by Matt Weik
I just finished up recording some podcast shows and I got to thinking… what if there actually was a magic weight loss pill, and what would it change? Would it lead us down an even darker path or would it save lives? Here’s my take.
I took a pill in Ibiza
Mike Posner wrote a song about taking a pill in Ibiza. He mentioned he went to a gig there and began feeling jealous that another artist was on stage and that the crowd was really into the songs. Mike was feeling a little insecure and when a small group of people recognized who he was, asked him if he “wanted some.” As in “a pill.” He said yes, and the song he wrote tells the story. So, what did this pill get Mike in the end? Well, actually, it got him a top 100 song and a lot of money. But, what did that pill really symbolize? Was it a quick fix for his jealousy and insecurities? Absolutely. After the pill wore off did he learn anything from it that made him change his life? Maybe, maybe not. How does this story about artist Mike Posner relate to the health fitness realm of things and a magic weight loss pill?
Many people across the United States purchase willingly and willfully weight loss pills. Most of these pills do absolutely nothing for you, and the ones that do work are only a quick fix until the bottle is empty. Then what? Then you balloon right back up or even spillover further. What did you learn from taking a weight loss pill? Nothing, right? The only thing you learned was that in order to lose weight you need to consistently be using the product, otherwise you gain all the weight right back. You didn’t change any of your habits, in fact, they might have gotten even worse because you were able to lose weight without much effort at all. Little do they know, most of the weight coming off is only water weight and not actual body fat. You hear that? It’s the sound of a bubble bursting.
You see, we all want a quick fix for everything. Feeling depressed? Get a pill. Have blood pressure problems? Get a pill. Have a headache? Get a pill. See where I’m going with this? No one wants to get to the root of any problem or issue and take corrective action. Everyone just wants to take a pill and get on with their life. The habits we form, whether good or bad, stay with us pretty much our entire life until we make the conscious decision to make a change. For some, the timing is too late and irreversible damage has already been done. For the lucky ones who made the decision early enough, you might just be able to add years onto your life and live a better quality of life.
Looking at the big picture
All of the issues mentioned above where a pill became the savior could have been prevented, minimized, or cured if the individual decided to take the necessary steps to understand the underlying issue. While it’s not difficult to understand, our health is directly correlated with our nutrition and activity levels. Eat junk and don’t exercise and you’ve found the blueprint on how to become overweight and obese. Where does that rabbit hole lead? To an early grave, that’s where. It’s time people started paying more attention to their lifestyle and choices rather than focusing on a pill inside a bottle to fix all of their woes.
Living a healthy lifestyle is not difficult. It simply takes a conscious effort to make better choices. And this goes across the board. Make better food choices for meals. Park further way from the door rather than looking for the rock star parking up front. Go to bed early to rest up for a long day ahead rather than dragging yourself into the office each morning. Rather than grabbing that sugary beverage, grab a bottle of water to maintain proper hydration and keep yourself feeling satiated throughout the day. There are so many minor changes that you can make throughout the day that will lead you down a better path. Simply choosing to move and be active during the day is a step in the right direction—even if it’s as simple as going for a short walk every night after dinner. Those little things all add up to something bigger long-term.
So, what would a pill do?
Absolutely nothing. Actually, that’s incorrect. It will cause people to become even lazier with their health because they would always have a “pill” to fall back on. There wouldn’t be any changes to someone’s life. The sugar-filled and fatty foods they were used to eating will only increase because they have a way to easily lose weight through a pill. But what about the underlying issues that come along with that kind of lifestyle? Just because you have a pill that burns fat doesn’t mean you are physically fit. If a pill was available, no one would exercise. No one would make an effort to be more active throughout the day. And you can bet no one is going to care about what they’re shoving into their mouths. After all, we’ll just take a pill. What do you think that individuals blood work would look like? Would they literally be a ticking time bomb? Could they look in shape and still barely be able to walk up a flight of steps without huffing and puffing?
A magic weight loss pill sound like such an amazing thing and people assume it would fix all of our overweight and obesity issues, and it just might, but the lifestyle choices being made are no different than before they started. So, the risk factors on their health will still be there. The pill will simply be used as a crutch to hide their lack of commitment for their health. And that’s a problem. You see, we don’t need a magic pill. Rather, what we need is bottled up motivation that can be handed out. People need to start taking responsibility for their health. We are given one life to live and while many will say being lazy and eating pizza every day is a good life for them, it’s cutting their time on this planet short because they are refusing to take action to ensure longevity. There’s a reason people are getting sick with diseases and cancers early on in their life now. It’s because the people around them have done nothing to educate them on how to live a healthy lifestyle. It all starts with us. Our children watch what we do. Our children eat what we put on the table for dinner. Our children watch as we sit in front of the television all night watching unrealistic reality television. All eyes are on us.
Would the government even allow such a pill?
Please excuse the language, but hell no. Why? They profit off of us being sick and fat. Look at the pharmaceutical industry and how many prescription drugs are in the homes of every American citizen. It’s as if the pharmaceutical companies are running our lives. Have you ever looked at the back of a label on your prescription drugs? I’m sure most of you have, but if you haven’t, I urge you to do so. Look at the side effects of just one medication you are taking. I’m willing to bet down the road those side effects will make you go back to the doctor (who also profit’s off of your unhealthy life choices) and they will prescribe another medication for you to go get filled at your pharmacy. And so, the pattern continues. Big pharma owns you and your health. They dictate your future. You will forever be a customer of theirs, and as the years pass you will be giving more and more money to them to fix your ailments.
We have the ability to shut all of this down. And it’s simple—fix yourself. Make your health and fitness a priority. Take control of the food you put in your mouth and make better decisions. Take control of your fitness level by moving more and being active. You don’t have to join a gym to become healthy. There are plenty of things you can do right at your house or outdoors that are just as helpful. You need to want to make the change and push yourself daily to stick to your plan. This magic pill is never coming people, so stop wishing. And even if I’m wrong (which I tell my wife I never am), it’s not going to “fix” you or the issues this nation faces when it comes to healthcare. As a nation we stand united on many fronts, but in order to do so, we need to still be able to actually get up and stand. I urge everyone to take a look at your life, figure out what is a positive influence and what is a negative and slowly start to phase out the negative and bad pieces. If you are on the fence on whether you feel something is good or bad, consider it bad and remove it. Quit saying you’ll start tomorrow, or next Monday, or January 1, or whenever. Stop making excuses and start making change. The time for change is right now.