Last Updated: March 23, 2015
I’ve worked with many clients throughout the years who had unrealistic weight loss expectations and were willing to risk their health to achieve the goal no matter the cost. When clients came in desperate to lose weight they were my greatest challenge as a fitness and health consultant.
A percentage of those overweight tended to ask questions about fast weight loss dieting techniques that also included diet pills. I often found myself working to convince them that slow and steady was the healthier and sustainable course rather than fast and furious. However, I had to be mindful of the “I want it now” mentality and sensitive to their particular situation. I didn’t immediately try to sell them on a healthy lifestyle.
These client types needed to first understand the risks and reward to make an informed decision should they decide to apply a fast weight loss program. I always made it clear, I would not recommend or sell any product or service that compromised my fitness values, ethics, principles or their health. They definitely understood upfront their health and safety was a number one priority. Then they could decide if the services and programs I offered were right for them.
For those who’ve used diet pills to control appetite, or have sought surgical procedure or invested hundreds in diet programs and supplements brought about interesting discussions to say the least. As if my job was to lead them to the next fad weight loss or fitness programming fountain of youth secret [In other words, “just sell me a pill or magic potion and send me on my way”].
As a former full time fitness consultant, I have to tell you, it’s this type of client mentality and workload that become “the” burnout factor within this profession for me. People’s bad habits and behaviors once set on certain lifestyle and preferences within environment become very difficult at times to work with. And to tell you the truth is why I retired from taking on clients full time. Let me be clear, all clients are not like this, I had some very good times, experiences and satisfaction as a 1:1 trainer/consultant. However, after going through hundreds of client consultations, a good percentage wanted what they wanted, when the wanted it. Some just wanted a quick fix and didn’t want the dose of reality and hard work it takes to get there. We’ll that was the challenge and burnout factor over time.
I’ve often resisted the temptation to set clients straight immediately on behavioral and habit lifestyle change during initial consults. They needed time to talk to someone about their battle of the bulge and process their next step. They also needed time to question or convince me to provide popular weight loss, muscle growth, toning or fad diets and why or why not I would, or won’t recommend or provide these products and services.
I heard things like, “yah, but I know this guy who took this natural herbal steroid, dropped 30lbs of fat and gained 10 lbs. of muscle in one month. And is having the best sex of his life.” Or, this diet pill is amazing, no more hunger and the weight melted away like butter… Can you offer the same product? ‘Or, what do you think about xyz diet plan? ‘Linda lost 14 pounds in two weeks on this stuff, can you hook me up? ‘Oh yes, let’s not forget the most obvious, can you get me some steroids? ‘Don’t know how many times I heard that one.”
“Yes, I’d love to make a ton of money at the expense of your health. Not!”
And so many other like stories I had to get creative in how I responded to each one without chuckling, or resist saying something unprofessional. The insanity of it all, how little consumers and our children know so little about their bodies [education on such matters should be a criteria starting day one]. I’ve had many conversations with my wife about these very topics. People place greater value on personal possessions than their own bodies. “It’s what they trade off for instant gratification that harms them in the long run.” As a fitness-health educator, I felt a moral obligation to help steer clients to see how healthy lifestyle choice and change would ultimately lead them to sustain a set fitness goal once achieved.
What do you think was my number one fitness goal and program females wanted? You guessed it, weight loss. And many of them were interested in diet pills, diet meal replacement and high intensity aerobics exercise programming. I simply mentioned as a matter of fact, “over the counter diet pills and restrictive meal practices are dangerous because they are very effective at reducing unwanted body weight.’
“And if intensity of aerobic exercise is too high, instead of losing body fat, you may gain weight [reference: Target Heart Rate (THR)].” Then I have their attention and opportunity to tell them the rest of the story.
“Manmade solutions are not natural to the organic body and will ultimately harm it.” And when the client talks about natural herbs used to suppress appetite, or increase sexual performance I state, “even high concentrates or doses of herbs engineered by man to stimulate a metabolic or hormonal response is not natural to the body because mother earth didn’t design it this way.” Only under a medical doctors supervision should these practices be applied.
“Any organic edible manipulated and engineered by man and consumed to achieve a quick physical change or performance result is not of earth’s natural order. And in the long run cause permanent harm to long term health should this habit continue to repeat itself.” [MirrorAthlete® principled fitness philosophy].
In the short term you may lose weight fast. But long term you may break your metabolism and fat burning furnace. And then later may cause adult onset diabetes and/or circulatory disease.
Here is a good point and case. It is a fact too many young American women use Diet Pills as a convenient and quick weight loss solution. And coincidently has shown to have a negative effect on behavior and health. So the question becomes, why aren’t they restricted from the general marketplace and prescribed only through medical treatment.
First let’s start with our marketplace and its influence and impact on young and impressionable minds. The Hollywood glamour, fashion and fitness industries brainwash us at young ages into what we need and value to be successful in life. And one of those highly prized values is placed on how we appear.
