Category Archives: PFED UP

RANT!! – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
There are times I see some ridiculous advertisement, cheesy product, silly gimmick, crazy article or horrendous exercise and I just have to VENT. This is the space where I share my thoughts and expertise on controversial topics, and try to save you money on diet and fitness products (or methods) that are nothing but a waste of time and money.

“Cheat on Your Diet”, Fitness Magazine’s Unhealthy Message

Should Fitness Leaders Encourage Cheating on Your Diet?
My Answer:
A Big FAT No! 

WARNING: This is a rare rant, but I believe it’s necessary and could be helpful. Here is the email I got in my inbox today that is sparking this topic.

cheat on your diet

CheatingNotice the subject line: “Cheat on Your Diet (Without Gaining Weight).”

Here, I have another one for ya! How about: “Cheat on Your Spouse (Without Getting Divorced)”. Or, what about “Cheat on Your Taxes (Without Getting Caught).” I wonder how that would work out for ya. All I know is that title would never fly if it were about any other subject other than diet.

Have you ever wondered why we treat dieting differently than anything else? Cheating is cheating. Instead of teaching people to cheat, let’s teach people how to eat right and maintain a healthy balance so they don’t HAVE to cheat (which I’m sure was their intensions, but still sends a bad message).

I personally believe if we can teach people how to improve the issues that CAUSE cheating, we wouldn’t need to cheat to begin with. I also believe people need to know the difference between cheating and treating.

Why We Cheat

Why do people cheat on anything?

  1. They feel like they are missing out
  2. They are deprived, they aren’t getting what they want, or feel like they need
  3. They are greedy
  4. They lack discipline
  5. They are looking for happiness
  6. And many other issues I’m sure a psychologist would tell us our real issue is

dieterStrict dieting (and depriving) can absolutely cause some people to cheat and binge. It’s caused from extreme short-term discipline, or extreme (but typically short-lived) self control. Just because you have good discipline for a period of time doesn’t mean it won’t backfire on you. Ask your spouse to not have sex with you for a few months and see how that works out for ya. If you do that, you are putting them in a very bad and unhealthy place, so why would we do that to your own body?

While some issues are caused by extreme yo-yo discipline, other issues that cause cheating are from the opposite, a lack of discipline and self-control altogether. People who never really work on improving self control will continue to struggle until they really commit to making permanent changes. Instead, people will dabble in eating better for a period of time, but they never really stick with it long enough to learn a new long-term disciplined behavior. Self control is difficult in any area of our lives – it will not be easy, and it will take constant practice, but it is most definitely healthy.

Think of all the areas of our life that require constant discipline. If we have to constantly control our tongue, control our anger, control our desires, control our thoughts and control our spending, why would we think we would ever get to a place where we no longer have to control our eating?  Self-control is required in all areas of our life if we want to live fruitful, healthy lives.

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11

Cheating vs Treating

eating chocolateNow that we’ve talked about why we cheat, let’s talk about how we cheat. First, I think people misuse the word. Instead of looking at having a piece of cake as “cheating”, we should look at it as “treating” – BIG DIFFERENCE. The same way we make room in our budget to treat ourself to a new pair of shoes or a new purse, we need to learn to make room in our budget for a dinner out or a piece of pie. As long as we aren’t doing it all the time, it’s a healthy way to have treats. Unfortunately, many people are not treating, they are cheating. They are not making room for that treat. They aren’t shaving calories off somewhere else. They aren’t working it off now, and they have no plans to work it off later.  They aren’t working to “buy” that treat the good old-fashioned hard-working way.

People are just taking what they want, when they want – whether they can afford it or not. Anywhere else, that would be called stealing. In the dieting world, it’s called cheating – but I’ve got news for ya. People are NOT getting away with it. They are imprisoned in body fat, tight pants, insecurities, depression and despair.

American Needs Stronger Leaders

matureWARNING: The following content is rated M for mature. Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense truths, unpleasant news, offensive and/or strong language. Caution is advised.

I am so tired of seeing headlines suggesting dieting is easy and fast. It’s not. While it doesn’t have to be awful (and when done right, can be much easier than you think), practicing discipline isn’t easy. It takes some level of effort – and results are rarely fast.

shape magazine coverI’d like to encourage fitness leaders to choose their words carefully and, may I boldy say, challenge American to QUIT cheating. We need to encourage people to be accountable. We need to speak truth in love and, for once, actually tell people “it may be your fault”. It’s not a fun message to give, but at some point, people need to hear the truth – even if it isn’t as fun.

Could you imagine if Magazines used headlines like:

  • 10 Ways to Practice Self-Control
  • Learn How Balance Diet and Treats (not Cheats)
  • Get the Foods You Need, So You Don’t Fall Off the Wagon
  • Overweight? Then Move More or Eat Less

Of course those don’t sound near as fun as “have your cake and eat it too”. And “get off your fat butt and burn off that cake” would not only offend half of American, but it probably wouldn’t sell magazines. Sadly, America spends so much energy on being politically correct, and non-offensive, they don’t have the guts to use headlines that people really need to hear. Instead, they tell people what they want to hear, even if it’s not true, unhealthy, only partly true or even damaging. We live in a “feel-good” society that preaches “if it feels good, do it” and “you deserve it”.

cheat daysFitness leaders needs to help people get to the root of the problem and fix it, instead of encouraging followers to find ways around the problem, or mask it. Personally, in my opinion, we shouldn’t teach people how to cheat, or even appear to. That is just a bad message to me. While teaching practical eating tips so people can ENJOY life, and not be miserable on a diet, would ultimately teach people how to FEEL like they are cheating (which I am sure is what the magazine was doing) – I don’t think we should even use the word cheat in a positive sense. Why? Because the uneducated dieter could be led to believe that some people are getting amazing results by “cheating right” and doing whatever they want. NO! People get good results by eating right and practicing self control.

