Is Losing Weight as Easy as (not eating) Pie?

If someone told you being a millionaire was really fabulous and showed you scenes of wealthy people living a pleasure-filled life, would you become all inspired and motivated and say “I’m going to become a millionaire too!” And off you go, filled with inspiration and motivation to do…um, what exactly?

This example may sound ridiculous but think for a minute. You’ve been targeted by this very pitch MANY times! Most desirable things in life are represented as desired outcomes, the final result. That’s what gets us all charged up and excited. Every “self-improvement guru” and lifestyle coach paints images of the fabulous life you could have if only you get motivated and inspired! Aim high and reach for the stars!!

This approach always leaves out a key element: The day to day grind of what’s necessary to achieve that fantastic end result. You’ll get little more than another platitude, something like “Don’t give up on your dreams!”

Our society puts an extremely high value and focus on “having a vision” and setting goals. We assume that’s what’s necessary to achieve anything. But consider this:

Motivation and inspiration, even wanting something really intensely, are not strategies.

In our culture, thinness is currency. People who lose weight are perceived as gaining something of great value. Their social capital goes up. But usually we’re shown how happy they are, how great their life is, how beautiful they look, after they’ve achieved the very desirable goal of weight loss. We also see them often very soon after they’ve lost that weight and they’re still wrapped in the afterglow of living their fantasy.

We are excited and charged up by the results. We’re not so excited by the hard work it takes to achieve them. The media takes great pains not to be the bearer of bad news so we’re unlikely to hear all the details. Diets and exercise are described as fun, easy, and requiring little effort.

Dealing with repeated failure ultimately takes a horrific toll on you. Powerful Hunger is a book that presents reality. It’s a tough job to lose a significant amount of weight and accomplish a significant lifestyle change. It takes a daily commitment. It takes intensity and consistency. Accepting what needs to be done is a major step and it will be tough! But experiencing actual success will be far more motivational than any slogan or “feel-good” sales pitch.

1 comment

    • JoAnn on September 9, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Boy is that true. People are amazed at my weight loss, want to know how I did it and glaze over at about the 2 second mark when they realize I worked at it. They are equally surprised when I pass up the cupcake or chips or some other indulgence. I don’t feel deprived, it’s not how I live my life, yet others perceive it that way. I try to eat really well and if I have a cupcake, I try to make a conscious choice, not because someone brought them in to the office.

    The flip side of this, the repeated failures, leave you feeling as though there is something lacking within, that you don’t have what it takes. It takes a lot to overcome that mental roadblock, to feel worthy of trying again.

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