Nutrition & Health OnLine Magazine: Editor's View
Editor's View
Lets say that your New Years resolution this year is to learn to fly an airplane. You have always wanted to learn to fly so you head to the airport and seek out someone who can help you. When you get to the airport you meet a gentleman who says he can teach you to fly and seems to be very knowledgeable about everything that relates to airplanes. He tells you all the scientific principles that enable an airplane to fly. He shows you the airplane and goes into great detail explaining how each control works. He tells you stories about how great it is to soar above the earth. It all sounds incredible so you ask the man to take you up for a ride so can experience what he is talking about firsthand. Then he tells you "Well, I don't actually know how to fly but I can still teach you.
What would your reaction be in such a situation? I think it is safe to say that most people would think that the man was crazy. Even though this man may know all there is to know about airplanes and how they work there is just no way to imagine that such a person could teach someone else how to fly when they have never actually flown an airplane themselves. This is a completely logical conclusion that most people would arrive upon when given the same scenario.
What amazes me is that a very similar scenario is played out every day in relation to health and fitness but with a completely different outcome. Many people make a resolution to change something about themselves physically and then they seek out someone who can help them achieve their goal and there is not shortage of "experts" when it comes to anything that deals with the body. As with our case above, most of these "experts" are well versed in the right technical jargon and seem to know what they are talking about. The big difference between leaning to fly an airplane and improving the body is that no one ever seems to ask their "expert" to actually demonstrate that they know what they are so eager to teach others.
Here is a more specific example of what I am talking about. I have never been able to understand how anyone could take advice about losing weight from someone that is fat. Does it really matter how knowledgeable they may be about the concepts involved in losing weight when they obviously have no ability to apply these concepts in a practical manner? I think that taking advice from such an individual is analogous to taking flying lessons from someone who does not know how to fly.
The way to avoid wasting your time and money on useless advice from such people is to always consider the source. If someone is claiming to be an expert in something then they should be able to exhibit some level attainment in that area of expertise. Just as it is crazy to take flying lessons from someone who is not a pilot it is also crazy to try to improve your body by listening to someone who is in need of improvement themselves. Choose your teachers wisely or you will crash and burn.
Davey Dunn


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