The Magic Pill

There’s Always… You

  • There is no magic pill; there’s you
  • There is no quick-fix; there are better behaviours.
  • There is no perfect time; there’s… now.
  • There is no universal best diet; there’s your best diet.
  • There is no pre-ordained destiny; there’s your life and what you choose to do with it.

Some people won’t like this message because it doesn’t make them feel good. It might not be uplifting or positive enough. One or two might even send me an email asking if I’ve had a bad weekend. I get that. :) To those people I say, don’t confuse reality with negativity.

In the not-always-credible world of personal development (AKA self-help), I’ve long been of the opinion that the back-slapping, high-fiving, you-can-be-anything-you-want-to-be, quick-fix brigade have a lot to answer for. Mostly, because the majority of their motivational-poster (type), feel-good fluff rarely leads to any kind of lasting positive transformation (the common objective of most self-help consumers) out here in the real three-dimensional world.

The ‘Rah, Rah’ invariably becomes Blah.  

Real change happens when we are more committed to creating practical change over the long term than we are with being comfortable and feeling good in the short term. It’s only then that we begin to tap into our untapped potential and power. The irony of self-help is that many people look for answers everywhere but within.

That is, self.

When all else fails, there’s you. ;)

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Suu October 7, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Hi Craig. I read this a couple of times and both times were different. The first time I felt as if you were peed off with someone and the second time I felt the message.

I’ve not been able to understand people who have been slogging away on a specific diet for 10 years and still say it’s working for them because they lost 100 pounds on it way back in 2003.
I can’t stand the term – I’ve fallen off the wagon. One cannot fall off a lifestyle change can one? LOL

My advice from losing 50.8kg and keeping it off is to do 3 distinct things:
Eat ONLY at your dining table with the TV OFF.
Give up added sugar for ever. (Read the Ingredients list as opposed to the Nutritional Table,)
Get rid of all diet books and go back to basics – eating to live instead of living to eat.

I became a weightloss counsellor 8 years ago and every single person who came in for the quick fix couldn’t/wouldn’t change one behaviour to get, or become, what they wanted. They wanted a ‘cure’ for fatness :P

Sorry — I guess I’m passionate. Soapbox is put away for now.

Who of us still eat in front of the TV (mindless eating)?
Cheers to all of us for continuing to slog away to get to our goals.
Thanks for the pushing… er…. urging, Craig.

Suu xxoo


Michael October 7, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Show me clinical studies that link not watching tv to fat loss? To advocate that as a strategy I do not question, but again to me it is the persons use of something not the tv or net. I think telling people that in a professional sense is alarming if it is not based in fact. People losing weight and are obese need support not blame.

I do agree with Craig life would be easier if we don’t think of a magic pill but it is odd that the pill turns up when you don’t look for it.


Suu October 8, 2012 at 12:29 am

Sorry if I offended anyone with my remarks. Studies have shown that mindless eating doesn’t allow the ‘feeling full’ chemical in the brain to react when we’ve eaten enough.
An example is when you’re doing something else with a bag of chips in your hand. Before you know it they’re all gone. I’d love for you or anyone else to just give it a go and see how you concentrate on each mouthful.
I’m no longer in that line of work but brought it up because I’ve seen new ads in our TV screens about it.
Again, I apologise for any ill feeling. It wasn’t my intent.


Helen October 8, 2012 at 2:29 am

Hey Michael. I don’t have clinical facts but I have seen results. Until 6 months ago I ate in front of the tv or laptop. My mobile phone was in easy reach. I ate while trying to study or when I was reading a magazine. My focus wasn’t on what or how much I was eating. I couldn’t tell if I was hungry or when I was full. I never felt satisfied.

Now meal times are a big event. The table is set properly even though I’m only catering for myself. TV, laptop and anything else that could be used as a distraction is either off or out of the way. The only noise comes from the music I have playing in the background.

