If you do you may. If you don't you won't

Pinocchio paradox cropped for EDREven before you give up dieting, please give up promises that offer quick results with little or no effort.

Diets are just one in a plethora of "get rich quick" or "get benefits quick" ploys that take your money while making money for others. The key to surviving this onslaught is in your ability to recognize liars.

Katherine Gage has a new article out today, "I've had it with people trying to get something for nothing." It's about making money, but it applies to eating disorder and weight loss promises too.

Can you recognize a liar? Who are the Pinocchio's in your life? Recognize them and you'll find more freedom. (Be careful and brave.  You may have a bit of Pinocchio in you. Some lies we try hard to believe.)

Katherine writes a beautiful rant about marketing that screams, you can make $xxxxx.00 (a fortune) a day or a month or a year by working a half an hour a day (or a week) from your laptop on the beach in Tahiti (or some beautiful, expensive and exotic place).

It's also a rant about customers who ask, "If I buy your program can you guarantee me that I'll make $50,000 a month (or much more) for a few hours work a week?" (or much less).

Weight loss programs offer similar deals. “You’ll lose weight fast while you eat what you want and don’t have to exercise.” “Lose thirty pounds in two months so you are ready for bikini weather.” “live the life you’ve always dreamed of.” Take a pill, drink a potion, follow a strict and/or bizarre diet, or surgically remove fat fast. You’ve seen it, heard it and may have tried out some of these promises.

Occasionally (not often, thank goodness) I get these questions: “If I do psychotherapy with you, can you guarantee that I will stop binging or purging or that I will lose weight?” “If I buy your book can you guarantee me that I will be cured of my eating disorder and that I will lose weight?”

If you are reading my articles you pretty much know my response.
“Of course not.”

Your recovery depends on your dedication and consistency in doing the healing work required. The work is challenging, time consuming, has painful times, requires energy and dollars.

Psychotherapy and my book show you how to get on your recovery path. They shows you what your work is and support you as you move through what you must move through to heal and be free.

This is why I say, Healing Your Hungry Heart is not a book to read. It is a book to do. You can read right through it and maybe learn something or get some insight. But the healing power of the book rests in your doing the exercises on a regular basis. You take at least a month per chapter. When you finish, you do it all again. When you finish, you do it all again using the exercises in the Appendix.

Years ago a patient in my practice told me this story as she was coming to grips with the effort required to heal. She said:

A young medical student asks his anatomy professor,

“If I attend every lecture you give, read every book you assign and pass every exam you give, can you guarantee that I will become a doctor?”

The professor answers,

“No, I cannot give you that guarantee. But I can guarantee you that if you don’t, you won’t.”

So please, toss the get rich quick and lose weight quick schemes into the circular file. Hit the delete button. Take your eyes off the billboard and focus on where you are really going.

I wonder, if we created two piles of one hundred dollar bills, one pile that was money spent on quick weight loss promises and one pile that was spent on real recovery work, which pile would be bigger?

Note: Quick weight loss, in my opinion, doesn’t count if the weight comes back. That’s an indication that you’ve bought into something from the weight cycling industry that traps you into yo yo dieting. This is when you think the diet is good and you are bad for gaining weight again. That's a lying Pinocchio talking within you. Real recovery isn’t like that. Please, confront the liars and go for the real thing.
  1. Have you participated in any fast money schemes? How did it/they turn out?
  2. Have you participated in any quick weight loss promises? How did it/they turn out?
  3. Can you recognize a liar?
  4. How do you protect yourself from liars?
  5. Any advice you can share from your acquired wisdom?

Picture: This photo (a derivative of the Pinocchio Paradox) is in the U.S. public domain because its copyright has expired. 


0 # experiencesJackie 2013-04-16 15:47
I am not typically one for schemes or diet fads. I've purchased two different exercise dvds that I saw on  television infomercials (step aerobics and zumba). I haven't opened the Zumba set yet. I've had it for over a year. I don't have the discipline for quick weight loss schemes.

However, I can easily spot a liar. My parents are often dishonest.  I don't like lying. I don't like people who lie. This is not to say that I haven't lied to protect myself over the course of my life, it's to say that I don't like it. I'm more honest now. I don't have anything to hide. I sometimes feel awkward when I openly tell people that I have an eating disorder...but I do, and I'm not ashamed of seeking help for it.

My former boss was often dishonest. Many of the choices she made were morally and ethically wrong. It caused me a great deal of stress and heartache. I confronted her about her lies. It opened a can of worms because every time she would try to counter one of my accusations, she would tell another lie and I would have to confront her again.

These challenges were in private conversations and in front of the entire staff. No one else would speak up. I almost quit my job over her. I gained twenty pounds over her. I contacted the union and spoke to administration about what was going on and finally I decided to hand the situation over to God. Within months she was moved out of my building. I don't have to deal with her anymore. Now other people are dealing with her behavior. It's not going well for her. I try not to engage in talk about her because she is such a trigger for me. I don't wish her harm. I just don't want to have anything to do with her ever again. I was telling the truth. If I wasn't telling the truth, I would have been fired. As difficult as it was, I would do it again. I care about honesty and integrity. I care about the clients I serve.

Recently, my adoptive parents lied to me regarding my adoptive sister and the breakdown of her marriage. I don't know why they felt the need to lie to me. I am her sister. I guess they were ashamed of her adulterous behavior and wanted to hide the truth. They wanted to stay in denial. When I confronted them about what was going on, they told me more lies. They just kept lying to me. I didn't talk to them for about seven months as a result. I was just so furious with them for their continued disrespect towards me. My therapist told me to write to them, but I didn't. It wouldn't make any difference because they don't see their own behavior. They don't see me at all. I'm not going to change them. I'm not going to change my sister.

