Facing fears is such a minefield. I have had so many of them with my life as a Depressed Person. I spent much of it in controlled imprisonment. I went to work, I went home. That was all. I rarely went out and when I did I was so uncomfortable, people might know that I’m a fraud, I shouldn’t be there.
My Steve is so good with getting inside your fears. These days I ride a bicycle on the road, I drive in new cities by myself, I go out on my own, I eat in public places by myself, I am pretty brave. Funny, I have never been afraid of speaking in public though.
Aside from dogs and Zombies, I have been phobic about the ocean since I was a small girl. Why? Dunno. I have always yearned to be a wave rider every summer for 40yrs while I sit on the side or wade with the kids - kids I don't even know!! I hang with them hoping that every parent on the beach thinks that I am with the other kid so I don’t look like the weird old lady hanging with kids! Talk about stranger danger. Playing in the shallows guarantees your bather bottoms being full of sand – a good reason to get out of there.
My friend Mandy started this whole fiasco. I needed more clients, she said
“Why don’t you go for your Surf Bronze and be an active member. That will get you more people to choose from”.
That’s a great idea aside from the obvious. I said I was scared. She said Charles (her very capable Surf hubby, the whole family are surf-capable) and Steve would help me. Ah yes. Well, sure okay why not. Pffft to the phobia huh, sure no trouble at all.
So to stop me getting all chicken I declared my intention on Facebook – that’s where real life happens. It’s funny. People think I am surf capable. It’s a shock to them that I’m not. It’s all a façade of fake bravado and I NEVER said I was surfie-like. I remember how brave I felt after paddle boarding in a creek and I reckoned I could swim in the ocean. I ran in all the way to my thighs when the bravery left and I hightailed it back to the shallows - sand in my bather bottoms.
Anyhoo, On Wednesday we stood at Greenmount point and he asked me what me fears were.
1. Sharks –
- OK. It appears that the way I ride my bike should strike more fear in me. It’s been more luck than skill that I have never been smashed down by a car. There has not been a shark attack on the Gold Coast in many, many, many, years. The last GC surfie attacked by a shark was surfing in Carnarvon WA. The one in the canal here LANDED on a shark that then bit him in self-defense. Acceptable.
2. I might get caught in a rip and be sucked out to sea.
- So what would you do if you did? I started rattling off all the things someone should do. He then asked me again, what would YOU do if it were YOU? Oh. So I got right into the moment of it all.
3. I’m afraid if I get into trouble no one will be there.
- There are surfers for Africa out here and patrols everywhere. Someone will see you – float and wave. (Yes that’s one of the Aqua rules as is swim with a buddy!)
We went through all the scenarios with Steve making me answer questions in the first person, not as the teacher I usually am. Yeah, so what? I teach it and I teach it well. Just like I teach all sorts of things, doesn’t mean I can do it just means I’m a good teacher. So the more I got into the whole What If? bizzo, the less anxious I became. Okay, lets do it.
My first foray into the ocean came the same day. I am proud to say it was exceptional. I went out until I couldn’t touch the bottom! Of course I was practically stuck to Steve like shit to a blanket but there I was, in the ocean, no sand in my bather bottoms. I was ok. For the next few swims, I stay very close to him – just in case.
One day Steve went paddle boarding which meant I was left to swim by myself. Scared much? OH YES. Out I went telling myself I should be glad I’m not riding my bike cos that’s dangerous.
Of course I naturally gravitated to a couple having couple time in the water, trying to appear like I was paying no attention to them. They were probably thinking – “There’s a whole ocean out there. You’re making us look like a threesome!” I quietly wanted to grab on to them like a barnacle on a boat bottom! I kept thinking about how dangerous it is to ride my bike on the road. The more I thought about that the more my mind gravitated to sharks riding bicycles. Right, that’s enough bravery for the day. Might go to the Surf club for a beer.
The next big challenge came at Hamilton Island. After arriving at Whitehaven aboard a yacht, we were given the option of swimming the 200m to the beach (no thanks) or catch a ride on the outboard. Of course flipping Steve wanted to swim. Sure, I said. You know what? I outswam every shark, every other swimmer and even the outboard to get there first!
