Misty Harris longs to shed the dead weight of dieters from social media
By Misty Harris
I loathe 21 Day Fix with the fire of 1,000 Hades suns. Not because I’ve actually tried the fad diet, mind you; I have not. I hate it with the special kind of aversion reserved for things so repellent,* you know without a second thought that they’re not for you (think KFC’s Double Down Dog, or Donald Trump’s presidential bid).
Some background: 21 Day Fix is a “lifestyle” program marketed by Beachbody, the multinational responsible for P90X, Insanity, Focus T25 and other previous fitness/diet crazes. People pay to go on it, lose weight, then are given the option to become “coaches” – that is, recruiting others to buy into the program – in exchange for commissions and a company discount.
- Friend goes on the Fix
- Friend posts fitness and food statuses five times a day on every social media account, and urges you to join his or her “team”
- Friend loses more than 100 lbs! (me, as I run away screaming)
Now that we’re on the same page, let’s break down the reasons 21 Day Fix makes me more unhinged than Gwyneth Paltrow after detecting gluten in her meal.
Turns friends into salespeople: As with Avon, Pampered Chef and other multilevel marketing, 21 Day Fix relies largely on friends selling to friends. Call me old-fashioned but the only time I want a credit-card transaction involved in my relationships is if I’m buying my BFF a lap dance from Channing Tatum.
Calls sales reps ‘coaches:’ Losing weight on a mail-order diet no more qualifies you to be a fitness coach than winning Operation qualifies you to be a surgeon. Let’s be honest with our titles here, please.
Facebook profile as infomercial: I’m genuinely supportive of things that empower people to change their lives for the better. That being said, there’s a fine line between public accountability and auditioning for a job on QVC.**
Autumn Calabrese: The Fix’s plucky founder is described as a bikini competitor, single mom, and “celebrity trainer.”*** As Calabrese’s YouTube ad puts it, “Autumn is REAL” (except, you know, the boobs). But do I have anything negative to say about her? Nope. Nothing. Because Calabrese’s diet disciples worship her with such fervour, the police would surely find me murdered via vitamin overdose, with an organic tomato ball-gag in my mouth.
Sells common sense: The program is founded on regular exercise and healthy, modestly portioned meals. Hardly revolutionary, right? But as with oxygen bars and prostitution, kudos to the creators for getting people to pay for something they could do for free.
It’s everywhere: From Facebook to Instagram, TV infomercials to Internet ads, this program is virtually inescapable. The only thing more omnipresent in pop culture right now is Joe Manganiello’s abs (which I’m totally ok with, by the way).
I am unworthy: You know that rule about not swimming until an hour after eating? Well, I snack so often that my feet shouldn’t have touched water since 1994. Even if I’m watching my weight, I never say no to a cupcake; the calories are easier to live with than the idea of someone else eating it once I’ve left. In other words, I’m admittedly way too weak for this diet sh*t.
Wine only allowed in occasional 4-oz increments: Deal-breaker.
* Repellent strictly because of how it’s marketed and sold. From what I gather, the program can yield amazing results for some people. I just wish they’d shut up about it and let me eat my baked brie in peace.
** Not every 21 Day Fix user is a zealot. Unfortunately, a lot of people on this program come across as virtual cult members; the only difference is that instead of Kool-Aid, they drink Shakeology.
*** Her star clients are Tom Bergeron and Rachel Zoe – a fact presented here without comment.