Inscribed with sayings like “For the love of god stop eating,” “It’s hard to be around you when you eat like this,” and simply “Big Mistake.”, a new line of plates and bowls cutely named Intervention Ware chide you even if no one else is around to see you pull out the Ben & Jerry’s at midnight. But are these dishes are motivating or just chanelling your abusive ex-boyfriend? Does the tough love approach really work?
As long as overbearing grandmothers have been around, tough love has been used but it’s only been recently when Jillian Michaels, the book Skinny Bitch, and others made it cool that it’s started to really come into vogue as a dieting tactic.
While I couldn’t find any research studies looking specifically at tough love and dieting, there is a lot of research that shows people are only temporarily motivated by negative consequences. Psychologists note that while punishment and shaming – staples of tough love – can bring about quick change, it isn’t often lasting change. And in the world of health and weight loss, lasting change is the only thing that matters. In fact, riding the weight roller coaster can be worse for you than just staying heavy.
For me personally, all I’d be inspired to do is throw my dinner plate against the wall (please don’t be plastic!) but on the other hand, there are lots of Life Change stories that start with someone being shocked by a rude comment or seeing an unflattering picture which led them to ditch their unhealthy habits. Perhaps some people prefer a little tough love? The tagline for Intervention Ware is “Serve up a heaping scoop of guilt!” In this spirit I’d like to suggest that Intervention Ware branch out into other guilty products:
- Dental floss that reads, “Unless your name is Uncle Vinny there is no way you can rock a gold tooth.”
- Hand soap that says, “Do you really trust the toilet paper manufacturers that much?”
- A television remote that reminds you, “Sitting will make you die younger! Plus, they’re all air-brushed anyhow – you don’t need to watch this crap.”
- A bottle of wine that says, “You remembered to take your birth control, right?”
- A cell phone start screen that reads, “Oprah was right about you – you’re not as good a driver as you think you are. Don’t even think about texting.”
- A car dashboard message that says, “Why did God give you legs again?”
What do you think about these dishes – good portion control reminder or just plain rude? Have you ever been positively motivated by a negative event (seeing a “fat” pic, getting called out for ordering an unhealthy meal, trying to help your kid ride their bike and not being able to jog to keep up etc.)? Anyone have any other good “Intervention Ware” ideas??
Four years ago, I returned to my former high school for my youngest brother’s graduation. After taking family pics, I noticed my hips were a lot wider. I had to get thattt under control. At that point, I vowed my healthier living would become a lifestyle. I love to exercise; however, my area of improvement is nutrition. Tough love may or may not worjk, but pictures are what did it for me — to keep and maintain change.