Thursday, August 20, 2009

Reality TV.

So I have a confession. I can sometimes be guilty of watching reality shows. *Gasp* I know, they suck. They are every thing that is wrong with the world, but there is just something fun about watching contestants go to ridiculous lengths to find love or make a quick dollar or chase their 15 minutes of fame. I happen to have fallen victim to the Jon & Kate saga, and while I’m not surprised Jon left Kate because she could be an unbelievable beeyotch at times, Jon sure is acting like a certifiable douchebag more and more every day and should really focus on his kids. Another show that has been on my radar lately is More to Love . I will have thoughts on that one really soon.

I love The Biggest Loser and I cannot not even count the number of times I told my wife that if I was on that show I could win the whole thing. I felt like I needed that show to force me to lose weight. I needed Jillian and Bob and a giant scale to force me to exercise and eat right. I always knew in my heart of hearts that only if I could be on that show, I would lose weight and change my life. As it turns out all I needed was a little kick in the pants. That said though, my weight loss journey coincided with the last season that started in January 09'. For the first 2 months or so, I would have never fallen below the yellow and would not have faced elimination. It helped motivate me and inspire me to keep doing what I was doing. I saw that if those guys could do it, so could I. I saw them busting their butt everyday not only for the cash prize, but for the ultimate prize of life. They constantly talked about changing their life. Each and every one of them was of comparable size to me and each of them was given a gambit of health tests and evaluations and were told that they were going to die soon if they didn’t change. So was I.

More recently the show started to focus on the question “why are you overweight?” Sure you eat too much and lay on the couch watching reality TV, but the answer is deeper, way deeper. The real question is why don’t you care enough about yourself, why don’t you respect yourself enough, why don’t you think you are worth it?

Most of us that are morbidly overweight have the same story. We struggled with our weight all our lives. We were always the fat person that was funny and would do spot-on Chris Farley impersonations. Our self confidence was non-existent. Maybe we didn’t feel loved enough or maybe we didn’t feel as though we were meeting expectations or maybe we just wanted to just go away and be forgotten. Food was a refuge. It made us feel good, because it didn’t judge, it did what it was supposed to do and it filled that emotional void.

I had a conversation with a couple of people at work who said that when they see overweight people with giant McDonalds sacks full of food or fat people getting on the elevator to go up 1 flight of stairs, that they had no sympathy for them and actually spoke as if they were quite disgusted. My co-workers are not bad people, but how can they be so judgmental? Fat people don’t want to be fat. You know when your high school counselor asks you what you want to be when you grow up. A morbidly obese person whose internal organs struggle to sustain life everyday is not the answer that they get. Food is an addiction, just as powerful as any drug or alcohol addiction could ever be, with one huge difference. A food addict can feed their addiction way easier and cheaper than a heroin addict can. It takes all of $4.32 to buy 4 double cheeseburgers from McD’s which happens to total 1760 calories and 92 grams of fat. That’s a helluva deal at only $0.0025 cents per calorie. The calories though, aren’t even the worst part – that comes after you gobble down the 4 double cheeseburgers in about 6 and a half minutes and you feel guilty and disgusting. I know this for a fact.

I’m not sure how to reach out to people that are in this place; because I know when I was at my heaviest the “I can’t” attitude reigned supreme. I didn’t want to hear it. I knew I needed to make a change but I wasn’t willing to. I wasn’t ready. I had to be ready mentally and emotionally to change. I had to answer the question of why am I fat? Once I was ready to face that question, I was ready to conquer my food addiction and lose the weight for good. That is why I refuse to call what I do a diet. Diet insinuates a short term fix. What I do, is for a lifetime.


  1. How you reach out is via this blog. You already know it has to be their decision. If you tried to help before they were ready, they might politely listen but ultimately no changes woudl take place. Believe me, when someone is ready, they will reach toward you and that's when you can share what you've done. I love the Biggest Loser too! And I think reality tv is fine if you recognize it for what it is: entertainment, not reality!

  2. Joey,

    I know everybody will be different but I know with my struggle I can get myself up and get active, but in the end not knowing how to eat is a huge problem. So I was wondering just from your daily life is it possible to shine what you do eat a days time and portions. I know again everybody will have their own taste factors etc but I'd be interested to see what it is you eat to help you through your journey. That would help a great deal!


