A recent session with a wellness client made me want to talk about the particular dangers of the “quick-fix”. My interest in health and wellness leads to a plethora of advertising on my Facebook page for supposed “wellness” products and programs that promise fast fixes, miracle results or cures. When you see these claims, remember, these people are trying to sell you something. Period. “As long as there is money to be made, there will always be a new gimmick or diet for a quick weight-loss fix.” (Tribole & Resch, 2012)
Ultimately, most of us already know this, so why do we continue to fall for these claims time and again? Because change is hard. The promise of nearly immediate gratification, a feeling of control over your life or a change in how you see yourself is both incredibly enticing and highly addictive. Unfortunately, even under the best circumstances, those times, when the quick-fix works as it was designed and the desired results are achieved, those results and conditions are almost NEVER sustainable and often lead to physical, emotional and mental backlashes that build upon one another with each new attempt.
As Alva Noe puts so perfectly in a 2014 NPR opinion piece “Surely, if there's one thing that people... ought to have learned by now it's that there are no quick fixes. Buying an exercise bike won't rejuvenate you. Using it effectively over long periods of time, integrating an exercise program into your life, very well might. But that's hard work, the work of tearing down old habits and making new ones... Beware of quick fixes. Just because they can work doesn't mean they will work. And they can sometimes do more harm than good. Being overweight and out of shape is the consequence of the way we live, of the habits that organize our patterns of consumption and energy use. Exercise has benefits. No doubt! The question is, how to capture those benefits here, now, embedded as one is in the constraining landscape of one's own habits.”
One of my favorite resources for anyone who wants to lose weight is the free blog and podcast Phit-n-Phat by Corrine Crabtree. Those who work with me, know that I don’t believe in scales (or BMIs and other similar charts). I’ll be talking more about this in future posts. However, I do understand that even when we are truly tuned into our bodies, we certainly might find ourselves in a place where we know we are carrying more weight than our body is designed to carry or feels physically comfortable for us. For those folks, I really like Corrine’s approach because she is all about making small sustainable changes. Her golden rule for herself is “Never do anything [she] wasn’t willing to do the rest of [her] life.”. She always talks about figuring out what will work for you and building one small success upon another.
On any journey, there’s more than one way up the mountain and you don’t have to jump off a cliff to get down the mountain. You’ll still get to the bottom, and fair a lot better, simply walking down the path.