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Good Advertising & Addictive Products

February 20, 2012

Americans are fat.

But, of all the people who should maintain a high level of fitness you would think those involved with health care would be leading the march. Yet, what I see is many health care workers – including me – are just as fat.

So, with my wife’s help, I decided to do something about my problem. Being a Catholic, I chose to follow the sacramental confession method.

Here’s how it worked:

Step One: Contrition
“My soul, as well as my knees, my hips, and my back all hold sorrow for my sins.” Step One Done.

Step Two: Confession
“Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It has been a couple decades since my last confession. Father, I have overeaten ever since my last confession. Okay, okay, okay – I’ve overeaten for a longer period than that. Father, let’s just say it’s been a long time.” Step Two Done.

Step Three: Penance
My penance was a 3-month subscription to the online version of Weight Watchers with my lovely spouse monitoring my performance.

So, away I went. The first day at the dining table, I looked at my serving size and thought it had to be just the appetizer. How could one-tenth of my normal intake possibly keep me alive? But I didn’t die.

And the weight began to drop. The difficult question to answer was, “Why is weight loss so difficult when the concept is so simple?” So, I thought, and I thought, and I thought. And this is what I came up with.

Those in the food industry conduct a well-planned out full-fledged assault on our senses.

The food industry tells us to “Eat, Eat, Eat” and the people in the advertisements – those who are gorging their faces with food – are ALWAYS thin, and happy. However, the last time I was in a restaurant EVERYBODY I saw was anything but thin, including the waiters.

And then there’s the taste. Millions and millions of dollars have been spent on how to seduce our taste buds. Sometimes they’ll even give you free samples. I think they learned this methodology from another group of folks – drug dealers.

Great advertising with addictive products is their simple plan. And it works.

So, how do we fight back?

Our own truthful advertising is part of the answer. The picture we need to show ourselves – when eating like a pig – isn’t a thin, healthy, happy person. No, we need to show ourselves a fat, unhealthy, unhappy person.

The next part is more difficult because we can’t eliminate the drug completely. We need to eat in moderation and that’s not easy when the food is addictive.

Therefore, it comes down to self-control coupled with strong, clear consequence advertising. It’s a simple yet difficult plan.

So far it’s worked for me – thirty-three pounds down with fourteen to go.

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