I’m always amused by what grabs people’s attention on the Internet in terms of pop culture. Remember the dress debate a few years ago? Was it black and blue? Or white and gold? People were at odds about this for weeks. I was only mildly interested – I saw what I saw and the opinions of others didn’t matter to me.
This past week it was the “Yanny or Laurel” argument and people were to vote on what they heard. The entire Internet was abuzz with comments, arguments, Wikipedia explanations for those blissfully unaware and even in-depth explanations on how you could force yourself to hear both sounds – the ultimate in “straddling the fence,” right?
You know which I heard? Well, let me tell you first what I think and THEN tell you which I heard.
I think people heard what they wanted to hear.
Know what else I think?
People always hear what they want to hear.
Let me give you an example. When stripped down to the very basics, weight loss is simply a math problem. Your total daily caloric intake is calculated by the amount you eat or drink, minus calories expended through activity. Regardless of the method, a calorie deficit has to happen for weight loss to occur. There are variables to this equation that we won’t get into in this post because, well, that’s not what this post is about. However, the goal for every weight loss program is to create a calorie deficit:
Atkins diet – calorie deficit
NutriSystem – calorie deficit
SparkPeople – calorie deficit
South Beach diet – calorie deficit
The Zone – calorie deficit
Ketogenic diet – calorie deficit
Weight Watchers – calorie deficit
Oh, and did you have bariatric surgery? Well, you can’t eat as much (AKA as calorie deficit).
Are you seeing the pattern here? It’s the common thread in EVERY program, regardless of the pretty spackle used to make it look glittery and sparkly.
But you know what people hear? They hear the words “fast,” “effortless,” “quick,” “count points, not calories,” “free foods,” “it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle,”etc. All the buzzwords that cause them to see stars and unicorns and pretty pink ponies (well, that’s taking things a bit far). But let’s face facts here: Telling people they’re paying good money to a program that is going to teach them how or tell them to eat less and move more isn’t going to sell.
If you think it does sell, then please, by all means, pay me the monies and I’ll tell you to eat less and exercise. You’ll be thin by tomorrow. Promise! (Sorry, no refunds or exchanges.)
Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying any of these programs are inherently bad. They’re all tools; a means to an end. And every single one of them, if used correctly, are successful programs in helping people lose weight. But essentially it comes down to Gozer’s question in Ghostbusters:
Meh. It’s not really all that bad. They all work IF you follow them.
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably blue from holding your breath waiting to read whether I heard “Yanny” or “Laurel,” right?
What do you think YOU heard?