Alasdair Wilkins chronicled his amazing personal transformation in "I lost 100 pounds in a year. My 'weight loss secret' is really dumb", and the story has gone viral. But rather than celebrate this personal achievement, Wilkins spends a good chunk of the story emphasizing the societal and environmental factors behind obesity, not the personal choice and action behind gaining and losing weight. What's the real message people need to be taking away from the story? Stu was joined by TheBlaze Editor-in-Chief Scott Baker to discuss the story on Wednesday's TV show.
While you can (and should) scroll past the video for a transcript of the full analysis of the article, Scott made some really important points about what it takes to lose make a huge life change and get your weight under control.
"I’m a certified CrossFit level one trainer, so I can speak with real authority on these things," Scott said. "I always say look, the best workout program for you is the one you’re actually going to do, and for this one, it was the guy walking on the treadmill. For somebody else, it might be yoga. For somebody else, it might be throwing heavy barbells around."
"We all, kind of using Glenn’s words, kind of have to hit a pivot point. Whatever change you’re trying to make in your life, this guy clearly hit a pivot point, and the biggest question is what’s going to help you make that decision? That’s true for all of us, whether we’re making a big change in our lives or a small one," Scott said.
Stu: Allow me to rant angrily about a seemingly innocuous topic for just a moment. A story caught my eye yesterday—“I lost 100 pounds in a year. My ‘weight loss secret’ is really dumb.” Catchy, so I bit. It’s also because I’m a little bit overweight, so I bit. I bite a lot, too much.
Guy’s name is Alasdair Wilkins. What’s his big secret to weight loss? “Just so we’re completely clear about how unqualified I am to tell people how to lose weight, I’ll run down how I lost that 100 pounds. Basically, I just went to the gym, and I walked. On a treadmill, uphill, at a brisk pace, for about an hour every day—and I do mean every day—from July to April. That’s more or less it!”
It’s the classic inspirational success story. So many people will look at this guy and say wow, I don’t need all the gimmicks, I don’t need all the pills, I can just start exercising and make this happen. This guy did it; so can I.
The only problem is you can’t do it, at least not according to Mr. Wilkins apparently. See, he was able to do it, but as we learn from reading the rest of the article, he’s a progressive who believes you can’t do it, much in the same way Michael Moore gets rich in America and says you can’t do it because the system is stacked against you.
This article highlights the fundamental flaw in the progressive ideology—I can do it, but you can’t. Therefore, the government does must do it for you. Mr. Wilkins made a list of things that he’s learned from losing weight. I love this one, number three, obesity is a societal and environmental problem, not an individual one. Wait, you just said all you did was walk, and all you did was lose 100 pounds. Only a progressive could just up one day and lose 100 pounds and then turn around and claim that society is keeping everyone else down.
He says “the obesity epidemic doesn’t exist because more than 200 million individual people lack willpower, or love food too much, or are too lazy to exercise, or whatever other crap is routinely trotted out to explain why any one person is fat.”
What? You literally just stopped being lazy. You went to the gym every day. How is that not directly related to lack of willpower, overeating, and inactivity? How is that crap? It’s exactly what happened to you.
If society was really the problem and it wasn’t an individual thing, guess what, Mr. Wilkins, you’d still be a fat tub of lard like me, because society hasn’t changed at all through that time period, yet you managed to change all on your own. Isn’t that kind of egotistical? I mean, isn’t that egotistical of you to think that you and only you can figure out how to lose weight in this horrible society? Come on.
He argues the real culprit causing fat America includes “easy access to lots of cheap but generally unhealthy food, the shift toward more sedentary lifestyles, a collective decline in leisure time…” because leisure time is so good for weight loss, “…and disposable income that leaves far fewer opportunities for people to find ways to eat properly or remain active…” and, of course, “…a whole bunch more.”
Scott Baker of TheBlaze joins us now. Scott, am I nuts or does this story frustrate you as much as it frustrated me?
Scott: Well, I will assume that I’m as frustrated as you, even though my Skype cut off, and I didn’t hear your brilliant and funny monologue. I apologize if I make any of the same points that you already made. We want to applaud this guy for losing 100 pounds, but look, just man up and say you did it yourself; it’s not society’s fault.
Stu: Yeah, I mean, here’s a guy trying to, I guess, give his ideology a pass when this is a real story of individual achievement. Here’s a guy who changed his life on his own. He didn’t need the government to do it for him. He didn’t even need a treadmill. He could’ve walked outside. He didn’t need anything except himself, and yet here he is with a litany of complaints about society.
Scott: Look, I think we do have to say that among the stories of formerly very heavy guys who have lost like 100 pounds, this guy is having a much better week than Jared, okay?
Stu: Very good point.
Scott: And I don’t know what was—I read his whole story. He’s very honest about losing the weight, but he also revealed that at age 26, never been kissed. I’m not sure what was exactly the more embarrassing part, right?
Stu: I suppose that’s true. The complaint, we have this a lot. Michael Moore says I’m rich, but you can’t get rich, you can’t do it, because society is stacked against you. Barack Obama says hey, look, society is stacked against people because of racism, yet here I am, the first black president. I feel like there’s that idea within progressivism. It’s a fundamental flaw with the theology or ideology which just kind of makes it so there’s always an excuse. There’s always something built in because you have to be dependent on government. You can’t do it without us. I feel like that’s the thing that just infuriates me about this. Here’s a guy with a great story, and yet this is the only point he can make out of it.
Scott: Remember, I’m a certified CrossFit level one trainer, so I can speak with real authority on these things. I always say look, the best workout program for you is the one you’re actually going to do, and for this one, it was the guy walking on the treadmill. For somebody else, it might be yoga. For somebody else, it might be throwing heavy barbells around. We all, kind of using Glenn’s words, kind of have to hit a pivot point. Whatever change you’re trying to make in your life, this guy clearly hit a pivot point, and the biggest question is what’s going to help you make that decision? That’s true for all of us, whether we’re making a big change in our lives or a small one.
Stu: Real quick, we’ve got about 30 seconds. The CrossFit thing, that was started by a libertarian, right? It’s about doing this stuff on your own, working hard. You have a group around you, but working your ass off to make something happen for yourself.
Scott: No, that’s absolutely it. He is a libertarian. I think we should probably get him on Glenn’s show at some point here. I think they’d probably have a great discussion. You can, everybody can change their life at any point in their life. You’ve just got to stick with it. It’s been five years since I’ve had a bowl of cereal.
Stu: Wow, it’s been like five minutes for me. That’s a little different, but Scott Baker from TheBlaze, thanks so much for coming on, man. I appreciate it.
Scott: Thanks, Stu.