Friday, February 10, 2012

Ranting a bit today.

I apologize in advance for the length of today's post!!

Since I started blogging this past December, I have tried to keep my posts primarily about running and upbeat (ok, except for this week's blog about my stomach bug).  After all, there is enough negativity in the world.  However, I have been getting really angry lately about something, and I know that this probably has a similar impact on others of you out there, too.

So many of us began running to lose weight (and hopefully to maintain it once we reach our goals).  I am always inspired by the blogs of those amazing women who have lost a considerable amount of weight this way and are now running through life.  As only a couple of examples out of many, read about Erin at See Mom Run Far, Jen at From From FAT to FINISH LINE, and Katie at Runs for Cookies.  These women have made incredible changes in their bodies and their lives by running and they serve as a great source of inspiration to the rest of us!

Speaking of the rest of us, I am right there in the mix.  I have struggled since my adolescence with my weight, gaining and losing the same 35 (ish) pounds over and over.  My fifth (yes, fifth!) attempt at Weight Watchers back in 2005 finally "took" and I reached my goal weight and have managed (mostly) to maintain it even while having dear daughter #3 in late 2006.  However, it is still a struggle--three years ago I hit a number that, while nowhere near my highest, was definitely not one I had ever wanted to see again.  I finally started running about 18 months ago, not very seriously until this past fall, and I manage to stay at an acceptable weight, although I would love to get rid of another 5-8 pounds (AND KEEP THEM OFF!).

It is always helpful to read of other people struggling, and a couple of posts in the past couple of weeks have helped me feel less alone.  Jess at Run with Jess had a great post about weight loss, and Jennifer's post at runner ... maybe was incredibly moving to me.  So many of us struggle, which is what is leading (at long last, I know) to my rant.

HEY, DIET INDUSTRY PEOPLE, STOP PREYING ON US!!!!  I am SICK of hearing about products that make crazy, unsubstantiated claims, directed right at those of us who might, in a moment of weakness and self-loathing, buy anything at any price that might help us finally see the "right" number on the scale, or lose that unwanted belly fat, or get us down two dress sizes.  Now, I am not talking about all weight loss companies out there--after all, I have tried many of them, with varying degrees of success (WW, Jenny Craig, Diet Center, Beverly Hills Weight Loss, Atkins, etc.).  This particular complaint is directed at those companies selling some great new ***product*** that will, if taken as directed, help your body burn unwanted fat without any need for diet or exercise.  Really?!?  You mean all I have to do is take a tablespoon of your magic protein formula and I'll lose weight while I sleep?  And I can still eat all the junk food I want and I don't have to exercise?  Or I just have to take your herbal supplements and suddenly my body will just ignore the fat grams I'm stuffing into it?  There are two companies in particular advertising on our local radio stations, and they say that I don't have to do anything other than consume their product to lose weight.  One of the ads throws in these great phrases like "carbo block" and "fat absorber".  I am saddened to think of all the desperate, overweight people out there who are going to throw away their hard-earned money on products that can't possibly deliver the promises made on these ads.  If you really do lose the weight, how long is it going to stay off once you stop taking this stuff??  And what about the side effects?  If you read some of the information out there on these products, you'll see that at least one of them is little more than a laxative.  Well, yeah, I'm going to lose weight if I get up every morning with diarrhea!  Please, leave us fat thin-challenged folks alone, unless and until you really DO come up with a formula that will turn me into Gwyneth Paltrow overnight.  (Yeah, I'd pay $40/month for that kind of thin!)

Burn Fat While You Sleep!

As Heard On Your Local Radio Station!

And fellow fluffy people, yes, I realize that there is blame on our side, too.  After all, if we wouldn't buy it, they wouldn't make it.  In addition to all of the various weight-loss systems that I listed in the previous paragraph, I've ordered my share of shady ones, too.  The weight loss patch (okay, that was REALLY a moment of weakness on my part).  The metabolism booster from a nationally known nutrition retailer that cost a fortune and made me feel like I was crawling out of my own skin (yes, I lost weight, but I could not sleep a wink!).  The liquid-meal replacement diet that did, in fact, help me lose 6 pounds in a week--which I gained back in 3 days.  So I know the mental state of anyone who buys into this concept of a lose-weight-quick-and-easy scheme, I know the heartache, desperation, and irrational hope that goes into calling that toll free number for this wonder product.  What I also know from years and years of experience is that weight loss requires changes in diet and some form of exercise.  Plain and simple.  (And I'm 7 chapters into writing a book on this very subject, but gaining 10-ish pounds made me put down my self-righteous pen!)

Thanks for listening.  Maybe someday they will come up with exactly this type of wondrous elixir and I can start eating my weight in cheese and chocolate.  But give up running?  Probably not.

Happy running (healthy eating!).


  1. Lisa,

    First thanks for the shout out and secondly, I am so with you on the rant. I've tried my fair share of crap targeted my way too.

    It's a struggle. For me, it will always be a struggle. I still teeter on the edge (and sometimes plunge face first) back into old habits. I still tend to want to comfort eat and have been known to stumble - a lot.

    Blogging, running, continuing to attend my WW meetings help - Crap products do not. We need to use our spending power to drive the shysters out!

    1. Amen, sister! I almost used that same word--shysters--to describe these predators. And that's what they are. This afternoon I heard a new version of one of those radio ads. This time the salesperson said she had a relative who got rid of her cellulite with this liquid protein junk. If that were true, there wouldn't be a woman out there with cellulite because everyone would be drinking it!

      I SOOOO need to get back to my WW meetings. Or at least get back to the online tracking.

      Glad you chimed in. I was hoping I would strike the right chord and not tick anyone off (except maybe the shysters!). Hope you have a terrific weekend.

  2. I am so with you on this rant! I have been up, I have been down, I even own a BodyBugg but I am taking a break from it. I need to find a way to make this my way of life and not get rid of the ups and downs and just find that happy balance.

    1. Balance is key, but it is so elusive, isn't it? But I must confess that I don't know what a BodyBugg is! I'll have to Google that one! ;)