. . .rapid, simple, effortless. These are words that should not be used to describe weight loss. Yet, the last time that I was trying to chose a magazine, these are the exact words that were used to advertise diet and exercise.
“Simple new foods to get rapid weight loss results!”
“Quick 10 minute workouts to see the results you want.”
“The simple way to lose 10 pounds in two weeks!”
“Easy exercise tips to get six pack abs.”
The only way that getting a six pack would be considered easy was if you were to use this little contraption.
Being that everyone and their brother are trying to lose weight, it only makes sense that retailers are trying to cash in on this growing fitness industry. And since we tend to be obsessed with instant gratification, it’s no surprise that weight loss is advertised as quick and painless. But whether an individual is trying to lose 200 pounds, or that last 5 pounds, weight loss should never be disguised as easy. If it were easy, quick or fast, we would not have such a high rising obesity rate.
Losing weight the proper way is not easy or fast. It’s very, very hard and frustrating, and discouraging. And if you have a good amount of weight to lose, there will come a time when you will want to give up because you won’t feel like anything is working. When you have reached a point of desperation, you are willing to believe anything. And against your better judgement, you find yourself thinking that using the shake weight for 6 minutes is going to work. Exercise is not meant meant to be quick. A real workout should never be 10 minutes or less. It’s called a workout for a reason. You have to put the hard work in to get the hot body that you desire. I have learned to embrace fitness and hard work, but when I started I had no idea just how hard I would have to work.
In the beginning, I had visions of my weight just pouring off. I thought I would be losing at least 5 pounds a week, if not more. I blame this vision solely on society and the false advertising that is done for weight loss. Luckily there was a voice inside telling me to keep working hard but I think a common reason for weight loss failure is unrealistic expectations when it comes to beginning a diet and exercise routine. If you set out thinking that something is going to be easy, and then find out that it’s not so easy, chances are you are going to fail and eventually quit.
Workout equipment like this provides unrealistic expectations of real exercise.
Spending only 6 minutes a day working out is not going to get you buff.
And when is the last time you heard someone say, “oh yeah, I actually lost 50 pounds by using the shake weight for 6 minutes a day!”
Now don’t get me wrong, I am sure the shake weight could provide some great benefits when added into a daily workout regimen, coupled with a healthy diet. However, the advertising leads us to believe that 6 minutes of simply holding a moving object is all it’s going to take to get big, bulging muscles. This ad makes it look like the girl and guy both only used it for 6 minutes a day, yet by some miracle he was able to get muscles triple her size. It’s magic really.
Equally there are many crash diets on the market that I think purposefully set people up for failure. The more that people crash diet, the more money they are going to spend on products like the shake weight and the ab lounger. It’s a vicious cycle.
“Conduct this 7 day cleanse, and you will lose 10 pounds.”
“Use this relaxing body wrap and watch the inches melt off of your waist!”
A diet in which you have to
starve your body for a week is not going to provide you with real, sustainable results. You are not going to maintain that 10 pound weight loss. You have simply deprived your body and lost some water weight. This is a quick fix; a temporary solution. Participating in a cleanse for 4 nonconsecutive weeks is not going to result in a total of 40 pounds gone. Similarly, taking an all natural diet supplement is not going to cause you to drop 30 pounds if you are still stuffing your face with a Big Mac, and considering adjusting yourself on the couch to be exercise.
Though some diet supplements may aid in weight loss, they usually only work when added to an already healthy diet, and exercise. When my weight loss plateaued, I had considered taking a diet supplement, but I stopped and asked myself, “do I want to take this supplement for the rest of my life?” My answer was no. So now I ask myself this very question every time I consider buying a supplement. And if my answer is no, which it usually is, then I typically won’t start taking that specific supplement. I believe that if you are going to maintain weight loss, you need to find a diet that you will be able to sustain for the rest of your life. I have heard that maintaining weight loss can sometimes be harder than actually losing it. So why not start with the hard stuff, make it a lifestyle and then live that way forever?
So when you find yourself debating buying that trendy piece of workout equipment or participating in a fad diet, ask yourself “am I going to be able to keep this up forever?” “Is this an actual lifestyle change or just a quick fix?” Weight loss and a healthy lifestyle should never be a fad or a trend. And if you find yourself overwhelmed at the thought of never getting to eat a large bowl of ice cream ever again, ask yourself “can I do it just for today?” Because chances are you can. You are stronger than you think. And then ‘just for today’ quickly becomes a month, which quickly becomes 6 months, and before you know it, you no longer feel chained to ice cream or junk food in general.
You are strong. And you can do this.
Break your weight loss journey into more manageable chunks. If you love bread, brownies and french fries (I am guilty of this), you don’t need to stop eating all of them at once. But you also don’t need to have all of them in the same week. Moderation is good. Crash dieting is bad.