Saturday, January 10, 2009

If not tips, then what?

Yesterday's post was pretty grumpy. I wasn't trying to imply that weight loss was a bad idea, just that silly tips aren't going to make the difference. As Jillian has said on her podcast a bunch of times, "It's possible to get lazy and put on 20 pounds or so. But if you're 100 pounds overweight, it's not just that you like Snickers bars. No one likes Snickers that much."

I probably fall in the 20 pound laziness category, but I still think that real, successful, lasting weight loss will be about doing a better job of envisioning the kind of life I really want to live and moving toward it. Jillian calls it the "Life List." I am pretty good at this but it's easy to fall back on the negatives, and I don't think that successful change happens when you are trying to move away from something instead of toward something.

I think that with all of it's flaws, "The Biggest Loser" does one thing that other weight loss shows don't. I hate the dire predictions of "lose weight or die" that all of these shows use, but at the very least, the physical challenges and the intense gym workouts show how life starts getting better right away for the contestants -- before they've even lost much weight they become athletes, get off their medications, and see their lives starting to change.

I remember reading in some weight loss book somewhere that the problem for many people is that they don't feel empowered to control anything in their lives except their weight, and it doesn't work to try to keep everything else the same and just become skinnier. The attempt to keep everything else the same and become skinnier might just explain the phenomenon of weight loss tips... "I don't have to work on finding more power in my relationships, I'll just use skim milk instead of 2%!"

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"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07