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October 23, 2011

What a dope

9:26 am - Posted by Gregg

If there’s one thing that makes my blood boil (besides molten lava), it’s media gluttons who feel like they can easily take advantage of us dieters – as if what we’ve gone through (or are going through) is somehow instantly understandable to them and can be translated into something that can be marketed in a pill, a box, a sneaker, a website… (The list goes on.)

These are not unlike carnival sideshow hucksters of yesteryear (the ones selling magic potions, tonics and elixirs) – a type of conman who thinks if he (or she) speaks at a high enough volume, we will believe them (or even pay them).

The latest goofball attempt to exploit the overweight person and their desire to lose weight is some dope named Drew, a personal trainer who has decided to get fat within a 6 month time period and then show everyone how “easy” it is to lose the weight with his “specific meal plans and workout plans” via his website, fit2fat2fit.com. Along with pictures that chronicle his weight gain, Drew includes insipid blogs that detail his non-exercise and overeating routines that have made him feel as if “Every day was Christmas.” Judging from his pictures, it seems Drew hasn’t just given up his healthy lifestyle for this mockery – he’s also apparently given up his fake tan and chest hair waxing.

Drew lists his ‘goal’ as being to inspire people to get fit (and to show them how simple it is to lose weight – as if we are all too stupid to have realized it was simple to begin with). If Drew’s ‘goal’ gives you any doubts about his overall mission to make money, simply take note of his “Please feel free to donate” button on the home page of his website.

What’s worse, according to Drew’s website, he’s slated to appear on The Tonight Show on October 28th – something that will give this carnival side show national attention. This really is shameful, as it totally exploits and mocks the aspirations and desperation of the overweight person.

Of course, someone who gains weight in 6-months can take it off immediately. Hollywood actors do it all the time. But as (often) lifetime dieters, we know that we didn’t get fat overnight. Therefore, we’re not going to necessarily lose it overnight.

Stunt tactics like the one being offered by Drew also undermine the psychology behind our weight gains. If we could have taken it off within 6 months of gaining it, we would have. But we know that usually the weight is gained (and perhaps regained) over the course of several years.

What this boils down to is a gimmick – one potentially meant to totally exploit and take advantage of the dieter (not to mention his or her pocketbook). Normally, I don’t like to add to any media attention to efforts like Drew’s, which only serves to get the word out about these hackneyed pundits. But exploitation like Drew’s really is insulting to us all and, in my opinion, is one of the leading causes of us being 2/3rds overweight as a nation.

Look around! There have never been more so-called fitness gurus, weight loss products, reduced-calorie or fat-free foods – and more – than there are available today (not to mention potentially dangerous pills and surgeries). And yet we, as a nation, just continue to get fatter and fatter.

Well, it’s time to start ignoring these people who obviously have a desire for more fat in their wallet than a calling to really “help” us lose fat. True success in weight management does not come from gimmicks – nor does it come from hucksters who think it might get them some publicity if they gain weight and lose weight quickly. Shame on people like Drew. And shame on entities like The Tonight Show, which televise these dangerous and mocking messages.

To successfully lose excess weight, we’ve got to first lose the confusing and reckless messages. The directives for getting healthy are clear and they are simple: Eat less and move more (along with adding plenty of water and good nights’ sleep to your regimen). All other “gimmicks” are just that – gimmicks! – and should be completely ignored.

What hucksters have you come across or feel taken advantage of by? I’d love to hear from you on this topic. Because together we are strong enough to ignore dopes like this in unison (and get to a physically and mentally healthy place once and for all).

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