First, my weigh in: Down 3 pounds so half of the cruise gain is history! I never knew I’d appreciate being in the 170s so much. 🙂
Last month, I got the email link for the National Weight Control Registry survey for the first time and I thought I’d share with you guys some of the more interesting questions it broached.
– The first page included questions about the weight of your biologic siblings and parents, as well as the age you first became overweight. I found it interesting to start with this even before it got into how you lost weight or what you ate/how you exercised. We really can blame everything on our parents, right? 🙂 I have a lovely family and yet my mother worries any time that I tell her about a new writing project I’ve taken on, she first asks if it is going to be about my family (fearfully).
– It then progressed to ask about how you lost weight and what your pattern of gains/losses has been like since reaching your goal weight the first. I found this a little difficult because it was set up as multiple choice questions, none of which quite fit what I wanted to say.
– Another example of not fitting what I wanted to say came with the question of what triggered my weight loss. Birthday cake was not an option. 🙂
– There were nitty gritty questions about what you eat, like the usual how many fruits & veggies, how many times a day you eat and how often you eat out. This question really highlighted for me how vanishingly rare fast food is for me now, where it was a near daily occurrence for years.
– They asked for your ideal weight and how much weight you’d need to regain before you get concerned. I suspect this answer changes as you get further into maintenance. To start with, I panicked about a single pound. Now (ten pounds over goal), I think 5 pounds over goal is the point at which I’d get worried.
– There were several questions about emotions associated with food and any painful experiences you’ve had. I know some of the studies to come out about weight loss have tied weight gain to painful experiences in early life, so maybe some of that data came from here?
– The slightly frustrating multiple choice questions were balanced by a paragraph for free text at the very end of the survey for any other thoughts you may have. Of course, by the time I got there I was a little tired of thinking about it. It would have been nice to know about the free text option earlier in the process so I could have had that written and ready (and wouldn’t angst so much about the multiple choices because I’d know I could clarify later).
I ultimately found this really interesting because A) as a science geek, I like knowing my answers might help us understand something more about weight loss and weight maintenance and B) it made me think in concrete terms about how weight loss happened for me and what factors are really an issue in loss and maintenance, especially in the midst of regaining weight thanks to Disneyland and a Disney cruise back to back. 🙂 I’ll be curious to see how this survey changes over the years, as new ideas arise that they poll the audience on.
Have you ever been part of a research study?