I’ve noticed a pattern in some of the weight loss threads. Someone will complain that they can’t lose weight, and someone else will take the position, “You just need to do x, y and z. Do that and you’ll lose the weight!” The person who can’t lose weight will have some objection, and the other person will start repeating themselves. Sometimes over and over again. After awhile people seem to be talking past each other and it can be hard to tell which side “doesn’t get it”.
If you are someone who can’t lose weight, what would you say it is that people don’t understand about it?
I better explain why I am asking this. I am curious about the question at face-value, yes. However, recently I had a sort of introspective realization about denial. The details don’t matter here, but basically I felt like by breaking through something I was in denial about, I got some insight into denial itself.
Here’s how it works: Say you have two propositions, A and B. Let’s say that B logically follows from A, which I’ll express as A->B.
Now, let’s say that a person has an entire list of mental associations with A (call them a1, a2 and so on). Same story with B, a long list of associations. While it may seem clear that A->B, my theory goes that a person may deny that if the associations a1, a2 etc. somehow clash with the associations b1, b2 etc. For example, maybe a1 through a10 are central points in a person’s worldview, and b1 through b10 somehow contradict all of that. To really face A->B means a big headache for the person who would rather deny it, as the clashing of all the associations would create a lot of inner conflict. In terms of stress it is easier to deny A->B than to deal with all that conflict.
To take it a little further, consider this empty sports bracket. The center ‘champions’ box is the -> part of A->B. The brackets on the left are the associations with A, the brackets on the right the associations with B. If these two sets of associations are completely contradictory, it may be easier simply to never admit A->B.
I think this might go down to a neurological level. If one set of associations are things you like or want to believe and the other set are things you don’t like or don’t believe, thinking too hard about A->B can cause contradictory mental constructs to neurologically ‘link up’ and perhaps partly destroy each other. This might change all kinds of things about what a person thinks or believes, leaving a feeling like this in the aftermath because neurological structures that were of a piece before have literally been broken up into pieces. Denial may be a more attractive option no matter how logical the central proposition may seem.
That’s it. I felt like I’d be unfair to run an experiment on you guys without letting you know what I was up to. I have my own reasons for thinking that I may find evidence of denial (or not) in ‘what other people don’t understand’, don’t worry about that.
I’m not saying people who can’t lose weight definitely are in denial. I Don’t Know. I’m simply looking to confirm a theory I devised, or else declare the whole thing delusional (I am always worried that conclusions reached from introspection may be a delusion). I plan to stay out of the discussion unless someone address their comment to me directly. I hope nobody is a jerk about people who can’t lose weight.
Also, if you have a lot of education about either psychology or philosophy, feel free to share your opinion of my theory of denial.