Pure and simple, by conditioning our behavioral habits at a young age we become dependent on the products we need and want to meet ours and others expectations. Products like diet pills are in high demand and remain readily available for purchase. Weight loss and fitness enhancement products retain their placement for purchase because we the consumer-voter allows and demand these products. Powerful industrial lobbyists, marketers, special interest groups, consumer safety advocates, Federal Food and Drug administration, Health and Human Serves, etc., balance out national consumer policies of what’s deemed safe, valued and in-demand by industries, marketers and consumer.
The same is true of the cultural-marketplace in telling us how to fix ourselves when we become overweight and obese. And because of our culture we as a nation are getting fatter? In order to highlight this point simply requires one to become knowledgeable of some consumer, scientific and research facts. By just reviewing a few highlights it’s easy to see how our bodies receive on average too many food chemicals and other environmental oxidants or toxins that have an effect on our bodies DNA structure [DNA mutation]; immune and metabolic systems. This toxic effect is “first” fattening up America’s children where a direct connection and relationship to serious illness and disease is on the rise.
Two good relational cause and effect points to make:
There were over 4 million distinct chemical compounds introduced into our food chain from 1965 – 1982, and more than 250,000 added since then. So one must factor in how much processed foods and supplemental dietary toxins should be consumed in a day? Including suppressants or stimulates to make us thin, musclebound, performance enhanced or fat? The answer, nobody really knows how much chemical toxin or oxidant exposure of whatever will cause a medical condition for any one individual.
Also diet pills and abnormal diet loss behavior trends among the young is on the rise. For example, use among high school girls nearly doubled from 7.5% to 14.2%. 21.9% of teenage females used diet pills, laxatives, vomiting or skipping meals as a weight control behavior [2007 compiled data]. The longer this behavior continued the greater the likelihood health would be impacted at some point in time, then lead to other dangerous behavior.
Aside from processed-convenience foods and dietary supplements, etc., should we also be concerned about air and water quality? After all, air pollution and potable water have chemical oxidant stressors in them that are absorbed by our bodies. How many of these cellular stressors can our bodies tolerate daily? Unfortunately every trainer/consultant has varying educational levels, values and life philosophies on such things. And some are less scrupulous than others for sake of making a buck.
I realize there are more questions than answers when choosing a fitness trainer or consultant to help you achieve your fitness goal [weight loss, physical performance, toning, muscle mass, etc.]. However, maybe I can offer the following advice. It’s always been my contention anything manmade with unnatural chemicals added to it is not compatible in the long run with the organic being.
And there is a benefit to aging gracefully. This should tell you I believe in age appropriate and balanced exercise, behavioral habits, diet and lifestyle.
When we’re not educated to value healthy lifestyle and ill-health prevention at an early age, unhealthy living is often the result as adults. Then these lifestyle values will likely be passed onto future generations.
Does the marketplace control your habits and behavior or do you?
This may be easy to acknowledge simply by identifying one of the following questions. Are you and your children attracted to instant gratification through sight, sound, smell and touch [I want it now behavior]? Are you addicted to any fast, convenience or junk foods you must have daily or weekly? Have you sought out a quick fix for an overweight problem lately? Have you participated in any restrictive diets or low caloric meals, shakes or taken weight loss suppression supplements, diet pills or performance enhancers in the last year and/or with some frequency?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is more likely than not the marketplace has control over your habits and lifestyle. And like a habitual smoker or drinker, if these applied practices are not modified, changed or stopped, eventually may cause serious illness and disease.
These days I find it easier and less stressful to write about fitness, healthy lifestyle and nutrition and update each publication within our MirrorAthlete® Fitness Secrets site page. Then these teaching points can be shared by anyone interested in learning about them from a consultant’s view point. This way the fitness, health, nutrition and consumer safety messages can be shared by many and passed along to others as opposed to helping one client at a time.
The answers and solutions you need to preserve your good health are dependent upon your understanding of the organic body’s needs within cultural environment to live a long, productive and healthy lifestyle. Don’t let the market hype put you into a weight gain and depression spiral. Let MirrorAthlete® principled fitness philosophy guide you toward good health, happiness and safe weight loss.
Recommended Reading – MirrorAthlete® Publications.
Aspartame the Silent Killer, MirrorAthlete® publications, Feb 22, 2015. http://www.mirrorathlete.com/?p=21
A Permanent Solution to Control Body Weight. MirrorAthlete® publication, Jan 24, 2015. http://www.mirrorathlete.com/?p=4
MirrorAthlete® 1st Commercial Book Publication, Powerful Principled Fitness Philosophy. MirrorAthlete® publication, July 17, 2014. http://www.mirrorathlete.com/?p=1671
Get Skinny by Activating Addictive Body Chemicals. MirrorAthlete® publication. Nov 11, 2014. http://www.mirrorathlete.com/?p=62
Also visit our “Home Site” and “Like” our FB Fitness Secrets page. Get involved and get answers to all your fitness, nutrition and health questions and concerns. At the home site check out our first book publication release date and be sure to get this valued fitness consultant addition. It guarantees not to disappoint.
Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2015 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.