The Fitness Zone
We all know a healthy and balanced diet helps us live longer, manage our weight, provides the energy we need and has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of disease. Despite this, many struggle to maintain a healthy regime year round. What you may not know however, is that even some of our industry's biggest names have had to overcome barriers to a healthy lifestyle! Read on to find out about which aisle Michelle Bridges demolished on her first grocery shop as an adult (hint: it wasn’t the fruit and veg,) how Kirsty Welsh manages her love of chocolate and why eating healthy isn’t really as hard as you thought!
Michelle Bridges, Australian Institute of Fitness graduate and ambassador.
“Throughout my childhood my mum played a really big role in how I lived my life. This is a no brainer – yes that’s right, your biggest role models are your parents, like it or not! So healthy food was the norm...thanks to Mum! When I left home at 18, the first thing I did was a grocery shop (which would make you cringe), Coco Pops, white bread, chocolate, ice cream, chips, soft drink, the lot! I filled my trolley with everything we never had at home. It lasted about 2 weeks…I felt sick and went back to what I knew! Mum would have been proud! People often tell me that time is the biggest barrier when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. When you consider the systems I put in place for people it actually SAVES them time and money! It’s amazing! Clearly a story (excuse) they have been wheeling out for a while now, so much so that they and everyone else has bought into it. Once people get in the groove of shopping lists, freezing and cooking efficiently, they quickly realise it is all about getting organised and they are amazed at how easy it really is!” (image credit @mishbridges on Instagram)
Jenna Douros, Australian Institute of Fitness graduate.
“The healthy lifestyle I lead has come as a gradual learning curve. First I thought I was healthy because I owned a gym membership and ate the occasional salad. I remember clearly when I first decided to attack a healthy lifestyle and being so confused with all of the information that I would read or hear. When I did understand what it was I needed, the next hurdle was remaining consistent. Mind power has also played a big part in controlling my temptations and healthy eating. When I feel tempted to indulge in something I know isn’t the best for me I think to myself ‘what is a cleaner version of that treat?’ or ‘why on earth would you want to eat that and undo that entire HIIT session you did this morning?’ That usually does it! Clients also often tell me that their barriers are temptation, especially in the social scene, lack of time and lastly, lack of sleep.” (image credit @jennadouros on Instagram)
Libby Babet, Australian Institute of Fitness graduate.
“When I first started learning about nutrition and healthy eating, there was so much conflicting information out there that it was really hard to know which path was best for me…Paleo? Gluten Free? Sugar free? Vegan? Good old fashioned moderation? Once I got into the groove and found out what really worked for me, the next barrier to overcome was finding the time to prepare the meals I knew I needed to be eating. Education was the key to making sure I was not only making the right choices but that I wanted to make those choices” (image credit @libbybabet on Instagram)
Ali Cavill, Australian Institute of Fitness graduate.
“My biggest barrier to a healthy diet was time and preparation. On any given day with my work I am on the road going from gym classes & training clients, straight to TV filming or events, without any clear and specific meal breaks, so I found I was either snacking on less healthy options or skipping meals altogether. I knew that to operate at my peak and to look my best it was imperative that I provided adequate fuel and good, nutritive foods into my body however I hadn’t established successful food preparation practices into my schedule, nor was I prioritising this! The two biggest barriers my clients tell me they face are time and money. They tell me they’re on a tight budget and buying fresh and healthy options is more expensive than junk food! The reality is that many healthy foods are no more expensive than junk food and in fact, carrots, onions, beans, lettuce, potatoes and bananas are all less expensive per portion than soft drinks, ice cream and chocolate candy!” (image credit @alifitfantastic on Instagram)
Blake Worrall-Thompson, Australian Institute of Fitness graduate.
“My biggest barrier was knowing what was the best solution for me. There are so many answers out there but I didn’t know what was right and wrong. I kept trialling different advice I got until I found one that worked for me. It took a good couple of years but I got there! For my clients, it’s its probably the same – and consistency!” (image credit @wellbeingbyblake on Instagram)
Kirsty Welsh, Australian Institute of Fitness graduate.
“Growing up, I used to find that if there was chocolate in the pantry, I would definitely eat it! So, I learnt not to buy it for ‘just in case’ scenarios. Instead, I buy food as I need it. Since then, I’ve found the biggest barrier is simply being prepared, organised, not allowing the veggies to run low. Buying fresh groceries more than the standard once a week makes this much easier. When it comes to my clients, social events and workplace functions are common barriers, particularly when colleagues and friends are relaxed about their health. Many clients may be required to ‘wine and dine’ their clients regularly too. It takes a strong cat to say, ‘No beer, I’ll have the soda water, thanks!" (image credit @kirsty_welsh on Instagram)
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