So, I finally decided to make the leap from micro-blogging on Twitter to an actual blog. I feel this will be more beneficial for both myself and you the reader. Beneficial for me as it gives me more than 140 characters to get my point across, and beneficial for you as I can explain myself and some of my perhaps misunderstood viewpoints more comprehensively.
I get accused of being “harsh” and “fattist” and having a generally unrealistic standpoint towards peoples attitudes towards health, which predominantly raises it’s head when topics of putting on weight and dieting arise. Well guess what? I am harsh (compared to the people who flannel you with an “It’s okay you can start again on Monday attitude), I am fattist (There is no requirement for you to be obese, none whatsoever, the human being was designed to be lean and healthy and it can often take years of consistent effort, disrespect and ignorance to become that way), but hopefully some of the topics in this blog will convince you that my stand point is not unrealistic, it’s just unrealistic compared to the new, lazy, microwave, processed food, popping candy inside chocolate bars, instant gratification, get rich quick, miracle fat loss pill society we find ourselves bang in the middle of, that quite frankly makes me sick to my fucking stomach. It always has, and it’s getting worse year on year. The fact that I don’t mind calling people fat in conversation is apparently rude. I beg to differ, I see it as an intervention, a wake up call to start watching what you eat and to take better care of yourself, and I encourage more people to do it. Whatever help you need ensure you get it, the sooner the better or putting on a few pounds turns to being tubby and tubby turns to obesity.
I think one of the most nauseating things about it is how amazingly selfish these people can be. Yes, that’s right, I said it. Selfish. Complete disregard for their own health is one thing, but it’s the impact that it has on the people around them that often upsets me, (and I don’t just mean when I find myself pinned in next to one on a transatlantic flight!) Not only from the point of view from the worry they cause immediate family and friends (becoming ill, incapacitated, dying prematurely etc) and the strain they put on the NHS; but also the fact that they pass the condition on to their children more often than not. I was working in a gym in Sunderland not far from the high street back in 2010, and the amount of morbidly obese parents passing Gregg’s sausage rolls down into pushchairs to feed their children was unbelievable. *Before anybody plays the financial hardship card here, rice is far cheaper per calorie than anything you can find covered in butter and grease at Greggs.
I choose the word condition intentionally, it IS a condition and as Ricky Gervais correctly highlights in one of his popular stand up shows, that condition is GREED. The vast majority of the time, the weight has just crept on insidiously year on year usually since the end of the teens/early twenties, through consuming far too much of the wrong types of food. That might sound extreme to some people, but what I think is more extreme is not being able to run around and play with your kids in your 30’s, finding yourself on a cocktail of medications with an array of side effects in your 40’s and having someone bolt cropper your ribcage open so they can operate on your heart when it decides to give up the ghost in your 50’s!
There is no correlation I am aware of between IQ and BMI either, if stupid people generally were the most overweight then maybe you could understand it on some primitive level. However, these people KNOW they are doing wrong, it’s not because they don’t possess the requisite basic nutrition knowledge as by enlarge they do. People know a banana is better for them, but they want the quarter pounder with cheese anyway, they know they ought to have more fruit and vegetables, but “It’s Friday so I always have Fish and Chips on Friday”. Not knowing is not the problem, its not CARING that is. They couldn’t care less as fistful after fistful of Pringles are devoured, they couldn’t give a shit as the empty McDonalds wrappers pile up in the footwell of the car, and they honestly couldn’t give a flying fuck about the KFC bargain family bucket they ate to themselves as a treat, as they had a pretty stressful day, or their boss at work is making things difficult for them. Boo-Hoo. Life sure can be tough.
Until one day that is, they start to care, or perhaps more aptly they are forced to care. They have a minor health scare maybe, they overhear a few snide comments in the kitchen at work, they realise they wear the same 2 outfits constantly as pretty much nothing else fits and enough is enough…. it’s time to jump into the world of DIETING.
This is where it gets fun, they get really motivated which is great, read an article in the Daily Mail about which super diet is popular that week and they get really serious about it. Monday morning let the diet begin!! And it all goes swimmingly until about 11am when someone opens a packet of crisps or the girls in accounting have brought cookies in for everyone and it all goes out of the window. I’ll start again tomorrow…..and then the day after, and then the week after, and then the New Years after.
When they do finally manage to stick to whichever diet is fashionable that week, they follow it for 10 days or maybe even a fortnight, and lo and behold they haven’t lost all the weight they so diligently worked for over the years! The ten days of ridiculous restrictive eating hasn’t resulted in them losing 5 stone in 5 days as advertised so they pack up and get on the phone to the Star of Sall….”Yes it’s number 27, yes I’ll have the usual, yes with extra chips” This dieting lark is useless I may as well just carry on with my bad habits regardless. It becomes a sad state of affairs.
The ironic thing is they are right. Dieting is pretty much useless. If they worked then why is the fat girl at work always on a diet? and why is she still the fat girl? It’s because no one can actually stick to the diet for long enough for whatever reason. The protocol itself may work in the short term if followed very strictly, sure it may down regulate thyroid hormone, and up regulate cortisol and epinephrine in the mean time but hey you lost 5lbs so who cares right? You might not be able to perform sexually, and you keep getting migraines but you lost half a stone so who cares right? You should care!!
The fact that you didn’t care a great deal about your health in the first place spills over into your new dieting philosophy. Losing the weight becomes the number one priority, and you will do anything to achieve that target weight. Including fad diets, magic diet pills, the oojie woojie berry supplement that has just been located in Southern China that is conveniently available on Amazon for a tenner. These things at best don’t work and at worst damage your health and metabolism long term. However, people love to hear good things about their bad habits, so a new diet promoting the health benefits of bacon and eggs and as many steaks as you can handle, sounds appealing, and as you hand over your hard earned cash for the book, the airbrushed author is laughing all the way to the bank. I’ll cover particular diets in more detail in future posts, and I’ll explain why I’m such a huge fan of Paleo 😉 particularly Christian Paleo diet leaders!! *Facepalm*
It’s far easier than you think to lose the weight and regain your health, but it involves shifting the paradigm. The focus must be on long term health, not short term weight loss. A healthy body doesn’t want to be overweight, and it will intuitively regulate to a natural healthy weight when given the opportunity through a combination of optimum nutrition, exercise and rest.
If some people are offended by my words, allow me to remind you that my honest intention is to help as many people as possible. I have had the good fortune to be able to help hundreds of people start on the right path over the years through working in the fitness industry and I want to be able to do that again if possible. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m not anti fat people, I’m anti people being fat, There is a huge difference. I would be praised for trying to intervene and help if someone was an alcoholic, or a drug addict, but because someone’s drug of choice is food I am considered combative and ignorant. “You can’t say that!!” some of the professionally offended will shriek. Well I’m pretty sure I just did.
If anyone would like to discuss anything further then get in touch. I’m not interested in charging for anything or making any money out of helping anyone. If you live anywhere near me and want to come and train you’ll find me running, swinging a kettle-bell, in the Peak District on the bike or occasionally in the gym. You are welcome to join me and pick my brains. If you do, then I will certainly be picking yours.