Deprivation isn't a dirty word - East Valley Tribune: Living Well

Deprivation isn't a dirty word

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NSCA certified personal trainer Shannon Sorrels has a bachelor's degree in chemistry and an MBA. Her Ahwatukee-based company, Physix LLC, works with Valley individuals and groups to improve their overall fitness. Reach her at (480) 528-5660 or visit

Posted: Wednesday, September 7, 2011 6:30 am | Updated: 9:55 am, Mon Aug 13, 2012.

I think we spend too much time patting each other on the head, saying, “There, there.”

We prefer to placate an uncomfortable feeling rather than get up and do something about it. For months, if not years, we embrace excuse after excuse, when we could have solved our problem — five times over.

Among the myriad uncomfortable feelings we like to avoid, we particularly don’t want to feel deprived. Egad — deprivation!

When I hear us bemoaning deprivation, I instantly picture someone up to her ears in credit card debt about to buy another pair of $500 shoes because she “deserves it” and doesn’t want to “deprive herself.” Sister, you need to deprive yourself. Cut up that credit card and stay out of stores.

When it comes to weight loss, sister-girl needs to stop with the Jethro-sized portions.

Many of us want to lose weight (and 66 percent of us need to), but we don’t want to “deprive” ourselves. Well, I’ve got news for us all: If we are overweight, then some deprivation is called for!

I popped online to get the Merriam-Webster definition of “deprive.” It means “to remove” or “to take something away from” or “to withhold something from.” I didn’t read anything in the definition about punishment or evil or just being plain mean. Why are we all wrapped around the axle about “feeling deprived?” What’s the big whoop?

I’ve had extremely overweight people look me in the eye and say, “I want to lose weight, but I don’t want to feel like I’m doing without.”

Oh. OK. Let me put you on the super-secret “eat anything and still lose weight” diet. But don’t tell anyone because I don’t want word to get out.

Listen, we need to be feeling some deprivation. We will not die. Life will still be worth living. The sun will still rise. Accept that deprivation is part of losing weight. It just is. Get over it.

If you need to lose a few L-B’s, you’ve got to deprive yourself. Withhold some food. Allow it to stay in the food supply. Someone else might need it. Lord knows 66 percent of us don’t.

• Shannon Sorrels is an NSCA-certified personal trainer and owner of Physix LLC in Ahwatukee Foothills. Reach her at (480) 428-5660 or

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