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Why It’s (Not) Soooooo Easy For Me To Stay In Shape

In the midst of an email debate over whether or not grains can be considered healthy, a reader made the following comment about me:

“If you are the lady pictured on the website you could probably drink milkshakes and eat fast food everyday and not gain a pound. Your cholesterol and blood pressure may go off the charts but you would look good.”

Such a blatantly applied stereotype really got me feeling upset, and I’ll tell you why. Not only is it incredibly judgemental towards me, but it also implies that this whole blog is of limited value to any reader who might not find that being healthy or in good shape comes easily. Such as yourself. I find this implication quite insulting, because to be honest I’m pretty darn proud of Body Incredible and I know from the usual feedback I receive that what I share is both helpful and inspiring. That has always been a big part of my goal for this blog – to provide you with resources and support to reach your goals and to inspire you to do what it takes to get there.

Which is why the comment, which came after I made the statement that “without fail, every single person who eliminates grains feels remarkably improved within a week or two at most” shook me up a little.

I still don’t really understand what this guy was trying to say, because it was kind of off topic, but the gist of it – to me – seems to be that it’s easy for me to stay in shape and be healthy. I don’t have many photos on my computer dating back more than 3 years, but as you can see in the picture I’ve used for this post (which was when I was 25; I’m 31 now), that is far from true. That’s a shot of me from my ‘earlier life’ following a traditional healthy diet. Food-pyramid-esque, with plenty of healthy grains. And a food-pyramid-esque body, to boot.

I know, I know, I’m not hugely overweight – but that shot shows me at a time in my life when it should have been fairly easy to stay in shape, particularly following mainstream dietary advice, and yet my body fat was around 30%, and I was about 8 kg heavier than I am now – at between 10 and 11%. Post pregnancy, I might add.

this is not because I’m lucky – or because I just find it soooo easy!

The way I see it, which I said in my reply, is that I look that way because I walk my talk. Simple. Furthermore, I believe that anyone can take control of the way they look and feel if they are willing to face the realities of what it truly takes and let go of the nutritional wisdom of a flawed and illness filled system. I went on to reference the page on this blog that originally shows the above photo of me, which happens to be the one I use as part of my book promo.

I shouldn’t get upset by this?

“There we have it in one sentence. Sell your book. Please do not be offended by me I am just expressing an opinion. As you well know the majority of the population does not work their butt off when it comes to diet and exercise. I workout five days a week and hate every second of it but have done it for years. I am 68 and diabetic and my A1C tests are better than most non-diabetics. I am sure your book contains good advice but most people are lazy and want that magic fat burning pill you take after eating a 2500 calorie snack. As to food scientists being funded by food companies that may be true. However, look in the mirror, you are funded by selling your take on nutrition which is also biased. Now don’t get mad at me because I think you are doing much more good than harm.”

Well gee, thanks for that. What a nice back-handed compliment at the end there. I would really love to know what harm I’m doing by sharing my own journey with nutrition and health, as well as giving away tons of free information on what I believe it takes to be in great shape.

Oh – and this bit? “Look in the mirror, you are funded by selling your take on nutrition which is also biased” …? Well, duh, of course it’s biased. It’s biased towards WHAT WORKS! Of course I don’t mean that my way is the ‘be-all-end-all’, and I’m the first to admit I’m constantly learning and sometimes even changing my viewpoint, but the long and short of it is that what I recommend WORKS! Not just for me, but for so many of my clients as well as so many Body Incredible readers! Those who are actually prepared to try my advice before they judge it, that is, rather than come up with a list of reasons why they can’t or why it might not be a good idea.

I’m raking it in with Body Incredible – big bucks!

As for me being funded through this blog – I can only say HA! I’ve written over 200 posts for Body Incredible, each of which takes around an hour, taken 26 months to write a 240 page + book, spend goodness knows how many hours on theme, and design, and technology, paid my tech guy several grand over the past couple of years to help me (he is BRILLIANT btw, if you ever need a recommendation for building your own blog let me know), answered countless emails and comments for no fee, and guest posted wherever I can around the internet in order to promote my blog. OF COURSE I am trying to make some money in return for all that! I’m not completely charity-based!

