This post is about how harsh advice can lead to a Healing Process that gets results that count.
No doubt if I had provided nice or kind advice, this woman would still have a serious weight problem as so many other North Americans have.
Following is an excerpt from an e-mail that I received from a reader of my books in October 2009.
- Subject: Just a Question From a Reader To: success101coach (at ) yahoo ( dot ) com
- I have read your book, The Joy of Not Working, and perused a few of your websites, and I must say, I enjoy them very much.
I do have a question, though. What do you have against fat people? In your book, The Joy of Not Working, you suggest exercise and proper diet as a way to stay healthy. Obviously, that works for everyone. However, you suggest further measures to take if the exercise and proper diet alone aren't enough to make you thin.
I visited the site dedicated to The Joy of Not Being Married and it listed one of your reasons to stay single: You won't have to worry about your spouse getting fat on you and embarrassing you in public.
Look, I really enjoyed The Joy of Not Working and have plans to read Real Success Without a Real Job, and I really respect your work as a writer. Like I've said, though, I'm just wondering about the fat phobia. I'm not trying to start a fight--I promise.
This was my response to Abbey which I also posted on this blog post shortly after I sent it to her: (My response may be rather long and too harsh for you but do read the second e-mail that I received from Abbey.)
- Hello Abbey:
Regarding your question, I would normally not take time to reply to one of this nature, but then again, it's an opportunity to create a post for one of my many blogs or websites.
You asked me about my "fat phobia."
For arguments sake, let's say that I have the fat phobia and not you.
Interesting enough, just as I was preparing my response to you, I happened to glance at today's Edmonton Journal.
There on the second page was an article that came from the Daily Telegraph in London with the headline:
U.K. Gov't Sends Obese Kids to Fat Camp..
"Wow," I though, "this is synchronicity."
The first paragraph of the article states:
"Hundreds of thousands of Britain's overweigh children - some as young as four - will be shipped off to fat camp, under a government scheme to tackle obesity."
Of course, there are bleeding hearts in Britain who are against this even though the health of their children may suffer.
Not me, however, and not most of my friends, either.
In fact, I think it would be great if the British, U.S., and Canadian governments not only shipped children, but also adults off the "fat camps." The deal should be that if adults can't get themselves in proper shape, including a decent weight, they can't use any public healthcare system. Airlines should also charge extra for airfares for fat people as they do for extra luggage or too heavy luggage. I have had my share of experiences of having to fight fat people for the armrest. No contest, because the fat person gets the armrest and even part of my seat space with their disgusting fat body.
Fact is, North Americans and Britons didn't just become overweight because of some natural process.
There are many reasons for people being overweight and most of them are the result of laziness, self-delusion, and outright lying about their behaviors to justify themselves being overweight.
Not so long ago some health professionals studied the Amish in the U.S.. The Amish people ate many of the foods such as pies and potatoes that are supposed to make people fat. Much to the surprise of the health professionals, virtually none of the Amish men were overweight and only about 10 percent of the Amish women were overweight. Obesity was practically non-existent.
The health professionals then clocked the Amish men and women and found out that the average Amish woman made 9,000 steps a day and the average Amish man made 15,000 steps a day. One Amish man was clocked to have made 55,000 steps that day. Conclusion by the health professionals: The Amish men and women worked off the food that they consumed.
So how many steps does the average Canadian, American, or Briton make in a day? Even more important, how many steps do you make in a day? I know that I make the equivalent of 7,500 to 10,000 steps a day. Some days I make the equivalent of 20,000 steps.
Even more recently, I read about a research study that found that "people who hang around fat people end up getting fat themselves." Some people were shocked by this study, but then again, this was no surprise to me. It's an extension of people who hang around with losers end up being losers themselves. Another variation is the one when parents warn their children that if they hang around with kids who get in trouble, they will end up in trouble themselves. This is definitely true and I found out this the hard way. On more than one occassion I wound up in trouble for hanging around the wrong people. Not anymore though. I don't hang around with people that can get me in trouble. I also don't hang around with fat people.
Even before reading this study about people getting fat if they hang around fat people, I would much rather hang around slender people who are into rigoroous exercise and healthy eating because these people as a whole are also more inspirational to be with.
I think it's totally disgusting that Britons, Americans, and Canadians are so overweight. The facts are straightforward: North Americans are much heavier than they were 20 or 30 or 40 years ago. This is not a natural process of evolution. It is due to North Americans overeating, filling their fat faces with more and more junk food, and being too lazy to exercise.
What I find even more disgusting is how people then lie — yes lie — about this. Be clear that most excuses people make are outright lies and these excuses should be definitely labeled as lies — nothing less!
In this regard, here is an inspirational quote from one of the books that Oprah said was one her favorites and most important of all time:
"Ninety-five percent of the beliefs we have stored in our minds are nothing but lies, and we suffer because we believe all those lies."
— Don Miguel Ruiz, in The Four Agreements
For example, recently I heard some woman who claimed to be a health professional on a CBC radio talk show state that "diets don't work because 60 to 65 percent of people go off the diets and regain weight within a certain period of time." I didn't have time to phone the radio station to tell this woman that she was lying and doing a disservice to humanity by stating a stupid lie like this.
Point is, what about the other 35 percent to 40 percent? These people stay on the diets and their weight is just fine. This means that diets do work! It's not that the diets don't work. It's that people don't have the will power or are too lazy to stay on the diets. Then they lie about it by making silly, untrue statements that diets don't work.
