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Fatloser Day Four: Expect Suffering

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Another tough message from Steve Siebold (and keep in mind: I'm just paraphrasing, his delivery is priceless!!):

"Weight loss isn't easy and success requires suffering. We have to expect to experience pain, doubt and emotional turbulence. There's lots of pressure (internal, external: frequent, at least every couple of hours) to "go off your diet just this once".

[It's mostly friends and relatives and work colleagues who derail diets. My very own DH, as I started listening to Day Four this morning, grumbled softly, "I don't know why you're listening to this AGAIN!! You don't need it." Flattering, and it's true I'm not fat. Now. But it takes continuous effort. And that's why I DO need to listen again. I need the reinforcement. The battle's never won.}

Returning to Steve: "Fit people know everything has a price. But being fat has a price too. And success feels fantastic, not just for weight loss but for the effect weight loss has on every area of your life.

Right now 60% of people are overweight. Johns Hopkins University researchers say by 2020 that figure will balloon to 75%. And by 2032, 90% in North America will be overweight or obese." When Siebold goes to buffet restaurants in Florida and in North Georgia, he says it's already the case that 90% of the people there are hugely obese.

The most persistent and hard hitting message in Day Four:

"If you permit yourself to be a fat person who can't control yourself, that's the message you're delivering to your kids. They're more likely to become obese as well. And obesity leads to many types of disease: cancer, diabetes . . . yeah. We're killing ourselves with a knife and fork.

No way we should jump on the "fat acceptance" bandwagon or adopt the excuse that I'm just a "person of size": nobody is born fat. We don't endorse "bankruptcy acceptance".

Most of us are "winners" in other areas of our lives: and we can be winners in weight loss too.

But not unless we grow up emotionally and take responsibility for our own weight and for the message of mental toughness we're delivering to our kids."

And then, to soften somewhat this huge burden of responsibility, Steve offers an endearing image of our future success. We're already on the journey, and he envisions a steam engine chugging down the track and pulling into the station -- complete with chugga-chugga noises! And whistle sounds. Journey to weight loss complete!! Too cute.

So: how do you motivate people to endure suffering? Because the fact is: weight loss involves suffering. And weight loss maintenance requires that the mental toughness become . . . permanent. Truly.

Is it hitting below the belt to tell us all we're "bad parents" if we don't manage our weight?
And even if we don't have kids, that we're poor role models for success more generally?

Hmmm. End justifying means? Size of rear ends justifying meanness??

Don't know. But I do know: weight loss and weight loss maintenance don't require the MOST mental toughness or extort the WORST suffering I've experienced in my life.

And the price I've paid and continue to pay is worth it. For me.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I watched Siebold's video this morning with great anticipation after hearing about all the many comments it generated.

    My opinion of it is that he was 'over the top' with his message -- going for a shock effect -- as he tried to make us feel guilty for being bad parents and afraid of dying in the street because of our fat.

    I found myself laughing out loud at this.

    If I hadn't felt confident enough to laugh, I could have been very offended by his approach.

    Using guilt and fear is not how I would approach a motivational video on dieting.

    His message about dieting involving suffering was a good one, I believe, in that it sets up an expectation that we have to deal with negative feelings at times during the dieting process. Is it really suffering? I don't think so. But that's okay if it turns out to be easier than expected.

    Again, though, I don't think that's how I would put it.

    But, he is the TOUGH GUY, right? And he's staying true to that approach.
    Shock and awe. (Mostly shock, not much awe.)


    2270 days ago
    this to me was the video that has hit me the most up to now(mind you i have only seen 5 up to now)i think because one of my kids does have a weight problem.
    2270 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Love reading all the responses. You have really gotten people fired up and that is a good thing! I am with the camp that positive is better. We like good things more than negative (which is why comfort food has such a powerful hold). If living a healthy lifestyle, exercising and eating right is enjoyable, you will be motivated to continue it. The key is to make sure it remains so. So eternal vigilance to make sure complacency and status quo doesn't settle in.
    2272 days ago
    Thanks for the info. emoticon emoticon
    2272 days ago
    Dieting is hard and maintenance is even harder but I wouldn't call it suffering. But I'm a pretty upbeat sort of person. I can take pleasure in hard work. We're all different. I'm glad you found something that works for you. emoticon
    2272 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/7/2014 8:45:39 PM
  • SCOOTER4263
    Actually, I do endorse "bankruptcy acceptance." *insert shifty eyes here*

    But other than that, I think that telling people that they need to expect to "suffer" is more off-putting than encouraging. And as HIPPICHICK1 pointed out, suffering is a state of mind. If I choose to focus on the negative, then I have just plenty of difficulty and suffering in my daily life without intentionally adding yet more suffering in the form of food deprivation and painful exercise.

