For the past few years people have asked me for my secret to staying fit and healthy. Of course, there is no secret: just eat healthy and exercise! Evidently my response is not the one they are looking for. No one (yet – I live in hope!) has followed through with the advice I have given; instead changing nothing and feeling sorry for themselves because there’s no magic solution to their problems.
Most recently, my boss asked for my help to lose weight. She had gained a few kilos after being injured and taken off her feet for three months. After trying a number of fad diets and appetite suppressants and seeing no results, she finally asked for my advice. Like many women, she assumes the only way she’ll lose weight is by starving herself and exercising like crazy.
I spent a good half an hour discussing exactly what she needed to do to lose weight. I even showed her my last cutting diet – if she did absolutely no exercise, she would still lose weight on this plan. She seemed really keen, and incredibly grateful for my advice.
On Monday morning I asked whether she had started the program yet. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but in came the excuses: she couldn’t cook the food because she had to also prepare meals for her daughter (obviously she hasn’t heard of Raechelle Chase, who has three kids and looks amazing!), she doesn’t have time to cook all that food (it’s called cooking in bulk!) and, the best of the lot, it’s summer time in Spain where she is based so she can’t start her diet until summer is over. Um, really?! I’ve never heard of someone waiting until winter to start their swimsuit diet!
She was also afraid of eating every 2-3 hours. Despite the scientific proof behind this theory, she remains convinced that the only way to lose her extra padding was to stick with her overly large meals spaced six hours apart and her 10 cups of coffee a day. This all happened about a month ago. Nothing has changed, and I know it won’t.
One of my friends has recently started asking a lot of questions about my diet and exercise habits. She’s overweight but keen to improve her own health – she asks me for advice on almost a daily basis, constantly telling me that I’m an inspiration. After a couple of months of gentle prodding, she joined the gym – albeit only for group classes.
Despite her efforts, she still has no idea how to eat. She eats way too many carbohydrates, she only eats protein at her evening meal (and usually in deep fried form!), and way too many sugary packaged foods. Her idea of a healthy lunch is a punnet of cherry tomatoes and a 750ml energy drink. I went shopping with her and she bought a pre-packaged pasta salad for lunch. Five minutes later she had to then buy cupcakes because her “salad” wasn’t going to fill her up enough. She also eats entire bags of rice cakes every day. I know a rice cake is the quintessential diet food but it really lacks any nutritional value – not to mention that eating any food non-stop for the entire day is not doing any favours for your digestion.
I don’t force my opinions on other people. I don’t comment about what other people eat (despite receiving constant criticism about what I eat!). Unless someone asks me for specific advice, I keep my mouth shut. Yet whenever I tell people the simple ways they can make improvements, they never do it.
For some reason, despite seeing me practice what I preach, people around me are still convinced that living a healthy lifestyle is too difficult. Sure, not everyone needs to be a fitness competitor, but I wish people would stop acting as if it’s so damn difficult to not be fat. There is no magic pill. The fitness industry (the part targeted towards the “average” person) is based on products and services that are designed to fail by their very nature: if they actually did what they promised you would never have to buy another book or supplement ever again.
I don’t understand why people would repeatedly ask me for help if they have no intention of following through. I can’t wait for the day when I stop being nice and just snap at these people to go back to McDonalds!
Last night we had what may have been the most pathetic cheat meal ever….chicken and sweet potato! But it was much more delicious than it sounds: homemade piri piri sauce, chicken thigh (rebellious!) and capsicum on a bed of spinach. Because I’m extra hardcore, we also threw in some regular white potatoes 😉
To balance it out we did finish with cheesecake, but I better not post a picture of that or I wouldn’t be a very good fitness blogger!
Do people ever dismiss your healthy lifestyle as being too hard? And what are your favourite cheat meals?