I realize that there is a large number of people in this country that need to lose weight. I was one of those people. I wanted a quick fix and wanted to lose weight fast. What makes me mad about this and still does is the idea that you can lose weight in a healthy manner – fast. It doesn’t happen like that. The only way to lose weight extremely fast is to burn more calories than you eat in a day. In order to have results in 2 weeks or less you must drastically reduce the calories you eat and exercise more. Neither of which are healthy. What you need to successfully lose weight and keep the weight off are lifestyle changes. If you are eating bad you need to analyze what you eat and how much of it. If you are sedentary then you need to get moving.

I also realize that weight loss stories sell. This also makes me mad.

I would like JUST ONCE to open a magazine and not see a story about weight. Why have so many women and men struggled in this country with body image issues? Because we are a society OBSESSED with how we look.

We all deal with the weight issue differently but it is sad to say that it is there for most of us. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that someone has to be skinny to have an eating disorder. Most women I have known in my life who have had or have an eating disorder or disordered eating are not super skinny. Some of them have gotten skinny, but rest assured their bodies are smart. They will not be able to keep this up for life with out repercussions. Eating issues, just like runners – come in all shapes and sizes.

I’m tired of every month something about weight being front and center on the cover of the FITNESS magazines I get.

I realize I’m on a bit of a rant here but hear me out. Yes you can get faster if you need to lose weight. Focus on the NEED to lose weight. Yes there are many of us that need to lose weight because it is unhealthy to carry around excess fat from overeating or from making poor food choices. BUT in order to have a healthy attitude about food and weight loss I wish I saw articles that said.

Tips on how to clean up your nutrition.

Are you eating the right foods to fuel your body?

Learning to embrace your body.

The fittest women in Hollywood {Notice I didn’t say the best looking – I want to read about women who worked hard to get rock hard bodies – not about those women who starve themselves to be thin and in the mean time make me think I should be doing the same so I can look like them}

I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired of reading about how to:

Slim down by Christmas.

Lose weight quick. 

Beat the holiday bulge.

Are these celebrities too thin? [This makes some of us feel like we need to be too thin too and if we don’t have people telling us we are too thin then we must be big – warped thinking – I know]

Fast-Track Weight Loss?

Loosing a belly is NOT easy – it’s hard work
Pretty sure I will never be able to Kiss Cellulite Goodbye
Can you really guarantee the results?

For these reasons Running Times is my favorite magazine. When I get an issue of Running Times, it’s about RUNNING. If it has an article on weight – it tells me how to get fitter. Not skinnier but fitter. 

I think it’s time we analyze what we read. If something that may be harmless to someone else is causing you to have an issue, then stop reading it. Stop looking at it.

I do not have a subscription to Life & Style anymore, same with US Weekly. Why? I don’t want my daughter growing up in a household that thinks she should look like a super model at all times and if she doesn’t or has cellulite – she should be criticized for all the world to read about.

I’d much rather read about Emily finding ways to work out despite having a broken foot or read Lauren’s hilarious post on how to take a great race photo.

I choose to fight the issues I have so I can raise a happy healthy children, who I pray will never have any issues with how much they eat or don’t eat.

Pardon me as I step down from my soapbox…..

What do you feel about the media? Do weight loss articles help you or make you feel bad about yourself?

Note: I wrote yesterdays post about weight on Tuesday night. I had been reading a magazine. On the front cover was another story about how to lose weight and quick. It made me angry. Not just a little angry, but REALLY REALLY angry.

I ran upstairs and hopped on the computer and wrote my post. I decided not to post it and to sleep on what I had written. I woke up in the morning – felt good about what I had decided to say and added pictures. I hit post. I didn’t realize it until today that I forgot to change the time stamp to post when I hit post. It posted the time that I had started to write. 8:18.


  1. I love this post! Those magazine articles drive me CRAZY! I pick up a fitness magazine looking for ways to become more fit and strong, new food or recipe ideas, or fun ways to stay active and end up reading pages of diet advice and frankly bad fitness advice. I totally agree that what some people need are LIFESTYLE changes, not quick fixes and that is not what these magazines are selling. Its sad that the quick fix and skinny model is what sells, because readers need to see simple, sustainable ways to live a healthier life.

    Hmm, trying not to go off on a rant myself… :)

  2. I read Shape for many years and ditched my subscription last year because I was tired of all the lose weight quickly, get fit quickly articles. Fitness doesn't happen quickly. It happens over time when you exercise and feed your body correctly. Now I avoid reading articles and magazine that focus on the superficial.

