I Can Make You Thin, Part 5: Your Perfect Body

Paul McKenna’s program dealt with self image this week.  One of his first statements in the show was, “I’m going to show you at home how to be confident in yourself.”

I’ll say this for the program as a whole, he has hit upon most of the big issues with weight loss.  On the practical side, his four rules, though nothing new, combined with exercise from episode four, is an effective diet (and it is a diet, no matter what he would prefer to call it).  As I said this is nothing new, and if people who watch his program or read his books stick to this plan, they will probably lose weight.

The other three episodes of his program have dealt with many of the psychological problems that lead to people being overweight and failing in their weight loss programs.  While helping people to deal with cravings and the negative self image that can cuase them to fail repeatedly in their attempts to lose weight is a laudable goal, it is Paul’s methodology that loses me.

This week he used something akin to role-playing to help people to “reprogram” (his word) their minds to ‘feel better about’ themselves.  The first part involved a symbolic removal and casting away of all of the bad thoughts they have about themselves (this seemed almost like a religious rite).  The second part involved imagining themselves in the body of a person that they assumed was confident in his or her own body, and then to transfer those thoughts to themselves, and finally, he encouraged them to look at themselves through the eyes of someone that they assumed to respect and love them.  They were then to transfer those thoughts to themselves, yet again.  All of these activities look like they come right out of a psychologists handbook (which, to me, actually elevates them above some of his other ideas)  I want to say here that I really hope these exercises do help his audience to feel better about themselves, since a positive attitude is integral to an effective weight loss program (tomorrow I will have a post explaining how my own program has dealt with this).

As I’ve stated before, I’m not a psychologist, but psychology was my major for three semesters in college.  I have about 20 hours of psychological theory under my belt.  The problem was that all of the classes I had only led me to become disillusioned with the field.  I used to say that psychological theories were largely based on psychologists coming up with ideas, throwing them against a wall, and if any of the ideas stuck, they went with them.  For me, psychology was developed by a group of men and women who were attempting to apply earthy answers to spiritual problems, and the roads seem to be littered with the corpses of psychology patients that failed to get emotionally better or got worse through the efforts of a psychological theory.

That being said, apart from the whole world becoming spiritually enlightened (and I mean through Christianity, as I am a Christian, and this global enlightenment is not very realistic), psychology is about the only alternative out there for people with real or emotional problems.

Paul McKenna’s program, TFT, self hypnosis and the like seem to take my problems with psychology a step further.  Here we have a theory whose only basis is to modify the way a person thinks through repetitive actions.  I will reiterate the fact that I have chosen not to participate in these actions (please view my other Paul McKenna posts for my reasons).

In the end, most of this theory looks like a big placebo to me.  That being said, the ‘placebo effect’ has proven that placebos can have a powerful effect on some people.  As I have stated before, I hope that lot’s of his viewers have success on his program.  However, I worry about those who are not affected in a positive manner.  Could their self image be even more damaged by yet another failure?  I guess that’s just how it is with all diets until you get one that works for you or you figure it out for yourself.

 

Good luck.

Paul McKenna Stuff

I Can Make You Thin With Paul McKenna

I Can Make You Crazy With Paul McKenna

Who Is Paul McKenna Anyway?

I Can Make You Thin- Busting Your Carvings

I Can Make You Thin- Supercharge Your Metabolism

I Can Make You Thin, Part 5- Your Perfect Body

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Rebuttal

To: Mileah, who commented on my article, Supercharge Your Metabolism: I Can Make You Thin, Part 4

It was nice to see the compliment at the front of your article regarding the fact that I have been unbiased in my presentation so far.  It’s true that I have made an effort to keep my tone on this subject fairly serious so that the people who read these posts will also take them seriously.  I have also attempted to use common sense and facts, as I find them, when dealing with this matter.  Finally, as I have said, I truly hope that there are those out there who find something useful in Paul McKenna’s program.

