I just couldn’t sleep last night. Getting out of bed, I made a sleepy-time tea to see if this would help. I should have delved back into my book, but instead I turned on the TV and started to channel hop. It was wee hours past midnight when all the infomercials are trying to convince you to bust out that plastic to make your life better, easier, happier, thinner and richer and other dubious claims.
One particular infomercial stood out, and frustrated me. It was an ad for a diet pill. To prevent t-rex to tigress’ poor behind from being sued for defamation, I will use only the words “diet pill” for this post. What the ad was telling viewers was shameful to me. In essence the diet pill’s target audience was the overweight and obese. Those who have tried every diet shake, pill, and meal replacement bar out there, only to find to their dismay that none of these things worked and they only ended up wasting money. This pill was claiming to be different from all the rest.
Instead of changing the channel, I watched more of this magic weight loss pill pitch. What really made me disappointed in the ad was the message conveyed. It was, don’t change a thing about your lifestyle. Just take this pill. In other words, if you’re eating and drinking in excess, processed foods are on your main menu, smoking and leading a sedentary lifestyle, that’s just fine. You don’t need to exercise or eat healthy, fresh foods. Indulge your sugar fix galore, forget about moving your body and just pop this pill. After all, it’s not about being healthy, it’s about being skinny.
Will this pill be there to help you when your body starts to break down and rebel from lack of movement? Will this pill be there to help you when your knees, back and joints ache? Will this pill be there to make you stronger and feel better? When your skin is looking dull and tired, will this pill be there to rejuvenate you and help you to look refreshed? When you’re feeling a little out of shape and winded from climbing the stairs, will this pill be there to increase your stamina? When you’re feeling down and a tad lack-luster, will this pill give you the same high as completing a 5K, hiking in nature or completing your first pull-up? Will this pill be there for you when your five year old is asking you to toss them a baseball after you just cleaned the house? My bet is on no, but as long as your can fit in those size four jeans that is all that matters.
At the risk of sounding cliché, I will risk it anyway. You see, I have never been over weight, but I have suffered from poor body image and terrible ideas of what being fit is. Skinny used to be my everything in my younger days, and nothing else mattered, so I feel I can relate to those who may be feeling desperate or hopeless. I have tried diet pills, meal replacement programs and starving myself skinny. Here is where that cliché part comes in. I know we live in a time where instant gratification feels good, but there is no other feeling in the world than meeting your goals through plain, simple hard work. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Yes, it will be challenging and it doesn’t happen overnight, but instead of buying these pills and potions, use that money to get a membership to a gym or just a good pair of trainers. Find your passion, may it be dancing, running, spinning, weights, swimming or walking. Get off the couch and get moving. Bypass the fast food joints as often as possible, and make a grocery list and buy fresh and nutrient-filled foods. You will see results. You will be happier and healthier. It won’t be as easy as popping a pill, but it will be so much more worth it.
Trust me, this feels better than pill popping:
The magic is not in a pill.
It is in you.