What is fit & healthy? Are they the same or different?
There was a time in my life where I used to have a cigarette before going on a 3km morning jog because I felt like it opened up my lungs and made me breath easier. I especially loved my post run smoke because it felt like the hit of nicotine was stronger when I was out of breath.
I was fit. Fitter than most of the people I knew at the time but was I healthy? Most definitely NOT.
Nikki has chosen to share both her and her brothers stories about their relationships with health and fitness. So many people say these words together like they are one and the same. They are NOT.
I watch a lot of Youtube, primarily health and fitness “gurus” and throughout the year, as my knowledge around nutrition has grown I have noticed what is traditionally accepted or viewed as being “healthy” in the fitness world and how unhealthy that really is for some. The harsh expectations, the lack of nutriticous wholefoods and the calorie restrictions drives us to an unbalanced and unhealthy mindset and relationship with food and fitness.
My partner is a Personal Trainer (who up until recently got his daily nutrients from putting frozen Brussel Sprouts and Beans in a blender with store bought Soy Milk) and my brother eats, sleeps and thinks fitness to the point where if he doesn’t have a protein shake straight after his workout, it is a workout wasted… It has really made me change the way I see “gainz”, even though these two guys have taught me a lot about the other side of health and fitness, how to create realistic goals for my body and how to train with good form to prevent injury.
So, here is a rundown of my brothers diet… and it does not stray from this unless it’s shredding season, in which he might eat half the amount of oats and chicken.
4-6 Litres of water per day
Chicken breast, Brown Rice Cakes, Natural Peanut Butter, Muesli Bar, Eggs, Whey Protein, Rolled Oats, Krill Oil, BCAAs, Pre Workout, Mens Multivitamin
Highly supplement based, either powder or pill form and is primarily made up of carbs and protein. But as long as he meets his daily macros he is on track, right? That’s also what I was lead to believe when I started expressing interest in training last year, I needed to meet my daily calorie intake, carbs, protein and fats, the same food for brekky, lunch and dinner day in day out for weeks on end with one cheat meal, it was so predictable and I found myself treating myself more often because I was bored and my body was craving more due to the lack of variety and nutrients! And when I did eat anything outside of what I thought I had to be eating, I punished myself in either negative self talk or forcing myself to fit in an extra workout or cardio session to “burn off” the extra cals.
That for me, was an unhealthy lifestyle and mindset and I see so much of it around me. My fitness goals were unrealistic and born from seeing fitness models all over Instagram and wanting to be them (that’s the unhealthy link, wanting to ‘be them’ instead of letting what is their success and hard work be a motivational tool for me to achieve my personal best). I believe the point where you find your reason is for an external acceptance rather than doing it to fulfil your own personal desires and goals, that is when it starts becoming unhealthy.
Let’s talk about fitness competitions… Whilst they can be inspiring and so incredible to see people in their finest, fittest form, I know a couple of people who have prepped for fitness competitions and have found their whole mindset and relationship with food turn severely negative. They admitted their coaches told them to water deplete themselves down to about 1 Litre (some serious competitors have ZERO water before the big day). And after the big day, most people find themselves binging hard on junk food and getting themselves into a vicious cycle of not being able to resist temptation and punishing themselves for doing so after working so damn hard for months on end (not to mention, starving your body of many nutrients including H20) for your dream body. So where is the line drawn between healthy goals and just pure self abuse?
Recently my brother spent a day with me and I had some Cold Pressed Juice on hand, as I do… and I offered him one. He is someone who never… and I mean never eats salad or veggies, so he was surprised he liked it. Since, he has ordered himself 3 Litres of our most popular Loaded (Apples, Celery, Spinach, Mint, Cos Lettuce, Lemon and Lime. Almost 2KG or organic and fresh fruit and veg goes into one bottle of this nutrient dense juice. At first my brother said he was unsure about the juices because he was going to the toilet a lot more but that is as a result of his system being shocked by the nutritious newcomer he has just introduced into his diet, after a couple weeks on the juice he mentioned he has noticed a significant increase in his energy levels and improvement in his digestion. And he is still looking as ripped as ever. This is living proof that adding more nutrients into your day does not mean you are going to lose gains or be derailed from your end goal.