Come On, It’s Only a Little Cocaine!
For those of you that are new to my blog I am a huge fan of The Biggest Loser. In addition to enjoying the show I use it as one of the tools to support me in my 170lb weight loss and suggest all my clients watch it. Besides from general motivation there are important lesson each week that many times fly under the radar but are crucial to long term weight loss success. It is my goal to eliminate the diet lie of “Lose Weight and live happily ever after” and to point out that the 5% that are truly successful have learned certain skills that keep them from being one of the 95% that eventually gain the weight back.
I was actually going to write this blog post on the interaction between Dr. Huizenga(I will write another post about that) and the contestants however something happened at the very end of the show that I have to address.
The crack cocaine … oops, I mean the chocolate bar that Allie’s mom left out for her. Now Allie’s mom is not here to tell her side of the story but I think the lesson is important no matter what her mom’s motivation.
People generally do not get obese in a vacuum. It is the result of both personal choices/actions and family choices/actions. A few weeks ago I was watching “The World’s Fattest Man” documentary on PBS. The family of this man are shown crying; fearing that their son/brother is going to die. They go through the typical diet of this fellow and as you can imagine it is astounding; daily massive feedings of Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonalds, Pizza, Potato Chips etc…… Now here is the amazing part……..
The man weights over 900lbs and has not been out of bed in years. So who is feeding him? Yes, the people that love him and don’t want him to die provide all this food for him. They are his drug dealers and go out daily buying the food (crack) he needs to keep his addiction going.
“The fear of losing the love and approval of this obese son/brother is powerful enough to have turned the family into his drug dealer and people that will eventually help him die.
Now as I said we don’t know what Allie’s mom motivation is, but from my own experience and working with many obese clients here is my educated guess. Allie’s mom is deathly afraid of losing her daughters friendship and love. They have a comfortable relationship built on both being food addicts. If Allie makes a big change, becomes healthy, where will that leave her mom? By putting out chocolate her mom is fulfilling her regular role…. my daughter is hurt(kicked off the show)…. let me put out a little treat for her…. things can then go back to normal.
Many relationships are not built on empowerment; to support each other to grow and have fulfilling lives. On the contrary many are built on safety, comfort and familiarity….. if things stay the same I am safe. Those of us that grew up in obese families know this very well.
I was so happy and proud to hear Allie did not fall into the trap. She had made her decision to change her life and stuck with it. She is taking care of herself first! Way to go!
It would be easy to dismiss this 3 second blip as just Allie has a mean mother, however I think it can give all of us time to reflect on our relationships. Are we really supportive or trying to keep our loved ones in familiar territory? Do we say the things we need to, even when it is hard? It can take a lot of courage to really support someone. To me this is what it really means to “Pay It Forward”.
Remember, it’s not about losing weight; it’s about keeping it off and living a healthy life style.
All the best,