Everywhere we look there seems to be some kind of promise, a secret weapon if you please, to get an amazing body in no time at all and with little effort as possible… Weight loss organisations promise the loss of 10kg for JUST $10!! They claim you just need to follow their ‘easy’ weight loss program including calorie counting and the consumption of up to 25 ingredients (including chemicals) in simple foods. Other diets claim to have you looking like a supermodel in just two weeks! Don’t forget the ab machines… these will transform you from overweight to having 8-pack abs in just a month! All the while working out in front of the TV with a huge smile on your face, gliding from side to side with the greatest of ease, your mascara staying perfectly in tack with not a drop of sweat to be seen! Exercise isn’t for you? Perhaps a weight loss tea will appeal to you more? Just drink five times daily and vola!
Shakes, wraps, teas, diets, machines… promise after promise of quick and easy weight loss or super abs. Gimmicks! At the end of the day, this is all these things are. Sure you may lose some weight with some, maybe all of these weight-loss approaches but for how long? And how healthy are they for your body?
When I began my study in fitness, deep down I was kind of hoping they would give us the ‘secret weapon’ for a better body… A special set/rep you could perform or a magic diet you could follow. Unfortunately this didn’t happen. What I did learn however, were five REAL not-so-secret weapons that you can use to create a healthier you. I’d like to share them with you.
Yes, you need this! This is what keeps you powering up Moffat Hill, holding a weight above your head, when all you want to do is throw it at your trainer and tell her where to go. This is what keeps you doing the minute of push-up rows when burpees are the penalty for stopping.
How determined are you to get to your goal whatever it may be? Ask yourself, do I have the determination? What is getting in my way of achieving my goal? Am I just half determined? Do I give 100% at training or could I give a bit more?
You’ve probably heard time and time again that summer bodies are made in winter. I hate to be blunt but, unless you have been gifted with the genes of a supermodel (and I can guarantee you that they too must work hard to maintain their figure) and can down a burger without gaining a single inch of fat, then you need to work on your ‘summer’ body all year round. Don’t wake up one sunny summer day, having not got up on those cold winter mornings to train, and expect to be beach ready. Sorry but it just won’t happen! Don’t expect to run a marathon without prior dedication to training. Don’t expect to win a INBA competition without the dedication to training, all year round. Anyone in professional sport will tell you that training does not stop in the off season. It requires dedication all year round, every month of the year. Dedicate yourself to your training (and your trainer) and you will achieve your desired goals.
No, I’m not talking about the banana diet or the starvation diet or the shake diet or even the diet where you consume only 1000 calories per day. I’m talking about your everyday diet, that is, the real food you eat from day-to-day, 365 days per year, every year, for the rest of your life. The food you put in your mouth is what fuels your body. Ask yourself what fuel your body deserves. Eat clean people!! That is the secret to a great diet, nothing else but clean, raw, as close to nature as we can. Stay away from food that contains copious amounts of ingredients and ingredients that you can’t pronounce. Stay away from foods that have high sugar and sodium content. Stay away from preservatives and avoid being trick by manufacturers that label foods ‘natural’. Fresh is the way to go. Organic is even better. Ask your local grocer where your fruit and veges come from. Ask your butcher where he gets his meat. Don’t be afraid to ask questions even if they seem silly at the time. I once had a 45 minute discussion with my egg lady about the pros and cons of feeding chickens protein. I now know what she feeds them, when the eggs are laid, and I can even go and pick them out from the farm if I want. It’s your body and you have every right to know exactly what you are fuelling it with.
Stop sabotaging yourself!!
This is a very important point. When I started training with Mel (about 6-7 years ago) I was training 3-4 times a week. On the floor I was putting everything in, lifting the weight, using great technique, etc. I would physically vomit after some sessions from the amount of effort I was putting in. I was achieving results but not what I should have been achieving… Was this Mel’s fault? Every inch of me wanted to blame her, tell her that she wasn’t giving me the ‘secret weapon’ I was looking for, the short cut that I thought she knew. At the time I remember thinking that she obviously wasn’t doing her job right, she was keeping something from me, not training me right. In reality, I was in denial.
There was no denying I was training hard but… I was also consuming half a carton of full-strength beers a day – yes, that’s right, 12 beers a day! I’d go days without eating and smoke copious amounts of cigarettes. I was really destroying my every chance of obtaining maximum results, not Mel. I was sabotaging myself!! I was not giving myself the respect and health my body deserved. I can guarantee you that if you are not receiving your desired results then you are sabotaging yourself in one way or another. This could include but is not limited to poor diet, alcohol, cigarettes, stress, bad relationships, little water consumption, over-training, under-training, making excuses, not giving 100% in your training session, negative headspace… anything that is working against you in achieving your desired results.
Listen to your trainer.
If your trainer says to rest up, do it. If your trainer says to stop smoking, just do it. If your trainer says to stop eating shit, for the love of God, do it! As a trainer I want to see my clients achieve ultimate results. So does Kim and Mel. We tell you things for a reason, not because we like to hear the sound of our own voices. Every session you do has been tailor made to your specific goals. There’s a reason behind every set, every rep, a method to what sometimes seems like madness. We want to see you succeed, we want you to achieve your goals.
So there you have it. Five ‘not-so-secret’ weapons to a healthier you. If you are not achieving your goals, ask yourself these five things:
- Have I got the determination to achieve my goals?
- Am I dedicated? Do I put in the hard yards?
- Am I fuelling my body with healthy premium foods?
- Am I sabotaging myself? If it’s yes, then how?
- Am I listening to and hearing what my trainer is telling me?
Remember… there is no single secret weapon, no magic pill, no special diet, no fairy dust, no easy way. It’s just one foot in front of the other. One step at a time. Remember that you are all awesome and you deserve awesomeness in your life.
* 1 cup almond meal
* 1 tbls maple syrup
* 1/3 cup coconut oil
* 1/3 cup cacao powder
* 1/2 cup shredded coconut
* 1 serve protein powder (usually around 30g)
Fitness does matter when it allows you to enjoy more adventures in your life. In this issue, we look at kayaking.
There are so many amazing places to kayak on the Sunshine Coast, no matter what level you are.
Imagine this adventure – it’s a gorgeous sunny day and Pumicestone Passage is so glassy you can see your reflection. You and your family and/or friends kayak over to Bribie Island, taking in the sounds of the ocean, the view of the waterways and even spot a few stingrays on the way. You enjoy a packed picnic and then chill out for a while with a swim at the beach or relax and read a book before kayaking back. What an amazing few hours, or why not make it a full day adventure? It’s easy if you have your own kayaks, but also surprisingly inexpensive if you hire them – not to mention it’s great exercise and good for the soul.
Here are some other places on the coast where you can find glassy, calm waters for a kayaking adventure with your friends and family:
- Currimundi Lake
- Noosa River
- Maroochydore River
- Mooloolaba canals
- Kawana Lake
- Pumicestone Passage
So WHY kayak?
- It improves cardiovascular fitness.
- It increases muscle strength, particularly in the back, arms, shoulders and chest (from moving the paddle).
- It increases torso and leg strength, as the strength to power for a kayak comes mainly from rotating the torso and applying pressure with your legs.
- It reduces the risk of wear and tear on joints and tissues, since paddling is a low impact activity.
- Kayaking can be peaceful and meditative or it can be exhilarating, depending on where and how you do it.
- Paddling is a great way to enjoy our waterways.
- It allows you to get your ‘fix’ of nature.
Adventure is addictive. It is contagious, it is fun, it is living. Connect with nature, connect with friends and get fit while doing so.
In the next issue we will take on the adventure of hiking!