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Fun Time Revue —

November 16, 2011

Last night we received a visit from a lady named JSAnon, who told us how she had had enough of us bad-mouthing Dr. Luke. Who the fuck is Dr. Luke, you ask? Some random weight loss guru from Ottawa who Jen criticized over a year ago.

JSAnon decided to unload on us, calling us “demonstrably lazy” and demanding that we “Show some Restraint” and “Go ahead and Be Fat, enjoy and enjoy wallowing in your fat.”

She denies that Dr. Luke preys on the insecurities and self-loathing of fat people to promote his program, and assumes that because we are proud fatties, that we “do not have the inclination to commit to doing what it takes to become fit.”

I considered replying to JSAnon’s comment, but I think I’d rather address this in a full post to avoid noodling text and to invite others to comment. So, here it is, my response to JSAnon (and her pal Raven) in all it’s full-fat glory.

Dear JSAnon,
First of all, Dr. Luke is a wanker, period. Full stop.

Of course, I can’t stop there because it is all too fun to pick apart your little hero. How do I know Dr. Luke is a wanker? Simple, I watched this:

This video alone refutes many of your points. First, you claim that Dr. Luke does not make money off of people’s fear and self-loathing, and that he’s all about helping people and enlightening people. If that’s the case, then why, in this video, does he ask the following three questions:

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?

Do you find it difficult to fit into that little black dress that five years ago you just slipped into?

Does your husband still look at you the way he did when you first met?

Question: Of the three questions posed, how many are questions of health and how many are questions of vanity?

Now, you can argue that fitting into that little black dress is an issue of health because being fatter than you were five years ago is a health issue, but then I would ask why a little black dress? Why not a gender neutral item, such as a shirt? Dr. Luke’s second question is posed directly at women. Is he not concerned about the health of us “big boys” as you call us?

Of course, the third question hammers home the fact that Dr. Luke directs his propaganda squarely at women, and he is very clearly preying on the common fear that the wife will become undesirable to her husband should she gain weight. Although the second question can be argued as a health question, this last one has absolutely nothing to do with health.

And, of course, he’s promoting this program:

At the bottom of his invitation to share your email address for spamming for a drawing to win a free spot in this program, he says, “Just Enter Your Name & Primary Email Address To Be In The Running For A Sexier You!”

Why is “sexier” bold, italics and red? Why not “A Healthier You” or “A Happier You”?

As an afterthought, Dr. Luke adds “Or Those Levi’s Guys” to the top of his craptastic website, but clearly his focus is on female insecurities surrounding weight.

So, why focus so intensely on female insecurities if his goal is to make everyone healthier?

Answer: It’s easier to motivate people through their insecurities than through their health concerns.

And, quite frankly, I can’t blame him. Our culture primes people, and women especially, to loathe their bodies and invitations to “transform” their bodies with “experts” like Dr. Luke appeal to the deeply ingrained desire to be attractive and youthful.

Now, whether Dr. Luke is genuinely interested in helping people become healthier or not is beside the point. I can’t look into Dr. Luke’s heart (and neither can you) to figure out whether it’s money or altruism that motivates him, but the fact is that his advertising approach emphasizes feminine beauty above and beyond health, and that smacks of profiteering off fear and loathing.

Now then, you proceed to belittle us for accepting our fat and make the fatal mistake of confusing acceptance of our bodies with apathy toward our bodies. If you had taken the time to read a few posts, you might have noticed that one of our bloggers, Shautna, is preparing for a 178 mile relay race in Nevada, and that our commenters are encouraging her and cheering on her efforts.

And I, personally, have written about my efforts to improve my fitness by joining the YMCA. Currently, my wife and I go to the gym three nights per week to do strength-training and cardio (I prefer the elliptical, while Veronica enjoys water aerobics). The rest of our bloggers and readers come from a variety of fitness levels, from the ardent athlete to the sedentary student.

But you know what? So do skinny people.

Your assumption that you can determine the health and fitness levels of people simply because they are or are not fat, or do or do not accept their bodies, is common in this society. But research shows unequivocally that sedentary thin people have double the mortality rate of active fat people, who are just as healthy as thin active people.

At Fierce, Freethinking Fatties, we promote Health at Every Size, which says that behaviors, not bodies, determine health. If you exercise and eat a diverse, healthy diet, but are still fat, then you will be much healthier than if you are sedentary and eat junk food, but are still thin.

