Dear Bob Harper-
This is a letter to let you know that you are no longer on my list of trainers I respect.
Last night for the first time I saw an advertisement for your version of weight loss pills.
And I was DUMBSTRUCK.
Because of all the people in the world who have sold out, I never expected you to be one of them.
Sure, I wasn’t all that surprised to see Jillian Michaels peddling her pills and exclusive diet plans all over the interwebs. She really likes herself. So it wasn’t a big deal.
You were always so granola and hugs and gentle talk while helping people on the Biggest Loser. There was a compassion I saw in you that I loved.
But all that is gone. No more love, no more respect.
Here’s the thing:
You and I both know that some convoluted pill filled to the brim with diuretics and caffeine isn’t going to help the majority of people. It’s not so bad for people with just a couple pounds to shed off, or to take your pills for a short time. (At least that’s what the FDA seems to claim.)
But for those of us out there who have big numbers to lose, pills aren’t the answer. You know it. I know it. But the rest of the world out there now sees your sweet granola face on the bottle, and they are trusting you to help them lose the pounds and inches they have never been able to lose. What happens when you and your pills let them down?
I’ll tell you what will happen. The next time they see someone who has lost a lot of weight they are going to be bitter. They are going to blame themselves for not being able to drop the weight. And they are going to stay fat and miserable.
I know that by selling these pills, you are going to make a fortune. More money than a humble blogger like me will ever see in her lifetime. You will have a wonderful house, fancy cars, and will never want for anything material in your life. But you will also have that nagging feeling in your heart that it all came at a price. Not a price YOU had to pay. But it’s going to cost the self esteems of hundreds of THOUSANDS of women and men out there, desperate to lose the weight. Is it really worth all that?
Because you seem to have forgotten some fundamental truths, I thought I’d give you a refresher course.
Here are the facts.
1. Losing weight and keeping it off is more than just a physical journey. If you don’t deal with the emotional issues of WHY a person is packing on the pounds, they aren’t going to find success.
2. There is no quick fix for fat. It takes a commitment of marriage like proportions to change your body and your heart from fat to thinny. Even most the folks who have been on the Biggest Loser put the weight back on after the show was over. Because they immersed themselves in the immediate change of 8 hours of daily physical activity, but had no idea how to keep the weight off once they were back in the real world.
3. YOU CAN LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT PILLS, SURGERY, AND STARVATION DIETS. You just have to want it bad enough. I’m living proof of that fact, as the previous posterchild for the “I can’t lose weight no matter what I do” club. I wanted it so badly that I moved heaven and earth and my big butt until things changed. No pills, no surgery, no fasting. Just lots of hard work and determination. Until you can bottle those 2 things, diet pills will never work.
4. You are misusing the trust that people have in you for financial gain.
SHAME ON YOU.
Obviously, my diet plan has never been "perfect."
I’ve changed things up as I’ve gone through this journey. As my emotional dependence on food waned, I’ve been able to allow myself a little more freedom than I gave myself in the beginning. I learned how to maintain and continue my weight loss success in the real world. The fact remains that my BMI is no longer morbidly obese. It’s NORMAL. And the fact that I can now eat the foods I love without feeling guilty tells me I’m in a great place. Did I mention I can eat what I want WITHOUT POPPING A PILL FIRST? I simply eat smaller quantities. And I make more good healthy decisions than junk food decisions.
Honestly, Bob, I bet before this is all over you are going to wish you could take it all back. I don’t know how many people will be led astray by your products, feeling defeated because they couldn’t even lose weight with Bob’s pills. Well, DUH. Not even your granola face slapped on a box full of capsules can change America’s obesity problem.
But don’t you worry, Bob- I’ve got your back.
After people feel defeated and like no matter what they do they can’t lose weight, one day they will google the term “shrink my butt,” or “big butt scholarship,” (not even joking. I get lots of hits on my blog from searches for big butt scholarship, which leads them to the post about my faith being like a tampon.) and those people searching for help will find me. They will read how I’ve gone through this whole process when I wasn’t sure I would ever actually lose the weight. They will see that I’ve had ups and downs, but I never quit. I just kept trying, and learned to believe in myself instead of blaming myself.
And maybe, just maybe, I can be lucky enough to undo some of the damage you have done with your pills. Maybe I can help them try to believe in themselves and the power they hold inside once again. And just MAYBE, I can get them to throw their hat in the weight loss ring one more time, turning a phrase like
HELP IS NOWHERE
HELP IS NOW HERE.
People need to believe in themselves. When we have confidence inside, amazing things can happen. Life can change in ways we never thought possible.
And we don’t need pills to do it.
That’s all I have to say about this for now, Bob. I’m sorry you sold out. But hard working anti-pill bloggers like me and my friends will try to clean up the mess you are making. Feel free to write me back, Bob. I’m willing to listen to your side of this. And I will listen with an open mind.
People really do have what it takes to lose weight- they’ve already got it inside of them. They just have to believe in themselves instead of a granola face on a bottle.
Even if the body attached to the granola face is totally hot…
Charlie, weight loss survivor