 

However, you say that I am not qualified to evaluate the benefits of the program.  On the contrary, on my blog, I am qualified to evaluate whatever I want.  To quote you:

“You do not have the life experience of emotional eating, cravings, and living to eat versus eating to live. Over weight people – we are talking morbidly obesed that have had a lifetime battle with weight – can not even comprehend “weight loss is all about discipline, from preparation to implementation”. They would probably do anything short of dying to think and feel the way you have described.”

For you to say that I am not qualified to speak about an issue, and then to go off talking about overweight people as if I am not one of them, shows that you did not take the time to look at the 15 articles that I have already written chronicling my own struggle lose weight.  I began this diet weighing 359 lbs.  If that is not obese, I must be a horse.  I am 39 years old (It’s in my bio, if you want to look), and I have been overweight all of my life.

I repeatedly encourage people who read my articles to talk to their doctors before taking any of my advice, and  even in the quote that you cite, it says, “For me…” at the beginning.  That’s the point, these things have worked “for me”.  I have spent a lot of time explaining my motivations, and why I am experiencing success this time.  I encourage you to read them (at least read them before posting a comment such as this).

You state that overweight people would love to feel the way that I feel.  My whole point was that my feelings about the subject are irrelevant.  Perhaps this is the key, to use personal discipline to put your feelings about weight loss on the back burner.  My feelings are irrelevant because the decision to lose weight has already been made.  Anything I do comes under scrutiny.  Does it help me lose weight?  That is the question.

I talked to a friend during the holidays who had experienced significant weight loss due to gastric bypass surgery.  At the time, I was seriously considering having the procedure.  I had already decided that I was going to lose weight, and surgery was a serious option.  He was very serious about the implications of the procedure.  He called it a ‘life-change’ rather than a ‘lifestyle change,” and for that reason, I decided to attempt to lose weight on my own before I went under the knife.  It sounds in your comment, as if you are not completely happy with all of the things bypass surgery has done to your own life, and that is my point.  If my experiences can help one other person to have success in their own attempt to lose weight, then I will be happy.

Paul McKenna is another story altogether.  I started watching the show with no preconceived notions as to who he was and what his purpose was.  I was truly hoping to get some good ideas that I could apply to what I am already doing.  I have been watching The Biggest Loser for the same reason, and can say that there have been several useful tidbits of information on this show squeezed in between all of the product placements (I really do like the show).  However, the more I watched McKenna, the more I found myself wary of his approach.

My early impressions of McKenna and the show were not positive.  I have a friend who says, “If it looks like a duck, flies like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck.”  This applies well to my first impressions of McKenna and his program, especially the “quack” part.

My mother used to say, “If someone told you to jump off a cliff, would you?”  This applies perfectly to this situation.  If someone starts telling me to tap my body to control my hunger, I’m going to find out what the deal is.  I do not take anything I read in the internet or watch on television at face value, so I decided to do a little looking around.

I found out that Paul McKenna is a world-renowned hypnotherapist, a fact that he has curiously neglected to inform his audience of.  I also found out that his program is elsewhere referred to as TFT (Thought Field Therapy), a form of self-hypnosis.  His scientists are all heavily involved in TFT, and one of them, Callahan, has been sued by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), and lost, for making false claims about the effectiveness of the program.  In fact, Monica Pignotti MSW did a blind study with some participants tapping while others did not.  In the end, there was no difference in the weight lost by both groups.

Even McKenna’s own representatives when chided by a British watchdog group admitted that they have no empirical data with which to back up any of their claims. In an article many of McKenna’s claims are challenged

Paul McKenna Training claimed to have carried out two surveys, three months and six months after the event, showing that 71% of participants had lost weight. But the ASA said the research was not substantive enough to support the claim that all participants would lose weight and keep it off forever. The hypnotist, a bestselling author of self-help books including I Can Make You Thin, claims on his website that his seminars are “the world’s most effective weight loss system” and “7x more effective than any diet”.

A spokesman for Mr McKenna said: “We do think our system is the most effective available but accept we cannot yet supply independent research comparing the system to other methods.

