Money, Love and Weight Loss

I know you are here to see what I’m going to say about weight-loss, but I need a moment to talk about two other very important subjects: your money and your love life. Why is that? Well, we, as human beings, have three general areas of interest that we consider important: 1) Money (or career) 2) Relationships (intimate, family, friendships) 3) Health (health in general, and weight-loss falls into this category).

In each field, there are “experts.” And in each field there are experts who will tell you that the key to making your dreams come true is hard work.

In the money arena, there are experts who will simply tell you to “work hard.”  Out produce your colleagues, spend less than you earn, invest wisely, follow these tried and true principles and you can reach the financial goals you have set for yourself. Relationship experts will often say that relationships are hard work. Marriage is commitment and compromise and work.  And weight-loss experts promote the old diet and exercise model – watch what you eat, eat less, work-out more – you might not like it, but you’ve got to suck it up and do it to get results.

Now here’s an interesting point. If you seek out the experts of the experts, the gurus, if you will, of each industry you hear quite a different story. These types of experts in the financial arena teach that most of the wealthiest people don’t feel like what they do for a living is work. They love what they do. It feeds and energizes them. These experts also talk about an emotional and psychological congruency with money that explains why so many lottery winners quickly find their way back to their pre-win financial circumstances.

Relationship gurus will agree that relationships require compromise. But compromise to the point of self-sacrifice is unhealthy. They say that relationships should be life giving and fulfilling – that’s why we’re in them in the first place. If you don’t even like the person you’re with, it’s a good indication that you should get out of the relationship, not work harder to “make it work.”

We have yet to make this leap when it comes to weight-loss. Many weight-loss experts talk about a “lifestyle change.” But what they’re really doing is telling you to change your life to meet the expectations and demands of this unpleasant diet and exercise model. It’s the same old line of “buck up and deal with it,” just with a fancier sounding title. Rather than struggle with diet and exercise, you rearrange your life so that the process doesn’t seem like such a chore. Or there are other experts who will address the emotional and psychological factors of weight. But the end goal of this process is to heal any psychological or emotional issues that are keeping you from being successful with the “diet and exercise” model. The theory is that if you can heal the emotional and psychological issues of weight, you can then “stick with” a diet and exercise program and therefore, lose weight.

No one in the weight-loss industry – no matter how progressive they may seem – has yet to question the fundamental validity of the “diet and exercise” model itself. Well, after many years of drama with all of this, that’s what I did. And I discovered that the “diet and exercise” model itself is fundamentally flawed.

The biggest travesty of the whole thing – aside from the endless efforts people put forth for little or no, mostly short-lived results – is the emotional and psychological damage it does. This model creates an assumption in our culture that suggests if you are overweight, or not the size you want to be, you are at best unmotivated or undisciplined, or at worst, you are lazy or stupid because everyone knows what to do to lose weight – diet and exercise. If you’re struggling with your weight, please know that there is nothing wrong with you. Something is very wrong with the model we’ve been taught to use.