Ha! Just kidding. Why do these types of headlines grab us and draw us in no matter how outlandish and manipulative they are? Despite our recognizing the manipulation faster than the speed of light? Maybe the 10 pounds was mostly the weight of the money in our pockets that will be gone by this time next week. The truth is, we know the headline is a lie, but we deceive ourselves into believing it because we want to believe it. I have lost weight in the past year and I am almost at my most recent goal. I have lost 40 pounds in the last ten months. Yet, when I stand in the grocery store checkout line and see these headlines on the cover of magazines, they still grab me and pull at something yearning deep inside me.
It is actually offensive that those who put things like that on magazines are willing to play on human vulnerability like that. My vulnerability. How dare they? Yes, that is part of marketing, but on the other hand, it is just wrong. By allowing myself to be offended by their shameless attempts to sell magazines, I am staying conscious of the fact that it is not real. It is not real. It. Is. Not. Real. You cannot lose 10 pounds in 7 days of real excess weight, meaning fat. Also, any rapid weight loss is unlikely to be maintained anyway. Do not fall for it. Do not fall into the trap. Boycott by refusing to buy magazines that make such manipulative claims.
Diets do not work. I have spent the vast majority of my life dieting and have done virtually every diet in the book. I can tell you with over 30 years’ experience trying to manage my weight and healthy eating habits that the ONLY time I successfully lost weight and maintained it was when I was NOT on a diet. Conversely, every single time I have dieted, I have struggled, been unhappy, possibly lost weight, but ultimately gained it back plus some, and then threw in the towel or moved on to a different diet.
The only time in my life when I have been happily undistracted by my weight is when I was not on a diet. Any and every time I have been on a diet, I have been consumed by the details of the diet, following it, and managing it, which has taken much of my attention and time. Only by not dieting have I been able to put my time and attention elsewhere, found more joy and passion for life, and then shockingly, lost weight.
As Jeff Olson says in The Slight Edge, “What you focus on grows.” I think this is interesting in regard to diets because you might interpret that as if you focus on weight loss by dieting, you will grow in that goal of losing weight. However, I think it is the opposite. The more you focus on your weight, the more your weight grows. Period. That has definitely been my experience. Stop dieting. Start living. Focus on the things you love. Every time your mind wanders to self-judgment or a desire to lose weight, gently redirect it back to something that brings you true joy now. When you do this, over time, at a slow and steady pace, a sustainable pace, a superior pace, like the tortoise and the hare, you will lose weight. Naturally. Without any diet. Without any deprivation. You can count on it. Just like with the tortoise and the hare, the tortoise did not win because it was slower; it won because its’ pace was steady.
With freedom and joy,