And guess what? I think it’s working! As a matter of fact, I’ve made around $3,000 selling my book. I’m pretty happy with that; it breaks down to about $4.31 an hour based on how long it took to write the thing! Of course I do simply rake it in with affiliate sales – I average about $20-$40 a month. Whoo hoo! On a serious note, I’m not complaining about the time I put in. Clearly, it’s a choice, and I do it because I love it, for the reasons I said earlier and also because I do want to pursue a career as a writer. But you can understand why it got my blood boiling a little to be told I’m funded by it!

i’m not against opinions – just uneducated ones

As for “please do not be offended by me I am just expressing an opinion. As you well know the majority of the population does not work their butt off when it comes to diet and exercise”, well I guess it is an opinion, but I hope you’ll agree with me that if it’s an opinion about who I am and what this blog does, it’s a very uneducated one. And just because (it’s true that) most people don’t work their butts off, that doesn’t mean it comes naturally to those of us who do! I know that if – like me – you’ve put in major effort to transform your body then you’d find it just a little bit irritating to be told that it must have been easy for you. What’s more likely is that, also like me, you DO now really enjoy exercising and eating well, but it’s been a process to get to that point. Gradual conditioning, so to speak. Am I right? And I’ll bet (yup, again like me :)) that it’s an ongoing journey, one that continues to have its ups and downs.

the moral of the story?

(Otherwise known as ‘what’s my point with this rant?’) There’s two things I really want to get across here.

Firstly, if you’re in a position where you enjoy good healthy and fitness due to the effort you’ve put in, I want to give you credit for doing what it takes to get there. Believe me, I know what it feels like to have people assume it’s easy for you – and it’s pretty frustrating. I do acknowledge that it’s harder for some people than for others but regardless of that – if, in the midst of a busy life, you’re making a point of taking charge of your wellbeing then kudos to you. Hopefully those around you give you the occasional pat on the back for it, and if they don’t then for those occasions when it does get a little tiresome living so well then damn well make sure that you give yourself credit where credit’s due 🙂

Secondly, if you’re not currently where you’d like to be, then my message is this. Don’t despair. Never assume that you don’t have what it takes, or that other people must just be blessed by good genes. If they (and I) can do it, then I absolutely believe that you can too. Not saying it won’t be tough (heck, you might even have to give up grains or – God forbid – go against conventional nutritional wisdom), but it CAN be done. By you. As Winston Churchill said when he gave the world’s shortest graduation speech:

“Never, never, never quit”

have your say

So tell me – what do you think? Am I overreacting? Or am I right to be peeved? (Love that word)

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On a more pleasant note – thankyou!

It’s always nice to end things on a high, so I thought I’d say a big thankyou to those of you who do let me know when you find my writing helpful or inspiring. Here’s a recent sample of such emails I’ve received. You guys rock! Oh – and for genuine constructive criticism? I can’t promise I’ll love it but I will take any actually considered feedback seriously 🙂

Hi Kat. I am a silent reader of BI for about half year. Thank you for sharing your true voice through your inspiring articles:) Merry Christmas and keep be Kat in the new year too~

Hey Kat. I just thought I’d let you know that I recently returned from six months overseas. I put on a bit of weight, as I was busy having too much fun partying and eating lots. So about two weeks ago I started your  two week no grain/sugar/dairy/caffeine challenge. I also have been doing 3 really good weights sessions per week (lots of functional exercises). I can’t believe it but I lost weight like magic, I lost 2kg!! (I’m not sure how much of this is actual fat, and how much of it is fluid etc). I’m not 100% sure, but I think cutting the grains has probably been the biggest factor. I haven’t been bloated at all, which was something that had been bothering me for a while. I’m not sure if I may be intolerant to some degree (as you seem to think many people might be), but it at least makes me feel better that I have narrowed down this group of foods as being problematic.
Anyway, I just wanted to thank you because your blog has been sooo helpful.

Thank you so much!  I have really appreciated your blog with proper exercise and nutrition information.  It’s so hard to find good information.  There’s plenty of bad to be had.Blessings from Chicago!

Hi Kat – I love your site and find your articles very interesting.

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