Lately, I’ve been getting bombarded with emails, text messages, social media tags, and every other way you can think of to start communicating with someone. I guess it’s the time of year but a lot of the attempts to get my attention are health product sales people asking if I would be interested in adding their product to our services or trying to get access to our members.

Every time I tell them flat out, “No”

Without fail, every single communication I get focuses on the potential profit, increase in business, or some other benefit to my business if I partner with them.

There are a bunch of smaller, “no-name” companies that try this. There are some big name ones too. Herbalife, Isagenix, Advocare, and ID Life being the most well-known ones.

To be honest, I’m getting annoyed and a little discouraged at these companies ability to successfully sell a corrupted view of what fitness is on the pretense of helping people, while their real focus is on the bottom line.

Whether it’s a local rep bragging about how much money they made last week or a picture of someone who used their product, and lost a 100lbs., the only time I see or hear anything about how these companies are changing lives is in marketing material.

Think about that. I’m in the fitness business and I don’t personally know anyone who has used these products, that isn’t making money off them, and seen consistent, long-term results.

If a single one of these companies came to me and opened with, “How can we help your members be better and healthier?” I might be willing to talk to them.

But they won’t because they can’t.

It goes against their business model to actually provide health and fitness. If they were truly about changing lives, they would be providing a service or product that changed people’s mindset, habits, and perception about what it takes and what it means to be “fit”.

Instead, they feed off the poor self-image, lack of knowledge, and the limited motivation that most people have when it comes to being healthy, and having good nutrition and fitness.

Someone educated on what good nutrition is, wouldn’t buy their products because even though these companies tout themselves as nutrition, they are the exact opposites. Powdered food, shakes, and pills are not nutrition. Real food eaten in appropriate quantities, with a proper breakdown of macro and micronutrients, is nutrition. You can’t buy nutrition in a 10% off monthly subscription supplement shipment.

Someone who understands that being fit is more than being skinny won’t fall for the “I lost 50lbs” testimonial because they’ll know that as soon as that person in the testimonial stops using that product, they’ll gain 60lbs back. Fitness is about being healthy, reducing fat and developing muscle. Weight is a secondary factor in most cases. Long-term maintenance of health is about building healthy habits, not drinking shakes for the rest of your life.

Someone who has looked at their options objectively will ask themselves about the veracity of the person or company offering them a solution. Is the focus on selling a product or service using the claims of how it will benefit them or is the focus on helping them while the services or product become a tool that fits their overall fitness plan.

Someone who is truly honest with themselves in admitting that they need help will weigh the information provided to them about the many options out there. They’ll look at who is making recommendations and compare the bank teller who sells Isagenix on the side, whose “education” comes from the marketing materials provided to them in the sponsor packet, to the full-time health and fitness professional who’s spent years studying and actually helping people improve their fitness.

These companies rely on insecure people, looking for a fast solution to meet a false image of what is believed to be what they want. The sad and scary thing is, it works. They make money.

Which is exactly why they do it.

I don’t know how much of an impact I can have in the grand scheme of things. This is something that’s been sticking in my craw for a while now and I felt like I needed to get it out there.

Fitness takes time and effort. If you think about it, it takes time and effort to get unfit too. It’s just getting out of shape is a whole lot easier.

If you’re someone who’s looking to make that change, please don’t take any shortcuts. You’ll end up wasting time and increasing your chances of failure.

Seek out a professional who is going to invest their time into helping you change your life, not just ship you a new box every month.