You can swim so fast in the ocean, I practically skimmed across the top of the water. It reminded me of my friend Janet’s dog Annie. She was a little dog. If you lifted her out of the water her little legs would just keep swimming in the air. That’s how I felt at the time. Nearly hyperventilated with the panic. I made it there and I made it back. Steve made me swim slowly back, he said it was good for me because, actually, Im not sure why.
I think its because I swim heaps faster than him, and he gets scared being in the water by himself!!! Its okay Steve, we can work on your fear!!
You did not become Overweight & Unfit in 12 weeks. So it’s a bit of an ask to participate in a 12 week thingy and expect to have undone all of that stuff. Yep, sure it can work for some but for most it doesn’t. Why? Well for a start you became that way over a period of months possibly even years. It was so gradual – a tightening of the pants, a thickening of the waist, a drooping of the boobs (yep, even in the men!).
SO you buy the next size up and think, yeah okay, its Christmas time, or your birthday, or you got married or the Global Financial Crisis or my mothers aunties best friends sisters 100th birthday or whatever excuse you are currently using to justify becoming larger than life. I will go on a diet on Monday. Funny how all diets start on Mondays – if you blow it on Tuesday, you will decide to restart next Monday.
One morning you get out of bed and HELLO – who the hell is that in your mirror? It seems like one day you were F&H and now you are O&U – even the letters of those words are different shaped O&U are so ROUND.
So lesson of the day – it took a while to get there and with all journeys, its going to take a while to get back – unless you take a shortcut following the latest fad diet, which leads you onto a new road – the road of Deprivation, Guilt & Gain. Fat loss of 100-200g per week is an acceptable amount to get rid of. It’s a whole process that needs to be respected. We don’t respect the process hence the results are less than respectable.
If diets worked, why are there so many of them? If what we are doing is right, why are we still doing these get slim quick rubbishy things? Stars like Kim Kardashian have access to the best that money can buy – do they still get fat? HELL YES. So why oh why do you buy that crap from her?
There is only one Major Rule the Diet Industry would not want you to believe
1. Dieting can make you FAT. Then there are the Minor Rules of dieting to set you up for failure –
- You must cut back on food because you are a world class failure in control
- If you have a single Bad Food you are a world class failure in control
- If one diet doesn’t work, try another one for world class failures in control
- Add miles of exercise that you won’t be able to do to make you just a world class failure
When you restrict foods you will lose weight – except its not just fat, its water & muscle tissue. All things needed to survive. Yes proper SURVIVE which is different to fitting into a size 8 spangly dress so you can survive at your best friends wedding. To function, your body needs good food. Being full of vitality has nothing at all to do with cutting back on food.
It’s a great idea though really. If you eat half the amount of that food that has made you fat & sick, then you will only feel half as bad? Ah, no.
But then take even the crappy food away & Captain Metabolism will slow you down so that you cannot expend any energy because you are obviously experiencing a famine so you can exercise all day - you will feel even worse than before.
This is why dieters are angry, nasty beasts who will bite your hand off as soon as look at you because they are FREAKING STARVING, hellishly dehydrated, & sick but HEY I’ve lost 6KGS OMG THIS DIET IS SO GOOD!
But its ok, after a couple of weeks of “Being Good” losing 6kgs of water, muscle & feck all fat, they cannot stand it any longer so will mow through mega packs of Tim Tams, agonising over the feelings of failure. Jolly good fun isn’t it? But wait there’s more - dieters will GAIN BACK 10kgs!! And then do the whole stupid process again & again & again & again & again. I know. That was me.
Folks – are we really that stupid. If you slam your head in a door day after day eventually it’s gonna kill you. Any diet that restricts real food is going to fail, fail, fail. You have done this SO MANY times; will doing it with a different name change the outcome?
Diets make you tired, angry, hungry, mean, nasty, sleepy, grizzly, feeling like a failure, sick and FAT. Try something amazingly different – try actually eating real food.
