Our Lady of Weight Loss

Our Lady of Weight Loss


Is “The Biggest Loser” making us fatter?

This Beliefnet blogger wants to know, “How do you know when you are sated?”
While leading an amazing Our Lady of Weight Loss enLIGHTens Workshop, I tossed the following question out to my group. “How do you know when you are sated?”
The question was met with silence and blank stares.
I took in a deep breath and again, thinking that just maybe they didn’t hear me, asked,
“How do you know when you are sated?”
To be clear, the group was comprised of highly intelligent and aware people. Had I been administering a vocabulary test, I am sure that they would have instantly been able to define ‘sated.’
However, in the context of this weight loss workshop conversation, they were clearly befuddled. The synapses were not quite connecting.
The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Rather than move towards insanity, I changed the question.
“How do you know when you are full? You know, how do you know when it is time to stop eating?”
The light returned to people’s eyes … “Ohhhhh … how do I know when to stop eating? That’s easy!”

“When my upper lip is numb, I know it is time to stop eating ice cream.”
“When my plate is empty.”
“When I can’t breathe any more.”
“When I feel sick.”
“When I’m out of money.”
“When other people are done.”
“When my anxiety decreases.”
“When the bag is empty.”
“When the Biggest Loser is over.”

“When the Biggest Loser is over?” I wanted to make sure that I’d heard this correctly.
A resounding “yes” from the crowd. One after the other these workshop participants boldly and courageously stepped forward and confessed that it is their ritual to gather the snacks and sodas before their beloved show airs, eat their way through the show, and when it is over, yes – that is their signal to stop eating. When The Biggest Loser is over they are “sated.”
I’m not surprised that we as an obese nation are more influenced by the environment, by external cues than whether we are actually hungry. Most of the signals from our society tell us to eat and eat some more. I’m not shocked that the start of a television show means ‘start eating’ and that the end of the shows translates into ‘stop eating.’ But The Biggest Loser?
There is paradox written all over The Biggest Loser.
Is there really a winner if you are a loser?
Does focusing on weight loss turn our thoughts to food and these thoughts trigger eating?
Does watching the show bring up feelings of hopelessness? After all, the people who ‘win,’ win in a controlled environment. How can you make it on your own?
Does watching the show feel like a first step forward toward your weight loss goals? Do you ‘deserve’ a reward for this step? The reward being food?
Does The Biggest Loser satisfy?
How do you know when you are sated?

I invite you to comment below.
Hungry for more?
Biggest Loser Winner: Helen Phillips
Kirstie Alley: Stuck In a Fat Suit
Is Oprah Hypnotizing You?
Spread the word … NOT the icing,
Janice

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Janice Taylor is a Life & Wellness Coach, specializing in weight loss, reinvention, transformation & happiness, author, seminar leader and 50-pound-BIG-Time-LOSER! Write Janice for an Introductory Coaching Session.
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“Janice Taylor is a certain kind of kooky genius ~ see if her idiosyncratic diet plan will work for you.” ~ O, The Oprah Magazine
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  • Ann Kennedy

    Actually I love the biggest loser, but I can’t watch it sitting down. I download or record the show and workout while I watch it. I can get in a good 5-6 miles during the show. But that is just me, I’m sure. I just can’t eat and watch people sweat that much, I feel a kinship in my sweating too. The show really motivates me to continue on my journey. I have permantly removed 65 lbs and have about 70 to 80 to go, but it is a process and a journey and the biggest loser helps me with that.

  • Carol H

    I can agree with some of your statements that people, especially when focusing on losing weight, can become especially obsessed with ideas of food. However, I don’t understand your comment (regarding the Biggest Loser) that the reward is food. The big winners win large amounts of cash. Many weight loss programs and products (including the Biggest Loser book(s)) promote obtaining a sleek, sexy body. So, other than improved health, the big rewards (again if we can believe the ad and product promotions) that many people want to push for are money and sex. How do you figure that the reward is really food? For myself, I want to work for improved health.
    You also used the word sated. I am also a highly educated person and if you would have asked me, “How do you know when you are sated.” I might have also given you a blank look or answered that I should never be sated. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines sated as, “to cloy with over abundance: glut.” Also, “to appease (as a thirst) by indulging to the full.” I’m sure you recognize the word glut as could also be used in the word gluttony.
    You discuss some good ideas that people need to get a handle on; as to when have we eaten enough food and at what point are we overeating. How we deal with this issue will especially have an effect on our long term success.

  • patti iverson

    Does anybody in the whole world ever just wanna answer: “Blah blah blah blah blah.” Sometimes all the reasons, all the words, all the excuses, all the everything–for everything–is just that: blah blah blah. We wanna–so we Do. Period. Many overweights have paralysis by analysis–we are so busy overthinking the why we just can’t quite seem to get to the “doing” to correct the problem. It’s easier. I’m guilty–dogonne it! Think I’ll just go for a walk and think about it! Love you, Janice–truly I do, and you know it! :)

  • Carol H

    Yes, sometimes I have that paralysis by analysis too. That is a worthy consideration and can be an excuse used for procrastination with making needed changes. However, there seems to be so much conflicting advise from “experts” out there. One person even wrote a book on the “tyranny of experts.” No one method or “magic bullet or pill” exists for permanent weight loss and each person does need to find what works best for himself/herself since we are all very different individuals. :-)

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