America, You're Large

Don't we deserve better?

Who Needs an Attitude Intervention?

Well I guess, in short, most of America does. I am supposing that by now, many of you have heard of a set of books written by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, Skinny Bitch and Skinny Bitch in the Kitch. In their fantastic, tough-love, “you apparently need an attitude intervention" style, they serve up a no-nonsense dose of reality. On their website,, right out of the gate, they let their readers know in no uncertain terms that one just can’t keep doing whatever it is they are doing to their body if they expect to be less than large. Even if some would consider their books offensive, I still feel the need to recommend their approach to tough-love. It may be what a person needs to drop-kick them out of their boots, if nothing else will. The books are paperbacks, not expensive, and they just tell it like it is.

Now I’m not advocating that every person should or needs to be waif-like (most men don’t care for it anyway, nor is it a realistic possibility if you are of medium or large build and over 5’ 5”). Face it; some of us are born beautiful Amazonians! But after only a few short months after the delivery of my articles based on the glycemic index eating plan, I’ve heard both praise and complaint.

On the praise side, I have heard that my readers used the plan to lose around 12-15 pounds the first month and then followed up with a couple of months of a half to a full pound a week and now are perfectly maintaining their new found bodies by eating the way nature intended, along with a slice of birthday cake here and there and an alcoholic libation when the party calls for it. They have all said that they have learned something from it, that they went about eating all wrong for decades. They have learned that as Americans, we eat too damn much food. They’ve praised it for being inexpensive and based on certain realities. They are:

    • We live a fast-paced life with little time to prepare food so leaning on pre-packaged items to get the new devotee through the first month of learning the lifestyle can be a good thing. And shockingly, all by themselves they have learned to substitute those with "real food" after the initiation period.
    • Many women (and men) work full-time with long hours. Eating right and moving more doesn’t take that much time. Be honest with yourself.
    • Going in to be “weighed” and selecting your foods at a diet establishment is mortifying and time consuming (and maybe a little embarrassing waddling through the parking lot with large bags of frozen food on each arm).
    • Diet centers are considerably lacking in their ability to teach you what you need to do to stay at a reasonable weight goal.
    • Lay the menus out there in front of the Skinny-To-Be gal and she can create a habit in only 3 weeks, one that she can live by. Who was it that said, "If you build it, they will come?"
    • I’ve said it all along and now it is a diet company’s catch-phrase, diets as we have known them in the past few decades simply do not work for most people. So stop it already!

So all of that said, what exactly are the complaints? Well most haven’t actually been verbalized. But I can see the perceived problems. Most get the plan eagerly into their hot little hands, read it, and then sort of forget about it. The verbalized “rationalities” so far are:

    • One says “I’m using it as guidelines and I’m only putting good things on my plate now.” Yeah but her platter is mounded up with about two cups of white, goopy rice, a chunk of meat that would choke a {insert the name of your favorite wild carnivore}, and about a pound of non-recognizable vegetation that seems a little shiny with grease to the common observer. Top that off with a sugary drink. All of that is easily over 800 calories in one sitting.

    • Another says that it’s too much work to prepare. As if going home from work and preparing a high-fat meal consisting of “bad” carbs, and high sodium content isn’t work. Glycemic index eating plan devotees spend about 15 to 20 minutes preparing dinner.

    • It won’t be fast enough… “I wanna lose all fifty pounds in one or two months.” Say, so do ya wanna little cheese with that whine?

    • I’ve even heard that it’s too difficult to shop for and it changes their shopping list! Well don’t you walk up and down the same aisles at the grocery store buying the same bags of chips, the same frozen pizzas, the same bottles of soda week after week? I heard this from a diet guru once… “I’ve SEEN your grocery list and frankly, your grocery list sucks.” Wow. Nuff said I suppose.

Okay, that is just a few of the so-called complaints. Ever heard this saying, “Anything worth doing takes time?” Boy is that ever true.

I’m one of those people that likes to smooth over tense situations. I like to hold the hand of the person that is going through hardships. I want people in my midst to not bicker with one another. Arguing? Why… I walk away until the other person calms down and we can discuss the “issue” like two important, international dignitaries. The point is, I’m not good at tough-love. I’m not good at saying, “YOU need Attitude Intervention.” As I go through my life not arguing and yelling, I’ve grown rather frustrated with those that complain about their weight and yet just won’t do what they know they have to do.

I’ve just leafed through a pile of magazines and brochures that I picked up recently at a health expo. Wow, one can’t even imagine all of the supplements out there, all of the pills and powders. Oh the troubles I have seen!! It’s so simple my friends - eat less, move more, and there will be less of you. You don’t need anything additional. Pills are not cheap. Powders are gritty and messy to mix. Slow and steady wins the race. Don’t forget the tortoise and the hare. It took a few years for my over-indulged friends to get there, and believe it or not, it can take about one year to lose fifty pounds. ONLY ONE YEAR. Aren’t you worth it?

Aren’t lower cholesterol levels, a smaller sized wardrobe with cute little clothes, less heavy breathing and sweating up that flight of stairs, less fat around your heart, stable blood-sugar, excess energy, more money (your grocery bill goes down exponentially, amazingly enough), more and better sex, more money still (since your prescriptions for high blood pressure and high cholesterol will eventually not be needed), all things that you look forward to having in only one short year? Remember -

    • Small changes make a huge impact. Every M.D. and nutritionist will tell you this. You don’t need me for that.
    • You and anyone out there can do this. Anyone.
    • You will see positive results immediately. This alone will build up your resolve to keep moving forward.
    • The first month is hardest admittedly.
    • You will learn two new habits.
        o Both new habits will conflict over and over with your old habits.
        o Know this now and you will be prepared and well-equipped for your first month's battle of personal wills.
    • You owe it to yourself.
    • You owe it to your kids.
    • You owe it to your mate.

The rest of the world is laughing at Americans, that so many of us are “soft” and “squishy.” Food “owns” this country. For some inexplicable reason, it almost rules our lives.

Hooter's, TGI Friday's, Dunkin' Donuts (a personal fave), Pizza Hut, Philip Morris, ConAgra, Heinz, Nabisco, and General Mills are going to hate me for saying this but you are, every day of your life, being bombarded with advertising media. And it’s doing its job. American advertising is insidious and entices you over and over again to eat, eat, eat, until you can barely roll out of bed in the morning. And we are letting them. In the song "American Idiot" by Green Day, they call that a "subliminal mind f- - -" but are you going to let this continue to work its mental magic on you?? Of course not! While each of these companies is providing a plethora of good things to the American public, you are going to learn what is too much of a good thing, aren't you!?

So that is my offering of tough love. That is the extent of my way of telling this country that they need an attitude intervention.

It’s by no means saying “It’s My Way or No Way,” because there are a lot of ways to be well. But just the exercise of writing about my experiences with “diet centers” caused me to want to share – with you – for you – so please don’t shoot the messenger.

As mentioned before, we don’t need to be skinny, undernourished Twiggy models. We just need to be strong, healthy, and ready to enjoy life as it was meant to be. Be what your body was meant to be.

For a long, long time….