Eating for health & vitality is about ADDING & REDUCING
- Eat lots of lean meat, fresh fruits & veg in your day, three times a day
- Add foods that look like they did when they came out of the ground
- Drink water. Honestly if you want to die faster switch your Diet Coke for a faster acting poison
- Add lean meats to a fresh salad, dress with a mix of olive oil, lemon juice & herbs
- Add walnuts/almonds/pecans to your fruit snack for extra taste
- Reduce or eliminate the amount of processed foods you eat. This includes grains, products made with grains, artificial foods, food substitutes with added vitamins, seriously, what the hell was it before you added vitamins and minerals????
- Read the labels. If you are not sure how to read a food label use this rule – REAL FOOD doesn’t come with a label.
Get real with food, It is meant to be enjoyed and loved. Lean meats, fish, eggs, fruit & veg, good fats & a few nuts are not the enemy, they are the real deal. You know what? I endorse this way of eating and I aint no Kim Kardashian. What I am is as healthy as they get and I have vitality pouring out of my ears. You have nothing to lose by giving it a go. Nothing at all. Do something different, don’t diet, eat.
I recently sent out a survey as part of my market research. I want to be the best healthy living lifestyles tailor that I can based on what people actually want. I know that this is a pretty revolutionary idea as many fitness professionals, as we like to call ourselves, care more about ourselves than we do about the people we are supposed to care for. We are meant to be a caring profession. People with healthy life challenges already have problems. They don’t need us to exacerbate them by being reluctant carers.
· Happy, alert, healthy & awake, friendly and smiling – how many times have we gone into a “healthy Wellness or Fitness Centre” and the staff are half asleep & look sick. You ask how they are and they would rather be somewhere else?? Are you joking? This is meant to be a fitness centre, a place of happiness and light where fresh faced healthy athletic looking people encourage you to be like them by always being golden with big toothy smiles. You would rather be somewhere else?? OMG Me too! Tell me again why I am wasting my time & money coming here????
To add insult to injury, as soon as they spot a friend out comes the smile.
· Attentive to me at all times not checking their phones, chatting to friends or yawning!
Boy oh boy this is a doozy. Have you had this? I know I have in my trainer and I have seen it. Some forget that they are being employed by their clients.
· Dressed like a professional not like a stripper male or female. I really don’t want to see your boobs, butt, belly, biceps etc.
· Are respectful of my time by being on time, no they are early! And organised when I get there ready for me
not setting their stuff up
· More interested in me than themselves. This is my time not your time. You wanna talk about yourself, go to a trainer
· Stays educated and up to date. I would like to know that you are keeping abreast of the changes and can talk about them with me if I ask.
Sometimes stuff out there scares me.
· Remembers things about me, which means you care about me. Please know my name for a start. Know what I do and who my family are. Remember me on the street too.
· Don’t eat when we are training. Really? Who does that?
· Pay attention to ME – not your phone, your friends, your biceps, the window ME ME ME
· Smell nice, look nice & have nice teeth, shave if you’re a man, be nicely groomed and don't smoke. You don’t have to be a model. I want you to look healthy and well. Smoking is such a let down, not only does it smell bad but really, that’s not healthy is it?
· Walk the talk – they tell us to do these things but don’t do it themselves – smoking, drinking, fast food etc. It makes it not real and a lie. Also, if they have a programme they endorse, the least they can do is use it.
If your trainer isn’t giving you 100% for the money you pay maybe its time to find a fitness professional that will.
And remember, expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better. Service delivery is so important. You deserve it and you are paying for it so don’t let your trainer feel like it’s your privilege to have them. It is their privilege to have YOU.
Thank you to all the respondents
So I get on the scales and heavens to Betsy (no offence Betsy) 83kgs! Get off, check that the needle wasn’t off centre – nope it isn’t. Bang the scales a bit and got back on. Oh. I’m short so this is far too large for my frame. Flashback from when I was a big girl? Hell no this was 3 weeks ago. Now as anyone who knows me knows, I’m not a great fan of scales. I prefer the tape measure and “how do your clothes fit” as a preferred method of confirming whether or not I; or you; are a lardy arse. So why was I on them? Because my pants were tight and fitness professional or not, I did not understand. I had no idea why they were tight. I’m serious! I had been doing some heavier than normal weight work at the gym. I had taken to running stairs and hills 4 times a week so of course all that extra up work meant my butt muscles were getting the hell work out and this accounted for my J’Lo butt surely? Durrrrrrrrr. NO. Well it might have been the answer to that but it surely didn’t excuse the flabby belly!