  3. I based my weight loss program off of Dr. Oz's program the You Diet. Essentially the goal is to cut out as much sugar and refined ingredients as possible. Basically anything that grows naturally is alright to eat. Veggies, fruits,(either can be fresh or frozen) and nuts are the main staples. When I eat bread products or pasta I ensure that it is made with 100% whole wheat. Portions are bit hard to judge so I would just say make them reasonable.
    I eat lean meats like chicken, fish, a lot of turkey. In fact Rachel is a masterful chef when it comes to cooking so my dinners are always great. They consist of some sort of meat and one or two veggies. (the kids love it too)
    I eat breakfat everyday. Most days I have Kashi Cereal (about a cup with skim milk). I think it is freaking delicious. Sometimes I have two Kashi 100% whole grain waffles with sugar free syrup. I always have a piece of fruit in the mid-morning, and for eight months now I have eaten a Lean Cuisine for lunch everday. I really enjoy the flatbreads and pizzas.
    I am pretty boring in the sense that for breakfast, snack, & lunch I eat pretty much the same thing everyday. For some people that could get monotonous for sure, but I don't mind. Like I mentioned Rach always makes something awesome for dinner and occasionally I will have some frozen yogurt (about a cup) for dessert.
    Oh and I cut out soda. If I have to have one I drink diet. After awhile you can't even tell the difference. I drink lots of water or Crystal Light.
    For the first six months, about once a month I would have a meal that I would eat whatever I wanted. That once a month has slightly increased to about once a week, but I feel comfortable with my eating habits and portion control that it doesn't seem to negatively impact me too bad.
    It's really not bad at all. I don't feel deprived or hungry, but when I do feel that way, I eat.
    I hope this helps.

  4. Thank you Joe this is what I needed to hear today you hit it right on very inspiring words and so true...Just wanted to say thank you!!


  5. Joey,

    Thanks a bunch for those insightful words. So if you get to feeling hungry, you just eat something light and "healthier" then most snacks. My problem is breakfast. I just do not have enough time for it in the morning, and if I can squeeze something in its not much because I cannot drink milk. I was eating those yoplait yogurts for breakfast for a long time but wasnt sure if that was good. I mentioned before that exercise wasnt the big issue but honestly it is as well. I just am dumb when it comes to what to do. I suppose anything is better then nothing. I work from about 7 am to about 4pm so im not too sure what to actually do. If im not working im watching tv. I know you may not "know" it all but you haven the exerience thus far and an open blog makes things very insightful and helpful.


  6. What a wonderful post. Just incredible.

    my best always

  7. When it comes to eating breakfast my advice would be to try and make time. If you just don't have the time then grab a piece of fruit or a Kashi Bar or both. They are very portable.
    I've never been much of a "snacker" but when you start eating the right kinds of food you will find that you aren't hungry as much. It has something to do with the biology of our bodies that is way over my head.
    In my opinion diet is more important than exercise, but moving around a little bit is good to do. Something is always better than nothing. And I have developed a fondness for running. Best thing about it is that it is totally free and it only takes 30 minutes to get in a really good workout.
    I hope this helps a little.

  8. That is definitely helpful. I know for me it is eating all the wrong foods and the portions at that. I am guilty of getting food at fast food joints and then grabbing something from the dollar menu. Or even worse, only choosing places that serve a portion enough to fill me up. I know if I just limited my portions with probably a better choice of food as well, and eliminate soda id be good. I think I drink atleast 5 diet drinks a day and maybe 1 cup of water. I need to get off the soda kick it tends to be the only thing I drink. I just need something more then the bland and boring water at times. I enjoy water don't get me wrong but only drinking water will get old fast. I need something with flavor as well.

    Thanks again for the insightful information!

  9. Well I had an adventure at the store attempting to find "better" foods. I failed! I guess im not too sure what im needing to look for. If I go by calories there are things I eat now better in calories then some of the "healthier" choices. So im really not too sure how to go about eating properly.

    Your input is appreciated