Saturday, April 21, 2012

Dynamic Rants: The Body by (Soy-Based) Scam that is called Visalus

You have no idea

So, when you live in a bit of a self-dug cave (no Paleo pun intended, seriously), you tend to miss "goings-on" in various communities.  Lately, for me, it's been a circle of work/baby/work/sleep.  Rinse, repeat.   I actually had a pretty cool post of random news snippets, sound bites, and what-not, but this one had to happen.

I haven't had the luxury of free time, casual conversation, and most importantly, time to coach at my favorite kick-ass strength & conditioning facility, Crossfit Lethbridge.  But wow did I ever have an eye opener yesterday.  I had a great time coaching 11 & 12, but the convo after was like being punched in the groin.  Let me backtrack, and paint a wee picture.

A few weeks back a buddy of mine asked me to look into something called Body By Visalus(Just to be clear, I'm only linking Jimmy's article.  No way in fuck am I linking anything related to the actual company.  I'll explain shortly.)

Apparently, a family member was using it, and he wanted to know if was legit or not.  I had never heard of it (yes, that would be the rock I live under), so I did some digging.  And some digging.  And some digging.

My bullshit radar goes off REALLY fast when it take me more than a few clicky-clicks to find info on a product; I have a boatload of clients taking a LOT of various supplements, and while I love to be a one-man science experiment, I can't test everything at once.  So, I bust out my Google-Fu, and dig up a nutrition facts label and ingredient list.  BOTH are essential, for the record.

Looking for info on the "Body by Vi" protein shake led me to a plethora of slick MLM (multi-level-marketing) websites that made grandiose claims on nutritional quality, weight loss benefits, and cutting edge ingredients.  Only, actually finding a list is next to impossible.  Grrrr.

When I popped various keywords into Google, I came up with a bunch of spin-off sites aimed at EXACTLY what I was trying to do---find more info.  If you type in "scam" with Body by Vi, you get a bunch of pages that purposely try to sway your opinion that in fact it is NOT a scam.  It is highly irritating and mind-numbing.  By this time, my bullshit radar was hitting DEFCON-1.  Yeah, that bad.  And I hadn't even seen the damn ingredients yet.

Enter Jimmy Moore, the charismatic host of Livin' La Vida Low Carb.  *HE* dug up some solid info on what this shight was all about, and had a snazzy ingredient list post.  If you didn't click the first Body by Vi link, check it HERE.  Since Jimmy has done such an excellent job of tearing apart the product itself, I don't have a need to.  Soy protein isolate and Fibersol?  

Jackie wants to know.

Now that the picture has been painted, enter my beef:  Where it's being pushed.  

In my home.  In my garden.  In my temple of solitude.  In my Valhalla of rubber flooring, dusty chalk, harbor of C2s, and slowly swaying rings.  I know, I get a little emotional about it.  And then I get mad.

 Once again, you have no idea how much

SO this isn't to "name names" or call folks out, but how the F*CK can anyone with even a string of moral integrity pitch this stuff INSIDE a Crossfit box?  Soy protein isolate combined with a highly engineered digestion resistant form of corn.  Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot, hombre...  My mind was blown yesterday.  As I type, I'm literally shaking my head still.

I *get* the fact that the typical John-Q-Public would fall for this; it makes sense.  Slick advertising, pseudo-science, and best of all, convenience.  Who needs real food, all the time it takes to MAKE real food, and hey, there's like 30 servings of veggies AND you'll feel full all goddamn day so you only have to eat, like, once!!!  People buy that shit, they eat it up.  I get it.

But Crossfit athletes?  And more importantly, established Crossfit athletes selling this to members?  THAT, in my mind, is criminal.

I've been fortunate that I've been sheltered financially, if you will, by a full time gig as a firefighter; this hasn't given me piles of cash to roll around in, but enough for me to NOT have money as my motivation for either starting my business, coaching, or doing any nutritional or functional lab consulting.  I feel it's ESSENTIAL to deliver a quality product, first and foremost.  Money is a secondary item.  I like this view, as money fucks everything up.

When folks have money as the FIRST priority, well, we end up with a MLM product like BBV, and people willing to sell it, even though they KNOW it will do harm.  This, to me is unthinkable on an impressionable demographic: The New Crossfit Client.  These folks WANT to be lean, they WANT to be strong, they WANT performance.  Someone who is established and has the physique (that has NOT been built by Vi!!) pushing this stuff is going to leave an impression---and take money for a sub-par product that will NOT lead to results.

Let's be clear on two things before I sign off---I have no financial stake in this, and this is NOT being sold inside Crossfit Lethbridge.  This product is not "stealing" from me, and the owners of CFLA would smash folks like small bugs if they tried to sell this to our clients.  I can smash hard for a skinny guy, but I know a certain chica that reminds me of someone.  I'm just sayin'.  As far as financially for me, this product would probably fuck enough people up metabolically that I could have a lifetime of clients to test diagnostically.  I don't need, or want, that.  What I find offensive is the morals of the folks selling this, and where it's happening.

Let the comments roll.