Pretty much every franchise, big box, commerical gym on the planet is running their best deal of the year membership pricing and weight loss challenges. They reel you in with crazy low pricing and the hope that "this time, this gym, this program, this contest" will work! Maybe you find yourself saying some version of "I just need a kick start" or "Yes winning something will keep me motivated". We've all been there...the victims of bulk pricing discounts and companies selling false promises when we are feeling vulnerable, desparate or afraid.
TRUTH: The weight loss industry is a 60 billion industry. Um yea so there is one simple reason for this...Diets and weight loss programs are designed to make fail. And everyone keeps coming back! You are forever in need of the next latest, greatest fad diet or weight loss program and because you are vulnerable you will pony up the money for something deep down you know won't end well, but you still hope!
When you get real with yourself, how many years have passed where you resolved to lose weight and haven't had the success you hoped for? Do you blame yourself? Do you feel like a failure? Do start believing there is just something wrong or defective with you because you just can't seem to get this weight loss thing down? I would gamble to say most of you would answer YES to those questions and it hurts! More importantly it's not true or fair!
Honestly, watching people begin their attempts to lose weight by dieting, weight loss supplements, crazy fitness programming, and weight loss contests makes me deeply sad. I hate it! I know what is in their future...the journey of weight loss rarely ends the way you hope. And even if you lose weight the likelihood of gaining the weight back and more is roughly 60%. Diets are the number one predictors of weight gain. The ugly truth of the current state of our society is that if you aren't fighting weight gain there is something wrong with you and this my friends is complete BS!
So where will you be after the new 8 week weight loss challenge you are embarking on? Thinner? Maybe. Happier? Not sure. Healthier? I would guess probably not (since dieting is horrible for your body). Will life be better? Maybe a little, but truth is losing weight only targets the symptom not the true issue. Truth: Chances are you aren't currently as overweight, unhappy, and unhealthy as you might think! The diet, weight loss, fashion and beauty industries have distorted our perception of what beautiful, happy and healthy really are.
After 6, 8, 12 weeks of dieting and religiously exercising I doubt that losing a few pounds, dropping a size or two, or winning your gym's weight loss challenge will make you feel like a million bucks! Why? Here are a few ideas:
1. You now experience the impending doom of gaining the weight back
2. You feel the fear in the knowledge that you will most likely not be able to keep this routine up for the long haul
3. The new size, weight, winnings aren't enough...you still aren't happy with your body and want more change
4. You realize you might look different, but you don't feel better inside
5. You are miserable eating in this way because it's not satifisying
6. You now fear food
7. You might even feel isolated because you can't go out anymore in order to eat and exercise the way you need to for weight loss and maintenance
8. You might feel fatigued from the starvation mode you have put your body through and overexercising limit you have pushed
9. You still are judging yourself and your body (comparing yourself to the unrealistic images you see everywhere from others that supposedly got their ripped aka airbrushed bodies from the same program you are doing)
10. You lost the joy in moving your body because exercise now feels like punishment
Now I am not saying everyone will feel like this nor am I saying you have to believe in what I am saying. But it's truth, it's science. This isn't airy fairy new agey bullshit, its real science. Diets don't work and do more damage than good. Our country continues to fight obesity with more and more dieting craziness and we continue getting bigger. Yep there is something wrong here! We need to reset our perceptions of beauty and health and we need to begin reconnecting with our inner cues.
This post is my plea to you to NOT buy into the diets and weight loss contests! This is me mildly begging you to consider making this the year your resolution is to NOT DIET and instead starting connecting with yourself & your body! So what do you say? You in?