A Dieters Dilemma

Imagine yourself going out with a bunch of friends when you’re dieting.

Horrible!! Isn’t it?

Let’s say you’re sitting at the end of a table with your buddies in your favorite eating joint. Everyone is ordering their favored meals, and you’re all having a gala time without much thinking about food. Your turn to order comes at last and you ask the waiter to bring two plain chicken breasts with a side of veggies without seasoning and oil.

Suddenly the conversation stops, and everyone starts staring at you like you’ve done something really horrible.

Waiter notes down your order and silently goes to the kitchen. Now the topic of conversation becomes your choice of order. For the next 20 minutes, you’re going to hear one or more variations of stupid dialogues like,

“It’s easy for you to lose weight with all this dieting and all. I can’t do it, I love to eat up to my heart’s content.”

“I can’t diet, I prefer exercising to burn calories.”

Even the most unexpected guy from your group stops to comment on your dieting just to follow the crowd.

Funny thing is nobody would have cared if you ordered something completely horse crap. But because you ordered something to help you achieve some goal, you’re now a freak.

And you think, what the fish! I’m here for your company you idiots, not to give you dieting tips that you just don’t care about. Do you really think it’s ‘easy’ to watch you jokers devour junk?

Isn’t it the similar situation like the famous “monkeys and banana experiment”?

The Social Experiment: Monkeys & Bananas
office monkeys

A group of scientists placed five monkeys in a cage, and in the middle, a ladder with bananas on top.

Every time a monkey went up the ladder, the scientists soaked the rest of the monkeys with cold water.

After a while, every time a monkey would start up the ladder, the others would pull it down and beat it up.

After a time, no monkey would dare try climbing the ladder, no matter how great the temptation.

The scientists then decided to replace one of the monkeys. The first thing this new monkey did was start to climb the ladder. Immediately, the others pulled him down and beat him up.

After several beatings, the new monkey learned never to go up the ladder, even though there was no evident reason not to, aside from the beatings.

The second monkey was substituted and the same occurred. The first monkey participated in the beating of the second monkey. A third monkey was changed and the same was repeated. The fourth monkey was changed, resulting in the same, before the fifth was finally replaced as well.

What was left was a group of five monkeys that – without ever having received a cold shower – continued to beat up any monkey who attempted to climb the ladder.

If it was possible to ask the monkeys why they beat up on all those who attempted to climb the ladder, their most likely answer would be “I don’t know. It’s just how things are done around here.”

Does that sound at all familiar?

Source: This story, a modern day fable, was inspired in part by the experiments of G.R. Stephenson, found in “Cultural acquisition of a specific learned response among rhesus monkeys“ as well as certain experiments with chimpanzees conducted by Wolfgang Kohler in the 1920s. Over the years, it was pieced together to form the urban legend as it now stands (wisdompills).



One thought on “A Dieters Dilemma

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *