Welcome all seeking refuge from low carb dogma!

“To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact”
~ Charles Darwin (it's evolutionary baybeee!)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Livin La Vida Low Clue: Jimmy Moore on Weight Watchers "Scam"

Yes ... potentially another series ... 
Whenever a low carber demonstrates how clueless they are, you can be sure to read about it here!

No, Jimmy hasn't come to his senses and actually given the WW "scam" a try to lose those stubborn pounds his deranged metabolism hath wrought.   Instead, he's focused on Charles Barkley in a post entitled:  Even Spokesman Charles Barkley Isn’t Taking Weight Watchers Too Seriously.  

Apparently, Barkley has lost close to 40 lbs on WW and is a spokesman for WW's "Lose Like a Man" program.  I've not seen any spots -- something that according to Jimmy qualifies me as living the life of a hobbit -- but what with Dan Marino, Don Shula and now Terry Bradshaw shilling for Nutrisystem, WW going after the male demo is a no-brainer.  We've discussed here a few times how the appeal of Paleo and LC and the success men seem to have on such plans is at least partly due to being able to eat those man foods, and the manliest of foods, the steaks, burgers and bacon.    But as several readers have pointed out, many of these foods can be worked into a WW or other flexi-style essentially calorie controlled plan.  It's easy enough to find the point values for McDonalds so that Jimmy, you could have gone there back in 1999 were you on WW, and worked it into your plan, and not had to go on a bender where you regained over 170 lbs in a few months.   

One has to be a special sort of deluded to take the SNL "I'm so hungry" schtick out of context there.  Yeah, probably not the best from Weight Watcher's point of view, but this is not the worst of Jimmy's "low clue" moments in that post.  That would be his interpretation of Barkley's "open mic" moment during his NBA day job.  Unfortunately, the video is no longer available on YouTube for copyright issues.  Barkley was chit chatting with his co-hosts, and from my recollection, it went something like this:  Yeah, I lost like 2 lbs a week on WW and I've lost 38 lbs and it wasn't that hard and I feel pretty good.  If you think this is a scam (getting paid to watch basketball games, give commentary/analysis), this WW endorsement deal is an even bigger scam.   Anyone who could construe that video to be that the WW program is a scam is, truly, in a deluded state.    It's funny, because Jimmy correctly characterized the video as just that:   "being their spokesman is an even “bigger scam” than getting to watch sports for a living".   

The way I see it, Barkley, like many ex-athletes, had put on enough extra weight to where he stopped looking like an ex-athlete -- especially on camera.  While nobody listens/watches him for his looks, there's always a steady stream of photogenic, younger retirees coming down the pike.  So Sir Charles, I'm sure, decided he needed to lose weight anyway , and doing so would benefit his career and financial bottom line.   I have no desire to watch all the vids, and I'm not sure how that went down (did WW go to him or he go to WW as it seems Bradshaw did with NS and does it matter?), but if you've got to lose weight, can you think of a better gig than getting paid for it?    Such gigs have done wonders resurrecting the fading career of Valerie Bertinelli, after all.  Can anyone reading this think of anything better than getting paid to lose weight you're trying to shed anyway?  

I mean, come on.  Helloooooo Jimmy.  The only reason you are making a living doing what you do is because you lost some weight.  No doubt you would love to be famous enough to become a spokesman for Atkins a la Courtney Thorne-Smith.   Too bad your newfound shunning of Frankenfoods might prevent that from ever happening ... or we'll have an installment for the Hypocritical Low Carb Living series.....

