Celebrities Who Lose Weight Are Not That Special

I just saw a (repeat) article on the Discovery Channel about how Brad Pitt sculpted his body for Troy. The fitness professional they had on said pretty much EXACTLY what I figured out a few days ago.

People see these celebrities who lose a bunch of weight for a movie and they think Wow!. They figure that because the celebrity lost a lot of weight, and is rich and famous, combined with the fact that they themselves have had such difficulty losing weight, that the celebrity must have used a personal trainer, expensive equipment, liposuction, and a fancy up–scale gym. While it may—and probably does—happen a lot, it is not always the case by any means. In fact a lot of celebrities lose weight exactly the same way that “normal” people do.

So, why did they manage to drop 40 pounds when you are still struggling to lose 5? As the guy said, MOTIVATION. Here’s the long and short of it: You want to lose weight, the celebrity needs to lose weight; it’s their job.

Most people who try to lose weight just want to do so because they feel unattractive and want to shape up. They only want to do it. The celebrity who loses weight for the film HAS to lose weight or they do not get the part. They are not doing so because they want to but because it is a job requirement. Think about all the difficult things that you would never want to do but do anyway—and complete successfully—because it’s part of the job. It’s the same thing. There is also another category of people who lose a lot of weight because they have to; the people who do it for medical reasons. I have recently seen several celebrities (there are plenty of “normal” people who fall into this category as well, I just don’t know any), who lost a lot of weight because their health was failing.

(And on the topic of celebrities losing weight, I was quite peeved when a few years ago I heard about a friend of poker celebrity Doyle Brunson’s making a $5,000 bet with him that he could not lose 100 pounds. He lost because Doyle lost—the weight. The reason I thought the bet was absurd was because it should have been skewed in Brunson’s favor since he was 400-500 pounds at the time. It is easy for a 500 lb. person to lose 100 lbs. compared to say, a 150 pound person. In fact, it’s basically impossible for anyone under ~150 to lose 100 lbs.—Ask a 100 lb. person to lose 100 pounds!—But for someone who is 500 pounds, 100 pounds is only 20% of their weight. In fact, someone who is 500 pounds must have to eat a fairly large amount to maintain that kind of weight, so they could drop 100 pounds by simply eating one whole chicken or pizza or whatever less per day.

Of course it turns out that was not the only time that Doyle had partook of a weight-loss related bet. Apparently he has been involved in many bets that he could/could not lose weight for years. Somehow he has been losing most of them, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars—now that’s a gambler. Either he kept making badly thought-out bets, or else he was really bad at losing weight—he certainly should have had enough motivation. However he more than made up for it when he broke 300 pounds and won $1,000,000 dollars from a group of fellow players. On one hand, it’s lame that he had so much trouble losing weight. On the other hand, he did lose a lot of weight since I first saw him on the WPT years ago. That’s always a good thing.—Poor Wayne Knight; he had lost a bunch of weight after Seinfeld and 3rd Rock, but he seems to have gained it back later.)

So, what is the moral of this story? It is that while a lot of celebrities do use their fame and fortune to lose weight, they are not required to do it. You too can lose a lot of weight simply by forcing yourself to do so. Just stick to it and keep yourself motivated. I know that sounds lame and even impossible, but just find something that you really, really, really want where it requires that you MUST lose weight. If you can get yourself thinking about losing weight in terms of NEED to rather than WANT to like the others do, then you will lose a lot of weight in no time. (Hey, I did and I’ve already lost more than 30 pounds putting me over 60% of the way to my goal.)

(I plan on soon writing an article on how to lose weight relatively easily.)

Christian Bale gained a lot of attention when he had to lose 63lbs. for his role in The Machinist. Again, he had to lose the weight for his job, it wasn’t really an option. It’s just like how getting up in the morning to go to school, work, an appointment is much easier than getting up on the weekend. Self-motivation is just not as powerful as external motivation from a third-party.