Monday, December 12, 2011

DEC 11th If I Don't Get Tuff... I'm Gonna Die Fat??

Hidy Ho Journal & Friends,

Ever read or hear something that you LOVE... and HATE at the same time?!! 

You love the parts you agree with, and hate the parts you are convinced he got wrong? You find youself arguing with your iPod as you listen to the interview?

You'd love to "straighten this guy out" so his message could be improved, and that way he could help more folks. But he is convinced that those that are upset by his message are "just making excuses".

So... he has closed his OWN thinking off, to seeing a different perspective that might have validity, which could actually improve his message. 

Sigh... I debated even writing about all this, since it's so frustrating. But I will. :-D

Because I decided, FOR ME, to be teachable and "eat the meat and spit out the bones."  This guy has some good stuff. Really good stuff.

He does have good ideas, albeit presented in a blunt way. I don't think he's trying to be mean or mocking, like some internet bullies I've crossed swords with... no, to me his heart seems in the right place.

Enough vagueness. His name is Steve Siebold, and he makes his living as a motivational speaker. The core of all his messages have to do with MENTAL TOUGHNESS.

And this time, he wrote a book after he gained 40 pounds, then lost it. It's called

Die Fat or Get Tough: 
101 Differences in Thinking 
Between Fat People and Fit People.

Yeah, he likes to use shock value to "break through the walls of self-delusion". I suppose that works with some personality types. His main idea is to smack you in the face with the differences between how Fat People think versus how Fit People think. Unfortunately his blunt approach repulses as many people as it reaches. The poor guy has even had death threats!!!

Disclaimer: I have not read the book. Why?? Because after reading a ton of reviews on, reading excerpts at his website (you can get the first 5 chapters for free), and listening to several interviews with Steve, I get the gist of it. I get it. I really do. And agree 100% with the mental aspects of his message. My own summary of his book would be something like: You made the choices that broke it, and you have the power to fix it. It's time to grow up, and make healthy choices. You can DO this!  

To me, that message is empowering, and I can get behind it. The part that drives me NUTSO in his approach is that he doesn't take into account that we were told by all the authorities for a LIFETIME that eating a certain way (low fat and lots of "healthy" whole grains and high carbs) was THE way to lose weight and get healthy. And now we are a fatter, sicker nation, with a raging diabetes epidemic. That's no excuse. It's the truth. Some of us tried for years, but it was like swimming upstream against a hard current... exhausting and not making much progress.

I was put on my first diet at age 10. That's FIFTY YEARS AGO!!!!! :-O  I searched and searched for a sustainable "diet", and tried, literally, several dozen. It's not just a matter of being fat and lazy. Some of us really tried. But were working with the wrong information. Did we go through times of despair, and just give up for a time?? Did we choose to eat food to affect our emotions, to bring relief, escape, or a thousand other reasons? 

Yes, we did. Or we wouldn't be fat. 
Yes, *I* did, or I wouldn't be fat.

Do you have any idea how hard it is not to be sucked totally down the drain of hopelessness and self-loathing, after trying and failing that many times??? 

But to our credit, we didn't give up permanently. We tried to learn. We got up and went ON. 

He seems to know nothing about metabolism or the science behind weight loss. The best book I've read on that lately is by Gary Taubes: Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It.  It's not a rah rah motivational book. It's full of solid science and facts. I highly recommend it.

Do any of Steve's arguments apply?? Yes, of course. But I'm just saying, he's too simplistic, that's all. Anyway, back to the part of his message that I DO agree with, the mental stuff. 

Basically, after all the legitimate factors are accounted for, we are left with: NOW WHAT?? What am I going to DO about it? 

And I agree with him, that it takes mental toughness. (Now for all you Christians out there, cool your jets. :-) My Rock, my Strength comes from God. I'm talking here not about the spiritual foundation we all need... but about what we allow ourself to think about, which plays out in our actions. Now that we have THAT cleared up...)

Mental toughness

Hmmm...  that's actually a term I've puzzled over for many years! Long before it became sort of popular now, and the topic du jour of todays motivational speakers.

So... I decided to be teachable. To not get offended. To not accept the parts he missed the mark on, and accept the parts where he hit the bullseye. He lost his weight in his late 30's, and is still learning. So in time, I'll bet his message is tempered with experience and wisdom. 

In the mean time, here are some quotes I transcribed directly from an interview with Steve Siebold that I heard on HCL BlogTalkRadio, hosted by Audley Stephenson (no relation to moi).

  • Make a decision. 
  • Make a decision you're going to do this... if you do the work, you'll see the results. 
  • This is not complicated... make a decision and take responsibility.
  • If you're going to program yourself for success, you've got to do what successful people do.
  • Don't feel bad about yourself, don't beat yourself up. Just make a decision that you're going to solve it.
  • There's really no staying neutral. You're going to either have to solve it, or you're probably going to die fat.
  • Study how fit people think, they really think differently that fat people.
  • Study as many world class experts on health and fitness as you can.
  • Beginning today, invest 15 minutes a day studying an expert you respect.
  • When your beliefs start to change, your behavior starts to follow your beliefs.
  • Self-talk is very powerful.
  • This is not about being comfortable. This is about being successful. There's a difference!

