As we’ve entered the second month of the year, I wonder how many people are maintaining their new year’s resolution to lose weight. Research shows weight loss is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions, but an American brain scientist and former Sydneysider cautions that it is the least likely resolution to be met.
The reason, says Adjunct Associate Professor Susan Peirce Thompson, author of Bright Line Eating, is that weight loss is tied to identity and how you see yourself.
It’s an interesting notion particularly given the recent ‘girther’ movement prompted by United States President Donald Trump whose examining doctor in January pronounced his overall health as excellent and released the President’s weight and height as part of the public record.
Critics were quick to point out discrepancies in the President’s recorded height which was an inch taller than the height officially recorded on his New York State driving licence in 2012.
When taken with his weight, the January 2018 height measurement put the President in the healthy range on the body mass index. One inch shorter (as recorded in his New York licence data), or one pound heavier and he would have been classed as obese.
The ‘girther’ movement—a play on the Trump-led ‘birther’ movement that questioned Obama’s birthplace and citizenship—is now questioning both the President’s official weight and height, particularly in comparative photographs.
Professor Thompson says if you gain weight incrementally over time, your mind also incrementally adapts to what it sees and how your body feels. She says this is why you can get a jolt when you see yourself ‘outside’ of that self-view such as in a photograph or catch a glimpse of yourself in a window or on CCTV footage.
Interestingly, the same thing happens when you lose weight and it can take up to two years for your mind to ‘catch up’ and really see your new physical reality.
To know and understand your weight and health risks, head over to at the Heart Foundation’s healthy weight measurement chart at https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/know-your-risks/healthy-weight/waist-measurement.
Meanwhile, if you need your pants taken or let out, don’t waist our February special of two pairs of pants taken in, with the second pair done at 20% off.