About a week ago I decided to attend a local women’s show. It is an annual event and a pretty big deal in Springfield, sponsored by one of the local radio stations.  I have never been before, but I wanted to check it out and see if it would be a good event to participate in next year.

Diet Industry
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image by Tacit Requiem

The idea is pretty simple. Basically it is a big expo hall filled with booths of businesses and seminars dedicated to things that might be of interest to women. Since we know all women don’t think alike, you can imagine that the booths were pretty varied. I saw Tupperware, Mary Kaye, a martial arts studio, jewelry, someone selling pink tools and comedian Yakov Smirnoff. That was really just the tip of the iceberg. I mean, there was something for everyone.

There was one industry I felt was slightly over represented. I bet you can’t guess which one? It almost felt like a requirement that every 4th booth was from the diet and weight loss industry.  Every major and minor player was represented, plus one or two I have never heard of. Some were giving out samples. Others were trying to sell the latest diet supplement and get you to sell them too. My favorite was the lady that said their miracle product helped her lose 11 lbs in a week. Best of all, she said, the fat can never ever come back.

You can only imagine how difficult it was for me to hold my tongue at times, especially the last one. Really? Your miracle cure can guarantee that the fat will never come back? If that’s the case I think the inventor should get a noble prize. My friend that I was with made a good point to try to help calm my indignation. She said most of these people are sales people who don’t know better. They have been given information that they believe to be true and they are passing it on to do their job.

She made sense, but I still don’t like people spreading half truths and misinformation. These sales pitches are part of the problem. People who really want to lose weight, who don’t feel good about themselves, see these products as the answer to their prayers. They spend a lot of money on these products and programs. Some of them see results for a time, but eventually stop their program and go back to “normal”. When that happens the weight comes back and they feel like failures.

The problem is they are not the failures. An industry that feeds on desperation is what has failed them.

I see it all the time and the women’s show is a great example. So many women in one place and the majority of them overweight. I am willing to bet they have all tried some fad at one point or another. Yet they are still unhealthy and unfit. I talk to women who have tried so many things, either to not see results or to happily lose and then unhappily gain the weight back.

I decided to become a personal trainer because I have been there myself. I tried various fads before I figured out the truth about living healthy and fit. I know the frustration, disappointment and feeling like a failure.  I want to give people the information they need to walk away from the “pills and potions” and start living a healthy and fit life full of happiness, confidence and empowerment.

I think next year I will have a booth at the show. I’ll be one more voice in the crowd, but hopefully I can be the loudest and the clearest.

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