Beautiful people with flawless tanned bodies, and nary an addictive bone in their chiseled form, selling a diet for $129.99, targeting an overweight, overstressed, often beaten-down demographic, promising, you can look just like me in four weeks. The sales job works; we go for it over and over, until we don’t believe in anything anymore. Broken expectations shipwreck faith, leaving an aftermath of bitterness.
Why does the quick fix sell? First, buying into these weight-loss programs is a convenient form of denial. Of course, there is no denying the extra 36 pounds of fat; it’s there for all to see. But why did you eat those extra 126,000 calories (252 Big Macs) in the first place? A better question is why did you eat all those extra calories when the last thing you wanted was to gain 36 pounds of fat? Weight-loss programs have no intention of answering this question. They know denial sells. Their advertising consultants will instruct them to focus on the myth of thin without alluding to the source of the problem.
Dreams sell. Discussing the sweeping lifestyle changes you will be forced to make to keep off those pounds does not sell. Image sells. Vanity sells, and you are being sold a bill of goods. We buy into these two-dimensional solutions because we want to remain in denial to the bigger issues. But life is as complex as human nature, and to reduce a solution down to a weight-loss program is an insult to the multifaceted person you have become.
Another reason why the quick fix sells is that obesity and addiction cohabitate, and addictive people are compulsive. Gradual weight loss as a result of personal growth does not appeal to the compulsive temperament. It’s ironic that the obsessive/compulsive person who is most likely to respond to the late night infomercial on how to lose weight is the least likely to receive any benefit from what they have just purchased. It just doesn’t work.
Lastly, the quick fix sells because deep down most of us do not believe we are capable of living our entire lives eating healthy and staying active. The weight-loss program proclaims “It works!”—in other words, you don’t have to; the system does all the work for you. The focus is on the ingeniousness of the program taking the spotlight off you. Paradoxically, it is lack of trust in yourself that destines you to failure. The fix is not changing programs, the solution is changing you.
So allow me to help you realign your expectations. It’s going to be work, it’s going to hurt, it’s going to take time, there will be hunger, and you are going to fail. How’s that for marketing strategy. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. If you take this journey and persist, it will result in a lifetime of radiant health, and, oh yes, a fit, trim body.
Related Article: Weight Loss: There Is Going To Be Hunger