What’s the prognosis? Is it uncertain, unclear, undetermined, poor, guarded, fair, good, or excellent? What would you say the prognosis is for losing your unwanted weight and maintaining permanent weight loss?
If you work it so you do lose your unwanted weight and you keep the lost weight off permanently, you would then say, using medical terminology again that your weight problem is in “full remission". Now you didn’t know going in that the result of your weight loss efforts would be this good, and therefore, you gave yourself the prognosis (aka prediction) of fair. You based this lower prognosis on the fact that you had a lot of weight to lose and you were never able to lose all or most of your unwanted weight before. You also were quite painfully aware that every time you lost weight in the past, even though it wasn’t all the weight you wanted to lose, it was only months, one time a whole year, that you kept this weight off. Your track record only merited a “fair” prognosis.
In medicine what determines the prognosis is the seriousness of the condition, the effectiveness of the treatment, and the resilience of the patient. For weight loss, the factors influencing the prognosis are pretty much the same: weight condition, weight loss activities, and you.
Let’s for the moment concentrate on the condition factor. Take the case of the medical patient. It is not simply temperature, or flushing, or shortness of breath, or level of blood pressure that is the condition. For the person wishing to lose a lot of weight, the condition is not the amount of weight or the pants size. The condition has to do with where these symptoms are coming from. In the case of the medical patient, temperature could be indicative of a serious infection. Flushing might represent a contact dermatitis. Shortness of breath could be caused by congestive heart failure. You get the point.
What, however, is the serious condition causing weight gain and weight maintenance. Yes, it is eating too much food or eating too many calorie-rich foods. Yes, it might be insufficient exercise. But overeating, eating fattening food, and insufficient exercise, like temperature, shortness of breath and elevated blood pressure, might only be symptoms of some other condition, such as ‘not feeling good about yourself’ or ‘feeling entitled’ as a way of overcompensating for just how fragile you would feel if you weren’t so self-absorbed.
A prognosis can be improved by a change for the better in one or more of the contributing factors: condition, remedy, and you. Please keep this in mind as you go through the weight loss process.