But ultimately, my choice to exercise or not, eat healthy foods or not, is none of your fucking business. Dr. Luke can go flail about like a spaz in the park for hours, then go home and get shit-faced on bourbon and smoke a thousand cigarettes. And you know what? That’s his choice and it is none of my fucking business what he does with his body.

The problem is that people like you believe it is your right to comment on my lifestyle choices, which you have based solely on my body size. But even if all fat people are gluttonous sloths, you still have no right to comment on my choices, and if you do, then you best expect me and mine to offer you a great, big, heaping bowl of shut the ever-loving fuck up.

And let me be clear: we are not “taking aim” at fat people who want to lose weight. If anything, we pity those people because they are victims of this fat-hating culture and have learned that the only way to atone for their bodies is to sacrifice their money, time and energy to quacks like Dr. Luke, who are long on promises and short on results.

I would go into detail as to the exhaustive list of research that confirms the 95% failure rate of long-term weight loss, but instead I would challenge Dr. Luke to submit his program to rigorous clinical research and actually prove the effectiveness of his methods. Here’s a simple one: give us the entire list of his clients, how long they have been clients, the weight lost on his program and their current contact information, and we’ll verify how much they currently weigh.

Posting a handful of success stories on your website does not constitute “success.” Those are the outliers who give hope to the vast majority who will not succeed on Dr. Luke’s, or anyone else’s, program. Because if Dr. Luke had the answer to obesity epidemic, then there would be no obesity epidemic, right?

Also, I’m touched that you offer to pay $32 for my (or someone else’s?) participation in the RevoLUKEtion. I’m confused… does that $32 cover the whole program? Because at the bottom of his website it says,

But the good news is that you won’t pay anywhere near what the typical Personal Trainer charges for one-on-one training. Instead your investment is as little as $100 a month – That’s just $3.22 a day… (The price of a Timmy’s Latte)

So is it $32 or $100 per month? Of course, on the video I posted above, he says,

We offer one lucky participant a place on our patented lose a dress size in 21 days guarantee. It’s valued at over 150 bucks.

And then, on the sidebar where you are invited to add your email address to his spam list the drawing, it says,

Sign Up For A Chance To Win A FREE Spot On   “The Lose A Dress Size In 21 Days Ottawa Boot Camp Challenge”

(Valued at over $175)

But where, oh where, on his site does it list the prices for his bootcamp and/or personal training services?


Finally, Raven… ah, Raven, you defended your boss when we originally published this post and now you have returned to give us what for, eh?

I think the fact that over a year later we’re still discussing this shows the power Dr. Luke has

We’re not “still discussing” Dr. Luke. One of his acolytes came and crapped on our blog, and we responded a year later. Nothing in between. No ongoing discussions of what Dr. Luke is up to. Just mild amusement at the ferocity with which JSAnon defends Dr. Luke.

Incidentally, I believe it is extremely misleading to call yourself “Dr. Luke” and refer to your “10+ years of be a Health Practitioner,” while not making it explicitly clear that you are a doctor of psychology, not medicine. While he certainly has some credentials in exercise science, only two of them are from an accredited university.

And while media presence is something, even MeMe Roth is still on TV and she has no clue what the fuck she’s talking about.

Finally, your semantic assessment of the word “overweight” as proof that being overweight is unhealthy has to be one of the most bizarre claims I’ve ever read. “Over” what weight? How was that “ideal” weight determined? What evidence do you have that being “over” that weight is unhealthy, besides a basic grasp of prefixes?

The problem with you and JSAnon and Dr. Luke is that you live in this black and white world of thin and fit versus fat and sedentary. You say that “[w]omen who are overweight and choose to stay that weight make a choice,” assuming that if a woman is overweight that she is also inactive and eating nothing but junk food.  That’s bullshit and you can take your simplistic notions of weight and health elsewhere, like Dr. Luke’s fascinating blog (or do I mean “overfascinating”?), the last 13 posts are exactly the same.

And they all lead to Dr. Luke’s other scam business venture, Lukenosis Hypnotherapy. Oddly enough, on this site, he doesn’t try to mislead people about his degree:

Dr. Luke has a Masters degree in Hypnotherapy and a Doctorate in Psychology.

Being a psychologist, I”m sure Dr. Luke is aware that people aren’t as interested in getting weight loss help from a psychologist as they are from a medical doctor, which is why he obfuscates his education on one site, but not the other.

In conclusion, Dr. Luke is a fraud and a douchebag, and I personally invite him to sue me for slander.

