On tonight’s Biggest Loser episode, Bob said (and I could kiss him for saying this) weight loss is about “thinking, eating, exercise and in that order”. Finally the truth is told and on national TV no less. The disappointing part is although it is a profound statement, how many people really heard it? … or if they heard it, just brushed it off on the way to the fridge to get another diet coke with a bowl of butter-drenched popcorn?
You see, that little 3-second sound bite goes against all the programming we are continuously being bombarded with. We turn on the TV….. a new diet… we pickup a magazine…. a new diet… turn on the radio….. a new diet….. Do you see a pattern here? Diet, Diet, Diet….Food, Food, Food….all centered on eating. As Bob says, it does not work that way; food comes after the mind issues.
Let me ask you this; how long has this new diet revolution been around? For me, I don’t remember a time when it was not around.
If we look at the obesity issue in North America, have diet plans helped the majority? Have low fat or sugar-free foods helped even a minority of people that have used them? The answer is a resounding NO. Statistics show that less than 5% of people that start on a diet keep the weight off more than six months. I point this out not to spout about things you already know or to be discouraging but to get you to consider other solutions.
The food-diet business and marketing world have invented something that scientists say is impossible to invent: ”a perpetual motion machine”. But in this case they actually created it: go on this diet…. lose … gain it back….go on another….. lose, gain it back… same thing over and over and over. Add a negative or unrealistic marketing component where people are always dissatisfied with their bodies and you have a perfect business: customers for all eternity!
As one of my readers, you know I love and support The Biggest Loser, but one of the shortcomings is that people can get the idea that if they cannot quit their job, get a personal training, and workout 6 hours a day they will not be successful. This is simply just another myth. The number one reason The Biggest Loser contestants are successful is much more around a change of environment which changes their thinking than any other factor.
I lost over 170lbs and kept it off for over 8 years not because I found “the diet” or “exercise 6 hours a day” but because I changed my environment to where a fat person cannot exist. My home “food environment” is like the ranch.
I made a deal with my family. If you want ice cream just let me know and I will take you out and buy it for you. Please just don’t leave any in the house. This is basically the same for all my binge foods; pizza, chocolate, doughnuts, etc. I have many triggers and none of them have been in the house for more than a few hours for years.
A few months ago my wife had a party with some friends and in the morning a box of doughnuts was left on the counter. I simply said, “Please eat what you want and throw out the rest”. Even though I did not particularly want a doughnut at that moment, I know that if something stressful happened during the day, I might make a beeline to those doughnuts.
Now I know some diet puritans will say, “Shame on you. Just have some will power”. To them, I can only say if it works for you great; I have a solution that works for me and I think will work for a lot more people than the out dated “just say no concept”. If it’s not around, there’s no battle! Nothing to say no too! It’s actually quite peaceful. And yes, your family will survive without all those treats within arm’s length, I promise!
If you want to make a huge step in getting your thinking in the right place, start with mapping out your healthy environment. What do you need to do to create the ranch at your home? What negotiations do you have to make with other family members? If someone in your family struggled with alcohol what kind of concessions would you make to help them live a healthy life? I see no difference between food addictions and any other behavior that keeps people from living the best life possible.
Please comment below and let me know what you think.
All the best,