Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I am always surprised by the sheer volume of articles and TV shows that focus on how to lose weight. How do you lose weight? You eat less and move more. These are very simple solutions, yet there is an entire industry devoted to this question. The real question everyone is asking is how do I lose weight without changing a single thing I am already doing? Or can you somehow inspire me through your witty one liners or soulful insights to eat less/move more?

Now, I speak from experience here. I am overweight. I don’t have a thyroid problem. My genes are just fine. In fact, my only problem is how many times that fork comes to my mouth and my wine glass gets “magically” refilled. And by “magically” I mean pressing the button the box of wine that takes up the whole shelf in the refrigerator. I know how to lose weight. I’ve done it before. I just don’t want to make the sacrifice it takes to make it happen. But I am not pretending that I could lose weight by only eating green foods on Tuesday and red foods on Thursday.

Eat More! Lose Weight! The Grapefruit Diet! Martha’s Vineyard! Those public service announcements that try to convince people to just park farther from the store and they will be fit as a fiddle are a public disservice. How about park a little further from your Big Mac? I think that if people started talking openly and honestly about the challenge and sacrifice losing weight presents, then people won’t feel weak when they find it hard to lose weight. 30 Days to a New You! Only if the new you looks exactly the same as the old you but is tired, crabby and hungry.

Losing weight is not easy. Not matter which “diet” you pick. It’s not a gimmick or a promotional offer. It’s a challenge and a sacrifice that takes a daily commitment to making good choices for your health and your body. Don’t get me wrong, it’s worth it once you get there. More energy, cuter clothes, longer life with your loved ones, more time to get revenge on your not-so-loved ones. But, the more we act like obesity can be cured simply by filling most of your plate with vegetables, doing a few squats during commercial breaks and walking to the end of the block and back, the worse shot we have at curing it.


  1. What the real issue is (what many of these shows, diets, etc.) fail to address is the emotional reasons behind overeating/overdrinking. It's more of a psychological thing than anything, and the mental reasons behind bad food habits are extremely complex and different from person to person. There is no magic bullet, unfortunately. :(

  2. You hit the nail on the head: People want to do what they are doing but get magically different results. You're also so right when you said that if we really exposed how hard weight loss is, people wouldn't eat a gallon of Ben & Jerry's when they failed to move the scale. It's super hard!! The media makes it sound so easy, and then people feel stupid when they can't lose 30lb in 30 days. So, they go and buy more magazines, more pills, etc. It's a cycle that doesn't do anyone any good - unless you're the one hawking the pills and diet fads.