You can see now why my former boss upset me so. I have been dealing with that sort of behavior and my inability to do anything about it for my entire life. The only difference is that I was able to speak out and forge a way for change to take place at work.  Praise God.

Before therapy, I didn't realize that I had some issues with setting boundaries. I've always been a bit self-righteous and outspoken when necessary, but my verbal tirades didn't change the situation. It just made people point the finger at me. I'm setting boundaries all the time now. I can't say I feel comfortable while I am doing it, but I feel better after I do.
0 # yes, of coursemylifex2 2013-04-16 17:58
diet pills, oh, diet pills. Which one's have I not tried? Read the directions? phhfttt. If one is good, two or three are better.  Sick stomach, pounding heart, car sick feeling in my head...but the benefits are so worth it!!! (not).  I can honestly say I have never really lost any weight over taking diet pills, the best I will do is not GAIN weight.  My main problem is late night eating.  I don't take the diet pills past a certain time of day or I won't when they wear off - BOOM - I am starving and ready to go at a carton of ice cream or brownies at midnight...the whole day down the drain.  I don't know how much money I have wasted on these items.  Yes, I said wasted. I admit that. It pisses me off that I let the diet industry pull off this lie on me, but I always think maybe this time it will work, maybe THIS is the diet pill that is THE ONE. 

Liars? I tend to be pretty suspicious of people from the get go. I feel like I can read people pretty well...I don't like people lying to me, but it's not always a deal breaker for a friendship for me.  I think I lie to myself sometimes, which is actually a worse form of betrayal. How do I lie to myself? I lie to myself with the messages I allow to occupy my brain and body. I lie to myself when I believe I am something I am not, or don't believe something I am. The worst thing that happens, is when I stop knowing WHAT I believe.
0 # Trust & knowledgeshh 2013-04-17 18:31

I have only ever tried diet pills a couple of times, during my teens, because my mother insisted that I needed to, but the palpitations they gave me were really frightening; and I've never tried any get rich quick schemes - so I don't have much experience of either.

The biggest liars in my life were my family - because they made me believe that the only way to be liked, loved, popular, successful etc, was to be thin - and I willingly went along with all the diets they put me on, because I believed there was a glittering prize at the end - their love and acceptance.

The diets my mother imposed were all about rapid weight loss, slower weight loss meant you were lazy and uncommitted, but as she controlled my food at that age, she made sure I lost the desired amount each week.

All I wanted was my mother's love and acceptance, instead I got the beginnings of an ED, and a load of ingrained lies about myself and how bad and worthless I was.

In terms of protecting myself from lies and liars:

As I got older, I realised from what I saw happen with other people, that people who could not trust others in relationships, drove those relationships to destruction - like the girl who is always quizzing her boyfriend about his faithfulness, and snoops in his things, and jumps to conclusions, ultimately either drives him to be unfaithful or drives him away... and I learned from that, that you have to trust other people unless they give you a reason not to trust them ...which was hard for someone like me with such low self worth and fears of abandonment, but I forced myself to work at it, because I knew I had to.

Then I learned the hard way, about trusting your intuition and gut instincts, I allowed myself to get raped and battered, that's not to say I blame myself  or absolve him of his abuse of power and the things he did, but had I trusted myself, then it wouldn't have happened... because I knew, I sensed straight off that things weren't right, I felt uneasy in his presence that day and could sense that something was going to happen, but he was one of my bosses, so my perception must be wrong, and I was scared that if I didn't let him in my room on that business trip, that he would make fun of me to my colleagues for being weird and paranoid... so I let him in to "wait for me to finish getting ready", and you can figure out the rest.

And so from those 2 things, what I learned, was that you have to trust others unless they give you reason not to do so, but more importantly, you need to trust yourself and your instincts first!

The other big liar in my life is myself - when I know I am acting out my ED and I tell myself "it's okay" or "tomorrow will be different", even though I know that isn't really the case, but it's easier than tackling those ED behaviours.

But tackling my ED pretty much mirrors what I said above. I need to trust my body to know when and what to eat (like trusting others), unless I'm acting out my ED (unless they've given you a reason not to), but don't ignore cravings, eg: I tend to crave meat when my iron is low, and salty foods as well as fluids when I'm dehydrated (don't ignore your instincts).

It has taken me a lot of work to get to the point where I have enough self-worth and faith in myself not to always do the wrong thing, that I am able to (in the main) live by my principles of arming yourself with relevant knowledge, not pre-judging others, and being able to trust yourself - as in your body and gut instincts and trying to stay tuned in with that inner energy and use it as a guide,

0 # lies and training to be vulnerable to thempinkjoanna 2013-04-26 17:00
Thank you for your wonderful sharings, Jackei, tracy and shh.

I've been reading and thinking about your posts.  They are rich, helpful to me and others and making me think.

Pointing out lies doesn't seem to be enough, especially false promises regarding diets.  So I've been wondering where the vulnerability to lies comes from.

It's not just wishful thinking. It's got to be more than that because these false promises come, get exposed, go only to be replaced by others which are believed until shown to be false.

So I'm almost finished writing an article about how we can learn to believe lies or be oblivious to them.

It should be up in a day or so.


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