    I choose to focus more on how much better I feel when I eat clean, how much more calm when I do yoga and meditate, and how much more easily I climb the stairs with arms full of groceries when I do strength training and cardio.

    I view my weight as a health challenge rather than a source of, cause for, or need of suffering, and I don't believe it is a moral failing. Nor do I believe I am a poor parent - if anything, I think promoting the "challenge" viewpoint rather than the "suffering fat loser" viewpoint is good parenting.

    But to each his own - if this works for someone and they are encouraged by it, then I say use it and go for it! We're all different.
    2272 days ago
    Wow! What a awesome blog! Thanks for sharing!
    2272 days ago
    I agree with several of the other responders. I think
    reframing dieting and weight loss to suffering
    only sets us up for failure long term. I lost over
    sixty pounds four years ago and never suffered
    through out the process. It was a joyful,
    fun and exciting adventure. I was delighted
    that the weigh loss came so easily over

    And I think that has a lot to do with why I have
    been so successful in maintenance for the
    first time in my life. I retrained my brain patterns
    to enjoy my new eating and exercise style.
    Did it and does it take discipline? Absolutely.
    Has my brain learned that these changes are
    rewarding and pleasurable? Totally.

    Our brains seek pleasure and avoid pain.
    The more we build pleasure into our experience
    of exercise and weight loss, the stronger the
    motivation to continue. The more we build
    pain and suffering into the process, the more
    we will avoid the experience while seeking
    old patterns of pleasure to sooth our neurons.

    Thank you so much for the summary. I do
    enjoy reading about different approaches
    to weight management even if I disagree
    with the approach. In this case, I think
    he uses too much shaming as a motivator.
    It may work in the short term; I would disagree
    of shaming's long term benefits. It does
    tap into old patterns that were instilled in
    many of us as children and can be self-defeating.
    2272 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/7/2014 2:36:16 PM
  • PHOENIX1949
    Day 2 Video for me. Yesterday I played his message over several times to help in sink into my consciousness. This a.m. I listened twice and will repeat a few more times. The saying 'don't shoot the messenger' came to mind as I was listening to some of his possible inflammatory statements (of truth).
    2272 days ago
    It has been a motivator for me to turn things around, even at this late date, to be a good role model for my adult son...even though I was far from this, sadly, during his childhood.

    2272 days ago
    I have to take his generalities and keep bringing them back to focus them on myself. We're not judging others by watching his videos, we're mining for nuggets of valuable information we can use in our maintenance. I think it's easy for those who haven't watched the videos themselves to feel judged by snippets of his words in our reviews.

    I'm 2 days behind you, so you are giving me a continual preview. Are you planning to view the 21 days of video and stop, or are you thinking you will keep going for the 90 days even after the videos are done?
    2272 days ago
    I am so glad you shared fatloser.com and Steve Siebold with me (us). His tough talk is delivered in a very motivational way and while I am a day behind you I am stirred by his blunt assessments and "grow up" message. Self control is something I need to learn more about and understanding how my emotions sabotage things in my life. He's teaching not just weight management but life management. And he leaves us with:
    emoticon on Day 3!

    2272 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13961612
    Personally I don't believe in 'tough love' and I don't think that being tough with oneself will result in lasting weight loss.
    One could also say that one is suffering when overeating, just as easily... Just my opinion. Plus encouragement is much more effective, if you ask me, than saying 'you are a fat person who can't control yourself'!
    2273 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/7/2014 10:01:04 AM
    Support and repeating things reinforces information and makes it a part of us. Sort of like the memory work we used to do in school. I think it's the best way to not fall off the wagon. Alcoholics don't usually stop going to AA just because they've quit drinking. They need the ongoing support and reinforcement to maintain sobriety. I don't see weight as being any different.
    2273 days ago
    "Weight loss isn't easy and success requires suffering."
    This has not been my experience. If I'd know it was so easy (in the beginning) I would have done it many years ago, but I simply lacked the knowledge and tools to be successful at it and until I started counting calories I wasn't successful.

    Suffering is a state of mind. If one re-frames their thinking then one can lessen their misery.