“We will not repeat the statement until we have independent research to substantiate it.”

People seem to look for a quick fix for there problems, or for someone else to fix their problems for them.  I argue that if you have psychological issues that are causing you to overeat, you need to address those issues before you can hope to have success, and once this is accomplished using personal discipline to complete the process with lead to feelings of accomplishment that will go beyond how much you weigh.  Or,…you could just have the surgery.

Paul McKenna Stuff

I Can Make You Thin With Paul McKenna

I Can Make You Crazy With Paul McKenna

Who Is Paul McKenna Anyway?

I Can Make You Thin- Busting Your Carvings

I Can Make You Thin- Supercharge Your Metabolism

I Can Make You Thin, Part 5- Your Perfect Body

Lists

Supercharge Your Metabolism: I Can Make You Thin, Part 4

Finally, I found something in this presentation that applies to me and the program that I am on.  Unfortunately, it is something I was already doing and have already experienced success with.

There was not so much recap and cheerleading at the beginning of the program this week, which was refreshing.  Paul then announced that he would be teaching the viewer to “supercharge” his metabolism.  Through this program we will be able to “burn fat without joining a gym.”  We will “program our brain and body to speed up metabolism.”  He was correct to tell us that metabolism is not fixed, and then promised that “tonight we are going to speed up your metabolism.”

He encouraged his audience to use his method, and stop starving ourselves through dieting.  He (I think correctly) informed us that starving ourselves through dieting causes our bodies to slow their metabolisms.  By doing this, we train our bodies to store fat.

He continues to refer to the professionals who support his program as scientists.  Rubens is an MD.  This is not the type of person I generally associate with being a scientist in the research sense.  I guess if we are splitting hairs, then my Bachelors of Science in Education would make me a scientist too.  Maggie Carroll is a Marriage and Family Therapist.  I already exposed the issues with Roger Callahan in another post.  These things bother me.  I want to see some numbers, facts and real scientists that back up his claims.  The language in the decision involving a lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission against Callahan deals directly with some of the methods that Paul McKenna uses and directly comments that they should never be confused with science (http://www.ftc.gov/os/1998/04/callahan.do.htm ).  I did, however, agree with Carroll when she said, “All you have to do is burn more calories than you are consuming to loose weight.”  This just makes sense.

McKenna, then got heavily into the benefits of exercise to a weight loss program.  As he said, exercise is one of the best ways to loose weight (I, personally, would have preferred if he had refrained from the reference to sex as exercise in that room).  The most useful things that I have gotten from the program so far were the numbers that he presented about walking. 

I have been walking about an hour a day since early in my program (I worked my way up to this for a couple of weeks).  I actually own a pedometer, and had not even thought about using it to gauge how I am doing.  He told the audience that most overweight people do not walk as far fit people (6000 steps a day to 4000 steps a day).  I buy that.  These are firm numbers that I can use.  For the next week, I plan to wear the pedometer and see how far I am walking on a daily basis.

He then began to deal with people’s perceptions of exercise.  It is true that many people do think negatively about exercise, but this is the part of the program that took a left turn for me once again.  He pulled out the finger and thumb association thing again this week.  He then attempted to use this method to link his viewers’ feelings of pleasure and compulsion (his word) to pressing their right thumb and middle finger together.  I have stated before, that I am out on this stuff.  Please read my other posts for my reasons.  In the first week, I commented that his program would work well for the OCD crowd.  I guess I hit that nail on the head. 

I also think this would work well for people who have low self-esteem (which may be a lot of overweight people). These people probably do not have the faith in themselves to believe that they can lose weight on their own.  His program takes that responsibility away from them, and puts it, oddly enough, on their thumb and middle finger (and Paul McKenna, of course).  I hope it works for them.

This program his solidified for me that the most important aspect of my program is discipline.  He uses the word motivation when he talks about his system, and I have dealt with my motivations in another post.  His followers do not have to have a lot of discipline.  They are training themselves ‘externally’ rather than disciplining themselves ‘internally’.  He also spoon-feeds their entitlement attitude by continually dealing with the feelings of his audience.  That is what the whole thumb/finger thing is about: catering to and modifying one’s feelings. 

