Monday, January 16, 2017

Get thin, Get rich, Get likes.

Happy New Year. 2017.
Everywhere you go this month, online, in stores, on radio and TV, the ads will be there, preying on your vulnerability. I don’t know why we choose the beginning of a new year to attempt to overhaul our lives. Except, maybe the passing of a calendar year, with dreams yet to be fulfilled, reminds us of how quickly time passes, how little time we have left to “finally make it”, “get thin”, “get rich”, get Instafamous.

I love New Year’s Resolutions. I am a firm believer in them. I make them every year and often in the middle of the year too. I don’t just make one. I am your typical American (50% will make resolutions) who over-resolves, making not just one resolution, but a whole dang list. I resolve big and little things: Love better, Be on Time, Run a marathon, Stay in touch with friends. I do it the Right Way too. I get specific. I make my goals measureable. I plan out baby-steps to move me toward achieving them. So, I am not here to tell you that you shouldn’t make resolutions. By all means, make them, my dear. Resolve right now to achieve it all in 2017. But, please, don’t spend your money with charlatans.
By all means, make resolutions my dear.
Weight loss is invariably one of the top five New Year’s Resolutions. Is it on your list this year? If so, you will likely be hearing all the solutions available to you right now and feeling a bit overwhelmed, a bit, adrift perhaps, in the sea of weight loss claims. The weight loss industry is one of the fastest growing and as part of the overall wellness industry is expected to continue to trend upward in 2017. “Wellness” products: foods, beverages, vitamins, supplements and gimmicky weight loss gadgets available to the average consumer today can be found online, in grocery and health food stores, through gyms and even from your neighbor, as direct marketing continues to grow. It’s not surprising to me as a healthcare professional to hear my patients repeat ridiculous health related claims that are used to sell products. They’ll often ask my opinion about a particular product. And I try to give them good advice.

Apple Cider Vinegar is one of my all-time favorites. “Why?” I always ask. Why would you drink it straight when it makes such a lovely salad dressing? I promise you that drinking straight vinegar will not help you lose the fifty pounds you need to lose. Changing your diet to one of real, whole foods and moving your body on a regular basis: those things will take off the weight. But it is depressingly slow and we want insta-results.

Your neighbor, your colleague, your niece, even your friend from high school: they aren’t necessarily out to take your money with their direct marketing weight loss products. I am sure that many of them truly believe in the products they want to sell you. But be wary. Don’t spend any money you aren’t willing to gamble. And please, if your weight has become a medical issue then don’t play around with it. Get medical help.

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