Why as a Society are we so obsessed with finding instant gratification? Take aways, microwave meals, drive through burger restaurants, lose weight overnight diets, get fit in 20 minutes, find the man/woman of your dreams online, look like a celebrity by buying this moisturiser?
Why is it so hard for us all to accept that anything good takes more than a few minutes and that all of the quick fixes and instant solutions are never going to be permanent? Most of us already know that nothing beats the flavours of a home cooked meal, made from scratch and with love so why is the ready meal market worth billions of pounds per year and why have fast food joints materialised on every High Street across the UK?
We all know that we don’t put weight on overnight, it creeps up on us gradually, month on month, year on year so why, oh why, do we get sucked in by the “lose pounds in 7 days” diet plans, usually back by a Z-list celebrity or reality TV “star”?
As a fitness professional (I love saying that!) the thing I get asked the most is “how can I lose xx pounds by the summer/my holiday / Christmas / my wedding?” And without exception everyone wants it to be easy, they want me to give them the magic recipe that they have been searching for their whole life; they want the pill that will mean the weight falls off overnight, they don’t have to put any effort in but miraculously get fit and for most women, get toned.
So you sell them the dream that they can lose the weight, they can get fit, they can look great and to start with they are really keen but somewhere down the line reality sets in and they realise that eating healthily is forever whereas a diet is a temporary fix, they realise that they will have to stop drinking / eating chocolate / chips, they realise that they will have to move, do hard exercise, get hot and sweaty and for most people it all gets a bit too hard and they stop. They go back to their “nothing works” mentality, they tell themselves that they have a slow metabolism, they are just too old, its in their genes and the weight creeps back on until they are heavier than when they started and its time to try yet ANOTHER quick fix, fad diet or exercise plan.
I think we will only really get a grip of the obesity issues we have in the UK and across the western world when we start to learn that instant gratification doesn’t work – quick fixes don’t last, quick food isn’t real food, miracle exercise machines are just a marketing gimmick. And lets be honest, the only people getting anything long lasting out of all of the instant gratification markets are the marketing men and the shareholders – its certainly not devised out of any sense of altruism!