For me, weight loss is all about discipline, from preparation to implementation.  How I feel is irrelevant. Sure there are days when I do not feel as well as others, but if I have the time and opportunity, I still get out and walk for an hour.  I just may not push myself as hard as when I feel great, but I still put in the time.

I have no cravings for bad things because these things simply are not an option for me. I eat well, and the things that I prepare are things that I would think tasted good whether I was on a diet or not, they are just good for me, and they fill me up.  This helps keep my metabolism going.  When I think of what I am going to have for dinner, I build a craving toward that thing throughout the day, and when it comes time to eat, I feel full and content with my meal.

Paul and I use some of the same ideas in our programs, but there is a fundamental difference in responsibility and the amount of food that is eaten.

Paul McKenna Stuff

I Can Make You Thin With Paul McKenna

I Can Make You Crazy With Paul McKenna

Who Is Paul McKenna Anyway?

I Can Make You Thin- Busting Your Carvings

I Can Make You Thin- Supercharge Your Metabolism

I Can Make You Thin, Part 5- Your Perfect Body

Lists

I Can Make You Thin- Busting Your Cravings

I am not going to spend a lot of time rehashing the things I have already said that I do not like about this show.  They still apply, and can be found in my other posts regarding the program.  It still has an infomercial atmosphere, and continues to be extremely repetitive while offering little new content.

The focus this week was on Cravings and Binge Eating.  He focuses on reprogramming the mind and says that “the reason it is hard to overcome cravings is because the imagination is always stronger than the mind.”  I personally find this a little offensive.  While this may indeed be the case for many people, it is only true if they let it be that way.  I know there are people who have true eating disorders that compel them to binge on certain foods.  These people would probably do best to seek professional assistance, and attempt to overcome the real problems behind the fact that they are binging.  I also believe that there are a lot of people whose entitlement mentality leads them to expect other people to discipline their lives for them.  “I can’t do it.”  That is B.S.  You simply do not want to do it, or you want someone else to do it for you.  It’s all about feelings, but they can be controlled also, without tricking your mind.

He then goes into the finger thing again, only this time the bit is a little different.  This time the person who wants to control his or her weight is supposed to squeeze their left middle finger and thumb together while thinking of something gross combined with the item that the person craves.  For example, if you crave Jelly Bellies, you should do the hand bit, and think of eating a hand-full of the Jelly Bellies mixed with say… maggots.  Yum, yum.

I like chocolate, but I am not eating it on my diet.  I have found that it takes little effort to avoid it even though there is a still half-full Easter basket of chocolate belonging to my daughter sitting right on the kitchen table.  I even give it to her without ever considering even taking one bite.  On the other hand, I like the fact that I like chocolate, and someday, after I have lost the weight, I am going to be able to eat it like any normal person does.  I definitely do not want to carry a whole lot of mental baggage regarding chocolate and worms or hair around with me. 

You are also supposed to use the right hand in the same way, but to give yourself good feelings associated with something other than the food.  I guess if you get good enough at this, you won’t need your wife or girlfriend anymore.  “Oh…, right thumb and middle finger, you make me feel so good.  I don’t know what I would do without you.  You complete me.”

For those who do not know what this is, it is called Operant Conditioning, and it was a term coined decades ago by B.F. Skinner, one of the fathers of modern psychology.  This has been done as long as man has walked the Earth.  Skinner just put a name on it.  It has to do with conditioning a response based on either positive or negative reinforcement.  A dog with a shock-collar on will quickly learn the boundaries imposed by the collar, and will not violate them.  This is the kind of thing that we do instinctively while we raise our children, giving positive reinforcement for good behavior and negative reinforcement for bad behavior.  In the extreme it is called brainwashing.

