Way back in the 1930’s there was a very popular radio show called “The Answer Man”. The 15 minute broadcast ran from 1937-1956 and the format consisted of listeners sending in questions and “The Answer Man” ( a guy by the name of Albert Carlyle Mitchell) would provide the answers. Mitchell had a staff of 40 people that would help him and their offices were across from the New York City library and their research was performed there. Additionally, there was file kept of over 20,000 authorities that could be contacted if their library search failed to yield answers.
Each year ‘The Answer Man” received over 1 million questions and those that were not answered on the air were answered by mail back to the people posing questions. The program made it seem that The Answer Man would answer the questions spontaneously but in fact, the program was scripted and the questions posed were researched extensively before the shows were aired. There were apparently 2 questions that The Answer Man could not answer:
- How many buffalo it would take to fill the Grand Canyon?
- Do birds dream?
So, what does a very old radio show have to do with a weight control blog? Here goes:
There are many areas of medicine where there is no true “Answer Man/Woman” available to provide all of the answers. Stepping away from the weight control arena for a bit, the Covid pandemic, utility of vaccinations against mutations, need for booster immunizations, who should immunizations completely…these questions and more truly have no “Answer Man/Woman”. NOT Dr. Fauci, NOT Mr. Google, NOT WebMD, NOT Bob Posner. Over time, the answers will become clearer.
Now, back to the weight control arena. Clearly, there is no “Answer Man/Woman” to the question as to why it is so difficult to control weight and why so many people can control every other aspect of their lives other than their own weight. As a doctor with lots of experience in this field, I still do NOT consider myself to be “The Answer Man”. The SP Team and I provide tools for people to use that have been shown to help the majority of people trying to control weight.
To an extent, YOU need to be “The Answer Person” by exploring the triggers and patterns of your behaviors that contribute to the chronic weight control issues. By confronting and thinking through these issues, you will be able to establish a better game plan as to how to navigate around the complexities and move forward in a positive manner. Each person has unique and individual differences that make a “one approach works for all” concept untenable. Resources, support systems, prescription medications and “answers” from others (such as your SP Team) are all very helpful but at the end of the day, YOU are the very best “Answer Person” and this concept needs to be embraced.
And lastly, I am going to add one more question to the ones that could never be answered by The Answer Man: Why do people ask you to provide a “good” cell phone number when they are asking for your contact information? Is there such a thing as a “bad” cell number that you have?