We have a frog problem at our house. Well, the frogs are fine, it’s their noise pollution in the middle of the night that is wreaking havoc on me and my Zzzzs. Which leads to a restless, flipping through TV channels problem. Seven hundred channels in and you know what catches my eye? And dumbfoundingly mesmerizes me?
A Nutrisystem infomercial! You know, because I’m all about health now. But it only takes a few seconds to learn Nutrisystem isn’t about health at all. If you ask me, the Nutrisystem team is a group of legalized drug dealers.
Kathy, the energized hostess, kicks things off, “Today could be your special day, the day that changes your life! Let’s start by talking about EVERYTHING you get to eat!” (You poor unsuspecting obese human who either doesn’t know better, or who doesn’t have it in you to address the REAL reason you are fat, sick and nearly dead in the first place.)
You always hear “calories in, calories out” as the quickie weight loss calculation, but you must first ask yourself why you are compelled to put so many calories in, or the struggle will always be the struggle. What drives you to feed your mouth (because you aren’t feeding your body)? Overeating and food addiction is about so much more than food, but food is the drug.
“You can LOSE weight and look AMAZING while eating ALL OF THIS FOOD,” says Marie Osmond. “You won’t be deprived at all,” they say. “You can eat all of your sweets and salts and all of the yumminess you want!” as the gooey caramel pulls away from the chocolate in the perfectly lit, zoomed in shot.
A couple of my Nutritarian friends were over this week and I had them watch the infomercial with me. We laughed hysterically at the absurdity of the production (and of course two of us reminisced about how we’d both lost a good amount of weight once upon a time on nutrisystem ourselves). Then we became angry, ragingly angry.
There are scenes where Kathy and Marie are licking their fingers as they sample an array of the foods (“Oh my goodness,” Kathy interrupts Marie, “this is SO good, you HAVE to try it!” as she let’s out a little food moan) as they sit at a table covered in far more food than any one (or two or three) humans, without an overeating issue, would eat in one day . . . Every tactic they use is psychologically calculated to draw in the most vulnerable: overeaters, emotional eaters, binge eaters, the food addicted afflicted. At no point do they share they want you to feed your body the most nutritious options, foods that actually fuel your body and your life-long health. It’s all about feeding the pleasure beast . . . providing the drugs to fuel the addiction.
Kathy the host and Marie the star, listed dozens of savory “favorites” on the daily plan: pizza, nachos, lasagna, creamy fettuccini, SO MANY options! And then things get really exciting: “The purple packaging is my FAVORITE,” says Kathy. “Because I love dessert! And everything in the purple packaging is delicious: brownies with gooey caramel centers, cookies—I LOVE my cookies!—cakes, all the sweets you love!”
There is a reason Marie Osmond has been “successful” on the program for seven years. She and Kathy put down other “programs,” saying that you always gain the weight back when you diet. Of course you do. You aren’t addressing WHY you are overweight in the first place. Why do you think Weight Watchers has lifetime members? Why has Marie been on the program for seven years?
“You can’t stay in business 40 years if it doesn’t work,” Marie says. Sorry to break it to you, Nutrisystem, but we are in more danger than ever before in the history of mankind and you are contributing to the epidemic. Obesity rates are climbing. Heart disease and cancers are taking more and more of us far too early and medically crippling the bulk of the rest of us. What exactly have you done aside from making a butt load of money and kept people jonesing for your tidily packaged processed-to-death food drugs?
A sign of good health isn’t strictly based on your physical aesthetics. Good health is how well your heart and cells thrive. It’s about the quality of, and outlook on, your life and how well you process everything that happens to you. Food addictions take up a big chunk of brainpower, think of your life if you could fill that space with other hopes, goals, dreams and opportunities (aside from what to eat next).
Nutrisystem can suck it. They should be fined for preying on vulnerable, food addicted people. They should be ashamed to be making a hefty profit on keeping people sick and drugged. They take them from “Fat, Sick and Dying” to “Thin, Sick and Dying.” No bravo there. #Ugh #StopIt