  3. mollyberrieshodgepodge says:

    AMEN! It is incredibly frustrating as a health & wellness professional to see and read the covers of these magazines and to also read blogs and listen to friends and family only focus on the weight-loss side of things in terms of exercise. Everywhere you turn it is about losing weight and looking great. How about all of the other health benefits from solid nutrition and physical activity habits? The prevention of disease like heart disease, diabetes, certain forms of cancer, etc. are linked to not only our genetics but our nutrition and physical activity habits and stress levels. AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! – that's me screaming. SO SO SO frustrating. I no longer subscribe to any magazines, the majority of them are such trash. If I ever have children I want them to grow up appreciating wholesome meals and understand how the food is fuel for our bodies so that we can do amazing things like run!

  4. fashionablemiles says:

    The media hype around quick weight loss is frustrating- mostly because yes, you can shed weight quickly, but NO you won't be healthy, happy or keep it off! yo-yo dieting is one of the leading causes of obesity. it's TERRIBLE for our bodies to constantly be up and down drastically.

    The other thing not often mentioned about celebrities is that they have MILLIONS to spend on personal trainers and pre-made food and they often have hours a day to commit to working out. That's not real life for most of America or the world.

    I do appreciate the most recent issue of Runner's World for featuring "real runners" instead of pros.

    Glad I'm not the only one who gets on her soapbox sometimes :)

  5. Jerilee E. says:

    Well, I used to be one of those people looking for the fast fix. It is possible to change that thinking!
    I spent years trying to lose weight quickly- but it never lasted because I didn't address the root of the problem. It is not a fast process, but it is so worth it.
    I have family members that have been doing the HCG diet (500 calories a day!) which works for a while- but most of them gain all the weight back and more when they stop. It makes me crazy.

  6. That first cover of Kelly Osborne was especially bad. I mean heck the sides of her body are a perfect line – even around the top of her suit.

    It's so photoshopped it's freaky.

  7. marathonwiner says:

    i completely agree, but to play devils advocate…for as many magazine stories on how to loose weight fast, theres another news story about the growing number of diabetes patients and heart problems taking over america. so on the one hand, we have news and actual facts telling us that if we dont get off the couch and get healthy we're doomed to diabetes and severe health problems. and then when looking to solve those weight problems, women turn to those flashy magazine headlines. i wish more media and magazines were like running times and could lay out the facts on how to get fit in a healthy way.

  8. Lindsay @ Lindsay's List says:

    Wholeheartedly agree with everything you just said. Actually wrote my story about ED and weight yesterday: http://lindsayslist.co/2011/11/my-eating-disorder-part-i/ (hope it's ok to include that link: take it down if you like). I'm not blaming the media, but it SURELY isn't helping!!!

  9. I lost all my baby weight after my 4th baby (I had gained 40 lbs) in about 8 weeks. Without exercising and while eating a normal (for my size) amount of calories. A lot has to do with food choices. When people asked me "how did you do it?" and I told them, they always said, "wow…I could never do that." I didn't do it to look better, I did it because eating that way is healthier!

  10. Nothing quick ever lasted!!! Hard work and things done right pay off in the end!! I do admit I will take some tips from some of these articles I see, BUT it always gets integrated into a much larger plan!

  11. I think I have mentioned this to you in the past but I used to be anorexic in my early 20's. It all started when I was trying to be "healthy" and wanted to learn about healthy eating. All of those "health" magazines (Shape, Self, etc,) equate health with weight loss. All of the advice I was getting was telling me to count calories. Articles like "250-calorie breakfasts" made me think that my breakfast needed to be 250 calories or less. And usually it was less because I'm a naturally small person so I figured I should do even less. I don't blame the media for my eating disorder, but it helped me justify what I was doing. The articles that said "pay close attention to serving size" made me cut down my normal lunch of baked beans (an entire can) down to just 1/3 a can. I now realize that you are supposed to eat baked beans as a side item, but it's all about the rationalization.

    I know you weigh yourself a lot and I think the next challenge for you might be to avoid the scale for a few weeks. I only weigh myself about once a week, or less. To recover from the ED I had to stop entirely for a few years. You have so many wonderful numbers in your life, you don't need the scale giving you a number that you might not like!!!

  12. Jay Stancil says:

    I've always heard the faster you lose the weight, the quicker you'll put it back on. And I've seen evidence of this time and time again. I'm not concerned about being skinny as I am fit. I want to be fit so not only will I be around for my kids, grandkids and Lord willing my great-grandkids, but I want to get down and play with them as well. I want them to say, "Dad (or grandpa) I'm tired. You're wearing me out."