I really had to think about what possibly could have happened in the last 10 weeks that had lead to my gaining back over half the weight I had originally lost.
You know, I’m not a light weight by any stretch, well, I used to be but that was in the days of a pack a day smoking habit, intravenous administration of coffee, a high stress, high activity job. I was a walking death trap back in those days and though now I am not slim, I am exceptionally healthy & very fit so it’s all good. I could have stood to lose a little more flab but now I have to shed five times more than a little more! Shoot. It’s not that I have a particular aversion to being heavy per se. I feel unwell, lethargic, bloated, unhealthy. I am also fiscally tight, I do not want to buy new clothes!
Okay, so my activity levels had dropped as I wasn’t training people all day or clocking up kms poolside so that would account for a little. Having said that, my planned exercise had increased and it was a harder than normal. Was it harder because I was trying harder or was it harder because there was more of me to lug around. Oh shite. What am I going to do? I’m supposed to be a health professional for crying out loud. So I cried, out loud.
Ok, lets be sensible about this, what else could possibly have changed. I’m still eating the same sort of foods……or am I? I’m living on the Gold Coast now where food is readily available 24hrs a day as opposed to life in the desert where the only food to be had was coming out of my kitchen…hmmmm.
It wasn’t that I was eating that much different it was that I was eating THAT MUCH MORE. I had more time on my hands and more food avenues at my disposal. Does that lend a teensy bit of bullshit to the excuse Unfit & Overweight use that they have no time to be fitter and cook meals? So far I had managed to be a good weight & very fit in a day that used to start at 530am and ended when I walked in the door at 7pm most days of the week. Now I had time on my hands I was fat. Steve and I were enjoying meals out. Not just dinner – MOST meals and in large sizes. My alcohol consumption had increased from a glass of wine to several glasses (a bottle) of wine most nights of the week. We went to clubs for dinner, sushi bars for lunch, cafes for breakfast a never ending roundabout of beautiful food prepared by other people. A veritable gorgefest!
When I was a kid food was something that was kinda difficult to get enough of with 7 mouths around a table. I loved visiting my friends and Nana Allen because they had different food & less mouths. There was nothing wrong with our food, there just wasn’t enough. My brother and I used to shoot rabbits for stew then tell the Little Ones that it was chicken. Not sure if they knew or not. If they didn’t they might know now. Anyway, I have had this obsession with food forever. Its like I have to eat as much as I can when its there so if there is none I will be able to live on my fat stores for weeks, even months. In this day and age of complete waste, that scenario will probably never come about. I cannot explain what it is like to be desperate that the food will run out. I have never starved in an African child way – well, not in any way at all.
Its unreasonable. I know this. Much like my fear of zombies. Baseless. Little secret, I lived on chicken salad for nearly 10 years. For breakfast I had porridge (still do), lunch was a burger generally of the Whopper variety, dinner was a chicken salad. Years. When I started hanging out with Steve, he would take me out for dinner. I used to have anxiety when we went somewhere that didn’t serve chicken salad. I swear, ask him its true. It was all part of the depression I have, which is another blog on its own. He introduced me to other food groups, thanks Steve!
Anyway, back to my lardy arse. I was very sensible about it and made a plan. I would start exercising twice a day with no rest days, I would cut carbs from my diet, reduce my meals to 2 a day and drink litres of water to fill me up. That was my plan. It lasted all of no days. Stupid.
I sat back and had a think about this thing I have with food –
· I wrote affirmations about how food is plentiful etc etc.
· I looked for my required body shape and found a couple of pics of a strong looking woman being strong looking so those are blue tacked to the fridge.
· I wrote a list of goals that I wanted to achieve that had nothing to do with my weight.
