Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Getting Skinny. Staying Skinny. How Do “They” Do It?

“How do they stay skinny?” Every time I go to Facebook, I see this ad, as well as the one for Hollywood’s secret for eliminating wrinkles *eyeroll*. The ads use headshots of Jennifer Aniston, Diane Lane, Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie, and every other thin female celeb you can think of. My blood boils every time I see it because I know there are people who actually believe the ad is real and end up getting duped. Desperation is like that.

I clicked on the darn thing last night to see what it was all about and gee, surprise surprise, it was an acai diet. I played along and called myself Sid who wanted to lose 10 pounds. Here’s the message I got back (oh, and keep in mind I won’t be 46 until August, thank you very much)

“Hello Sid, Based on your goals of moving from 128 lbs to 118 lbs, your height of 5'6" and the fact you are 46 years of age, you seem like the perfect candidate for one of our remaining weight loss packages with 14-day Trial period. However due to the small number of trials we have left to hand out, there’s just a few short questions we’d like to ask before having a full month’s supply (that's 60 capsules!) rushed to your door.”

I answered their questions and this was the next message:

“Great news! Sid, you qualify for one of our remaining trial packages! Not only that, but if you take AcaiBurn 2x per day and....- go for an easy 30 minute walk (or swim, or cycle) three times a week- don’t eat after 7:30pm- drink 8 glasses of water a day… you can lose weight fast and be well on your way to your weight loss goal by Mar 18, 2009!

Your BMI is within the normal range of weight for your height. Weight is not always the true indication of your fitness. The BMI represents a range of healthy weight for your height. Your Wu-Yi Tea will help you fuel your engine and get you to your goal weight without compromising your energy or good nutrition.

DIRECTIONS: As a dietary supplement, take 1 capsule of AcaiBurn 2x per day, approximately 30 to 60 minutes before your morning and afternoon meals. Consume at least six 8-oz. glasses of water per day. Read the entire label before use and follow directions. Do not exceed 2 capsules in a 24 hour period. Do not take within 3 hours of bedtime. If you begin to experience weight loss in excess of one pound per 24 hours, temporarily discontinue use.

WARNING!....The AcaiBurn system was not created for those people who only want to lose a few measly pounds. The AcaiBurn System was created to help you achieve the incredible body you have always wanted…USE WITH CAUTION!”

So there you have it. That’s what’s being advertised on Facebook and I’m sure a million other places. Just take a few pills, drink some tea, walk a little, and pray you don't lose so many bodily fluids that you lose a pound every 24 hours.

Where do you suppose these ads originate? My guess is somewhere in Asia. This doesn’t sound like the same “voice” you get in those “I am living in exile and have $5 billion dollars in my bank account…” email scams.

Call me na├»ve, but I don’t know how advertisers like this live with themselves. Shame on them.

But mostly I’m sadly perplexed by the number of people who actually give out their credit card numbers to these scammers. I don’t mean that as a slam on anyone. God knows I’ve made my share of financial mistakes in my life. But my heart really goes out to the desperation people feel to lose weight fast and, in most cases, so unhealthily.

I’m sure many of you (me included) have felt that “fat desperation” before. That “Oh my god just get it OFF me already!” kind of panic when it comes to weight loss. It’s easy to forget we have better choices and we have time. Time to think. Time to develop patience. Time to remember that weight loss isn’t something that’s best done quickly.

We need time for our brains to catch up to our bodies. Time to figure out what made us fat in the first place. Time to just breathe and be and start loving who we are despite the scale. Actually, just remembering to breathe and keep loving who we are is something that continues in maintenance. I’m always reminding myself to be patient.

It’s hard, though, when day in and day out we’re bombarded with ads promising fast weight loss. Promising that our lives will be perfect once we lose weight. Sadly, that’s the biggest lie ever. How do we combat it? I don’t know. I guess just one blog at a time, eh?
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I want to give a shout out and plug to my sister Emily's best friend Carye who is an independent artist living in Portland and runs a little press called Red Bat Press. Carye designs very fun cards, calendars and blank books.

I'm particularly fond of her bunny series. I also love the birds.




If you're looking for something a little different, click here to go to her website.

4 comments:

  1. "If you begin to experience weight loss in excess of one pound per 24 hours, temporarily discontinue use."

    That, right there, is the hook...now, where do I order this magic potion?!?

    Yeah, it sounds enticing. Losing weight slowly is not exciting. But it is the correct way to do it. I keep having to remind myself of this. Glad I'm not alone!

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  2. It's amazing how you qualified for their deal like that!

    What I find extraordinarily amazing about the whole thing is that the ads are EVERYWHERE. Not just facebook, but EVERYWHERE. They must be paying millions in fees for the number of impressions their getting.

    And this stupid campaign has been going on since at least last summer. So they're either raking in the cash or have some extremely deep pockets to fund this kind of thing.

    I hate it, hate it, hate it.

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  3. Yeah, Charlie, someone's making a buttload of money on this. A woman was telling me today how a guy called her on the phone and was trying to sell her "miracle" spray that you spray under your tongue and you'll have energy, sleep better AND lose weight without changing your diet or exercising. How do people live with themselves? I know I say that a lot, but it just is beyond me.

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  4. Third oldest profession on the planet: selling snake oil.

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