Jimmy writes:  
Now, I don’t have a problem with anyone trying to take care of themselves financially by brokering deals with companies that want to use your brand to help market their products. Charles Barkley is a brand whether he wants to admit it or not.
Does Barkley deny he's a "brand"?  Sheez Jimmy.
And a lot of guys really like him for his humor, honesty, and coming across as being one of us. But with him basically stating the only reason he’s really doing this Weight Watchers gig is to make money, that’s a problem.
That's not what he said Jimmy.  But so what if it is?  At this point a good case could be made that the only reason you tenaciously adhere to a low carb plan that is not working for you is because it's your money making gig.  Jimmy needs to be REALLY careful pointing fingers in this regard.   There's no doubt in my mind that his "going paleo" is as much a business move as anything, and if you don't believe me, go waste a few hours reading through his menus blogs and all the times people tried to suggest you give up the frankenfoods.  And Quest bars are NOT real food, nor are the Life Shotz ... and if you are no longer eating these foods, then shame on you for having them sponsor you.  And shame on you for your endorsement of Amy Dungan's website ("One of the best-looking low-carb resources I have seen in a very long time. Healthy Low-Carb Living organizes just about everything you could ever want about livin’ la vida low-carb in one lovely package. " - Jimmy Moore, Livin' La Vida Low-Carb)  now, because her blog is largely product reviews for low carb junk food.  Don't get me started on tacking "Paleo" on to your LC cruise long before you went paleo, a cruise sponsored by CarbSmart, an outfit founded and run by the obese Andrew DiMino.  I mean really, man, have you no shame?   Have you cut loose the CarbSmart $$, or did they cut you loose with the n=1 experiments?  ... Jimmy continues:
Sure, he’s lost weight and I’m happy that he has. But as someone who also lost a substantial amount of weight on a calorie-restricted, low-fat diet in 1999, that way of eating is simply not sustainable. Hunger will drive cravings and there will come a point in your life that you will succumb to that desperate desire to feed your body. Unfortunately, it will most likely be fast food, junk food and lots of it! I’ve been there, done that before and I’m afraid we’ll see the same thing happen to Barkley in the not-too-distant future.
Yeah Jimmy, it's not like you know anyone, ahem, who has gained back all the weight lost on low carb and then some, not to mention many overweight low carbers who remain so (most of the guests of Low Carb Conversations it would appear) .  I won't mention your chicken wing, butter and sugar-free chocolate binges. Oops, guess I just did.  :p  

Here I thought you were all for everyone finding what works for them.  Looks like Charles has.  Why not wish him well rather than devoting a whole blog post bashing, yet again, someone who dares make some money off any consumption of carbohydrates.  

Before I leave this, I can't help but think TV ... Jimmy ... and making a money off one's brand.  Jimmy makes his living as an LC weight loss "success" story.  Twice what he used to make in his former career in customer service.  

Maybe, just maybe, Jimmy should start using recent photos of himself to sell his "brand".  Don'tcha think Jimmy??  At least Barkley is by all accounts eating WW plan and achieving results.  On the other hand, few if any who are making money off of low carb can claim the same, including you and the owners of businesses and websites doing the same.    When I think scam, I don't think former NBA star losing weight on WW and getting paid for the endorsement.  I think blogger using 7 year old avatar photos that look nothing like his current self being paid by third parties for the eyeballs on his site.  

Why don't you join me in congratulating Charles, being a little envious that he's able to make money in the process, and wishing him success in maintaining his newer healthier physique.  What's with the celeb attacks lately anyway?  Hey!  Here's an idea.  Why don't you do WW paleo-style to lose down to a 38" waist and STAY THERE for a year.  Chronicle your efforts and maybe in 2014 you too can be a paid spokesperson for WW, and spread the good word of low carb and paleo.   I'm rooting for ya!


Wright Mind said...

My favorite comment by JM about Charles: "They certainly chose the right man if they wanted someone who could exude confidence in himself and stir the pot. This video of Charles’ auto-tuned song “I May Be Wrong (But I Doubt It)” says it all:" Couldn't that just as well describe JM himself? Mr. "Often-in-error-but-never-in-doubt?"

FYI, I am a male, former Weight Watchers leader, and I lost 100+ pounds on their program. No, I could not keep it off and I regained. I have written about my WW experience and compared it to my low carb experience in three posts on my blog:

Being a leader was one of the most gratifying things I have ever done in life and I truly believe Weight Watchers offers some sorely needed support. Unfortunately, I don't believe low fat is the way to go and the WW experience is targeted mostly to women. The ratio of women to men was 45 to 1, most days. I can understand why WW is now using Sir Charles to target men.

But if you go on the Weight Watchers site, click on the "Community" link, then search on "Paleo" or "Low carb," you can see there are groups of people, on WW, following a low carb or paleo approach. Why? They seem to do it mostly because of the support they get at the meetings.

CarbSane said...

Gonna check out those links later WM. I think it's why the online community is so strong for low carbers, because mostly it's not available in real life. Not that there isn't online support for more traditional methods, but most tend to be program affiliated fee-based. But online support is not always accountable ... this much is obvious no matter the means of attempt. I think most of these people would do well to attend Overeaters Anonymous or somesuch, follow their own dang plan and just stop getting so darned worked up about others following or promoting something different, etc. In person accountability is important for some people.

Fashiontribes Diet said...