· I wanted to wake up feeling energetic, not tired and slug-like
· I wanted my belly to not wobble when I walked,
· I wanted to use my hand not a wire coat hanger to slide the pockets into my trousers when I pulled them up,
· I wanted women younger than me to look at me and say “Gee I hope I look as good as her when I get to that age” but not be sure how old I was.
I kept the exercise the same because it starts my day off well, I like it, it’s simple, and I like it. Aside from a strength session once a week, I do hard and fast cardio (anything from10-30mins) with a long run on Sundays because I am trying to rekindle my love for running (not going so well). As I’m not very busy, I exercise every day. When I am busy sometimes I don’t get the time to do 30mins but I don’t kill myself over it. That’s life. And does the average person wanna exercise 14 times a week?
And they say that 70% of healthy weight is made in the kitchen and that’s where I headed. No more multi meals out. No more daily bottles of wine. Back to the odd glass with dinner preps. I cleaned up my diet in the size & freshness. My portions were smaller and coming from my kitchen not the Surf Clubs. My meals are still balanced with heavy on the salad and veg because that’s what I like anyway. I still enjoy coffee; I still have chocolate buttons now and again, because I like them. I eat what I like because I like it. There are foods I don’t eat like muffins and chocolate bars because I don’t like them, not because I have any hang ups about them.
Another important part was the affirmations daily and listening to Jon Gabriels CD about visualisation at night before sleep to get me back into the pattern of improving my health by improving my mind AND my body. The two go hand in hand.
Now these are the things I advise ALL my clients who have size problems. So I did what I advise others to do. Get into the kitchen first. Clean that up in combination with working on your mindset. Protein bars, meal replacements and excluding food groups is NOT part of healthy eating for the average person. They have their place in specific goals, I’m not bagging them. So –
· Get the food right,
· Get the goals specific and tack them somewhere that you can see them. Make them realistic for goodness sakes. Make them fun. Read them as often as you can. Feel them, give them emotions, own them.
· Find a body you like and think you could have (choosing a pic of a 6ft 4 African model with legs all the way up to her armpits is not a realistic goal when you are white, 5ft 2 and short in the legs so choose those pics carefully!). Make it your own body, visualise what it will feel like to be your body. I like Runners World mag for my pics.
· Let the exercise come a little later when the change in food and thinking has given you more energy. It’s enough to change those things let alone have to exercise as well.
I want to be healthy & fit. I want my clients to be healthy & fit in a way that is easy to fit into their lives. Sometimes all this fitness stuff is all so flippin hard. It doesn’t have to be that way. Being healthy & fit doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the stuff you like to eat and exercise 4 hours a day. It does mean you have to exercise a least a bit of common sense.
So how’s it going? Really well, I’m full of beans, the proverbial kind not real ones, feeling great and am now at 78kg after 3 weeks. But I’m not getting on those scales again because every day my trousers feel different, my belly no longer wobbles and I feel taller so that’s great for me.
PS – this can either kill my credibility as a PT or it can make me more real. Angling for the more real!
Had an interesting conversation with Another PT (APT) today about training family & friends. I as the advocate to NOT doing it and he being incredibly frustrated that I opted to blurt this little gem out while he was training his girlfriend who was having a teeny whinge. She now thinks he’s a nag and I’m wise. She’s a lovely girl.
Training your family can sometimes be like training a can of annoying speaking worms. They complain more, they refuse to do exercises, they have more aches and pains than anyone else, they take things personally.
As a trainer I also took things personally. I took it personally that they didn’t eat for energy or heed my advice and say things like “Yuk, Im not eating that” and do that fake dry retching vomit thing.
At times it was like a war was going on. They would do whatever they were doing and I would consider training them as a waste of my time. So no matter that they had this mine of information at their fingertips they still insisted on following the latest fad diets, buying fat burner tablets and I would feel like they insulted and rubbished me because they still chose the diet of the day. On the other side, they thought I was a pain in the proverbial and it was like being constantly watched and nagged.
So, no more the training of the family for me. Not only that but I have had a few revelations along the way, but back to the convo with APT…
APT – “What if your husband gets into the 50-60 yr age and he’s overweight, high blood pressure, unfit and a candidate for a heart attack? Will you feel guilty then and wish you had done more to help him?”
