The Reality of Refatting


I read a article this week with the headline “Carnie Wilson Fired From Diet Service for Eating Too Much Cheesecake?  Yes, the title is catchy, but there is so much more behind it.  In short, it seems that Carnie’s struggle with her weight continues.  She lost down to 150ish in pounds after bariatric surgery (I remember how she marketed that experience), but then gained back towards the mid 200s.  On her latest quest, she teamed up with the Fresh Diet company to be an in-person testament to the success of their program and products (a la what Marie Osmond is doing for NutriSystem).  Just one minor glitch—at the same time she has also developed a cheesecake company and is being a sampler spokesperson for it as well.  Ah…not sure how she figured that would work. 

From being a second-round member of Weight Watchers (that means I signed up once before, but dropped out), I can testify from direct experience on how easy it is to undo significant weight loss progress.  I lost a little over 40 pounds a decade ago before one of my best friend’s weddings.  The goal was to take off extra weight to look good in the bridesmaid dress.  I did, the wedding came and went and so did any mental commitment to stay on course. 


Did I meet the goal?  Technically yes, but did nothing for true buy-in on the program (which does work) as a lifestyle change, follow the program suggestions (I had days where I used daily and banked points to eat ice cream, cake and a hamburger and fries) or dig down into why I gained weight in the first place (the “what’s eating you” part).  After the wedding, my mind told me I looked good, so I didn’t need to track food anymore, then I didn’t need to walk on the treadmill, then I didn’t need to concern myself with portion sizes.  I fell back into the same old patterns and sabotaged everything I’d done so the 40 pounds came back and opened the door for more friends to come in.


Based on my experience, I’ll also be the first to state how much harder it is to see progress working with a metabolism that is 10 years older.  Before, I lost fine by eating within the allotted points and doing moderate exercise here and there.  Now, I need to crank up the heart rate burning cardio to just bump the scale.  Miss some days?  I maintain.  That’s the new reality.


It would be so easy to write Carnie’s journey off as pathetic, to state that she lacks real commitment/focus/desire.  Yet to do so would not be a true telling of what food addiction is, an honest view of body image complacency or a peek into one’s fear of change.  From my vantage point, any of these could be a driving point for Carnie.  I once heard someone sum up that in making the choice to remain overweight, there must be something fulfilling occurring for the person—ease of habit, safety of hiding behind the pounds, evolution into martyrdom, maybe even added attention as everyone circles to “fix” them. 


Aside from possible medical or metabolism reasons for weight gain, I can see some truth to that.  From past interviews, Carnie has mentioned dealing with the issue of her weight her whole life.  Now, her publicity forays seem to center around it:

  • broadcast the surgery
    • pose for Playboy with new body
    • discuss the need to get back on program after birth of child
    • continue to gain
    • Celebrity Fit Club
    • having “epiphany” moment after going on Dr. Oz’s show and having him state she’s obese
    • Unstapled reality TV show
    • signing to work with Fresh Diet

Could it be she is sabotaging herself because her world (e.g., career) without weight issues wouldn’t be media fodder?  Does she not know a life outside of the cycle of being encircled by food and denial?  To me, the cheesecake business is a direct example of this.  If I were to start any type of pastry business in the midst of my weight loss journey (and even after it), I would be setting myself up.  That is reality.  Things that are tasty, tempting triggers can be consumed in moderation, but I know I can’t have them regularly within hand-grabbing distance.  One pan of brownies will lead me down a path of destruction.  That would be my start of self-sabotage.


I went to my Weight Watchers meeting last night to learn about the newest program change—PointsPlusTM.  I have to delve into the material fully and do it for a few days before providing my feedback, but on first look I’m fine with the changes.  As part of the meeting, the leader asks for members to share both scale and non-scale victories of the past week.  After sharing my 0.4 lb weight loss post-Thanksgiving (hey any loss is a loss) and my total so far, I was asked secrets to my success.  I don’t feel that I have succeeded yet, not only because I haven’t reached my ultimate goal weight, but also because staying true to the process is still an ongoing, continuous work every day versus it now being second nature.  I did, however, share three things that are the core:  getting my mind right (the care and commitment to self), tracking food (you bite it, you write it) and exercise.  May Carnie one day find her core truths and success on this journey.

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