24 Comments leave one →
  1. Kala permalink
    November 16, 2011 4:15 pm

    You know Shannon, when I finish my PhD in systems engineering, I should go set up shop in a weight loss clinic. Having a doctorate makes me qualified to give health advice, right?

    “Be Fat” should be a t-shirt, just with those words on them, sounds kind of zen. LOL

    • November 17, 2011 9:34 am

      I don’t have a college degree at all, but I was thinking I might get into systems engineering. It couldn’t be that hard, right? All I have to do is prove I can engineer a system once and then watch the money roll in.

      I think we should combine “Be Fat” with Mulberry’s “I am the 95%.” That would be a killer t-shirt!


  2. MrsS permalink
    November 16, 2011 4:56 pm

    “Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?” No, not in my case. However, being sick and tired could be for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with weight. Have you heard of fibromyalgia, for instance?

    “Do you find it difficult to fit into that little black dress that five years ago you just slipped into?” So? Even a 3-pound weight gain could make it difficult, depending on how tight the dress is. A certain time of the month could make the dress difficult to slip into. Why am I worried about a dress that’s 5 years old?

    “Does your husband still look at you the way he did when you first met?” What kind of question is this? Eye-popping and salivating? Eww. A friendly smile? Yes. The friendly smile has turned into a loving smile, even though I’m almost 20 pounds heavier.

    • November 17, 2011 9:35 am

      But… but… but… these are health issues. Dr. Luke cares about your health. Why don’t you care about your health?


  3. November 16, 2011 8:33 pm

    I have nothing at all to add except that I wish I had wrote that. Brava, Shannon.

  4. Amanda permalink
    November 16, 2011 11:07 pm

    I have been reading this blog for a long time but this is my first comment. I just had to point out a bit of an inconsistency that I have noted, on occasion, when reading some of the articles here. It can be found in the following quote:

    “And let me be clear: we are not “taking aim” at fat people who want to lose weight. If anything, we pity those people because they are victims of this fat-hating culture and have learned that the only way to atone for their bodies is to sacrifice their money, time and energy to quacks like Dr. Luke, who are long on promises and short on results.”

    As one of these so-called fat people who are trying to lose weight, I have not really felt as though I could comment on posts here. But now I would like to address that.

    I will not go into too much detail at this point but, to make a long story short, I am a 210 pound runner and (sometime rock climber) who has decided to lose weight for my own health reasons. I do not (and have never) bought into the method touted by quacks or weigh loss centers. I have chosen to make a lifestyle change that allows me to lose weight while enjoying food – which I love – and exercising. I will admit that it has not been easy as my body seems to prefer being at a higher weight. But it is my choice and believe me when I say that I am ONLY doing this for myself. To be honest, this is by far the most public proclamation I have made on the matter.

    That being said, I completely believe in body acceptance at any size. That is what drew me to your website in the first place. I feel that people have to make their own way in life and that the world is beautiful because it is full of DIFFERENT people. Having a little sister who grew up battling with (what we believe was) undiagnosed autism has made me a strong advocate for diversity. It has also left me frustrated and in tears many nights, wondering why people are so unbelievably cruel to those who are different. The real irony is that my sister, who grew up a the subject of so much cruelty, is the most wonderful and accepting woman I know!

    So, I guess my point would be that there are those of us trying to lose weight who neither want nor accept your pity. I am on a wonderful path in my life and, while my long term goal is to lose weight, I am still very happy with the rather chunky body that I currently have – even if I do want it to be a bit smaller. The thing is though, no matter the number on the scale, I will always be a HAES advocate…

    • November 17, 2011 9:29 am

      First and foremost, welcome to the Commentariat! I’m so thrilled when regular readers step out the shadows to share their insights into Fierce Fatties.

      Secondly, I am sorry if I hurt your feelings and I hope that by clarifying my comments you will understand that I wasn’t referring to everyone who undertakes weight loss. My comment was not aimed at those who choose to lose weight for health reasons. When a person feels that their health is impact by their weight, I fully support their decision to attempt weight loss. Now, the caveat is that my definition of when weight affects health may differ from yours, and were you to share the circumstances of your decision, I might think that weight loss wasn’t as important as lifestyle change, but that’s a matter of opinion. For example, some people feel that being 20 pounds overweight negatively impacts their health because of all the media hype, while I believe metabolic indicators are the best metric for measuring health.

      As I see it, my job as a Fat Acceptance activist is to educate people on the research underpinning these vastly divergent views of health, and helping to change views as to what “health” means for both fat people and non-fat people. My job is not to go up to each person is losing weight and say, “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS!?!” I put the information out there and you have to decide for yourself what to do with it.

