Thursday, February 25, 2010

Miracle Weight Loss Cult

In a waiting room in a hospital I struck up a conversation with a big man who felt the need to tell me that he was going to have gastric bypass surgery. He was there waiting for news of a family member who was only 54 and had suffered a heart attack. He told me that many of his family died young because they were so overweight and that he didn't want to die young too. He said he had lost 150 pounds twice and twice gained it back and now he felt there was no other solution.

It was his enthusiasm that triggered this new observation on my part. He was so enthusiastic, like he found a panacea, a cure, a miracle cure and I suddenly felt really badly for him. I took it upon myself to tell him what I thought and I guess I kind of burst his bubble, but I believe I gave him the best advice he will ever have.

He never took into consideration that his cravings and obsession with overeating and eating horribly wrong food would not end because he had surgically shrunk his stomach. He really didn't want to face all the info out there about what people have gone through gaining their weight back after the surgery. He really didn't think about the restrictive diet he would have to be on either. This was the best advice he will ever have, that he needs to be sure he really faces that he will have to eat properly after the operation and make sure that he is positive that he can do it otherwise he is going into this half blind to the facts. I asked him what made him think that if he lost all the weight he wouldn't go back like he did twice before. He admitted that he didn't want to think about it, that he just wanted to lose weight.

Now this was my observation: It was his enthusiasm, it was just like all the enthusiasm I have seen with others and felt myself throughout my life everytime a new pill or new miracle diet plan comes out. It is not just enthusiasm it is like a trance, it is a self-brainwashing. We belong to a self made cult!!! It is the Miracle Weight Loss Cult. We want to believe in a miracle cure so badly that when some Marketer comes along with a "diet"we just automatically turn off all our reasoning and blindly go forth following our new Saviour!

My conclusion: Never forget that losing weight requires a whole lifestyle change, not just a "diet". What is the point of starving yourself or eating packaged food if you can't do it for the rest of your life? What is the point of getting a gastric bypass (the sure fire way to lose weight) if you don't change your eating habits. Get out of the Weight Loss Cult, there is NO miracle... there is only YOU changing yourself for life and make it a change that makes you happy, that is do-able for life!!!


  1. So true! I was at a medical conference recently and an insurance rep told me the latest numbers say 70% of people who have bariatric surgery gain ALL their weight back. A good portion of the 30% who don't regain become cross-addicted to alcohol (very easy to do with a smaller stomach), drugs, debting, sex, etc.

    But why would they keep that weight off any differently? In fact, the faster you lose weight, the faster the body seeks to "correct" itself. It has burned off muscle, tendon, and even leeched calcium from bones as it lost weight, and yet it can only replace those vital components of the body with FAT.

    Adjust the body to 1600 calories a day and you'll have to eat 1600 calories a day for the rest of your life. Most surgery patients wind up adjusting to 800 calories or less a day! Who can maintain that?

    I often speak to bypass surgery support groups as they attempt to adjust their mental and emotional habits to their new physical situation. I hope he listened to you because it's very painful to make those changes afterward.

    There's a big belief in his story - "that's just the way my family is." Not true, but he's adopted it. Let's hope he can see past it, and see that he's unique and can make his life (and weight) healthy again.

    Pat Barone, CPCC, PCC
    "America's Weight Loss Catalyst"

  2. Thank you both for your comments. Until people come to believe they have to make a permanent change they will not only waste their time and money but the defeat is another hole in their self confidence and self worth.

    We need to enjoy life, to be happy with our food choices, food is one of our great pleasures, we just have to learn how and what to eat and get help if we can't.