I would love nothing better than for him to be healthier and fitter but it’s his choice to do whatever the hell he wants with his life, its not my life. He knows how I feel about his health purely for the sake of keeping him around longer as I have not even come close to having nagged him enough in this lifetime.
People come to their realisations when they reach their Enough Is Enough point. I had mine a few years ago, he has yet to have his. He is getting there though as he talks more about how he feels about his health.
When he was younger he was a tradie, specifically a sparky. He told me that if I insisted on digging the knife into the toaster to unstick the crumpets I could at least turn it off and pull out the plug. I did this when I remembered. The answer? Get a toaster with a crumpet setting. The point – I would have remembered every time had I been electrocuted – or dead – that would have been Enough is Enough. I don’t want a new Steve so will have to wait until he gets electrocuted, so to speak.
ATP – “you can’t spend your life waiting for people to come to you to help them change their lifestyle”
No but neither can I force them to make the change, that’s their choice be they family or not. I would not go out and accost a stranger in the street and give them unsolicited advice about the state of their bodies. That will earn me a knife in a plugged in toaster! Or a smack in the chops. Neither of which I fancy.
ATP – You’re a PT. Don’t you think it’s your duty to make sure that your family are healthy?
Hmmm. I said something like – being a PT is not who I am, its what I do like anyone else. He looked at me like I had squashed a stink beetle in my hair. And then he challenged that. Give it up man!
It reminded me of the time my daughter (23) came home really upset that some one had said to her that they were surprised at how she was considering what her mother does for a living. She said she felt like she had failed me. You know, my daughter has PCOS (Google it of you don’t know what it is) so it’s difficult for her to be in a healthy range. It was a pretty rude comment to make and she isn't me. Would they say that if I was a school teacher? The poor thing has to basically be miocromanaged. By someone else, definitely not me please refer to the can of worms. So no I don't think its my duty any more than she thinks its her duty to tell me how to drive (but she does!) She's a professional driver.
You know, in a guilty admission just between us, I did used to feel my family reflected negatively on what I did for a living. They were not good advertising. I even categorically forbade (can you believe it? I cant) anyway, forbade my husband from purchasing a Well Known Coffee Franchise because it might end up on ACA that we were making people fat to benefit my fitness business! I encouraged him to go into a Well Known Juice franchise. He doesn’t like juice. What? Who cares, you’re not supposed to drink it. I don’t like juice either.
How egotistical of me? I learned that I was a ‘sanctimonious, judgmental fitness snob”. Revelation. Also, that Steve would never “forbid” me from doing anything I wanted to do. Sheepish.
I do have other facets to me, however because of what I do I have to be very aware if what I do all the time. It’s all about perception. People have no compunction about LOUDLY berating me in public for having an icecream – rude -, they look in my trolley at the supermarket and APOLOGISE when I go to their party and they have cake. I like cake. I eat cake, then its like a kid who has taken its first step, they say OMG she's eating cake! I don’t exercise 28 hours a week and I do like a glass of wine or cider. It makes me laugh though when I am at the supermarket that people justify what’s in their trolleys. I don’t care. Unless you are my client and not part of my family, I don’t really give two craps what you are doing. It’s not my life, it’s yours. I will only offer my opinion if you ask for it. Mostly, refer to ongoing convo with APT!
I am a PT. It is what I do. Its not who I am. I prefer not to tell people what I do because they launch into a run down of what their exercising and eating patterns are or feel that they can rubbish what I do. I dont do that to them. I don't berate lawyers or rubbish truck drivers so now I tell them I work as an auditor for the ATO, there’s a conversation stopper but at least I can eat cake and drink wine in peace!
Is it my duty? As a mum and wife it’s my duty to, to what? Not sure. I was going to say its my duty to make sure they have healthy meals on the table but now that we are all adults (and I live in another state HAHA), I eat what I eat, if you don’t want any make your own. Is it my duty? No, not unless they ask and if they do ask, I will send them to someone else because the upshot of the whole thing is MOST trainers cannot train their family and spouses. Some can, I’m not one of them. And neither is APT but he will keep at it because that is the great guy he is. Hats off to him!