Of course, overweight people love to hear lies like this because it gives them another excuse to go on with their self-destructive behavior. But as Don Miguel Ruiz says in The Four Agreements, people keep on believing the lies they keep telling themselves and keep suffering because of this.
I know that diets along with exercise work simply because in my early 20s I was about 175 pounds. I remember going to a doctor and he poked me in my gut and asked, "What's with the fat gut?" When I left the doctor's office I was pretty mad at him but it's the best thing that he could have said to me.
Was the doctor mean? Not at all; he was just telling the truth, which I also do in my books and to people with whom I associate. (Of course, most people would rather hear lies than the truth if the truth is something that addresses something not so pleasant ).
Shortly after that I got into playing tennis and cycling and running. And I am not talking about "cycling" by going for a "candy-ass bike ride" by cycling slowly at the pace of a snail like most people do. I am talking about cycling at a rigorous pace for at least one hour straight, a pace that over 95 percent of people my age and over 85 percent of people 20 years younger than me could not keep up because they are so overweight and out-of-shape.
Today I tip the scales at 155 pounds (I am 5 foot, 11inches, by the way). This is because of the rigorous exercise that I indulge in every day and the decent foods that I eat. I am 20 pounds lighter than I was 25 years ago. So much for the "bullshit" that I have heard over the years from medical and health experts that it is natural for people to put on an extra pound or two every year.
There is no doubt that when I turn 70 years old I can still tip the scales at 155 pounds provided I eat right (this means never, never having sugar or any junk food in my house and following many other important principles of proper eating) and provided that I indulge in at least one hour of intense exercise every day - no exceptions (and no candy-ass exercise that overweight people deceive themselves with). Again, I don't like excuses because over 95 percent excuses that people use are outright lies.
I could provide much more evidence to support that the best way to stay at a decent weight is to never eat more than you are willing to burn off with intense exercise, but I find that most people don't like to hear the truth. That includes my sister and brother who are both overweight but were not overweight just a few years ago. I can assure you that if they had over the years followed my exercise routine of a minimum of one hour of intense, sweat-inducing exercise to the point that all their clothing is totally drenched, and my healthy eating regime, they would not be one pound overweight.
If you think that I am not a nice person because of my response to you, you are right.
I am the first to admit that I am not a nice person. I am a good person, however.
Talk to people who knew him, and they will say that Bernie Madoff was a "nice person." Enough said about nice people.
Fact is, if you want to hear the truth, hang around with good people, who will not seem that nice when they speak the truth, simply because most people don't want to hear the truth. If you want to hear many lies that will reinforce your false beliefs and practices that don't work, hang around with nice people.
In my book 101 Really Important Things You Already Know, But Keep Forgetting, one of the chapters is titled "Nice People Are Often Not Good People and Good People Are Often Not Nice People."
I have attached an E-book in PDF format with some sample chapters from the book, which happens to include this important chapter.
I have also attached a scan of the review of the book by Herb Denenberg of The Philadelphia Bulletin in which he says, "This Zelinski guy knows how to write prose that has the potential to become those old proverbs everyone repeats."
And note that one of the 101 chapters that Herb Denenberg cites as really important in his article is "The shortcut to being fit and trim is long-term rigorous action."
Yes, you probably still think that I have the "fat phobia."
I am thin and of the ideal weight, however, according to guidelines issued by health professionals.
As Jack Canfield says, "Results don't lie."
But excuses, false beliefs, and self-deceptive, self-destructive behaviors are in effect lies that most people adopt and even hold on to dearly while wondering why their lives are not working.
You mention thinking about reading one of my other books.
May I suggest that you read Career Success Without a Real Job instead of Real Success Without a Real Job. The former is an updated version of the latter.
So long for now,.
Ernie Zelinski, International Best-Selling Author, Innovator, and Prosperity Life Coach
After I posted the first e-mail from Abbey and my response to Abbey, much to my surprise, this is the response that I received from Abbey on December 28, 2010, about 14 months after my harsh, but true, response to her:
- Hi, Ernie.
- You probably don't remember me, but I'll see if I can jog your memory.
- I e-mailed you about a year or so ago about what I called your "fat phobia".
- I want to say that I couldn't have been more wrong about that.
- After reading your response, a light turned on in my head. I was already making a great living from home by doing voice overs, but I wasn't as happy as I should have been. I thought to myself, "What exactly will I lose if I start exercising every day instead of just going for a walk every now and then?"
- Well, besides weight, I mean. I now jog five miles everyday, and I've recently added strength to my workout routine. I didn't just stop there, though. I turned off the TV (for good) and started doing more useful, meaningful things with my life.
- I'm reading more, I'm learning Russian, I've joined a cycling club, I'm creating art, and the best thing of all, I went from a size 10/12 to a size 4, and I look and feel SO much better! I was just looking for excuses a year ago. I figured, "Oh, I've had extra weight since I was 10. Maybe I'm just supposed to be this way." Looking back on that now, I see how stupid that thinking was. I wasn't even exercising, but I told myself I was just supposed to be chubby! And to be perfectly honest with you, I don't even miss the sugar-y, rich foods that I was stuffing myself with back then.
- The thing I'm most grateful about is that I got control of it early (I'm 23), instead of having to struggle with it later on in life. Anyway, to end this long story, I want to say thank you.
- Your books and words are inspirational.