      So, regardless of how you define “health,” I completely and totally support your desire to improve your health through weight loss because you have determined that this is the route that will give you the best results. I would not judge you for making that choice, as even my wife is doing the same thing. Obviously, she knows how I feel about weight loss, but what kind of patronizing dickweed would I be if I tried to force her to follow my prescription for health?

      My comment was directed specifically at those who chose to lose weight for non-health reasons. In particular, people who believe “the only way to atone for their bodies is to sacrifice their money, time and energy to quacks like Dr. Luke, who are long on promises and short on results.” My comment was directed at those who feel there is something inherently wrong with their body. Health may or may not be a concern, but what really motivates them to turn to the Dr. Luke’s of the world is a deep sense of dissatisfaction for not having the body they feel they should have.

      Now, to be honest, I think a lot of people who are in that “20 pounds overweight makes me unhealthy” category are also in that dissatisfaction group as well. You can’t help but include health as one of the motivating factors for weight loss, but the vast majority of people who go on diets don’t have any actual medical problems that would necessitate weight loss. Instead, they are simmering in this stew of cultural feedback that attaches so many “problems” to fatness (unattractiveness, laziness, unhealthiness, etc.) that weight loss is often seen as the only choice.

      Those are the people I pity… the people who simply accept the “conventional wisdom” on fatness and have not examined the complexity of the issue in any depth at all. They have simply absorbed the cultural cues that tell them weight loss is the solution to all of life’s problems.

      And, once again, there is absolutely no way for me to distinguish the motivations of individuals, even yourself, who say, “I’m doing it for health.” So, my pity is not aimed at everyone who is losing weight, but at the underlying motivations that cause people to pursue weight loss. For my pity to apply to you, you would first have to know what your own motivations are. If they stem from concern for your health and you sincerely believe weight loss will help you improve your health, then I fully support you, but if they stem from this cultural poison that makes weight loss seem like the only option, then I do pity you.

      I hope this makes sense. After reading your comment last night I felt terrible that you felt I was judging you. I am more judging the cultural environment that imposes a weight loss panacea on an unsuspecting public.

      Anyway, thank you for commenting, and I hope you understand.


  5. Gen permalink
    November 16, 2011 11:27 pm

    I think JSAnon’s had a few too many “LUKEnosis” sessions.

    • November 17, 2011 9:39 am

      I think this one might be LUKEwashed.


  6. November 17, 2011 7:28 am

    Beautiful, Shannon! I could barely keep a straight face while watching that guy’s video. This woman is obviously an avid participant of his “ReveLuketion” (giggle and roll of the eyes) and thinks he’s God’s gift to bikinis. Does my husband still look at me the same way he did when we first met? What a vile lure. Give me a break! As a matter of fact, he does. Maybe even more so, because he loves who I am inside just as much as he loves my exterior. This guy is not the least bit interested in health … he’s interested in money and maybe acquiring a team of Lukeocytes to go out and have a pint.

    • November 17, 2011 9:41 am

      Thanks Gabriela. “A vile lure” is the perfect description for this man’s entire endeavor. Essentially, he’s promising a return of your youth and beauty, the absence of which are both illusions. Of course, if he only focused on health and not insecurities, he probably wouldn’t get what little business he already does.


    • L.J. Utter permalink
      November 17, 2011 10:06 am

      Lukeocytes made me lol, thanks!

      • November 17, 2011 1:17 pm

        It is vile indeed. Why would anyone ask you that question — Does your husband still look at you the same way he used to? — without deliberately intending to mess with your head and plant all kinds of insecurities, doubts, and negativity? Any such person obviously has their own agenda, whether it’s trying to sell you some bogus diet program, or transferring the shit that’s in their own heads into yours. It’s so transparent, and that’s why I can’t understand why people (like that woman who was so vigorously defending him and attacking us) don’t GET IT.

  7. November 17, 2011 10:27 am

    You’re welcome, LJ! Made me LOL while I was writing it!

  8. lifeonfats permalink
    November 17, 2011 4:49 pm

    The idea that this program is only aimed at women is really skeevy. Our worth as a human being is not determined by our dress size and it’s pretty pathetic that Judy and Raven believe that. You can have your little black dress; I’ll keep my sanity thank you!

