I was happy to read a story in the New York Times today that FINALLY a number of companies making ridiculous weight loss claims are being charged with FRAUD. Look, truth be told I’m a little sad that a cream one rubs on one’s thighs won’t make me fit more comfortably in my skinny jeans, and lying on my couch eating ice cream sprinkled with certain supplements while going on a Bravo TV binge will not get me bikini-ready for spring. WAAAAA! If only these come-ons were true, how nice and sparkly life would be (I wonder if these powders, creams and pills also signal the Tooth Fairy and Santa that it would be so lovely if they visit?)
The accused companies are Sensa Products, LeanSpa, L’Occitane (for their “slimming” Almond Cream) and HCG Diet Direct, and they have agreed to pay $34 million to refund consumers (though they have not admitted wrongdoing.) Among the frauds they are being accused of perpetrating are having paid and scripted testimonials instead of authentic ones (you know, those incredible “real person”, from zero to hero “It worked for me!” stories that pull me in to their narrative in about 2 seconds.) Sham. Sham. Sham. And though I applaud the FTC for going after these scoundrels, the sad part of this story is these sanctions will probably not make a dent in the “hope in a bottle” diet industry because even though we know this stuff is bunk we WANT to believe. After all, who doesn’t love a shortcut?Who would not choose super easy over hard?
Getting and staying fit and slim is not an overnight process – it takes a lot of work and it can feel like it takes forever. Just use your common sense – if something sounds too good to be true, trust your internal radar. There’s no magic wand you can wave to look and feel great – when it comes to fitness, you gotta move it or lose it, and I think by now we all know that. The secret, if there is one, is to find stuff you love doing, such as classes and sports that inspire you and feel far more like fun than work (for me, that would be ZUMBA, tennis, cycling, yoga with great music to get lost in, hiking...) and finding nutritious foods you actually ENJOY. So skip the spells and incantations and lace up those gym shoes. See you at Equinox! xxoo Steph