I have to tell you, I find it much more fulfilling knowing that I have set my own boundaries based on my own reasoning, and have used the discipline within myself to help me reach my goals so far.  I do not need external devices to help me to control myself.  I have eliminated all of the conflicts (cravings) because I have determined that the diet and exercise program that I am currently involved in is just the way it is.  Cravings are moot.

I did notice a few inconstancies this week.  In the first week, he said to “eat what you want to eat, and stop when you get full.”  If you actually did that, the things he said this week would not matter, unless, there are some foods you should not eat, and that flies in the face of the “eat what you want” tenet.  In fact, in this week’s program, there were several references to certain foods being unhealthy or bad for you.  While I do believe this is true, it still flies in the face of his tenet.  He is simply adding another dietary modification, to his ‘non-diet’ and using self-hypnosis to reinforce it.

The lock-step audience is tiresome.  Everyone there was mad last week, and had a super craving this week, but presto, one left-handed movement, and all their cravings instantly went away.  We, however, were told to practice it for a week.  I wonder why it does not work as fast for the home viewer, I guess I’ll never know because I am not going to be a part of it.

I’m still looking for the nugget I can use in my own program from this show, and I’ll let you know if I ever find it.

Paul McKenna Stuff

I Can Make You Thin With Paul McKenna

I Can Make You Crazy With Paul McKenna

Who Is Paul McKenna Anyway?

I Can Make You Thin- Busting Your Carvings

I Can Make You Thin- Supercharge Your Metabolism

I Can Make You Thin, Part 5- Your Perfect Body

Lists

 

Who is Paul McKenna, anyway?

I decided to see what I could find out about Paul McKenna the last couple of days, and after seeing several articles referring to court settlements, I decided to make sure that I am clear in what I am saying.  I definitely do not want to arouse any litigious bullies with the things that I write (see these two articles for examples of court cases: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/showbiz/showbiznews.html?in_article_id=398025&in_page_id=1773 , and http://www.dailysquib.co.uk/?c=124&a=1146 ).

Everything I have commented on here is documented somewhere else on the web, and I am simply attempting to bring some of it together.

I found out that Paul McKenna is an ex-DJ who became one of the most famous hypnotherapists in the world.  I don’t necessarily expect him to refer to the fact that he was a DJ on his TLC program.  I don’t introduce myself as a former courier (a job I had about 15 years ago) either.  I do find it interesting and a little troubling that he has not been more upfront with the hypnotherapy stuff, though.  It would be like Emmitt Smith referring to himself as a former contestant on Dancing With the Stars instead of a former football player.  Football is what he is famous for.

I also found several stories which derided the legitimacy of his doctorate, but just as many stories that said he was only duped by the university where he received the degree.  And I will say that I have not seen him referred to as “Dr. Paul McKenna” anywhere on the program.

To be fair, it appears that Paul has a large following of people who believe in his program.  There is a lot of positive information about him and his diet available, and it’s not hard to find.

However, there is also a lot of negative information out there.  Since all of this information is on the internet, this may not be surprising either.  Almost everything gets criticized on the internet somewhere.  I will encourage all who read this to explore his ideas on your own, and find out what others on the internet have to say.

As I said in my last posting, I found his tapping bit hokey and weird (https://mycrocosmos.wordpress.com/2008/03/24/i-can-make-you-crazy-with-paul-mckenna/ ), and I have chosen not to participate.  I fear the he will employ more hypnotherapy techniques, and I don’t see myself going for them either.  I do not need to fool my own mind.  I simply need to control myself.  Also, I still criticize him for his choice of experts to back himself up (see the same entry above for info and links regarding these guys).

I want to deal with TLC for a moment.  I went to their website to see what others were saying about this show on their forums, and I was disturbed to find that there was no forum.  There is a forum, in fact there are several.  Most of their shows have some sort of discussion forum, but not Paul McKenna’s show.  In fact, there is a scrolling window that takes you to a one-page advertisement for the show.  On this page, there are several links to topics, and all of these take you to Paul’s own website (away from TLC).  His show does not even show up on the drop-down list of programs on the TLC website.  I began to wonder if he was paying them for the time or they were paying him (I honestly do not know the answer to this question).

