In 1977, the U.S Marines came out with an advertising slogan to entice recruits to their branch of the services: “The Few, The Proud, The Marines.” The reason why this campaign was so successful: Without explaining exactly what the Marines do, the concept of selectivity, i.e. only a “FEW” people can make the grade, separated the Marines from the Army, Air Force and Navy.
Let’s focus on that word “FEW” for a bit: Most, if not all of us, view the word “few” as being small, relatively innocuous amount of “something”. More specifically in the weight control arena, my team and I often hear the word “FEW” being used to describe:
- “I had a FEW glasses of wine this week”
- “I had a FEW nights when I had ice cream”
- “ I had a FEW chocolates this week”
There are more instances of “FEW” being used to describe a seemingly small amount of derailing food/drink choices made by people.
When we use the word “FEW”, we are sort of telling ourselves that the amount we are consuming is small, a minor “blip on the screen” and not harmful to our long-term weight control efforts. However, often, the “FEW”, in reality, turns out to be, in the aggregate, the reasons why weight is not being controlled. Psychologically, our brains are telling us “FEW” to allow us to substantiate our behaviors. However, the “FEW” may be much more damaging than we think.
Take a step back and evaluate what your definition of “FEW” really is. Be truthful to yourself. And here is the question: Can YOU handle the truth? And with that, getting back to the Marines, here is one of the best courtroom scenes from a movie. Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson in “A FEW Good Men”. Enjoy!