With a Ph.D. in political science, Amanda Rose is not only trimmer than she has been as an adult and "half her size," her viral weight loss story has propelled her into the leadership of the Eat Like a Bear! weight loss community (a free support group in Facebook). Using her knowledge of food and of the psychology of choice, she has led thousands to dramatic weight loss.
Amanda Rose's Eat Like a Bear! community stands out in its triple-digit loss cases and in its ability to get members all the way to the finish line, in many cases below their lowest weight as an adult (as is the case with Rose). She has particular success among women over 50, a demographic reached by few weight loss platforms. Rose has been compared to Richard Simmons in both her weight loss success cases and in her appeal among women in America's heartland.
"Set a big goal – a very big, visual, completely physical goal," Rose urges her members. She talks about the core goals of the most successful members of her community and the psychology behind that, a psychology she employed by chance and learned from her own community.
"I am an excessive person. I am only now beginning to understand that a reason for my success is that I did not try to change that. I have put my excesses into boundaries that I never considered before." Weight loss programs teach and structure behavior around being "moderate": Count points, eat just one cookie, drink one glass of wine. "There is a key reason this advice never worked for a person like me."
In a book that started as a humble, under-produced digital download, the Ridiculously Big Salad (often called the "RBS" in the Eat Like a Bear! community) improved the success rates of community members, had great sales driven by word-of-mouth referrals, and generated high demand for a print version. Just one year after the publication of the initial digital version, it will be in print by early June 2020.
Headquartered in one of California's poorest, most obese, and most diabetic county (Tulare County), Rose teaches people how to create a simple and inexpensive meal that drives massive and healthy weight loss. It is the ultimate bootstrapping diet tool, accessible to anyone at any budget.
"What will your life look like in one year?" Rose asks in the viral video A Postcard from Yellowstone (here). Much of her content asks people to envision their future, a future that would seem completely impossible before seeing Rose's own photos. The growing number of success cases behind hers motivate people to jump in and give it "one last shot."
The locus of control turns out to be pretty simple. Weight loss companies across the decades have taught us to look for weight loss solutions outside of ourselves, giving consumers a fantasy notion that we can buy our way out of a weight loss problem with a product. "No surgery, no drugs, no branded products" is the Eat Like a Bear! tagline, but Rose often adds, "You don't even need this book. I didn't use a book to become half my size. Early adopters didn't have a book. The only thing you need is yourself."
"My training in social choice theory fundamentally shaped how I 'negotiated with myself' in those early dieting days and developed the structures that I would use and eventually teach." However, it may be Rose's approach to creating an open community culture that has driven these unusually high success rates. Rose actively encourages community members to modify and adapt her framework. Culturally, the community thrives on diversity. Scientifically, it leverages variation in implementation ("variation in x") that most diet programs lack completely. Rose adds, "I am a trained 'case difference' analyst, and I continue to learn more specifically what is working as my community members experiment. My writing in Half My Size with the Ridiculously BIG Salad is highly influenced by that ongoing analysis. We simply get better at weight loss every day."
Social media videos have driven the growth and success of the Eat Like a Bear! community. These are the most viewed prerecorded videos:
Driving the membership, culture, and success of the Eat Like a Bear! community, this video has over 700,000 views in its various forms, primarily on Facebook.
Members of the Eat Like a Bear! community offer their stories and their "you can do it!" spirit in this popular video, with over a million views (and growing).
First published on her 50th birthday (here on Facebook), this video is a short, positive portrayal of losing 140 pounds, with over 300,000 views.
Amanda Rose's 2014 TEDx talk on consumer information in a complex choice environment was delivered live but later recorded for YouTube. (It's a story worth asking about...)
Amanda Rose lives in the Giant Sequoia National Monument on private land, with her husband and two sons. Read more here.
Amanda Rose is the founder of the growing weight loss community Eat Like a Bear! She is a "half my size" case, 51 years old, with a Ph.D. in political science.