Thursday, January 10, 2008


I spend very little time watching television, which is a complete 180 from when I was in high school and watched tv straight from 4:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. or later (with an hour's break for supper). However, when I'm at the gym and I forget my iPod, it's kinda nice to have something to break the monotony. So on Tuesday, when I was doing the treadmill work, I found a tv show on the BBC America network entitled "You Are What You Eat." I swear, that show has got to be mind-changing.

Basically the premise is that a lady named Jillian something-or-other (not even sure if she's an RD, they never say- they only call her the "shock jock of nutrition") invades these people's homes and changes their eating habits in 8 weeks. And by change I mean complete overhaul. Then, during that time she provides education, recipes, phone consulting (aka "abuse"), etc.

Of course, this being television, the worst offenders must be found and showcased, and it was just absolutely amazing what kind of junk these people were living off of. And then they wonder why they're tired, look awful, can't seem to get a thing done, and have fat kids. On one show, a family of 6 went through 2 tubs of margarine and 12 loaves of white bread in a week! The next show had a family of two (2!) going through 4 LITERS of vegetable oil a week. I nearly puked. Of course, so did the people when they were told to "drink up!" as they were handed an 8 oz. glass of the pure oil. That, however, does not compare to the female in the family who actually did puke when she tried some bean soup.

However, on to the subject I really wanted to talk about: mindset. It was extremely interesting to see the differences in mindset between the first show and the second. In the first, the mother really did want her and her family's eating habits to change. Everything Jillian told them about how they were wrecking their health, they listened to and took seriously. The kids were totally willing to try the new foods after seeing the pile of lunch meat they went through in a week. As a consequence, the family was healthier, leaner, and much happier at the end of the eight weeks.

In the second show, the couple was completely in denial about how crappy they were eating. The man called his belly his "muscle" or some such thing, and the wife said it was "sexy". Both of them looked awful. However, they weren't taking Jillian seriously at all, the wife was laughing it off and the man kept saying things like "well it's good, it tastes good, and I need it." The wife was also completely unwilling to try the new foods. However, somehow Jillian managed to get through to them, and at the end of the eight weeks, they had made some progress. I don't believe for a second, however, that they stuck to their new habits after the show was done. If they did, then I'll be darned.

See the difference? A family who wanted to get educated and was willing to try something new, versus the couple who were in denial. Who had better progress? Who learned more? Who was more likely to stick to the new habits once the public eye was gone?

It's amazing what mindset can do to a person.


Vince said...

That has go to be the same Jillian from the show The Biggest Loser. If that woman can't motivate a person no one can.

Change can be really hard especially when it involves something that's been a part of your life for a long time. I think being willing to take a chance at change is a big step.

Carrie said...

Nah, it's a different Jillian (she's British). However, she definitely uses some shock tactics to get people to look more objectively at their ways. Sometimes that's what it takes; force yourself to step back and look at yourself objectively.

Change is also easier for the willing, isn't it?

Rob Tucker said...

I just sent myself an email to find that show and DVR it. Thanks for the heads up.

GeneTheK said...

Embracing the 3 D's - Deny, Deny, Deny only leads to trouble. Funny thing about those "reality shows" like you pointed out is that they showcase some of the worst possible offenders. Makes you wonder how "real" it is.

Misery loves company and there is a TON (pun intended) of it on TV.

Great blog Carrie. I'm going to add you to my list.

Jim McCoy said...

Mindset is everything, no matter what you're attempting. This is one example, but it's far from the only one. You have to have your head in the game if you want to win. It's that simple