The Fallacy of Fitness Adverts

Let me preface this by stating first that I do believe exercise and diet can lead to weight loss, that there are some wonderful programs and videos out there to help you burn calories and that I am sure some people honestly loose weight with these systems; however, I am skeptical because I have met and read about how some Before and After photos work. Companies hire fitness models to take an “after” photo when they are at the height of their training and it is in all actuality a “before” photo for them.  Then they take a photo of the same model in their off season, or after taking some time off, or after allowing a little weight gain as a “before” photo – which in all reality should be titled the “after” photo. 

Not to mention there is airbrushing, flagrant use of different models (the best example is a hair recovery system billboard on the way to Chicago which clearly depicts two different men – one has blue eyes and the other brown – but supposedly is the same man after hair care help).

The most imperceptible fallacy I would have never noticed – but my husband brought it to my attention.  We were in a hotel workout room on some cardio equipment when an advert came on the TV for a weight loss video system (I truly can not remember which one – but it was cardio and strength together I believe) what made it memorable was one of the believers in the system who had lost 70 or so lbs was the mother of 5-7 kids – two sets of twins – and was giving a testimonial to how this system helped her loose all the weight and look great.  I was about 2 months pregnant with the scary possibility of twins which is why she stuck out to me (runs in my husband’s family) and my husband said -“Hey, look there is hope”.  Well, I finished my training and went on to a resource web site that I use to find work, etc. which also has testimonials about a certain cardio system (again it is a great workout I do it myself) and lo and behold here is a photo of the exact woman, exact story and almost verbatim the exact testimonial.  Maybe she used both programs to loose weight, lord knows it takes more than one way to stay engaged in fitness, but if you saw either video/testimonial you would believe that “The System XYZ” was the only way to go.

What in the world is my point? Take everything with a grain of salt.   Exercise is a wonderful way to help weight loss, but more importantly a wonderful way to condition yourself for improvement in: cardiovascular, strength, flexibility,  or more importantly emotion and mental health.

As the holidays approach and the ever tedious New Years Resolution Lists looms before us, remember that weight loss is nice, but being healthier is even better.


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