Happy Sunday – Happy Father’s Day – Happy Happy!
Thanks to one and all who got to the gym last week. A special thanks to everyone who participated in our ‘Card Game’ of “Guess the Trainer” as well. I think (to be fair, I think most stuff we try is pretty good!) it was a lot of fun and a great idea put forward by Tracey. If it *sometimes* feels that we are making stuff up to try and get everyone excited and enthusiastic about coming to the gym, well…that’s because we are! Not ‘making things up’ really – just trying different things to keep everyone focussed and on track…hopefully, at least some of them work!
Earlier in the week I stumbled across this photo on twitter:
It was captioned as follows:
“1970’s crowded beach boardwalk pic What stands out to you?”
Most of the replies were of a similar nature and can be summarised by the following:
“There is no one in this picture who’d be considered obese in today’s world. Some are leaner than others but there’s literally not one obese person in this pic”
Now, I would also think the complete LACK of diversity would stand out, but whatever. Photos like this from the recent past do shine a light on the fact that as a society we are ‘bigger’ than we once were. But, the thing the photo doesn’t reveal is that it was SO MUCH EASIER to be in ‘shape’ just 30 short years ago.
You can split this into TWO pretty easy to understand metrics.
We don’t exercise as much as we used too.
High-calorie food is pretty much freely available whenever we want it.
Now – when I write this stuff please understand that I was really a child of the “80’s” and not the “70’s”, but I am going to say “same-same” and because the picture was of the 1970’s I am going with that.
I can still remember coming home from school when I was a kid and hunting through the fridge for ‘anything’ to eat. Just like my kids do today. The difference is that I pretty much ended up with an ANZAC cookie (home-made) and an apple, whereas they have their choice of quite a few different snack options – everything up to a frozen meal they can just throw in the microwave. I can also pretty safely say that my kids are kept on a pretty tight leash with what they are allowed to eat – and a lot of people out there really do allow them free reign to eat whatever their favorite snack food AND drink might be!
But exercise – exercise is the number #1 difference. I used to ride my bike to footy and athletics training. To be fair, my kids do that today (well, they tend to skateboard but same-same!) – but go down to any training session to watch and all you will see is kids rolling up in their parents cars. On the nights I didn’t have training, well, we were building BMX tracks or playing games in the street. Now? Inside playing console games whilst connected up to school friends (and others) all through the magic off the internet. You know something? My friends and I would have done the same…but that option just wasn’t available to us.
Here’s another pic of Bondi Beach – this time from the 1960’s. Check out how many people are out in the surf? It is amazing! These days, there would be nowhere NEAR that many people out being active – everyone down the beach would be sitting on the sand flicking through their phone.
What else? No-one used to get a lift to school – it was all walking/biking and busing. Not anymore.
Back to food – at my place we would eat either ‘some kind of pasta’ or meat + 3-veg pretty much 7-nights each week. Fast food – and I have said this before – was a treat we enjoyed every few MONTHS, not every week and certainly not between Monday-Friday. Things aren’t the same anymore – societal ‘norms’ have changed and convenience eating is readily accepted. (By the way, this is why I LOVE LOVE LOVE “Hello Fresh” – amazing fresh food, delivered to your door with easy to follow recipe cards – it will have you eating like it is the 1970’s in no time!). But with convenience eating comes a couple of problems and the first of them is unlocked in the following study from 2014:
Now, I was going to try and summarise what it was about, but the authors (Monsivais, Aggarwal and Drewkowski) did a pretty good job so let’s go with that:
“Individuals who spent the least amount of time on food preparation tended to be working adults who placed a high priority on convenience. Greater amount of time spent on home food preparation was associated with indicators of higher diet quality, including significantly more frequent intake of vegetables, salads, fruits, and fruit juices. Spending <1 hour/day on food preparation was associated with significantly more money spent on food away from home and more frequent use of fast food restaurants compared to those who spent more time on food preparation.
The findings indicate that time might be an essential ingredient in the production of healthier eating habits among adults.”
In short, there has been a lot of time spent trying to ‘pin down’ a scape-goat for why – as a society – we have gotten “BIGGER” over the past 30-years. When I am reading articles on the web, it seems everyone is looking for something to blame – a silver bullet to shoot – that will “FIX” things. But it is a complicated issue and a combination of diet, lifestyle, exercise and stress that all impact on what we eat.
Is there a solution? Not an easy one, but it looks a little like this:
Take time each day to PLAN and PREPARE your family meals.
Be STRICT with between meal snacks for yourself AND your kids.
Have a PLAN to exercise – either get involved in sport, get to the gym (or best of all do BOTH).
Take every chance you can to get some ‘extra’ exercise. Walk the dogs, walk to school, ride your bike to the shops to grab some milk, take the stairs not the lift…
That’s it. See you in the gym,
We know this can be a daunting time. You’re probably wondering if we really are the right fit for each other. And it’s OK! Many people before you, have felt the same, and that’s why we want to offer you something special – our $29 Health Check.
Let’s work out together to see if we’re the right fit. Just hit the button below to let me know if you’re ready to see what’s included.