Why no forum?  Why would TLC not want to give its viewers a venue for feedback?  I have several suspicions, and all of them leave me most disappointed with TLC.  If TLC were actually interested in this program, they should have done more for it on their website.

McKenna’s site looks like a good way to make him some money.  I clicked on the “Join the Community” link which took me to a page that said cryptically, “Join the club free for only the next few weeks and get great benefits.”  Does this mean that at this point it is free to join the community, so I should, in order to take advantage of the freeness, because one day it will not be free for others?  Or, does it mean that I get two free weeks of membership in the community and then I have to pay for it?  I’m guessing, at some point, I’ll have to pay for these “services.”  I noticed his books are readily available for purchase here also.  I guess I might as well stop smoking while I’m at it (I really don’t smoke and wouldn’t), thanks, TLC.

Paul McKenna Stuff

I Can Make You Thin With Paul McKenna

I Can Make You Crazy With Paul McKenna

Who Is Paul McKenna Anyway?

I Can Make You Thin- Busting Your Carvings

I Can Make You Thin- Supercharge Your Metabolism

I Can Make You Thin, Part 5- Your Perfect Body

Lists

I Can Make You Crazy with Paul McKenna

Last week, I decided to watch this show to see if there was something I might learn to help me in my weight loss program.  Anything positive that I can add to my regimen that will either pull more weight off or help to keep me on track is a good thing.  I had to admit that there were things in the show that could be useful.  I would not consider myself a slow eater.  Simply slowing down my intake of food at the time when I am eating could have a positive effect.  However, this week the show took a left turn.  I am still going to watch it to see if I can get anything good out of it, but I am not going to adopt any suggestion this guy makes just because he suggests that he has some authority on the subject.  And, I am right-out on the tapping thing.

The infomercial tone to the show was not lost this week.  He started by coming out and shouting “Who wants to be thin!” at the audience several times, and we found out early that the show was going to be about “emotional eating.”  His quote, early in the show, “More people are treating food like a drug than ever before” seemed reasonable.

I am sure that my weight has been affected by my emotions at some point, but more likely, I ate out of boredom, and I overate at meals.  And, I will give him credit for addressing both of these issues to a certain degree in the show so far.  I also know that this show is not about me, and there are lots of people out there whose weight issues come from problems such as low self-esteem.

One of the things that I have griped about on American Idol and the last episode of this show is the tendency to over-recap.  We were treated to a complete recap of last week’s show at the beginning of this week’s show, yawn.  The audience participation at the beginning of the show reminded me of a cross between Oprah and Emeril Lagasse (or the new Paula Dean live show).  As he was asking questions, the obviously pre-prepared audience was yelling back the answers. 

I have never gotten the Emeril or Paula shows.  I like most things that the Food Network has to offer, but I cannot handle listening to their live audiences cheer for garlic, wine or butter as if the chef or the ingredient itself had just scored a touchdown.  I simply can’t watch it, and I feel the host or the shows producer shows a lack of respect for the intelligence if the audience when they do this.  Paul McKenna’s audience reaction at the beginning of the program reminded me of the things I did not like about these other shows.

He once again distanced himself from the word diet even though everything he has presented so far is merely a dietary modification, not what you eat, but how you eat.  It’s still a diet though.

A full thirty minutes into the program, he began to deal with the issue of emotional eating.  I thought his advice for people to “Stop and ask yourself, ‘Am I really hungry, or do I just want to change the way I feel?’” was the best thing that was said in this week’s episode.  This gets to the heart of an emotional eating disorder, and is the point at which people can begin to deal with the fact that they are eating emotionally, and then do something positive to stop it.

He went to the audience again at this point, and they were obviously coached with pre-canned questions and comments.  The crying guy just beat me.  I found myself wishing he would get to the point already.

