Eat Chocolate and Lose Weight!!

There’s a post title that should grab me some curious readers and for sure will get me found in search engines!  With every blog post I write, I purposefully and carefully choose a title I hope will draw readers. That’s the whole point of the title. If you’re reading, the title’s done its job. But this blog post is NOT about what weight loss methods work or don’t work. I won’t be discussing the possible merits of integrating chocolate into your diet. This blog post is about the media.

Today’s media envelops us. Its sheer overwhelming presence has required it to become extremely noisy as its countless participants vie for our attention. As a result, the media will attempt to reach you with what you’re most likely to respond to. What we read or hear may not be an outright lie, but it’s very likely to be the thinnest of truths. Among the shocking transformations and stunning testimonials, lurk the fine print and carefully-worded phrases. It’s up to you to find them, understand what they really mean, and put them in perspective. That diet “chocolate” you’re allowed to eat has a weird sugar alcohols taste. You’re gasping for breath a few minutes into that hour-long “calorie furnace” workout DVD. Those “delicious gourmet meals” are indistinguishable from off-brand frozen dinners. But some people will kill their cravings with that weird chocolate. Some people will get themselves through that whole DVD workout, every day consistently for months. Some people will love the convenience of those meal plan dinners. Yes, there really are people who burn 500 calories in 30 minutes of exercise. They’re called “professional athletes.”

The weight loss claims we see in advertising have become so pervasive and cliche that I wonder why they still work on so many people. It’s because we want to believe, even after we fail, time and time again.

We’re not only exposed to marketing, we’re surrounded by news. We may not assume the same caveats apply, but they do. Many people would very much like to believe that their weight is not an indicator of their health. We’ve all heard that claim. And for some people it will be accurate. It was for me. Past tense. I was fat and seemingly healthy by the numbers until I was 44 years old when my blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure all started going haywire. I began wheezing when I laid down in bed and I needed daily pain medication for my over-burdened joints. Was my weight an indicator of my health status? Undeniably. To have persisted in trying to believe otherwise would have literally put my life at risk.

Does a diet drop weight if you can’t follow it? Does a workout program burn fat if you can’t perform the exercises? Do the findings of a study matter if they don’t describe your body and your health? Ultimately, you will be faced with the consequences of your beliefs, assumptions, and choices.

I could write a blog post with the title “Study Shows Weight Not an Indicator of Health” and I’d probably get some good traffic. My take on the study won’t be what some people will want to read. My top title to date included the name “Ruby Gettinger.” A lot of people are looking for information about her but my post was no fan letter. What we’re exposed to and what we think about will not constitute the lasting lessons of our lives. Experience is our greatest teacher. Where are you focusing your attention?

 

6 comments

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    • JoAnn on March 10, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Great post. I’ve lost over 100 pounds eating whole foods and doing strength training. I still am at risk of falling for some gimmick or potion that promises to make it easier or faster. Thankfully I now have 2 years of making good choices to help me overcome those urges. Yes, I want to believe after failing for so long, but I refuse to succumb. Thanks for being a voice of reason.

    1. Wow, you’re really PROVING IT, JoAnn!! You have to find what works for you and then keep doing it!! We fight our human nature in so many ways including this tendency to want to do whatever worked for somebody else. And being told what we want to believe is one helluva siren song to resist! But the frustration finally ends when we accept what has to be done and we experience the results!

      Thank you for coming by, JoAnn! Continued Light & Strength!!!

        • JoAnn on March 10, 2013 at 4:28 pm

        I’m loving your book by the way. I’m about half way through and it is really resonating with me. I appreciate that you don’t feel the need to BS people and make them feel better about their “journey.” Sometimes you do have to suck it up.

        When I say that, I don’t mean I’m blaming people for failing to lose weight in the past. There is a lot stacked against us and many things that don’t work even though they are “common knowledge.” I particularly liked you saying that no, you haven’t tried everything. In my case, it took a long time to realize that I kept trying the same things over and over. I’m pretty smart, but it’s wasn’t a great strategy. Now I focus on what works for me. If I try something and it doesn’t work, I ditch it.

        Peace!

        1. Please write me anytime, JoAnn!! You’ve made my week!

  1. It just all feels so predatory to me, you know? Drives me bonkers. But you already knew that. 😉 Off to find your “hacky” Ruby post now!

    1. It comes down to figuring out where to focus our energy and our attention for our own best interests. Should we attempt to fight advertising and the media? Or do we find more strength and peace of mind in working in our own corner of the world? I call myself an advocate but do I start petitions or send off letters of complaint? No. I urge people to seek their truth, find their path, and operate from a place of knowledge and accurate information.

      We fight a ruthless adversary and you and I both know how the fight can impact our lives maybe even harder than weight itself! Fighting with our weight brings enough stress and frustration into our lives without also trying to take on cultural and social influences. Can I take on Kelloggs and their advertising campaigns? No I can’t. But I can see those campaigns for what they are and hopefully influence others to see as well. Can I make the people who are disgusted by obesity to realize that they are hateful and biased? No, but I can write a book that I hope will help those who are the targets of that hate to negate the power it’s had on their lives.

      And every time I hear from someone like JoAnn, I’m happy and grateful for everything I’ve put into my work!

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