to pay.

She said she’s tried so many free or do-it-yourself diets that she’s lost hope that she can lose weight without paying money. She said the programs where you buy the food aren’t cheap, but she’d be willing to pay whatever the price if the food tasted good. The problem, she said, is she’s tried the top two in the industry and the food was expensive and really gross. She said at first she thought it wasn’t bad but after a week or so of eating it, it started tasting grosser and grosser.

“How about trying pills, either over-the-counter, or by prescription?

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“I tried them,” she said, I bought some of them at a GNC store and I sent away for others I saw advertised in magazines. Some worked for a little while but none of them worked long enough to get to my goal. I also tried the pills that block fat absorption. It was just awful, smelly, messy, really awful!

I asked her what she thought about Weight Watchers.

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She said she heard it works, didn’t think it was expensive and she knew she wouldn’t have to eat their food, but she wasn’t sure about the meetings.

“What is it about the meetings that puts you off?” I asked.

“I don’t have the time and there isn’t even a meeting near me. The closest one is like 20 miles away.”

The closest meeting is actually 10 miles away, but she says it’s really the time issue, so I asked about doing the Weight Watchers online plan. She said she heard that didn’t work as well as meetings and there was a cost, If she was going to follow a plan online she’d pick one that’s free. I reminded her that she already was convinced she didn’t do well when she tried to lose weight on her own.

I asked if she would consider surgery.

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She confessed that she tried to get it. “Too fat for lipo, too thin for bypass!” She made an appointment with a bariatric physician and was told she wasn’t a good candidate. The doctor told her to qualify she must have at least 100 pounds to lose or have serious health problems as a result of her weight. She checked out to be very healthy. The doctor also wasn’t convinced she was unable to lose weight without medical help.

After exploring the question with her, “how much is it worth it to you to lose weight?” it seems as though the answer is it’s going to cost time and committment more than anything else, and she’s not sure she’s willing to pay the price.

Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.