Category Archives: Nutrition

Don’t Believe The Hype

If there’s one piece of advice I could get people to listen to when it comes to health and fitness, it would be this. Don’t believe the hype. It’ll save you time, money, injury and disappointment.

There is no quick fix, magic formula or miracle pill. After all my years in the industry I can tell you it doesn’t exist. Sorry. Nothing works for everyone. I could have a dozen competitors in one competition and they’d all be on different programs, yet with the same goal, to be symmetrical, conditioned and lean on stage.

You can’t surf the net without being bombarded by ads for food that fight fat, the ultimate diet or quick fix workout program. Don’t buy into it, literally. Save your money. Do some research and know that there isn’t a secret you need to pay for. You just need to put in the time and effort.

Beware the “new, revolutionary” diet or exercise program.

I’m a big fan of Pinterest, but I cringe every time I see a quick fix workout pasted on a picture of a super fit model. First, behind those quick fix workouts are links to sites either selling something or getting paid to advertise something. Second, those models in the Pinterest photos did NOT get their physiques by following the 10 minute workout that’s posted along with their photos. I’m not saying all the workouts aren’t valuable, any time you’re getting up and moving, it’s a good thing, but it’s also false advertising. What’s the harm in that? This is what happens. Someone with the best intention does the 10 minute workout diligently for a month, maybe more. They being to get discouraged because they’re not looking like the model in the picture they’ve been staring at every time they work out and inevitably they end up quitting.

A lot of the Pinterest programs have you overtraining, as though pushing you to more than your max is going to make you feel like you’re “really” doing something and you’re going to get in shape fast. What actually happens, however, is your body gets overtrained, which means you lose your appetite or desire to eat healthy, you lose your desire to work out, you get injured, you experience sleep loss or experience extreme fatigue.
Go ahead, browse those workouts, but be aware of what’s behind them. Those pictures link to websites that are trying to take your money. DO USE COMMON SENSE.

The health and fitness industry is big business with the goal of making money.

Writers need to be wary of agents who approach them and say if the author pays them x amount of dollars, the agent will get them published and make them famous. The same thing applies to anyone trying to take your money. I think because it’s the health and fitness industry, people believe what they see. How could anyone possibly steer someone wrong about their health? Sorry, but there are cutthroats in the fitness industry too.

If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

But it’s not, and they’re not. If it were easy, broccoli would taste like ice cream. If it were easy, there wouldn’t be diet pill scams and no one would need help from a trainer or nutritionist. It is hard, acknowledge that and know that you can do it anyway.

There is no magic pill, there is no magic food, there is no magic workout. I’m sorry, but it’s true. Consumers beware, as they say. Remember the health and fitness industry is a business, like any other and their goal is to make money. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, people who are passionate about health and fitness and who want to help people. Helping people live healthy lifestyles are what they do for a living (says the personal trainer) but those people will tell it to you like it is. They won’t try and sell you a pill or a quick fix. They’ll tell you the same thing I am. It takes time. It takes dedication and even sacrifices to get true lasting results.

Save your money, go out and do a physical activity you enjoy and eat a sensible diet. Or, do some research and find someone who will give it to you straight up and won’t try to sell you a quick fix. Instead, they’ll give you an opportunity to make permanent changes toward a healthier lifestyle.

Adapted excerpt From: Sandra Wickham. “Health and Fitness for Creative People.”

healthandfitnessforcreativepeoplecover

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Health and Fitness for Creative People, the Ebook

I’m thrilled to present my new ebook to the world!

Health and Fitness for Creative People has been something I’ve wanted to put together for several years because I do believe that stronger in body is stronger in mind. Feeling better, being healthier is going to improve a person’s production, energy levels and their creative endeavours will benefit.

It took a lot longer to write than I had initially thought because there was just so much information I wanted to include. I’ve given presentations by the same name at conferences and never seem to have enough time to tell the participants everything I wanted to. With the ebook I got to include everything I wanted and it is packed full of what I believe to be valuable information for creative types looking to improve their level of health and fitness, their craft and their overall well being.

If you stumbled across this blog post and don’t know who I am, I competed in Fitness for 10 years, including 4 years in the IFBB Pros and have trained over 150 athletes to the stage, plus hundreds more individuals seeking better health. I have a black belt from Master Gee’s Black Belt Academy and am working my way toward my second degree black belt. I am a published author, blogger, speaker and avid crafter, always seeking to produce higher quality and quantity of my work. I have helped authors and artists reach their fitness goals and decided I wanted to help as many as I could.

It’s available on my site, you can view more information there. I also managed to get it up on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com! Big shout out to Jill Flannagan for help in that new adventure. I might get some of my other manuals up there in the future.