@ WM & Evelyn - you guys make really valid points about the importance of the support element. There are a number of us that are pretty active within the online WW community that have hit goal and everyone (mostly women, yes, but a few guys - one of my fave WW pals has so far lost about 160 pounds over the last 2 years with 30 or so to go) agrees that we couldn't have done it isolation. And all of us to a (wo)man are hardcore about eating "real" food, avoiding processed stuff, being scrupulous about keeping track of what we eat and of course exercising regularly (oh no the dreaded cardio, too).

As for what WW corporate might think of the "I'm So Hungry" gag - actually the CEO, David Kirchoff, is a self-described "weight loss exhibitionist" and blogs regularly about his WL doings. He actually is quite a good blogger and he definitely has a cheeky sense of humor & doesn't take it all so seriously - my guess is he probably got a kick out of the whole thing.

Tonus said...

You can see the video by Googling something like "Charles Barkley Weight Watchers" and search for videos that are NOT on YouTube. YouTube is very responsive to copyright violation complaints and they remove videos pretty quickly, so you're left to wade through endless videos that use a 1 second image to generate page views of a video that is not what you expect.

And yes, the video features Barkley comparing the "scam" of being a network sports analyst ('getting paid to watch sports') to the "scam" of being a WW spokesman ('getting paid to lose weight'). No one seems to think that he should be fired from his job as an NBA analyst, yet the very same comment applied to his WW contract is making waves. Taken in context, it is much ado about nothing.


Regarding Jimmy's post, I agree that the primary issue (and possibly the only issue) is that it's hard to credibly criticize the ability to sustain a Weight-Watchers diet when you've been unable to sustain losses on the diet plan that you champion as the best one for sustaining weight loss. The criticism of Barkley taking money to promote WW may seem sinister until you express it in a slightly different way: Barkley is being paid to pitch a product via advertising. Oops, did the room become a bit quieter all of a sudden? Heh...

The point about the ability to maintain weight losses on a low-fat or carefully-managed diet is a good one, and important to anyone considering Weight Watchers or similar plans. But again, given his own struggles with his weight on a low-carb plan, why would anyone feel that LC is any different? Too many LC proponents do not have the size and appearance that people are hoping for when they wonder what LC can do for them.

Weight Watchers promises that you can lose weight while eating delicious meals. LCers promise that you can lose weight while eating ad libitum from your favorite foods. Both are able to deliver on those promises. Maybe Jimmy can post comparative photos of him and Charles as time goes on, to show us which is the more effective plan?

Anonymous said...

'if you go on the Weight Watchers site, click on the "Community" link, then search on "Paleo" or "Low carb," you can see there are groups of people, on WW, following a low carb or paleo approach. Why? They seem to do it mostly because of the support they get at the meetings.'

True, but also, the WW plan is flexible enough to allow variations of diets. The thing that it doesn't do is allow you to eat over your calorie limit (Points Plus limit) and then tell you that it won't make a difference.

Sanjeev said...

In that last video, WHAT the heck is he wearing on his right wrist?

please don't let it be one of those hologram thingies that "balance your energies" ...

CarbSane said...

LOL -- (1) Reply works in Firefox yay!!
(2) I think it's a yellow Livestrong bracelet -- he wears various ones it seems from pics I've seen.

Karen said...

When he said "if you think this is a scam" I took it as this is so easy taking the money is like a scam and so is WW. I think JM is a sad person.

Princess Dieter aka Mir said...

Actually, Jimmy should do a WW experiment. For one month, strictly follow the WW Points program doing low carb. No one says you can't do low-carb AND follow WW points plus system. He chooses what foods to eat, and it's calorically controlled by the points. He can eat meat, eggs, poultry, seafood, coconut oil, butter, vegetables, berries...just stay in WW points. I really wish he WOULD try it, really give it a solid one month experiment, if only to see how his body DOES or DOES NOT respond. He shouldn't diss it until he's fully tried it and found it wanting...or revelatory.

I may do the experiment. It's is piqueing my interest...although I do calorie count already. But still....ha

Fleur said...

I've always ended up platieauing at some point on any sort of low carb plan I have ever tried.

I've also done WW. I think one problem(and strength) is that it can be too flexible...yes you can have McDonalds if you really want it.

I think the best thing(for me) is that it really stresses recording every bite you eat. I'm only successful with weight loss when I do this...whether the plan be low carb, WW or something else.

I think WW used to have a plan that was more oriented to low carbers called Core. As another commenter points out you can still incorporate the principles of low carb into WW if you wish.

CarbSane said...

