Siebold begins today with an implicit apology: he knows he will have fired people up and enraged them by saying they're "bad parents" if they don't model mental toughness for their kids. Essentially what he's done is illustrate for us the power of emotions with respect to obesity by making us experience how powerful our emotions are in another area of our lives: our kids. He wants us to realize that we can be in control of our emotions rather than letting our emotions control us.
And so he asks: why are you fat? Blunt, no? And he suggests, whatever reason I had for getting fat was emotional . . . boredom, self-indulgence, loss of job, divorce (in my own case, a return to school and commuting and uber stress packed on about 10 pounds a year for over 7 years) . . . . And then he says: now you've identified the emotional source of the weight, let it go. The reason doesn't matter. In other words, whatever emotional source of the obesity, it's not a justification for continuing to be overweight, I'm not entitled to be fat to comfort myself with respect to the trauma of life and in fact, permitting myself to continue to be overweight itself becomes a significant compounding contributor to that trauma (my own interpretation, not his words).
Second: how do you know that this diet will be different and that you will be successful this time? . He says for himself it was sheer disgust with the 40 pounds he had put on . Such an acknowledgement is not "fashionable" and might be interpreted as "fat shaming" etc. But he was tired of being embarrassed by his body and feeling out of control. And he was prepared to acknowledge that emotion to strengthen his motivation to stick to the diet. I was too: I'd been "successful" with my return to school but my body was out of control.
Thirdly: do you think of food as a friend or an enemy? Eating the fast food he loved (the "comfort" food) was really consorting with the enemy. The food that is our friend is the food that contributes to health and vitality and brings out the best in us. For me, eating six doughnuts one day in a row because the dozen was "on sale" and actually cheaper than buying four doughnuts (2 each for myself and DH): that was the tipping point.
Three simple "critical thinking" (not positive thinking, not negative thinking) questions.
Siebold says, once you've figured out why you've got fat, let it go and forgive yourself so long as you are committed to fixing it now. Give yourself permission to "win", expect to "pay the price" (yesterday's message about enduring the pain) and prepare to fight back.
How big a price? In Day Four, he compares it to paying $10,000 for a Ferrari. If you could buy a Ferrari for $10,000 you'd have several in the driveway, right? And although you pay a price for a fit body by selecting foods that contribute to health and vitality, in the long run once the habit is broken it's not an excessive price. Although I was prepared to pay the price for weight loss and I'm prepared to continue to pay the price for maintenance: it's not an excessive price. The suffering is much less than the suffering I've experienced in many other areas of life.
OK then. Siebold is definitely firing me up. And just as I forgive myself for once having weighed 230 pounds, I forgive Siebold for manipulating my emotions Day Four by telling me I "was" a bad parent . . . it was an illustration of the power of the emotions with respect to eating. And it worked.