When I focus on what I eat, take my time and listen to my body it makes a huge difference :-)


Suu October 8, 2012 at 9:40 am

Congratulions Helen. I love the idea of making mealtimes special and will got that way too. Instead of placemats I’ll set the table with a tablecloth and add flowers or a candle. Even for the two of us. Romance should never die even if retired. :)


chebbieanne October 8, 2012 at 3:02 pm

I understand the concept of mindful eating but I have learnt that my appetite control centre is seriously flawed and cannot be trusted. I can feel full when I have not eaten for hours and hungry an hour after a meal regardless of where I eat. I now keep a food diary which helps me work out how much and how often I should eat. I refer to it often to remind me when I should eat and try to eat something every couple of hours. If I wait until I am hungry it can be 12 hours or maybe 1 hour which really stuffs up my metabolism and then I dont lose weight or worse if I dont eat enough I gain weight. My experience has been it does not matter where I eat and I confess I eat in front of the TV at home and in front of my computer at work or in the car if it is feeding time and I am out and about. I try to focus on food as fuel.
You need to work out what works for you and then do it even if everyone around you thinks it is weird. Once you work out what works for you the magic happens.


Craig October 9, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Hey Suu – hope you’re well. Somebody (a reader) wants to make contact with you. If you’re interested, send me your email and I’ll pass it on. :)

PS. Love your contribution to our site.

You’re awesome. x


butch October 7, 2012 at 11:04 pm

thanx stu i luv this i like the point that you need to change and adapt and not hang on to the past and what ‘worked’ or u tried back then, discipline and expieriencing pain is a part of life 4 everyone to varying degrees esp in weight management


coriander October 7, 2012 at 11:16 pm

yes so true there is no magic pill and all that ‘hand clapping and back slapping’ has a place but ‘too much kissing anyones &@&¥ ie flattery is not always good for you, ‘sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind’ quote tony abbott


Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker October 8, 2012 at 6:01 am

Craig, I agree with your assessment 100%. I recently posted 2 articles of my own about there being no instant fixes for healing from incest. Healing from incest takes time was the second subject which was really a continuation of the first post. Healing from anything in life takes time.

I automatically distrust anyone who tells me to just forgive and get on with my life. They don’t realize that I tried that long ago and just added more pain to my already heavy load because I couldn’t do it, not without working through the pain first. I feel the same about those “be happy” folks. I used the “be happy” mentality to stay in denial of my pain for too many years. You have to work to heal and to make any lasting changes in your life.

Losing weight and getting back in shape is the same as incest, there are no instant fixes. If there were, no overweight, out of shape people would exist in this world because they would have already done the instant fix and would be slim and in great shape.

I love your honesty. Honesty is critical to change whether it is diet, exercise or healing from incest. I read and Tweet the majority of your posts because of your honesty and your caring. You encourage me to keep on moving forward.

Your Tweet button on your email subscriptions isn’t working for some reason. It hasn’t worked on a few posts now. Thank you for being you. I can always count on you to shoot straight.


Suu October 8, 2012 at 9:46 am

Hi Patricia – a special hug to you and a huge thank you for the way you wrote this. Keep on keeping on because your message proves that it really does take time and effort on our part to come to grips with life events and it’s worth not going for the quick fix.


Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker October 10, 2012 at 3:08 am

Suu, thank you for the hug. I love hugs and encouragement. I did the majority of my healing from incest back in the 1990′s, Now I share my strength and hope with other survivors who may have just started their own healing journey. I know how difficult and how rewarding that journey can be. No one has to heal alone any more. Now that men are adding their voices to that of women, we will beat this thing called incest to death so no other children suffer as I and many others did.


angelina jolie October 8, 2012 at 9:52 pm

thanx patricia 4 being brave and saying something taboo like incest. Im getting help with facing up to childhood sexual abuse and verbal and emotional kind as a victim and then offender in my teens and childhood, in the words of oprah winfrey to a guest who had been violated by a relative ‘you are not ruined’ secasa can help 95942289 theres a dude called td jakes whos been on oprah and dr phill shows when victims/survivors of incest have been on he shows i believe and feel an unprecedented level of compassion and strength to ppl in this situation..i believe that the 1 true god the father has a promise/hope of a better tomorrow in this life and the nxt he is the god who heals all my disease and rescues all from the pit and destruction..


Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker October 10, 2012 at 3:12 am

angelina jolie, I believe that God loves us all and that He expects each of us to do our own individual healing from incest. Faith in God didn’t heal me but it gave me the strength to move ahead and to hold my head up high. I encourage others to find their voices and to do the work of healing from incest. Have a glorious day.


Craig October 9, 2012 at 1:14 pm

So for the delayed response Patricia…

1. You’re always welcome
2. I’ll look into the tweet thing and
3. Thanks for your honesty and courage – I love your comments and insight… x


Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker October 10, 2012 at 3:13 am

Craig, you are always very welcome. You inspire me to keep on being honest and courageous as I move forward in life.


Carmelo October 8, 2012 at 6:14 am

Not looking within and thinking that someone else has your answers, can turn your life around and can make things easy is the basis of an addiction. And I believe that people who struggle online are most susceptible.

There are just too many rah rah, you can fix the world, pump-you-up “experts” that play on the emotions and the poor decisions we make when seeking help.

But, ultimately, it’s up to us to resist these. You’re so, so right. It’s all up to us to find the inherent strength we have and stop thinking that the answers are “out there” somewhere. They’re not. Only when we find our OWN answers and power and purpose can we then receive the technical or tactical help that others can provide.

Without becoming addicted to a guru! Whew, got that off my chest, Craig. :-) (for now)

PS. How’s the book coming along?


Leanne October 8, 2012 at 9:06 am

Sobering thought for a Monday!


Sach October 8, 2012 at 10:14 am

Hi Craig,

Very true, I’ve kept off the weght for almost 1.5 years now, but its I can see it’s still really easy to fall back into old behaviours. You’re right though, the whole weight loss thing is over complicated, once you’re committed, its amazing how the weight comes off (over time of course).

By the way, I saw you on the flight back from Sydney on Friday, but unfortunatly didn’t get a chance to say hi, you’re looking huge mate.


Annette W October 8, 2012 at 10:19 am

This is a tough one, a quick fix would certainly be nice, but I do appreciate/realise that there is no such thing.
For years I have taken weight off and put it on and taken it off and put is on and… You get the pictures I’m sure.
Things go amazingly well and I begin to feel that this time I’m going to make it and then something happens and despite all my internal debates I start eating everything that’s not nailed down.
So many reasons to lose weight, I know what to eat and what not to and I know exercise is important.
I’m facing a back op and not looking forward to it at all, other than maybe I can then exercise without pain, which might be nice.
Maybe Patricia is right – maybe it’s time to really look inside and confront those things in the past that linger on and on.
Life is what you make it, but it always seems to be so much easier to tell others that than to actually act on it yourself.
Thought provoking as always Craig, let’s see if I can find the “self”.


agm October 8, 2012 at 11:02 am

Last Christmas my Mum gave me a small plaque with inscription,
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters
compared with what lies within us” William Morrow.
The self is fundamental to our ongoingness, a good self will guide us towards a good ongoingness.


Tee October 8, 2012 at 9:07 pm

This really resonates with me. I’ve been told I’m negative when I’m really being realistic. Sometimes I think it’s important to acknowledge an issue to find and work through to find a lasting solution. If you only look for the fluff, you’ll never actually make things better for yourself and your life!


coolravi October 9, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Due to some family circumstances, my mind becomes unstable sometimes. I become so unhappy that I don’t like to speak to people. Don’t like to go to public places. I always try stay lonely. I want to advance in my career. However, due to the fact I am unable to communicate properly. I scare go for job interviews. I would appreciate if you could help me with the solution. Thanks and regards


Anonymous October 9, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Hi coolravi

Number one priority is keeping your mind stable.

My mind also sometimes becomes unstable. With me it’s triggered by stress – that’s why I avoid people and public places. Most jobs involve lots of contact with other people, so realistically those jobs are not going to work either in terms of my health or my usefulness to an employer.

Which opens up a different set of questions: what am I hoping to get out of a job? Is it to make money? To meet people? To feel affiliation? To feel useful? To gain status? … Is a job the only way I can do this? …

These are questions I’ve found useful, I hope they are relevant to your situation. Other things that have helped me have been reading about self-esteem and anxiety, and about my condition (once I had a diagnosis).


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