Welcome to the Asylum Fleur! One of my issues with calorie counting of any sort was that it always led to obsessing over foods. When I get to eat next, etc. I never did well with programs with menu plans for very long either (which I understand WW is no longer). I can see the sometimes vehement reactions to Jenny & NutriSystem -- those prepackaged foods are needlessly expensive and contain a lot of processed crap. But there is something to those preportioned meals and such that can be very helpful -- pick one of several breakfasts mix and match with one of several lunches, and dinners and you've got a lot of variety w/o having to count. Anyway, I'm sure you are correct about LC versions of WW through the years (Dana Carpender even blogged on perhaps the plan Steph was describing a while back).

I think the problem so many have with WW is that they've bought into the calories don't count and/OR the you don't have to count calories with LC. There are so many boasting never being hungry while rapidly losing weight without counting anything. But it's not the reality of many more. Many feel suckered -- or at least that seems to be the sentiment I get from some -- so they settle rather than at least trying. I admit there's a little of that in me. Not so much feeling suckered, but while not superhuman, certainly more concerted deliberate effort will be required to lose more weight. I've been given a lot of food for thought from readers here lately on that front.

Galina L. said...

If it is not counting calories, not limiting cabs more, no IF, no hours of exercise, then what is next? Not some pill, I hope.

Galina L. said...

I plan to experiment with dropping all dairy for a month, just to see what would happen. I doubt I will do it longer because I think that pastured butter is a very good source of nutrients. Heavy cream in my coffee is just pure indulgence(it is not a grass-fed variety which it too expensive).

Tonus said...

It depends on what you are asking. If you are asking what it boils down to, then it is quite simply calories. Take in fewer than you expend, and you'll lose weight until you reach a balance. Consume more than you burn, and you'll gain weight until you reach a balance. There really is no way around this.

If you are asking for the best way to achieve it, it should be obvious by now that the answer to that is dependent on the individual. Some people can count calories religiously and follow exercise plans to the letter. Most of us cannot, and thus we have to find a plan that works. Many plans work temporarily for various reasons, and may give us hope that we've found the right solution for us for the rest of our lives.

But I think that at some point we have to manage out input/output or we will fall short of our goals. That mindset is anathema to many in the LC community, because they want to believe that LC manages itself. When it stops, you can either make further changes to keep it working, or curse your metabolism and remain on the plateau. In the end, if it works for you then that's the plan that is right for you.

river rance said...

Well, I think it's great that JM takes Charles Barkley seriously…'cause what attracts so many people to Charles is the fact he doesn't take himself seriously! I mean…ever see him swing a golf club? Heck, I'm more interested in WW now than ever before. Oh, and JM's post on why he is turning down an invitation to appear on Dr.Oz is absolutely priceless. You can't make that stuff up. I guess after Taubes got his dust up by OZ Jimmy pretty much figured he couldn't defend his diet philosophy(who knows what it is)…especially bumping would blow his cover ("it's failing for me but it'll work for you, trust me"). Trying to weigh in on CB and WW is just a simple example of how he doesn't really get it. JM=shameless/clueless.

Galina L. said...

I was asking people on the blog who don't have a success with LC, what they think should be done next for a person who doesn't want or can count calories and is not comfortable with WW. I didn't ask on my behalf.

Personally, I eat LC and it works for the weight-loss management and caused a desired weight-loss, and my goal for the moment is to be legible to be registered in the Weight-loss National Registry on April , however, I feel like just keeping the weight-loss is a soft goal, like no goal at all, and it is safer to keep moving. I am on the look-out for what to try next diet-wise. Nothing but dropping dairy comes into my mind. Coffee with heavy cream is the only left indulgence, also some occasional cheese. I have a major hormonal change ahead of me (I am 51)and don't know what it will bring to me.
I was raised in the society with socialistic government and economy.I saw how inefficient it was, mostly due to the fact that the government was trying to dial with the economy like it was a broken car (doing superhuman attempts which sort-of worked for a while), while car represents a simple mechanical system and economy is a complex system. Micromanagement of complex systems like climate, body, economy is impossible, because a complex system supposed to be self-regulated and creates chaos on a long ran. It may appeal to human logic because people keep fixing simple things all the time. In the light of that theory the management of CICO doesn't look feasible in my eyes. Probably, like limiting carbs in your eyes.

Anonymous said...

This just in...

CarbSane said...

I've seen that and mentioned it. If you scroll down my Twitter feed you'll see I linked to two nice blog posts about the study.

I'll be blogging some personal stuff on that one at some point I think.

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