We were then treated to a very Jerry Springer-like retrospective of a woman whose husband had slept with her sister-in-law.  These things are not common, but somehow they all get on TV.  I guess the point was that this lady ate when she was angry (at her ex-husband for the most part).  This is where the show went off the map for me.  Paul began to have her to tap on various “acupressure points” on her body, and to roll her eyes and hum (my wife and I were rolling our eyes also at this point, but not for the same reason).  She tapped her face, throat and wrists then rolled her eyes and hummed.  No joke.  This was his solution for emotional issues.

Now I’m no psychologist, so I guess that makes me about as qualified as they are to talk about any of this.  Once again, I see this diet aimed at the OCD crowd.  Paul simply uses the tapping (etc.) to change the person’s focus.  The same thing could be accomplished by reading a book or going for a walk with you Ipod.  However, these people are doing nothing to deal with their emotional issues.  They are simply distracting themselves in an OCD way and ignoring them.  It might be better to deal with these issues of anger in a spiritual way, or to use your own discipline to take charge of the way you feel and modify it.  I found the whole tapping thing to be somewhere between hokey and demented.  I also wondered if Paul is just teaching some people to be OCD to deal with their problems.

It’s always nice to have a professional to back up your opinions.  He uses the name of a psychologist named Roger Callahan and a doctor named to Ron Ruden to promote his tapping solution.  I decided that I was not taking any of this at face-value, and looked these guys up on the internet.  I was surprised to find a lengthy article on Callahan at a site called The Quack Files (http://www.geocities.com/health_index/thought_field_therapy.html ).  As you might expect from the name of the website, it is not a glowing review.  However, this being the interent, I was not taking anything I read at face-value, that is, until I followed the link to the court decision where he was sued by the Federal Trade Commission (http://www.ftc.gov/os/1998/04/callahan.do.htm ). I read it, and all I can say is, “Ouch!”  This is not the kind of guy I want backing me up.

I looked up Ruden, and found quite a lot on him also, though there were a lot of positive remarks out there.  However, the more I looked, the more terms such as “alternative medicine” began to appear.  Then, I remembered the show referring to “Eastern Wisdom” or some such thing in the tapping segment.  The things I saw espoused by Ruden were the same things I saw attacked in the court decision referenced above (It’s really good.  You should read it).

You can believe what you want, but I’m not in for this.  I don’t need to examine my chakras and I don’t need to rearrange my furniture in a Feng Shui fashion to lose weight (though moving furniture in itself might be good exercise).  So, I will not.

It does seem to be a good idea to determine if you are an emotional eater, and deal with those issues.  If you do not, your weight loss program will probably fail the next time you are unable to deal with your emotions.

At one point Paul had everyone in the audience who was an angry eater hold up their hands (most did).  Then he asked them if they were angry right then (most were).  I thought to myself.  That is a load of anger.  What do these people have to be angry about?  They are just sitting in the audience being pumped up by Paul.  Perhaps they are angry that they just wasted an hour of their lives listening to this crap about tapping.  Not to worry, Paul had them all tap, and they felt much better.  Perhaps we should start using this obviously effective program in our prisons (sarcasm).

There was another video retrospective, and then the last fifteen minutes was another review of last week’s show including a video about stale popcorn.  I have argued that many hour-long programs could be cut to 30 minutes in the past.  The new information, as strange as it was, in this program did not justify another show at all.  The tapping information could have been delivered in five minutes including one of the videos.

Again, if you are able to lose weight with this system, more power to you.  I hope it works for someone.  I also hope that people who have honest emotional issues find a way to deal with them that will make them a more physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy persons.

I will continue watching, but at this point, I am not invested in this show.

Paul McKenna Stuff

I Can Make You Thin With Paul McKenna

I Can Make You Crazy With Paul McKenna

Who Is Paul McKenna Anyway?

I Can Make You Thin- Busting Your Carvings

I Can Make You Thin- Supercharge Your Metabolism

I Can Make You Thin, Part 5- Your Perfect Body

Lists

 

I Can Make You Thin with Paul McKenna

I found it interesting that one of the first things he said during the show was that it was not an infomercial, because watching it I felt the whole time as if I were watching an infomercial.  I was relieved when he had nothing to sell, but the open did mention the fact that he is an author.