You can go to  and click on Look Inside, and read several pages for yourself. I'd be curious to read what others in our online wt loss community think about it. I mean, we are already working on it, or we wouldn't be here. So I have to wonder if our reaction would be different than someone who is NOT actively working on it. I kinda think it would sting!

So in summary: 
I do NOT agree with him when he denies there are legitimate factors that affect our weight loss attempts. 
I DO agree we can't be successful if we allow those factors to make us victims. 
I DO agree we need to ask NOW WHAT? and get on with solving it. 
I DO agree that how we think is absolutely crucial, and that's where I can learn from him.

To be fair, here's Steve's website,  so he gets the last word. 

From Dr Phil's book: "Change your thinking to change your weight."

My verse for today: "Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle."

My quote for today: "You must do the things you think you cannot do." --Eleanor Roosevelt

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 847


Anonymous said...

He lost his weight when he was in his 30s. LOL Let me hear from him when he's in his 50s.

We all lost weight when we were in our 30s. If I recall, we thought we could conquer the world then, too. Life has a way of humbling us. But that's another post, isn't it?

Having said that, I do agree that at this point in my weight loss extravaganza, it just takes DOING IT. Just telling myself "no" to wrong choices and being determined to make the good ones.

Right now I want a chocolate bar. I want it because something has upset me about my grandchildren.

Before I came up here to read blogs, I told myself that I couldn't have it. I reminded myself that staying fat is too high a price to pay for a few moments relief as the sweet taste makes me forget--for just a few moments--that certain people are the way they are.

Only God can change my grchildren's circumstance. Soothing myself with chocolate solves nothing--and is an addicts way out.

This post was just what I needed to hear--and in just the right way. I wouldn't have reactted well to a hard (abusive) sell that tries to pass as motivation.

Thanks, girlfriend.

Now I'm going to go talk to God--without stopping by the chocolate first. :}


Anonymous said...

I checked out the link, but very briefly as his style does not appeal to me at all...but I do loves me some Dr. Atkins!

I love the graphic at the top and I know that you, Ms. Creative made it! So clever!

Christine said...

I agree that there are other factors...and it is harder as you get older. The thing is Steve won't have to do it in his 50's if he makes his lifestyle healthy. IT isn't just losing's keeping if off and changing your life...your whole life. It can't be a short term fix. I will go check this guy out. Thanks for the honest assessment.

Christine said...

okay, read it...apparently thin people have the golden key to happiness. of his 100 things that differentiate fat from fit people, 20 are spot on, the rest are bigoted assumptions about fat people. Fit people operate from gratitude and abundance and fat people operate from fear?/???? REally???? lol.The Guy's a douche. The one thing he got right was that fat people allow other people to knock them off track, fit people don't because they make their own fitness a priority and fit people KNOW HOW TO SAY NO. This is HUGE. It ....good brother...I will go blog on my own blog. lol. Thanks for the link and the think.

Rettakat said...

DEB: I hope your evening went well. Glad this helped a bit. I know God is working behind the scenes.

K: Naw, I can't claim credit for that cute bottle. I found it on Photobucket.

CHRIS: Yeah, now you know why I was arguing with my iPod at times while listening to him being interviewed, LOL!

debby said...

To deny that there are multiple factors that cause obesity or that hinder weight loss is to set people up for yet another failure. The truth (and we need more of it--research, etc) is our only hope of permanent weight loss. Which you are doing very good at researching and ferreting out!

karen@fitnessjourney said...

Hi Lorretta! It's been a while. This post and your reaction reminded me of one my mom's favorite sayings: Don't throw the baby out with the bath. It sounds like a lot of what the author had to say resonated with you, the tough approach, not so much.

Anne H said...

I don't do "tough".... my life was too tough already... and I trash talk myself ( I'm learning not to) ... but I AM strong.. and gentle (yet firm) with myself.... and see no reason why I can't try new things and - who know - maybe actually get it done!

M Pax said...

I agree with the mental part. When I had lost 1/2 my weight, I started to struggle. I knew that if I didn't find a way to think differently, I'd be unable to stick. I had to teach myself to think differently about food. I did such a good job that whenever I see food commercials now and 99% of the time I think it looks awful. But a bowl of strawberries? Beautiful. Yummy.

It took time. I faked believing, behaving as I should. Mediating after a good healthy meal or a workout on how much better I felt, helped drive it home. But basically, at a point, I had to convince myself that a healthy lifestyle was something more appealing than the other. For each of us, that mental switch will be achieved differently. But I think it's essential.

Sandy said...

Love this post Loretta. When you don't have the right information, how can you make the right decisions?
There are so many ways to get healthy (notice I didn't say lose weight?). I struggled a lot ... never gave up ... and then I met the man who changed my life ... my health coach.
I wish everyone could find that person who could have as much of an impact on their lives as mine has.
Keep you head up and your eye on the prize. You can do anything you put your mind to....

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

You have some really healthy and mature thinking going on here. What a blessing- being able to take in the message without truly loving the messenger or his style... definitely advice I can use. Thanks.

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