    "If you permit yourself to be a fat person who can't control yourself..."
    Sometimes it's not as simple as controlling oneself. Again, lack of knowledge and tools to lose weight, or to never have gained it in the first place, were never in place for me until I discovered Spark. I have plenty of control, which is how I lost weight, built a successful business, never gambled after losing the first $20 I ever bet in my life in about 2 seconds in a game of Black Jack, and never got sick again after being sick just once from alcohol.

    A big reason why I got fat in the first place (and it was when I was a child) was because of the foods that were offered to me to eat. I grew up in the 60's and 70's and my parents had little food knowledge then...and even now they have little knowledge about the destructive nature of white bread and nutella (yeah, my dad, at 80, still eats this for breakfast).
    Because of the Internet we have all the resources we need available to us to discover what each of us needs to be successful at weight loss and also changing how we think about food.
    emoticon emoticon
    2273 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/7/2014 9:29:05 AM
    Losing weight is difficult and does involve suffering. As maintenance continues to have periods where you lose weight, there is always work involved. I like his approach and his advice to take responsibility for your weight.

    Thanks for sharing. I am going to read his book.
    2273 days ago
    We are a society that does not like pain. The easy way is the best, according to most diet plans. Mental toughness seems to be the way of those who have some discipline.
    2273 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3876543
    Thank you for posting the video summaries each day. I signed up but cannot get them to play on my ipad which is what I have with me when I'd be able to watch/listen. I get the gist from your posts and am really grateful. The messages are tough but very true and important to hear.
    2273 days ago
    I'm with the other Barb about the "being fat" does NOT equate to "bad parenthood". Being fat and continuing to search for answers via the doctors, etc., and the many examples of the good modeling of behavior that was there despite the fat (which had a contributing medical cause) prove the "one size fits all" message does not work.

    Steve does give the disclaimers in his first few videos about "if you don't have a medical cause" etc. and he is speaking to people who don't have those reasons... but they are not the only ones who read / listen in. So, that probably led as much as anything to my arguing back at him in 2012.

    BUT, I also agree that going through this for those of us who DON'T have an underlying medical condition in the way, and multiple times... and recognizing that the disclaimer is there... can take some of the sting away.
    2273 days ago
    I made sure I watched Siebold while I ate my breakfast. I already had lunch packed, a plan in place to deal with the sweets we are having delivered to the office for a ribbon cutting ceremoney and sufficient snacks to get me through my workout at the gym. I know it's going to be hard today and I have to give myself all the ammunition I can carry to get me through the gauntlet of pastries.

    2273 days ago
    " . . . not unless we grow up emotionally and take responsibility for our own weight and for the message of mental toughness we're delivering to our kids (can we be weight loss winners.)"

    Well, hmmmmm....I had it thrown @ me that I was a bad role model because of my weight when I was 200 lbs. @ 4 ft. 10.5 in. (well, I WAS obsess, no denying that one at all!) BUT, the fact is, I didn't have junk food in the house much. What I DID have wasn't an issue for me. MY issue was thyroid disease and type 2 diabetes. So, those who sit in judgment . . . . stop it, because you don't KNOW all the circumstances!

    Once the thyroid meds were in synch and I was FINALLY diagnosed with type 2 (after YEARS of haranguing about it to my Dr. -- side note: MOVE ON TO ANOTHER DR. if your Dr. doesn't listen to you!) and was on the proper meds THEN with proper nutrition and exercise AND REST my weight slowly released til I am proud to say I am 100 lbs., which is a healthy weight and puts me in a healthy BMI for my age and height. It wasn't that I WANTED to possess that weight . . . my metabolism wasn't primed to use the foods I ate properly.

    Even better -- I did learn the proper balance of nutrition, exercise and rest (which were out of kilter due to my physiology). So . . . that led to being able to model even better health habits for my children and I can SEE those lessons "took" by the comments and behaviors I see in my 21 yr. old son. It's amazing. My 18 yr. old DD . . . well she's got a way to go. What can I say, but I see signs, slowly, that she's "getting it".

    Bottomline: We definitely have to take responsibility for our health in general. We are NOT bad parents if we have a weight problem. We have the responsibility to pursue those things which will help us reach our optimum level of wellness. WE cannot, however, sit in judgment of others unless we've walked in their Nike's!

    I am a proud maintainer of 3, going on 4 yrs. Long may it continue, and I aim to see that it does.

    Sorry for the long winded response, but this struck a nerve!

    2273 days ago
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