Michael Anchors, MD, PhD
Teaching is the hardest thing in the world. Having lost no weight, some patients come back proud that they cut out fatty foods and joined a gym. I didn’t tell them to do any of that! How could they think such ideas work after hearing the First Visit Speech? Because they weren’t listening, and few read the manuals I give them. They think the pills will do it all.
During my speech I say “Eat less sugar, the sweeteners and white flour”. The patients ask me, does that include Stevia? Does that mean no sugar at all, ever? Can I eat rice if it’s brown? Examining rationally what I said, none of these questions needs to be asked.
Or I tell them “Stop snacking” and they ask does that include fruit? What does fruit have to do with stopping snacking?
Or I say “Eat less at night” and they ask what is the latest time they can eat? The only way you can understand this is to assume they thought I meant “Don’t eat late at night”. Because they have heard that often, from other people. But hell, the skinny French eat dinner at 10:00 PM.
Obviously people tend to hear what they expect to hear regardless of what was really said. And they hear what they want to hear. And as a famous man once wrote, “People tend to believe anything they hear often”. The famous man was Adolf Hitler. Wrong about everything else, but he was right about that.