No really, I’m not getting carried away, it’s a multibillion dollar industry…..

I don’t remember what stupid movie it was I was watching, but I remember the plot was that these two rich girls were suddenly plunged into “poverty”; and by “poverty”, I mean what most of us call normal life. But anyway, I remember one of the girls in the movie saying “well, goodbye high protein diet, hello carbs….”

It was just a silly movie, that I can’t even remember the name of, but she had a valid point. I grocery shop every two weeks, at the same store, for the last 8 years. I can estimate what our grocery bill will be, usually within just a couple of dollars. I’ve also overhauled my diet several times, you believe me when I say, it’s cheaper to eat unhealthy. A 3.5 pound bag of frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts will run you about $6. The same thing but fresh, will run you about twice as much. Do you know what else you can get for the same money? About three frozen pizzas. Now, you could say, but that’s so much more meat than the pizzas…duh. But if you think about it more, it’s just meat. No seasoning, no side dishes….it’s not a meal. Plus, if you don’t really know how to cook in the first place…it really is just chicken in your mind. But those pizzas…those are an entire meal…that you just have to throw in the oven, and place in front of your happy kids. I could go on, but I’m sure you get my point. You can’t buy a  pound of ground beef even, for what a frozen pizza costs.

My father in law works for the public schools where I live. He said that each month, there are hundreds of pounds of food that are donated to the schools, for needy families. He said the problem is, a lot of the parents don’t have the first clue what to do with the kindly donated chick peas, sweet potatoes, quinoa, or egg plant. They just don’t know. They do know what to do with the blue box of mac and cheese though. So sadly, a lot of the donated food just sits there, until it goes bad, because these families have no clue how to cook healthy meals.

Food is just a part of being healthy. It’s the part that has the most impact, and if you’ve eaten a proportionate, healthy diet most of your life, you’re probably doing pretty good. But if you haven’t, and you’ve gained weight, and you find yourself watching the infomercials for the newest and latest workout program, that will only cost you $200….that brings me to my next point.

Weight loss is a multibillion dollar industry. This is America, we want fast and easy, even when it comes to weight loss, which should never be fast or easy. Drink this shake and lose weight! Subscribe to our meal service, and have healthy meals delivered right to your door! Get the results you want now, only with our exclusive new workout program for $58.95, or $199.95….your first born child. Something like that. Then there’s gym memberships. Average monthly cost ranging from $10/month, to $60/month per person. Yes, there are very small number of gyms that offer $10/month memberships. I believe there are 3 in Portland. They are smaller, they have limited equipment, they’re never conveniently located, they have weird hours, etc. Then when you do decide to join a gym, it’s never just sign up and pay your monthly fee. There’s enrollment fees, first and last month’s dues….I think the last time I joined a gym it cost me about $100 up front. That’s a lot.

What started me on this rant, is this Beach Body challenge group I’ve been doing on Facebook. A girl I went to high school with reached out to me a few months back, and asked if I wanted to join this challenge group on Facebook. She pitched it to me as a group of women, trying to eat healthy and workout, and encouraging each other in this little challenge group. I said sure, why not. It all started out great, the ladies in the groups are truly awesome people. We’d all post pictures of our meals, share our post workout sweaty selfies, offer tips to those who asked, and cheer each other on, each and every day. I did them all summer, and actually did really enjoy the groups.

The only thing I didn’t like, was the sales pitch I could count on almost weekly. Mostly the pitch was for Shakeology; a $130 for a 30 day supply “miracle shake”. I would get the whole pitch, over and over again. It’s the best thing for you! It replaces a meal, so when you think of it like that, it’s not that expensive! You spend that much a day on coffee! Oh and my favorite, “can you really put a price tag on your health and nutrition?” Um….seriously? I politely told them that I don’t have something that I buy daily, that would make up the difference in the price. That I spend about $300 a month on groceries to feed 3 people, so it wouldn’t be the same as replacing a meal. And besides, it doesn’t actually replace a meal. Shakeology by itself is only 200 calories, which is barely a snack. Then there are all of these recipes that they want you to try, that would probably make it a meal….but in addition to your $5 a serving shakeology, they want you to add almond butter, almond milk, PB2 (what the hell is that?), and fruits and veggies. Your “$5 each meal replacement” becomes a lot more expensive than $5 each.

I will admit, that I did breakdown and purchase a $60 PiYo (Pilates-Yoga) workout program, which I have off and on used since. I only purchased it because it was the only semi-affordable program, the rest were twice that much, and the only program that appealed to me.

This month with the challenge groups has been a different story. With my new, pretty much Atikins diet, I’ve got a lot of lip service from the coaches about the meals that I’m eating. Comments about fat, about cheese, about how Dr. Atkins died from a heart attack (he died from hitting his head on ice during a fall..) and it’s really not healthy, and it’s important to remember that I’m doing this at my doctor’s orders. How my new “diet” just seems the opposite of healthy. That I should probably limit my cheese to just one serving a day, so the others aren’t tempted. Never mind that I lost 7 pounds and 4″ in the first 2 weeks, that really doesn’t matter. All of these things, have put a sour taste in my mouth about the challenge groups. But what really put the nail in the coffin, is what this increasingly long, ranting post is all about, is this. One of the challengers commented that she wished they had payment plans for the workout programs, because they were so expensive, and she really needed a workout program. I put my two cents in about this being a mulitbillion dollar industry, and how that will never happen, and that I really do think that obesity rates in poorer populations are because it’s so expensive to eat healthy, have gym memberships, or purchase these workout programs. Right away a coach, my beach body coach to be exact, jumped in and said “Now lets not get carried away here Britt….”, and proceeded to tell the woman that credit cards have payment plans, and that’s what she should use to purchase the program that she wants, because that’s what my coach had done, and that it’s totally worth it.

There you have it ladies and gentlemen, telling a struggling mother of two to rack up credit card debt, to purchase beach body products, which the coach will get a commission off of, because “they’re valuable tools for your health.”

Annnnnnnd I’m done, in every sense of the word.

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