Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Talking back to Sebastien....

As many of my faithful readers know, my trainer has also started his own blog -- which I think is a wonderful idea, because it is a wonderful way for him to share with anyone out there his thoughts, ideas and viewpoints on how we can all become healthier. I'm a full supporter, not only because I have benefitted from his realistic and straightforward approach to this battle, but also because it's a great way for others to benefit from his approach to doing things (even though he sometimes thinks it's nothing particularly unusual). So, I'm a regular reader of his blog, and sometimes find that I do not necessarily agree with what he's saying. However, one of the wonderful things about working with Sebastien, not only in the gym, but also as we interface regularly through our blogs, is that he takes a well-considered and insightful approach to the 'business' of health and wellbeing. Not only does he trigger my motivation to move my butt and make physical change happen, but he also challenges me to think differently about food, weight, exercise, body, and self. Although, he recently learned that by rebutting some of my assertions is easier while I'm on the floor doing 100 crunches and can't talk back. Regardless of this new-found tactic, I will cross-post my responses to Sebastien's blog to my own. I think the interplay in our conversations and in our thinking will make for interesting reading for all of our friends and supporters, known and unknown.

That said, in response to his latest entry, I offer the following reaction:
So, I agree with your list of ideas... because they've really worked for me. And as a guy who has tried pretty much everything you've listed here, I can attest to the efficacy of your approach and belief in balancing healthy eating with regular physical activity.

However, I don't think I necessarily agree with your overlooking programs like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, etc. I think that these corporations (remember, they're corporations, NOT health care providers) are equally implicated in the raging problems with the 'diet industry'. They're a part of the industry, and I'm not totally convinced that leaving my health and wellbeing to the corporate ideals of an industry is the best choice to make. More importantly, given my multiple experiences with many of these programs, they all neglect to fully and adequately address the psycho-social/cognitive dimension of healthy living and weight loss. A support group can be a good thing -- but they're not led or facilitated by trained professionals who are skilled at truly helping the 'consumer' to get at the core of why he/she is struggling with weight, body image and health.

Now, I try not to judge those people for whom these sorts of programs work -- but I challenge anyone out there to defy the statistics and not become serial/yo-yo dieters. Remember, they're corporations that rely upon recurring business by yo-yo dieters to keep them alive -- take it from a guy who has given thousands of dollars to these corporations on a repeated basis. Each promises that with the right balance of point counting, portion control and exercise that the battle of the bulge will be won. Yes, I'm a cynic from my past experience, but at the same time, I have now personally reaped the benefits of ignoring the glossy allure of the 'industry' and focusing on the glossy allure of my own potential to work with my trainer, to not count points, but balance mind, body and soul to truly realize the type of change I have been searching for for so long.

Kia Kaha.
Stay strong.