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Don’t hate on the weight-loss pitchmen

Dear Lucy: I have been overweight for years. I have tried Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, exercise and every diet known to man.


Dear Lucy: I have been overweight for years. I have tried Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, exercise and every diet known to man. I get so mad and discouraged when I turn on the TV and see yet another celebrity selling a weight loss plan. Of course it works for them; they have the money, the support, the time, the motivation (like being a successful movie star) and everything I don’t have to be successful. This is not a level playing field and it is pushed in our faces all day long on the TV. Thanks, FA.

Dear FA: The frequency and aggressiveness of the commercials and ads for weight loss products is simply a testimony to the weight challenge in America. There is so much more to losing weight and keeping it off than the program, diet or tricks one uses to get to success. This is just a part of the solution.

I get your distress, believe me. Each new commercial with Jennifer in it is more thought provoking. She just seems to look better and better! But, all of the celebrities don’t succeed. Remember Kirstie Alley? Imagine her shame and disgust when she lost all that weight only to put it all back on and get fired by the Weight Watcher folks! Yet, I saw recent reports of her on “Dancing with the Stars” having lost weight again. Will she keep it off? Who knows? But these guys signed on to live their lives under the watchful eyes and opinions of the public. It is up to us to decide if their weight loss trials have anything to offer us.

There are a number of reasons why companies hire celebrities to pitch their products. Over the years, providing jewelry, dresses, shoes and probably even underwear for the Red Carpet has become a mainstay of income for stars. Why does it work for the companies and the stars? Because the public has been trained to view these peoples’ lives and opinions as more interesting and important than their own! It is because we have come to believe that how we look is more important than how we think, behave or feel. Companies are only guilty of selling the public what the public is willing to buy. The opinions and style of celebrities sell stuff. So when someone signs up for Weight Watchers, did they sign up to look like Jennifer Hudson or did they sign up to be healthy and happy?

And then, of course, there is Charles Barkley’s Weight Watchers campaign called “Lose Like a Man.”  Do men want to be Charles Barkley or be like him?

Jennifer Hudson wrote a very moving book about her life and her weight. I believe there is great value in acknowledging people whose lives epitomize ideals we have for ourselves.

One of the longest and bestselling books about success is “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. It is over 80 years old now and looks at the lives of the great men who became millionaires during the Great Depression. Hill chronicles the traits and qualities that these men had that helped propel them to success and sustain them in hard times. Henry Ford who started Ford Motor Company had only an 8th grade education. He was creative, resourceful, determined, courageous, sought help for the things he didn’t know how to do and subsequently revolutionized a facet of transportation in the U.S.

I remember my Mother insisting that I read the lives of the great Negro pioneers who overcame the worst of degradations to become role models for future generations. “Up From Slavery” should be a jewel in every black child’s library.

Our call is to choose the ideal or dream for the life we want. Identify someone who has succeeded at what we aspire to be, do and have. Then study them, read about how they did it. Read about the qualities it took to do it. Consider the patience, courage, commitment, pain, and capacity for falling down and getting back up that they developed along the way. Choose these role models wisely and for the right reasons. Avoid the temptation to be jealous or hate on them. Look for the worthiness of your admiration. If they pass the test, then admire them, give them credit and be inspired by them. Take from their experience whatever is of value and permanent as righteous learning for growth and incorporate it into your plan for success.

To learn more, join me on March 17th for a seminar on a new approach to weight loss. Go to my web site www.heartworks4u.com or call us at 483-7754 to register.

For all of the uncelebrated Jennifer’s out there!


(Check out Lucy Shaw’s website at http://www.heartworks4u.com. You may send your questions to her by U.S. mail to: Heartworks4U, LLC; 4646 Poplar Ave. Ste 201, Memphis, TN 38117 or by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)

(For help with the feelings that get in the way of prayer and peace of mind, get Lucy’s new book, “BE NOT ANXIOUS.” Order it directly from her at 901-907-0260 or go to her web site www.heartworks4u.com.)


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