Gill Stannard

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Shonky “herbal” product watch

“Sandra Williams” doesn’t live in Melbourne. Sandra isn’t a mother of two. But most of all Sandra didn’t loose 47 lbs using thermo-something-plus with acai berries.

How do I know this?

Because “Sandra’s” photos on the site are of another Australian, widely known in the blogworld as Dietgirl.

Shauna Reid aka Dietgirl hasn’t lost 47 lbs; she’s done much better than that. In fact Shauna lost over 79 kg (174 lbs). But acai berries weren’t involved. It took 6 years and a lot of hard work, changing her diet and exercising. Not tricks, just perseverance and self-love.

This is the truth about the real “Sandra’s” weight-loss.
The biggest changes took place in my head. I started out as a hardcore dieter, struggling with self-loathing. I thought my mission was all about bullying my body into a more socially-acceptable shape. But soon I realised what I really wanted more than smaller jeans was to feel comfortable in my own skin. To just like being me.

Once I started treating myself kindly with good food and exercise instead of disgust and anger, I started to appreciate my body, lumps and bumps and all. There was more to me than the size of my jeans, after all. And that has been the best lesson of this whole adventure.

Overall, my philosophy boils down to: Do the healthy more often than you don't do the healthy thing. It's not about numbers and scales, it's eating well and being kind to myself. Persistence, not perfection. Getting back up when I fell over. Over and over again!
(from ”The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl”)

If you see these photos below on any other website – then it is Shauna you are looking at, not a mythical woman from Melbourne.

Currently Shauna is trying to contact the company to have her images removed from their fictitious story. Perhaps by the time you read this the site will have gone, to be replaced elsewhere with another stolen image and made up tale. A quick search on the web has found a trail of suspicious, now defunct sites, all spruiking the miracle berry with a woman’s story and the mythical “47 lbs” weight loss.

If you want true inspiration about changing your body image, read Shauna’s great book ”The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl”. You probably wont find Sandra wandering the streets of Melbourne but you can find Shauna’s book in most local bookshops.

As a herbalist I know there is no miraculous plant that can cause you to loose such drastic amounts of weight in a safe way. Most herbal products for weight loss involve diuretics (for short term loss of fluid not actual fat) and caffeine. Acai’s angle is it’s antioxidant content, similar to that of blueberries. I am yet to find any evidence-based medicine to support these companies claims that these berries produce safe, sustainable weight loss.

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