  13. I loved this rant. THANK YOU. I write about weight a lot more than I would like because people ask me about it ALL THE TIME. While I was pregnant, I was regularly asked, "Have you gained much weight?" I don't mind answering people's questions because I like to be helpful. But I try not to focus on the scale numbers. Society makes it hard to do! No one ever asks about my exercise routine.

  14. I hope you don't mind but I have linked this post on PGM Facebook page.
    You have summed up very well an ongoing topic. If a diet is "too good to be true" well then yes it is, the quick "loose 20lbs by Christmas" will only make you feel like a failure. And yet they are there, month in month out. I wonder if they serve to some as a reminder to DO SOMETHING to kick start a healthier lifestyle or just make us feel totally inadequate and fat???!! I do tend to look past them but not everyone is as hard as I am (having tried SO many of these fixes in the past), the print industry are feeding on a world of fear.

  15. I think as a mother, I fear these magazines now more than ever. I am so fearful of my daughters thinking that they need to be like celebrities and they need to be on a diet. I dieted as a teenager and it lead to terrible eating habits. Currently I try my best to show my kids how to eat right, and can only hope that these magazine articles will not influence them in the future.

  16. carljsamuelson says:

    It took me a year, but I lost 100 pounds. How? Changed my diet, and took up running. It was a complete lifestyle change. Why? Wanted to make sure I could watch my kids grow up. This December is my third anniversary of running, and I'll be running my fourth marathon.

    Slow and easy is how I went about it, and now that it's gone I find myself constantly running from who I was, towards who I want to be.

    Great post, great rant. You nailed it. There are no "quick fixes".

  17. Running Moose says:

    I agree with Carl! I lost 60 with a total lifestyle change! No more sweets or sugary things for me! Lots more fruits and vegetables and eating smaller portions. I also starting running, biking and swimming for exercise (I only run now).
    There is no quick fix that you can do and then go back to what you were before. It will never work. It has to be a TOTAL life change!

  18. {lifeasa}RunningMom says:

    I can always count on you to state things how they are. I totally agree that the media, particularly magazines, focus way too much on being skinny. I do support articles talking about health and am willing to take a stand against childhood obesity. But I am also staged to be there for my daughter as she realizes she has the same thighs, hips, butt as Mommy. It caused me so much grief in high school and I feel I was always on the verge of an eating disorder. However, I know those same features help me run and I am thankful for what I was given. It is me.

    I am going to have to give Running Times a try. It looks like a good read. I still do like Runner's World and ignore the few weight focused articles but I no longer even glance at Shape. I was given a subscription and don't even look at them anymore because it was all about losing weight quick….every page….every month….what I needed to do to get quick results and honestly, it was depressing and drove me mad!

  19. I just posted yesterday about my own weight loss (75 lbs) . Nothing easy about it. I agree with you and I tend to not want to buy the mags who are trying to sell crazy weight loss stories…loose 10 lbs in 5 minutes kind of stories. I also am allergic to all those celebrity pics "how I got my boday back with the help of photoshop and airbrushing"

    I used to get Us Weekly and no more for me also.

  20. Yeah, there really should be much more emphasis on fitness. Even with so many athletes and sportswomen doing well the media focuses on the "celebrity". If women's sport was promoted as much as men's sport maybe more young women will look to fitness as a solution rather than starvation.

  21. I just read a couple of your posts on weight loss (I'm new to your blog) and I am that person who weighs 200lbs. and needs to loose 50. I've struggled with weight loss for awhile now and I have been watching my SIL who fell for one of the quick fixes because she claims she's a food addict and can't loose the weight any other way. She had gastric bypass 6 months ago and has lost 60+ lbs. To say I'm not jealous about the amount of weight she has lost would be wrong. I have struggled with body image my whole life, and yes, magazine covers don't help. I am trying everyday to focus on being fit and healthy , rather than just thin, and I'm doing this with running. I'm signed up to run my 3rd half this spring!

  22. HCG Washington says:

    Hello Admin, this blog is just incredible. The pictures of the fitness magazines have become more complete with this article. Thank you for your great work!!

  23. You're spot on again Dorothy! I admit I have struggled with disordered eating & still do from time to time but I know that the best way to be healthy & maintain and ideal weight is to make healthy lifestyle changes, not short term weight loss secrets. Yes, I am a BB coach which promotes health and fitness products but these are products to be used in a scope of developing an overall active and healthy lifestyle and so I post a lot about health and fitness on fb and twitter. However, I too hate seeing all these magazine articles and stories about how to get in shape quickly or lose weight fast, etc… Really? If it were truly that easy than why is so much of America still obese?

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