Ever look in the mirror and feel dissatisfied with the body you see staring back at you? Chances are most of you have at some point and equally I imagine most of you have tried something, no matter how small, to change and improve this. However what’s really fascinating is that hardly anyone ever achieves their desired change.
This phenomenon can be explained simply by a few simple economic concepts.
The first is utility maximisation. In most of economics individuals, you and I, are seen to be pursuing utility (satisfaction) maximisation. This concept governs our decisions and actions – why do I choose to buy a coffee in the mornings? It maximises my utility – I believe that paying for and drinking that coffee will leave me satisfied, so I part with the money in exchange for the good.
However it isn’t quite as black and white as this. Although every consumer seeks utility maximisation, every consumer acts under some constraint, their budget, in other words – you can’t spend more money than you have. So, “utility maximisation” occurs when a consumer achieves the most utility for how much they have to spend. Simple.
When someone decides to change the way they look, they have something they desire, they think looking different will maximise their utility, however more often than not they perceive the costs of this to be high, unaffordable. Similar to how most people feel about a Ferrari – if they had one, their life would likely be sooo much better, but they simply can’t afford it.
Obviously, with a Ferrari, we know its price – an amount of money quoted by the dealer. However, if I asked you, what would you have to do to achieve a six pack or fit into a given dress size, could you accurately outline the process? Unlikely. In fact, most people deem their “dream physique” in a similar way to how they view a Ferrari, unattainable. So, in many instances, people believe that the item (a better body), would maximise their utility, but is unaffordable – the result? They spend their time pursuing other things, forever dissatisfied with how they look.
A common question at this point it – “If it was so easy to look the way you want, why isn’t everyone walking around with beach bodies and six-pack abs”. Simple, asymmetric information. This is another very simple economic concept that can explain a lot of every day situations. Essentially, it describes a scenario where one person is privee to information which another isn’t and this serves to his or her advantage. A good example, if a doctor told you that you need to take a certain course of medication and it costs £100, you are unlikely to reply “I disagree, I think I can take medicine XYZ for £20 less and achieve the same outcome” – the doctor knows more than you and this puts him in a position of power. Now, the diet and fitness industry is rife with examples just like this. Thousands of companies are trying to sell the magic supplement or the magic exercise plan that will WITHOUT FAIL, make you lose that stubborn belly or those pesky chicken wings. You never see an advert in a magazine saying “to lose weight and look better, simply try eating less and doing more on a consistent basis”, even though this is absolutely guaranteed to work, it doesn’t come with a cheque with several zeros on the end and companies aren’t interested. So, its important to appreciate the idea that no matter what information you have, no matter how well planned your approach, you must actually apply the ideas on a consistent basis.
So, there are two caveats here:
- You are more than capable of achieving any physical change you want – whether it be a six-pack and big arms, curves in the right places or even just losing an inch or two of your waist. With the right application of the correct information the journey to success is generally brief and painless.
- Anything touted as a miracle cure or promises results in a very short amount of time is generally a scam. Remember, if someone had actually discovered how to give you a “beach body” in 7 days, it would BIG news. These ideas exist because of mis-information, they know they can sell these products because enough people have no idea how to begin their weight-loss/muscle building journey. Lessen the gap between what they know and what you know by doing some reading and find out answers for yourself.
This is where we come in…
With our coaching packages we will provide everything you need to achieve any physique or performance goal and we’ll help you through the whole thing.