I see more than a few people online selling pills, powders, patches, products, and advocating procedures or physical fitness plans that are all guaranteed to help you lose weight or burn fat to get your perfect body back. I get it: the health industry, and more specifically the weight loss industry, is huge. It makes people lots of money because we are a nation of obese people looking to lose weight easily, without pain, and without effort.
People trying to make a buck: okay. You do you. But what puzzles me is when people who are overweight and unfit themselves are trying to sell these things and advocating their efficacy based on nothing more than their testimony. If they were so effective, why isn’t the person doing the selling thin and healthy? I’m not talking about health professionals, physical therapists, or even nutritionists. You know who I’m talking about: the people who try to sell these products or services part-time to make extra income.
I’ll play devil’s advocate: maybe they just started in their journey. But if that’s the case, how do they know it’s effective if they haven’t realized the losses these products promise? Is it maybe because they used to be so much more obese or out of shape? If that’s the case, then perhaps waiting a bit to sell these items would be helpful. Maybe it’s a health issue and they are physically unable to lose the weight. If that’s the case, they have picked an unfortunate arena to make money in.
Am I fat shaming? No. Do I think that obese people have no place in commerce? Of course not. Do I think that the health and fitness fields only have room for people who are thin and beautiful? Negative, Ghost Rider. But I do believe it is disingenuous, deceitful, and just plain wrong for someone to try to sell items or services to people who are desperate and to take advantage of that desperation to make a buck on their misery.
“Whoah, PaleoMarine! Who are you calling desperate?!” I am referring to the millions of people who buy into those pills, powders, patches, products and procedures. They are trying to shortcut a well-documented and well-researched process: weight loss and fitness. We know what it takes to lose weight and to get fit. It’s no secret, and it’s remained the same since the beginning of time: eat fewer quality calories than you expend, and move 30 minutes a day at least 3-5 times a week. That information is out there, it’s free, and best of all, it works. The problem for most people is that it takes discipline, motivation, and PATIENCE. Yes, patience, because you can’t drop the weight magically in less time than it took you to pac it on. You can’t magically get fit from using one machine with one repetitive exercise.
Who do I trust? Those who have walked my path. Those who have taken the same journey I’m on. If I’m going to New Jersey, why would I ask someone from Sacramento who has never been to New Jersey where the best pizza joints in Newark are? The same applies to weight loss. Taking advice from people who have never had to go through the struggle of losing weight can be efficacious (anyone can learn the science), but there’s more to it than just science: there’s the emotional aspect of it that you just can’t understand until you’ve been through it. I’ve spoken with many life-long thin people about it before, and they just don’t understand the pain and emotional distress we’ve been through.
That’s what makes the overweight weight loss people more insidious to me: they know the pain, embarrassment, and discomfort that we feel, yet they prey on it to make a buck.
I know this is going to be controversial, and it may not be a popular post, but it’s something that’s been boiling up inside me for a long time now, and I just saw another Facebook post from an overweight person who is advocating a fitness program they are on that promises an amazing body, yet after years of being on this program, the person is still as large as ever. Sure, maybe they have a health problem that precludes them from attaining the perfect bathing suit-ready body, but if that’s the case, then why prey on others promising a result they themselves can’t attain? That’s like me selling cars with no engines and telling potential customers that the cars will eventually start: you just have to keep thinking positive and keep turning that key.
If I hurt your feelings, I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry. I’m the PaleoMarine, not the PaleoFluffyCuddleBuddy. I tell it like it is, and it comes from my heart. If this hurts your feelings, perhaps you should take a look at why it hurt your feelings and look within yourself and your motivations and find the reasons there. I care about my readers, and I want them to have good, solid, honest advice that has a chance of helping them. I will never sell, advocate, or recommend anything I didn’t either try myself or do myself or that I didn’t find to be beneficial.
Oh, that big guy in the photo there? That was me when I weighed roughly 312 lbs, and I had all kinds of advice to give people about losing weight that I never took myself. I cringe at the thought of me giving weight loss advice back then. If I could go back in time, I’d slap myself.