A weight-loss product has me shaking my fist in the air, again. The bad ones are like cockroaches — a scourge in my plight. Just when I feel like I’ve stomped them all, there’s another. You think I’d tire of these fits, but alas.
This new product is a carbon copy of a previous one I wrote about a few months back. My same Internet detective work easily revealed the same dude behind this new product. The same dude who was named in an FTC filing.
I know the only reason these “people” continue their tactics, regardless of legal (never mind ethical) ramifications, is because they make money. Where is that money coming from? Me and you, baby. The good news is we are in charge here. If we stop giving them our hard-earned money, they’ll stop the chicanery; maybe go apply their wiliness and creativity to something that actually helps society (I’m not holding my breath).
There are just so many cockroaches to smash; I need your help. You can become my cohorts in fitness-justice. We will stop falling for their trickery; and to do it, you’ll need a nasty, cynical attitude. While that comes scarily easy for me, I realize you are nice people and must be trained to be as suspicious as I am. Just think of me as your Pessimism Kung Fu Master. You are my Grasshopper (younger folks, go catch up on 1970s episodes of “Kung Fu.”)
First, you must practice your initial reaction. When you encounter a “sounds too good to be true” weight loss product (and you know it when you see it, Grasshopper, because an alluring voice in your head whispers, “Hey, look at that”), you must cross your arms warrior-style, furrow your brow, and sternly demand, “Where’s the catch?” This reaction needs to be practiced repeatedly — it must become habit.
See a “before photo” of a chunky, young guy looking sad with bad posture? Cross your arms. Clips of skinny, pretty people sprinkling magic powder on their salad as they sip water dining seaside? Furrow your brow. Double-blind, placebo-controlled studies quoted but can’t be located? Yell, “Where’s the catch?”
Once you’ve mastered the Kung Fu Pessimist’s initial response, you must learn to seek the truth. You, Grasshopper, will tirelessly pursue these answers:
• Where is that research institute they keep naming? And is it for profit? If so, whose profit?
• Where is the research they keep quoting? Where was it published? Is it really just a press release in disguise, not a journal article?
• Do all phone options and web links lead you back to “buy it now?”
• Does it include a diet and exercise plan that looks about the same as every other plan out there?
• Does any weight loss equal about 1-2 pounds per week — the same you could get on your own?
• Do they insert tiny print anywhere in the ad? Can you even read it?
• Lastly, have you heard Oprah going nuts over it?
Together, we can conquer the charlatans. Practice often, and maybe one day, you too, Grasshopper, can become a Kung Fu Master.
• NSCA certified personal trainer Shannon Sorrels has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and an MBA. Her Ahwatukee-based company, Physix LLC, works with Valley individuals and groups to improve their overall fitness. Reach her at (480) 528-5660 or visit www.azphysix.com.