Tuesday, March 17, 2009

3 Stepping Into the Ring: What, You Talking to Me?! Taking On the Rapid Weight-Loss Industry & Related Mentalities


Hey you, weight-loss industry. Yes, I'm talking to you, you big overgrown behemoth that's tried to pull the wool over people's eyes for far too long. :) You are no longer going to cow people into submission with your passive-aggressive tactics & your guilt-inducing mechanisms. No way. You are not going to induce people with your unrealistic TV ads that float around in the nebulous fairyland of late-night TV, preying on those who, more than likely, have been plastered to their couch after 5 consecutive hours of TV-watching & have just gorged themselves on one too many Little Debbies, 7-foot-long something-or-other subs, or whatever the heck sounded good to quell the "munchies" at 4 am in the morning. :)

Yes, you've just entered the "Twilight Zone" of late-night snacking. Key up scary music here. Doo-doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo-doo. :) This is the zone of the guilt-ridden, post-apocalyptic haze of ... daaaaaa-dummmmmm -- Oh, no! It's the late-night food coma!!!!!!

Haha. OK, that's being a little bit overdramatic to prove a point.

But seriously, how can people actually believe those silly late-night testimonials spouted off by an overly muscular caricature of person (a modern-day Charles or "Charlotte" Atlas!) in an itty-bitty, teensy-weensy swimsuit & a spray-on tan, who very obviously aren't representative of the market who would resort to using these very unsound & unsavory products in the first place?! I can't help laughing when I see those ads. Suuuuurrrrrrre, you lost half your body in a day. Yeah, right. Whatever. If it sounds too good to be true......

Yes, we've all seen these over-hyped, too-good-to-be-true ads, whether in print (usually in the back of a magazine), on the internet, or on late-night TV. What I want to know is why do people keep falling for it?!

Isn't it time that people just say "NO!" to all this silliness, already?

The "snake-oil salesman" has been around a long, long time, & in this uncertain economy, where some really greedy bastards have gotten away with far too much for far too long, shouldn't this loud & resounding "NO!" also extend to the weight-loss industry as well?

I think we've all had enough with short-term, short-sighted ideas in every respect.

No more borrowing on a dream. It's time to get wise. Time to get back to basics. Time to focus on sound principles which make sense. Instead of hanging our star on an unrealistic fantasy that takes us further away from where we really want to be, it's time to move closer to actions which bring us real happiness in our lives. Let's get back to the things that make sense.

So on that note, why not throw your support behind products & people who promote medically-sound exercise & nutrition principles? Entities that promote the concept of a long-term, gradual approach to exercise & healthy eating.

Instead of supporting the rapid weight-loss industry, how about supporting the health & wellness industry instead? People & products who focus on sound medically/scientifically backed-principles, longevity, health, & preventative medicine, gradual change, moderation, & balance. Good health is something essential to everyone; quite literally, we cannot live without it.

The more people who vote with their dollars for truly health-focused products & initiatives, the more the business world will sit up & take notice. In order for businesses to survive, they've got to adapt to demand, & not the other way around. The primary goal of a business, other than making money, is to keep their business moving forward by fulfilling a need (or in some cases, create a "need" we never knew we even had. ;-) ) They've got to adapt to us, & not the other way around. :)

So why not put our dollars behind products & people we really believe are working in our best interests. Positive, forward-thinking people & products who want to improve the world we live in & genuinely care about the people in this world.

That way, businesses will create more products which support the kind of infrastructure & energies that we actually want to be a part of, instead of creating unsustainable products that we either don't use or really don't need.

Even though many of us are tightening our belts, there's a silver lining to this cloud of economic uncertainty: We are waking up to our real priorities, returning to what matters, listening to our gut instincts, finding the courage to take the road less travelled, & making the dollars that we do spend count towards something meaningful.

It's in times of adversity & struggle that we learn most quickly who we really are. Most of us who play sports already know this lesson. We accept this as part of the natural growth cycle. It's how we get better, faster, more adept. It's not just about improving as an athlete; it's about improving overall as a person, as a human being. This is the concept of sportsmanship taken to the highest level.

It's through engaging in the process -- the doing part! -- that we find our true depth of character in the challenges that lie before us. We reveal our natures through our striving & struggling. Such are the profound lessons of running & athletics, & of life in general.

The display doesn't have to be dramatic, public, or even visibly apparent to others; sometimes our efforts are manifested in small, barely-detectable movements, & accomplished in quiet ways.

In an interview for a profile piece entitled "The Artist's Reward," which appeared in the New Yorker (on November 30, 1929), Dorothy Parker once asked Ernest Hemingway, "Exactly what do you mean by 'guts'?" To which Hemingway replied: "I mean, grace under pressure."

And that, my friends, says it all right there. :)


Melissa Hope said...

Good blog! It is absolutely ridiculous how people can fall for the crap on the TV. And you're right, it is mostly people that don't know anything about exercise or healthy eating. I guess it is those that know to educate those that don't know. So they know. You know? ;-)

cyberpenguin said...

Thanks, Melissa! I agree that education is an important piece to the puzzle, although my comments were more about people growing & learning from their mistakes versus falling into the same unthinking habits. Sometimes that can be less about traditional definitions of education on specific health issues per se, & more about an individual's personal growth trajectory & their own state of self-awareness. :)

Case in point: There are many highly educated people who are just as prone to repeating past mistakes as those who are less-educated. :)

I think the weight loss industry (as well as the beauty industry) often preys on people's insecurities & fears, which is a destructive way to approach weight loss (as well as a very short-sighted view of health in general), & will ultimately, on a psychological level, lead to failure. What I'm addressing here is that it's more effective & far healthier to motivate people positively!

If people can approach exercise & healthy eating in this manner, i.e., if they are coming from a balanced & positive place, then they'll be far less prone to falling to those late night rapid-weight loss schemes. :)

Melissa Hope said...

True true. Very well said!!

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