Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Do you suffer from Good Life Syndrome?

I see it all too often.

A patient comes to see me wanting to lose weight. I go through a medical, diet and lifestyle history and find out this person's eating out 3 or more times weekly at fine restaurants, enjoys a glass of wine nightly with supper (and like me they have large glasses and heavy hands) and travels 4 or more weeks of the year. They've got sincere desire to lose but yet no desire whatsoever to change their biggest ticket weight loss items - fine dining, fine wine and frequent travel.

It's tough to blame them too. Oftentimes these folks are in their 50s, they've worked hard all of their lives and they've finally carved themselves out enough time to enjoy some of the fruits of their labour.

They've got Good Life Syndrome.

Desire, willingness and readiness for change are all very different things.

What stage are you in?

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  1. ~sigh~ That sounds like food writer syndrome. When you're trying really hard to keep to the carrot sticks and then you find out you've got to go to a wine tasting with an 8-course pairing menu that includes foie gras. Or maybe judge a butter comparison. Or rate artisanal salumi.

    I know, I know... life is hard. But sometimes it's kind of frustrating.

  2. Anonymous10:24 am

    Well, I don't eat at restaurants, but yes, if I wanted to reduce calories in my fairly balanced diet, the scotch, martinis and wine would have to go. But dammit, I work hard all day, and a martini just makes coming home worth it. Sigh......

  3. That also sounds like Ad Agency syndrome, which, being 26, I'm only in the early stages of and have so far managed not to gain weight.

    Luckily, next year I'll have law student syndrome, which should mean I'm too poor for the Good Life.

  4. Anonymous2:04 pm

    So eat out and eat small portions - or go to the REALLY expensive restaurants, where "desert" is a chocolate-dipped strawberry with syrup drizzled on it. When you go on vacation, go for hikes and walks. It's possible to reconcile the two.

  5. hypnoid9:42 pm

    None of my obese patients seem to have this syndrome-the preponderance is "every other aspect of my life sucks so what are ya gonna do?" syndrome. I think a bit of Good Life Syndrome might do them some good, overall.
    Totally agree with anonymous's comment above-if eating out, go small, and learn to love physical activity. Take a walking tour instead of a cruise. And yes, buy a half-bottle of the great wine rather than a full bottle of the merely good.

  6. While holidays and travelling can be a time to indulge (with food and drinks), they don't have to be - that's a choice. No one is making us consume! As we've learned, it's not about deprivation and suffering, it's about conscious eating and working with our bodies.