In the keyword results email, I clicked on the Times Now article "Decoded: How Social Media can help you lose weight FAST".
Sounded catchy...I wanted to know what they had to say...
The article was actually ok, sans the catch-phrases and typical weight loss marketing lingo like, "here's a simple trick to burn stubborn body fat effectively!". The trick that was to begin sharing your journey on social media.
Ok, I can sort of get behind this. In fact, as an online coach, I love this.
Now, I don't think you need to broadcast to your personal pages that you're about to try to lose weight or post your 'before' picture or anything but I do think social media is a great tool. I love how the accessibility of social media offers us accountability for our weight loss journey, especially if we're in closed groups with like-minded people. I also love the ownership in the process that's assumed when you're open to sharing the journey and making what you're doing a lifestyle, versus a on-again-off-again typical diet cycle. Mostly, I love the community and comradery social media can provide.
I used to scour the "Body For Life" forums back in 2008 when I got really fit following that program. I loved commiserating with the other participants about how I lived in the bathroom all day from all the water I was drinking or how I could barely walk up the stairs after 'leg day'. I felt like we were all in it together.
Here's where things went wrong on this little internet break I took.
In the text of the article I was enjoying, I was directed to read this article: "Seven foods to avoid if you want to lose weight, stay disease free". I ignored it but as I continued to read about how social media involvement helps with weight loss, it was also suggested I read "Revealed - Why Winter season is the best season for weight loss". I clicked on it because now I was into a little science experiment. And, the link didn't sound too "click-baity".
But, right as I started reading, it was suggested I also read: "Detox your body and lose weight with honey-lemon tea this winter". Oye. I clicked on that and just a few sentences in, was redirected to read about how Ghee can help me lose weight with a list of 5 reasons I should be eating it every day. I was mentally exhausted from all the detours. I put myself in my shoes many years ago when I was a restrict-then-binge dieter and I imagined how overwhelmed and confused I'd be if I was sifting through all this information back then.
I am a blogger, internet entrepreneur and marketer. I get it. During this experiment, the internet was feeding me articles that will strike my fancy because of my interest in the original article about weight loss. This is normal, we all get this. We're not confused anymore about why that crock pot we had in our cart on Target.com last night is now showing up in the alley of ads next to the article we're reading today (or, why the exact model shows up in our social media newsfeed until we buy the damn thing!)
Here's what sucks.
Weight loss, or the intention of losing weight, is personal. It's emotional. It's meaningful to us. We want to get past perceived failures and finally lose the weight. So, even though we know we're doing it and we're hip to the internet marketing algorithms, we go down the rabbit hole because we're DESPERATE to find the fix. We listen to ads that tell us we really just needed keto our whole lives or that eating just plants is the only solution.
So in the quiet of our homes at 2am when we're awake looking for solutions, we then find ourselves 10 articles deep on tangents about how ancient herbs will help us shed underarm fat.
What happens then? We get confused, overwhelmed and then do nothing. I did this many times before and I hear it from my clients constantly. The paralysis by analysis is a real barrier to actual progress.
The real fix is creating a lifestyle you can maintain.
You're solution won't show up in a 3-day juice cleanse, detox, tea or even a 15-day exercise challenge. These things may ignite your fire but they won't be the catalyst to real change. The real change is in finding the way of eating, moving and LIVING (for you), that is doable day after day after day after day. The restrictive solutions are sexy but they are rarely, if ever, the solution.
I say this all the time to women I work with, I don't have the special sauce. I'm not trademarking a proven trick to help women shed pounds forever. What I coach isn't ground breaking but it's real, lasting and important.
I help women to exercise intensely but not too much and eat more of the right foods with consistency. That's truly it. Of course, there's a lot of mindset work wrapped up in this but if there's anything that's not too good to be true, it's learning how to #LiveInTheMiddle. No all-in's or all-off's, just a way of living every day that keeps us focused on consistency.
I truly do want people to read my blogs and articles (thanks for being here!) but I hope to never be a part of an internet reading binge that ends in confusion, overwhelm and inaction. In fact, I'd like to help you take the first real step in your journey that's positive, realistic and helps you step into your power for change.
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