I hadn’t planned to write this one but two things kept popping up on my Social Media over the weekend which I wanted to address.
Number One- 30 Day Challenges
No alcohol in January, no cake, no sugar – you get the drift.
Yes, if you can do this it’s amazing, and if you generally have good habits already in place this is totally achievable.
January is a shit month.
It’s cold, dark, everyone is skint and on a comedown from the excitement from Christmas.
Now take away something which you enjoy (and I assume you enjoy whatever you are thinking of giving up or it wouldn’t be a challenge) on top of that and you are just making January a little bit more tough for yourself.
Yes, of course the health benefits be good for you.
Chances are though at some point in January will power will crack and one drink or cake will spell the end of the challenge and possibly spur you to say ‘fuck it, i failed so i might as well have some more’.
I’m not saying not look to make improvements in this area but be kind to yourself about it.
If you have a drink every night aim for two nights a week where you don’t drink. Aim to reduce your cake consumption by 50% of what it currently is. Still beneficial, still challenging, still an achievement.
But here’s the thing- if you aim to do something 100% and slip up you see it as a failure. If you aim to make small changes then you allow yourself some room to slip up without failing to reach your goal.
Changing your mindset as to how you make changes and view those changes will ultimately help you sustain them long term and build upon each win. Making goals to change things more realistic will make you more likely to succeed and help you treat yourself a little kinder.
Number Two- Slimming World
I’ve seen lots of posts by Fitness Professionals talking about the negatives of Slimming World.
Now yes- some of the rules are absurd.
Yes – the education around nutrition is poor.
Yes- Some consultants actively discourage exercise (muscle gain doesn’t assist in the scales going down and they only go off weight).
Yes I would encourage people to see a nutrition coach or PT for advice instead of go to Slimming World.
I worry the demonising of the brand could alienate those who are Slimming World Members.
No it’s not the ideal.
But for some people Slimming World is a less intimidating option that booking in with a PT.
For some people they perhaps need to do that and build some confidence before they go to a gym.
I say this because this was me.
And knowing that PTs actively disliked Slimming World may have discouraged me from making that leap from a slimming club member to a gym goer.
Once I started working with a PT I quickly phased out Slimming World. I didn’t need someone to tell me to to, as I learnt more I was able to make the choice myself.
My point is whilst it isn’t the optimum of nutrition it also isn’t harmful.
It can teach some basic lessons in what to eat more of and what to eat in moderation, it can help you learn to manage your eating, it can act as a springboard.
That is it could act as a springboard if we encourage those Slimming World members we meet to use it as such.
Ultimately Slimming World creates a calorie deficit. We encourage clients to create a calorie deficit. Different methods, different education but same goal.
I’m not suggesting we celebrate Slimming World but we could instead educate people as to why some of their rules are a bit silly in slightly kinder words so as to not put people who do currently do Slimming World from also working with us.