  9. Len permalink
    November 17, 2011 6:18 pm

    Ew! Why does this individual think it’s okay to imply that it is my problem how my husband looks at me?! The implication that women somehow OWE it to men to look a certain way makes my fangs grow. My (healthy, happy, 20-year) relationship is not up for discussion and my BODY SHAPE is my issue. Not my husband’s. Not society’s. Not his.

    Look out Dr Luke, you have triggered my Big Fat Furious Femme-Monster … and I’m feeling peckish …

    • November 18, 2011 8:46 am

      So well said. You put your finger right on it … the implication that we OWE it to men to look a certain way, and if we don’t look that way, they’re perfectly justified to treat us badly or cheat or whatever. I wonder if this guy is married. Good God, I can’t even imagine what his wife must go through (if he is) …. but then again, she was needy enough to sign up for it. Yikes.

  10. Ann Mouse permalink
    November 19, 2011 12:36 am

    Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Yeah, but that’s got nothing to do with weight and everything to do with hormones. Which, incidentally, caused the weight gain, and not the other way around!

    Do you find it difficult to fit into that little black dress that five years ago you just slipped into? Not at all. I got rid of it when it didn’t fit and replaced it with one that did.

    Does your husband still look at you the way he did when you first met? You better believe it, bub!

    I had no idea who that guy is (FA/SA/HAES newbie) and the video alone made me think he’s a douchbag.

  11. Alison Watters permalink
    December 14, 2011 6:37 pm

    I’m new to this blog, but came across it when looking for negative reviews on “Dr. Luke”. I have recently had the experience of meeting him, and it wasn’t good.
    I found it funny that there isn’t any negative reviews about this guy, but maybe people don’t know where to post a review for a “fitness trainer”.
    He recently had a discount deal on one of the discount coupon sites (or should I say many of the sites), and my friend and I thought we would try it to help ourselves get healthier.
    We made it to the orientation session, and everything looked good. He seemed really upbeat, and positive which I thought was great. He talked for about 1/2 hour on how he hates a negative attitude, and if he catches you with one he will ask you to leave. He also tells you to listen to your body. If your body is telling you you can’t do anymore, try to push a little further.
    Anyway, there were some extra spots in the next class and he asked if anyone wanted to stay. Wanting to get the most out of our coupon my friend and I stayed. About 1/2 way through, my friend was feeling ill to the point it was scaring her. We decided to leave that day, but were planning to attend the 4 sessions promised per week in our coupon.
    We emailed the “Dr.” to apoligize for leaving, and to make sure we were on the list for the other sessions that week.
    We got a very belittling email back about how we disrespected him, and the only spot available was the following Sunday and if we couldn’t make it it was our problem. (this is the problem we were having. He has 7 classes/week, and because of putting his coupon on many sites, has over 250 new clients (his words) therefore, I’m not sure how he’s going to honour any of his coupons)
    We decided that because he couldn’t honour our commitment we would get our money back and leave. We emailed him to let him know we were dropping out and we both got emails back, but mine was awful. I have never been bullied like that before, basically told me that I dropped out because I was fat, and I acted like a 7 year old.
    All this coming from a guy that aparently does antibulling semminars. I would love to send the email I got to those places!!

    Anyway, That’s my rant.

    By the way, Raven is his girlfriend. Talk about 2 way relationship!!

    • December 19, 2011 1:03 pm

      Somehow this email slipped through my view. Sorry for the delay in responding.

      First of all, I’m glad you’ve found us. Welcome to Fierce, Freethinking Fatties. As always, we highly recommend that anyone interested in learning more about getting healthy check out a book called “Health at Every Size.” It will change the way you think about health, nutrition and your own body. Be sure to check it out.

      As far as “Dr.” Luke, this is (for lack of a better word) awesome. So, he tells you to listen to your body, then disrespects your friend’s body when it tells her that it’s gone far enough? What bullshit.

      I would love to read the email he sent you. Feel free to send it to me at atchka at hotmail. I’d love to see what kind of “encouragement” he gives his customers. I hope you get your money back, and if you don’t, I would complain to whoever you got the coupon from. If you have any trouble, just let me know and I’ll be happy to help you out.


  12. April 20, 2013 11:40 pm

    It’s not my issue, but there is no other place to complain about Dr.Luke. I’ve paid him $300.00 for quite smoking session. It didn’t work so I sent him a few emails which he totally ignored. Where is the promise of life time guarantee, dr. or Dr?
    Any suggestion?

  13. Pepe permalink
    August 28, 2013 10:22 pm

    If anybody will call him a doctor again, I’ll go crazy.
    But the first place I’ll go are medias and BBB.
    Swindler and liar.

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