Why do people return time after time to a weight-loss program that they have not had long-term success with in the past? And why do some of us passionately defend these fall-back plans, despite the fact that we are paying the companies our hard-earned cash over and over again again? And again—this time for good, of course.
I have one possible answer! Stockholm Syndrome. The term originates from an ordeal which occurred during a robbery in the 1970s when hostages were taken at a bank in Stockholm, held captive for almost a week, and then finally released . . . only to defend their captors. “Stockholm Syndrome” is now shorthand for identifying with someone who is victimizing you, even to the point of sticking up for them. Ever heard of Patty Hearst?
Anyways. I have been a member of Weight Watchers at least . . . seven different times now. SEVEN. I pay them $40 a month currently. Now, I may be a little unhinged, but I’m not completely insane. So what gives?
My primary conscious reason for attending the meetings: I once had success losing over 25 lbs with Weight Watchers. Losing it. Not sustaining the loss though, or losing the full amount of weight I needed to drop. The other times I joined, I lasted maybe 5 or 10 lbs before cracking. Sometimes less.
It could be argued that this was all a personal failure on my part. And frankly, I have always accepted that blame. But have you ever noticed, those of you current or former Weight Watchers, how many people in the meetings are re-joiners? Nevertheless, WW is something I know and trust, for whatever reason. Stockholm Syndrome?
I’ve offered my own behavior as an example of perhaps-illogical loyalty. Have any of you guys ever experienced dieting Stockholm Syndrome?