Thanks to Diana Rowland for the great cover blurb, as well as to Howard Taylor and Chadwick Ginther for their kind words. Of course, I have to post their blurbs here to show them off. I’m also going to add to the end of this post a list of what you’ll find in the ebook. Meanwhile, if you have any questions about the ebook before you rush out and purchase it (I know you all want to!) feel free to email me at sandrawickham@live.ca!

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“Sandra Wickham’s counsel on health and fitness has been invaluable to me for the last five years. She’s an expert here, and she’s a class act besides. ”

—Howard Tayler, Writer and Illustrator

 

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“I knew a lot of the information in HEALTH AND FITNESS FOR CREATIVE PEOPLE–most of us do–but I kept it compartmentalized in such a way so as not to do anything with that information. HEALTH AND FITNESS FOR CREATIVE PEOPLE kicked down those walls and delivers all you need to know to feel better and create more art in one well-researched volume. (And I’m not just saying this because Sandra has me in an armbar.) ”
—Chadwick Ginther, Author of Thunder Road

 

 

What you will find in this Ebook

  • This is a ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-ONE PAGE manual, complete with everything you need to improve your health
  • Straight talk on why this is important for every creative person.
  • Help with finding your motivation to start and to continue improving your level of health and fitness.
  • Lots of geeky apps, suggestions and resources to satisfy your creative geek.
  • A section on proper posture for sitting or standing desks, including simple to do exercises to improve your overall posture!
  • Thorough information on cardiovascular and strength training so you know what to do and how to do it.
  • Helpful nutritional information covering everything from weight loss, to eating out and healthy snacking.
  • Also included are tips on getting enough sleep, and a section for those over 65.
  • Finally, a Now It’s Your Turn section including:A Quick Stretching Routine
    A Five Minute Creative Break (away from your desk)
    A Desk Break (you don’t even have to get up, but you’ll feel better!)
    Tips for Fitness and Health on a Budget
    A Sample Treadmill Workout (to shake things up a bit!)
    Tips on How to Avoid Overtraining
    Many Different Motivational Tools
    Inspiring Quotes of All Sorts to See You Through

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Filed under Creativity, fitness, Health, Health Ally, Inspiration, Nutrition, Nutrition Tips, Sandra's Writing, Training Tips

Before and After Ads Have Always Pissed Me Off

Whenever I see those Before and After ads for the latest and greatest supplement, my eyes roll and I want to scream at people not to fall for it. I always think, sure, take a bodybuilder (or fitness/fitness/bikini competitor) when they’re off season, bloated, have them wear completely unflattering clothing under bad lighting,  then retake a picture when they’ve been dieting and training, wearing a flattering outfit with a tan, make up, hair done and of course they’re going to look better! I guarantee you it’s NOT from the supplement being advertised. It makes me Hulk angry, because no one but the Hulk transforms that fast!

Andrew Dixon took that a step further, and in a blog post he called “Seduced by the Illusion,” he decided to see if he could do instant before and after shots. From his blog, “I decided to take my own transformation photos to see what was possible with just a few easy tweaks. About 6 months ago I was around 185lbs and about 16% body fat. I was feeling particularly bloated on the day, so I asked my girlfriend to take a before shot. I then shaved my head, face and chest and prepared for the after shot, which was about an hour after I took the before shot. I did a few pushups and chin-ups, tweaked my bedroom lighting, sucked in , tightened my abs and BOOM! We got our after shot.”

Andrew says, “There is no doubt that we live in a world of manipulation, false promises and exaggerated claims. This is especially true in the fitness industry. I’ve been a personal trainer for over 11 years, and clients and friends are always telling me about the next amazing diet or exercise program.  Like Insanity or P90X hold the secrets to fat loss.” I could quote his whole blog, it’s fantastic, reflects my thoughts and anyone working on transforming their physique should definitely go and take a look at it here. 

But wait, you say, you have before and after pictures of your clients on your website! Yes, I do, but those are competitors. We show their stage after photos (not on the beach or in their own house) to show that they have done ALL the intense work required by a competitor (proper nutrition, cardio, strength training) over a long period of time (at least 16 -20 weeks, some an entire year!) to get to the point they’re at, including a fabulous stage suit, hair, make up and FAKE stage tan! They trained and dieted to extreme measures to be competitive. It wasn’t a quick fix, there was no miracle pill.  No illusions, just hard work.

National Level Fitness Competitor Antonia Before Competition Training and After On Stage

Which is the point of Andrew’s blog. Wisely he tells us, “Forget about the quick transformations and focus on a life of healthy eating, well managed stress levels, quality sleep and plenty of movement.”

I concur. It’s not a race. Don’t believe the hype.  Focus on making lifestyle changes that will help you reach your goals of living a healthier lifestyle.

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Filed under Diet, fitness, Health, Health Ally, Nutrition, Nutrition Tips, Pro Tips, Training Tips