SORRY TO swear but this is how the following kinds of messages make me feel and I see them every day on my social media and in my inbox:
“Be A Fit Badass”
“You Don’t Get What You Wish For You Get What You Work For.”
“Get Off That Couch And Join Us At Our Stupid O’clock Bootcamp!
Sound familiar? How do you feel when you see those kinds of messages around exercise and keeping fit.
Frankly this makes me want to shovel as much cake as possible into my mouth. It makes me want to vomit – what is it about some ‘fitness’ people who feel they have a right to bark at others?
I’ve come across many people who run fitness businesses who have been fit and into sport and exercise their whole lives.
They cannot understand when someone – like me – has not so, no, I don’t get it because it’s not been part of my life ever.
There must be many, many people like me.
The truth is I was brought up in a household where exercise, sport and fitness were not something even considered as a pastime. We were fairly fit because we didn’t have any car in the 1970s or 80s so walked everywhere or caught the bus - which we did not like a lot of the time.
Our diet was, looking back, pretty awful but normal for the time. We did eat a lot less sugar because the sweet treats around now were simply unavailable.
I now find if a ‘fitness’ person starts lecturing me or in my general direction I want to give them the same treatment.
How would they feel if I started shouting at them about something I’ve done all of my life?
It might sound like this:
“Be A Book Badass!”
“You Don’t Get What You Wish For You Get What You Read For…:
“Stay On That Couch And Read A Book You Uneducated Moron”.
Those who run fitness or weight loss businesses because they’ve been unfit, overweight and have had an epiphany tend to be different – because they understand what it’s like to have to learn the skill of keeping active, eating more healthily and IT TAKES TIME, it’s really difficult and someone has to be READY.
The truth is – I’m overweight, I’ve been overweight for many years and not being a stupid person I know this.
However this year so far I’ve lost two stones in weight. I’m still too heavy, probably still technically obese but I’ve come a long way.
So how have I done this when I found exercise of all kinds boring?
Five things have happened over time which have made me change and it has nothing to do with being shouted at by anyone.
One – working with two fitness experts as their media consultant and over time I listened to them both, sharing their stories and I’ve realised small incremental changes make a big difference over time. It doesn’t have to be hell for leather from day one – unless you choose to do it that way.
Two – my husband, also overweight, was told he was in the diabetic range and it frightened him so he wanted to make some changes. Making some of that journey together was therefore inevitable.
Three – I chose an exercise I could cope with and which fitted into my lifestyle. My biggest passions are my family and my business and that won’t change. Early morning classes or personal trainers just take my precious time from doing what I really want to do so I know I won’t sustain it. I chose walking – also I chose walking with my camera as that distracts me when a walk is boring. Twenty to 30 minutes a day at least five times a week.
Four – I looked at food. I know what I was eating a lot of the time was unhealthy. I started by replacing the snacking in the evening with snacking on something healthier. In our case, replacing crisps and chocolate with strawberries, natural yoghurt and walnuts. Gradually I’ve naturally cut out other snacking during the day but I don’t make a big deal out of it. If I want something I’ll have it but I do ask myself ‘do I need this?’ I find I’m now less focussed on food than I’ve ever been.
Five – the first month is hell when it comes to eating. It’s horrible. However after about six weeks you begin to realise you aren’t thinking about it any more. Other foods taste better. I still hate fish, olives, aubergines and all the foods I avoided before and I still eat ice cream and crisps but not every single day out of habit.
All of this I’ve done because I’ve chosen to do it. It’s not a punishment, it’s a life-style which I’ve chosen to make. If I don’t lose another pound in weight, it doesn’t matter to me. This is now part of what I do. When I cannot do that walk with my husband or one of my children, I really miss it.
The outcomes are clear:
- I’ve lost almost two stones in weight.
- My husband has lost more than three stones and is out of the diabetic range.
- My children are eating more healthily, mirroring our behaviour.
- I’ve got more focus and clarity in other areas of my life.
- I’m more body confident.
I’ve chosen a path to health and fitness which suits me and I’m still on that path. I’m no supermodel and I never will be and that’s okay. I’ve changed my body shape a little with the kind of commitment that I felt able to make so that it was sustainable. End of. If you want to lecture me, I’ll simply send you a link to this post. Enough said.