Living the WELL Life


Friday, February 26, 2010

I am so tired of it all. Aren’t you? With each day that goes by, it seems to me that marketers find new ways to lie to us and manipulate consumers into putting more and more junk food in their shopping carts. And we go along, with no protests, like lambs to the slaughter.

I freely admit that I like to watch T.V. I know it’s not chic to say it, but at night, after a long day, nothing helps to empty my mind like a tough workout, dinner and a ‘date’ with ‘The Mentalist,’ ‘24’ or Jon Stewart.

Sometimes, though, I think I am losing my mind from what I see on television. As I write this, I am watching ‘Oprah.’ Kirstie Alley is on talking about her new reality show. The subject? Being fat and trying to lose weight. She’s talking about how hard it is to be her; how hard it is to live life with paparazzi around all the time; how hard it is to live a privileged life like she chose to live, with choices most of us can only dream about. And how this reality show, with cameras everywhere is so invasive in her world…a show she executive produces and created. Interesting, yes?

And the kicker is that Oprah, at her size is admonishing Kirstie to take her advice, telling her that muscle weighs more than fat, so as she works out, she may not lose as much weight in numbers on the scale. She just said that weight is about how you feel, not the number. And while that is sort of true, when you are bigger than you should be, you are simply bigger than you should be…it’s not about a feeling; it’s fact. You can tell yourself what you like; you can embrace yourself as you are…or you can lose weight and get fit and healthy.

Oh and then there’s Kirstie Alley’s new weight loss products that she sells online, a whole compliment of stuff…organic stuff…to help you lose weight…for good this time. (Now we’re at the real reason for this appearance on Oprah!) Like other weight loss products, these come with the same ‘results not typical’ disclaimers for the testimonials. And at the helm of this project is Ms Alley, who is far from lean and yet is asking you to part with your hard-earned money and trust her. The thinking is that because she is fat, she can tell you how to not be fat. And wowee!!! You can do it together; right along with Kirstie herself. Just sign up and write that check.

It makes me so sad to see yet another scam being perpetrated on overweight and vulnerable Americans. We are so confused as to what’s appropriate to eat anymore. On one hand, you have experts like Dr. Oz telling us to eat a plant-based diet for health and proper weight. In between segments are commercials for Papa John’s pizza, Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s (who sponsor our Olympic athletes, but that’s another rant).

While Ms. Alley’s motives may not be so bad (just wants to make money, I guess), she perpetuates the myth that you can change without changing. You can ‘eat the foods you love’ but as long as they are organic and you take her supplements and exercise, you will lose weight.

Here’s a little heads up. Organic sugar has the same number of calories as white, refined sugar (just a few more minerals that have not been stripped away). Organic meats and dairy products have the same number of calories as their organic counterparts. Sure, there are no growth hormones and if you choose grass-fed animal foods, you will eat less saturated fat, but an organic burger with organic fries will add just as many pounds to your girth as the non-organic ones.

Look I applaud that she is out there promoting organic foods and advising that we minimize the intake of processed foods, chemicals and toxins. I applaud that she is helping people take a look at their food, make menu plans and source organic stores and restaurants. Any way in which we take in, use or consume toxins is cool by me.

But here’s a little fact that you might want to consider before signing up for yet another weight loss program that takes your money and leaves you still struggling with your weight. The fact will not change. The calories you take in must not exceed the calories you burn, organic or not.

Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much. This sage advice from Michael Pollan doesn’t come with bottles of pills and powders for sale that will keep you from craving junk food. If you choose to eat whole, unprocessed organic foods as your day to day diet, you will naturally stop having cravings for foods that no longer serve your life; no supplemental or online support needed. You will, in 10 days time, feel so much better and actually be a little lighter. In about a month, you will find that your taste changes and the ‘foods you love’ will change. You will begin to crave the foods that give your body what it needs to thrive and find its balance…and yes, its ideal weight.

Along with regular, vigorous exercise, eating real food…whole unprocessed foods, organic where you can, will yield the results that will stop you from being the continuous victim of all these weight loss programs that offer the moon and the stars and deliver ‘results not typical’ as their…and your reality.

I can’t watch anymore of this…I am going to the gym…before I cook dinner…

So... I'd love to know what you think... Comment below.


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