Photo credit: Flickr / DenizenFamily
First, there was the drink that promised to help you melt fat away. “Just drink one of these for breakfast, have a salad for lunch, and a sensible dinner….and boom! Fat be gone!”
Then, there were the pills that promised to help you blast body fat. Just take two three times a day, and “you’ll burn fat faster than you’ve ever known… not to mention you’ll be overloaded with more energy than you’ve ever felt in your life! Just don’t pay attention to that jittery feeling you have whenever you’re on them… and never mind the anxiety or restlessness you feel. That’s just excitement you feel about your new body!”
After that came the weird pulsing belly band things that were supposed to give you SIX PACK ABS FAST! All you’ve got to do is wear this obnoxiously oversized electronic belt and let this thing shock you intermittently for 15 minutes a day and, before you know it? Boom! Abs! Never mind whether or not you’ve still got belly fat to burn before you could even consider possibly potentially seeing a single ab, let alone six, this band is going to give you abs through all that!
Then came the silly wraps, that alleged that your body fat was actually “toxins” that your body didn’t know what to do with—here’s a hint: if it didn’t kill you, your liver took care of it, and you peed/pooped/sweat it out—so the wraps were loaded with chemical compounds intended to make you sweat more, get rid of more toxins, and get a flatter tummy. Never mind the fact that you could make yourself sick by trying to interfere with your body’s natural detoxification process, and never mind the fact that actual “toxins” aren’t stored, nor are there any chemicals in existence that can cause stored body mass to merely “melt away” without sending you to the hospital.
Then there was the silly creams you were supposed to use under your silly wraps or waist bandy things. You were supposed to use the cream and rub it wherever you wanted to burn fat, and the heat from the cream was supposed to incite your body to say “OMG FAT BURNING TIME!” even though somehow it was never strong enough to melt through the gloves you were supposed to use to slather it on you… oh wait, were you ever actually told to use gloves?
There were so many of those creams over the years, tell me—do you even know which one I’m talking about?
I could do this all day. I’m sure you know I could do this all day. It’s actually fun, at this point, to poke holes in the faulty logic that these companies employ to convince the desperate and the frustrated to part with their hard-earned coins in hopes of achieving that ultimate goal of a fit body.
But what’s not fun is to interact with the #bgg2wlarmy, day in and day out, and hear the stories of money spent and money lost because someone opted to go all in on a quick fix.
Here’s the unfortunate reality: there is no such thing as a quick fix.
If it’s quick, it’s not a fix —it’s a band-aid. And if it’s a fix, it’s not quick.
What people seem to ignore or misunderstand about fitness is that it’s not something you can simply stop once you achieve your goal. You have to keep going in order to maintain your goal. If you stop doing the things that got you there, you can’t stay there. You won’t. Excluding the usual exceptions, if you go right back to your old habits, you wind up right back with your old body. The “journey,” as it were, is literally the months you spend figuring out what new habits are necessary to develop in order to earn and keep your body.
In fitness, there is no such thing as a “fix.” Snake oil salesmen want you to believe that there’s a way for you to continue eating whatever you want, whenever you want, while still achieving the body you want. The “fix” is supposed to make that happen.
The flaw in that logic—the thing that no snake oil salesman wants you to realize, is that in the overwhelming majority of cases, the reason you don’t have the body you want is because you don’t want to change the life you have. Your life, as it currently stands—the junk food in front of the TV after dinner habit, the “I don’t want to work out because I’m not trying to sweat” habit, the “I don’t eat breakfast but I binge at lunch to make up for it and then some” habit, the “I rarely keep tabs on what I’m eating and when” habit, the sodapop habit, the daily cookie with your coffee habit, and so on—is mainly why you have the body you have. Your actions and choices contribute to that. And, as long as you still engage in those behaviors, as long as you refuse in incorporate healthier habits, you will never be able to achieve those results.
What’s even worse? May I be frank?
The more overweight you may be, the more of a waste of money they are. Snake oil salesmen definitely don’t want you to realize that, because often those of us who are the heaviest are often the most desperate to lose it, the most confused about why it isn’t going away easier and faster despite starving ourselves/bingeing and purging/[insert other unhealthy habit], and the most depressed about our current state. In other words, the most overweight among us are frequently the ones these charlatans are taking advantage of in order to line their pockets.
In order to truly “fix” the “problem” and keep the “problem” away for good, you have let go of the idea of “quick.” Nothing about this is “quick.” It is complex, complicated, takes attention and effort, and has no cheat codes.
Remember—if quick fixes really worked, none of us would have the problem worth “fixing.” There’d be no competing “fixes” vying for our hard-earned coins. We’d all be “fixed” by now.
A great article. Very real and I must say that i can definitely relate. You are 100% correct, there is
no quick fix. Thanks for the reminder.
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