This guy may actually be English, but I think the British/Australian accent in most infomercials and documentaries needs to finish running its course.  It is a fact that Americans think people with British/Australian accents are smart.  It doesn’t seem to matter that England runs a close second to only France in its inability to prosecute a war successfully without the help of the US (see WWI, WWII, both gulf wars, India and the Falkland Island conflicts for examples).  It boggles my mind that a country would insist on continuing to pay exorbitant taxes ($70,000,000 a year) to support a royal figurehead family that has nothing to do with the governance of the country simply because they like the idea of having a queen.  This is also a country that has steadfastly refused to change its social mores, and accept the necessity of modern dentistry.  The Australians, on the other hand, are a just bunch of America wannabes who sprouted from the loins of convicts that the British shipped out.  But I guess we Americans have slotted ourselves by continually showing that we think Brits and Aussies are smarter than we are.

Aside from the accent, I found the show to be extremely repetitive.  At times, it was like listening to a cheerleader or someone excitedly chanting a mantra.  Many of the shows on Discovery, TLC, the Food Network and others of this ilk could learn a lot from the following statement.  If you do not have enough content to fill an hour, cut the show down to 30 minutes.  I do not need the constant repetition and the complete recap of the show after every break.  I have a DVR, and I will rewind the show if I miss or forget something. The Biggest Loser could easily be cut down to an hour if they simply removed the recaps.

 

As far as the content of the show goes, McKenna spends the first few minutes talking down diets.  Most of this sounds like catch phrases.  “Diets are nothing more than training courses in how to get fat”, “Diets are why half of America is overweight,” and “If you are overweight, it’s not your fault.”  To be truthful, his plan, so far, is a diet.  He is modifying the way people eat (more of this in a moment), and honestly, if you are overweight, it is your (and my) fault.  You are the one who puts the food in your mouth, and you are the one who does not exercise.  It is apparent that some lifestyle modification is required to result in losing weight.

He makes some sweeping statements that just are not true.  While some people do fail at diets, there are lots of people who find a diet that works for them, and have success.  This is the real secret of a successful diet: finding a diet that works for you, and sticking to it.  I’m sure his program has a failure rate just like any diet, but I doubt he will say anything about it.

He presents “four golden rules that can really be summed up in one statement.  When you are hungry, eat what you like, but eat it slowly so you will feel full sooner.  He acts as if this is a great revelation, but it is really something my mother has told me for years.  The regimen of chewing bites 20 times and paying attention to the food that is being eaten will play well with the OCD crowd, which probably explains some of his success since a lot of people who are overweight are OCD in the first place.

I will continue to watch the show and glean what I can out of it.  I am sure there will be nuggets that I can apply to my own program.  I am also sure this program will be the answer that some are looking for, and I hope that it works for them.

 

This week’s update:  This week I lost 1 pound.  I worked hard this week, and it is a little disappointing that I did not lose more, but I was prepared for this moment.  As the old knight at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade says, “I knew this day would come.”  I have gotten to the point where the weight is not going to just fall off of me anymore.  From this point on, I will see varying results from week to week.  In the past three weeks, I have lost 7,0,8 and1 pounds respectively.  The point is that on the whole, I am still meeting my goals.  I will continue to eat the same, and exercise, and trust that over the long haul, I will continue to see positive results.  One very positive aspects of losing a pound this week is that I have now lost 56lbs on 9 weeks and the 1 lb loss put me over 40% of the way to my goal.

Paul McKenna Stuff

I Can Make You Thin With Paul McKenna

I Can Make You Crazy With Paul McKenna

Who Is Paul McKenna Anyway?

I Can Make You Thin- Busting Your Carvings

I Can Make You Thin- Supercharge Your Metabolism

I Can Make You Thin, Part 5- Your Perfect Body

Lists