“…people always want to see what they can get away with first…”

getting caughtPeople are already looking for every way to lose weight besides the right way. I see it way too much at the gym. People work really hard at the gym, only to blow it on poor choices because they basically want to see what they can get away with and still get the results they want. If you are dieting that way, I’ve got news for you – you can’t get away with it for long. Living like that is risky. It’s no different than stealing and hoping to get away with it. You have to be ready to get caught and face the consequences. The best thing you can do is just live right – and, in this case, eat right.

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. Proverbs 25:28

 

 

50 Shades of [Athletic] Grey

Before I even begin, I must confess I have not read this book. I have no idea if there is any reference to the actual greyscale. Now, with that in mind, hold on to your panties – because I’m about to get down and dirty – about fitness that is! 😉

The fitness industry often bounces back and forth between two extremes – black or white. Like we’ve seen in politics, fitness is often either extreme right or extreme left. People preach fitness is very easy or ridiculously hard. I think we need more grey!

Black & White

Back in the 80s, fitness gadgets and programs were always marketed as fun, easy workouts – rarely showing someone even breaking a sweat. It’s like they thought they could fool people into getting fit. But no matter how easy the fitness model made it look on TV, sooner or later the person was going to figure out it took work.

Then came Biggest Loser and P90x where extreme measures were exploited, making people believe they weren’t working out unless they were jumping 4 feet in the air one hour straight. Drill sergeant trainers, yelling in your face, stole the show – and people wanted the Jillian Michaels experience, so they too could be “forced” to workout and get results. The major difference between the two extremes was the message. One tried to attract the fat and lazy crowd, and the other tried to attract the fat and desperate I’ll-try-anything crowd. But what about everyone else?

The Danger of Pale Grey 

I personally think everyone fell into the pale grey aera. Even with extreme fitness being more more accepted, most mainstream magazines and brands continue to lean toward the gentle nudge “pale grey” approach, in an attempt to make people feel better about making very little effort. Many writers mislead readers by promoting basically anything, but sitting, as a fitness routine – and people believe it. I guess headlines like “get off your fat butt” doesn’t sell. Maybe we need a clearer message because, in a recent diabetes study, data showed only 3.5 percent of Americans between 18 and 59 did the minimum amount of physical activity recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services. Mediocre message might just make a mediocre impact.  I think we need more honest headlines, honest advertising and real hard facts, but the truth hurts.

People want to believe they are doing everything right. People don’t like hearing that they need to workout harder or that they need to improve. Most people think that doing anything is good enough – and while it’s better than nothing, that doesn’t mean it’s the answer.

50 Shades of White

When it comes to painting a room, most people will gravitate to neutral colors. White, off white, antique white, linen white, smokey white are for people afraid of commitment. When you choose an actual color, you have to stick to decorating around that color. It takes a lot of thought and requires some level of commitment. The same goes with fitness. Like bold colors, bold fitness makes the biggest impact. The problem is, people are often too afraid of failure to commit. So they play it safe, choosing a “white” workout that’s not too difficult, not too scary, not too risky, and that doesn’t require too much of a commitment. As a result, they don’t get the impact they hoped.

The New York Times recently did an article on Updating the Message to Get Americans Moving. In the article, the director of the psychology laboratory at the University of Georgia, Rod Dishman, said he was annoyed when students enrolled in walking classes, boldly saying “It is a sin for a healthy, capable young adult to enroll in a walking class. It is obscene. What they are getting credit for is avoiding making any effort.”

I’m sure none of the students felt that way. However, I totally understand the director’s point of view. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not knocking walking and I realize his words are harsh. Walking may be someone’s only option. I’m trying to encourage people to realize that even an out-of-shape body is typically capable of so much more – and I’m sure the majority of his students could have done more too.

A New Start

Instead of choosing a program based on what someone is willing to do, maybe they should look at fitness from the finishline instead of the starting place. What do I mean? I mean, a person should base their activity on their goals. For most people, fitness is about being physically fit and at a healthy weight. When it comes to weight loss and making drastic changes, it’s not enough just to move – you must move purposefully.

So, what shade of grey are you? Now THAT’s a good question. You may not only pick only one “shade” or training style. Of matter of fact, I’m a firm believer in variety. Whatever you choose, you should have an idea of where that exercise falls on the fitness greyscale.

Here’s a simple chart I created of various popular activity, and the approximate calories burned. In order to get a real understanding of calorie burned, note that sitting on a computer burns approximately 100 calories per hour, so you can subtract 100 from the calories burned during exercise to reflect INCREASED activity. Also, please realize these are generalities only.

The Fitness Greyscale

White: (130lbs: 100-200 calories/hour. 200lbs: 200-300 calories/hour.)
Walking 2mph
Stationary Bike, no resistance

Mild Stretching

Light Grey:
(130lbs 200-300 calories/hour. 200lbs: 300-400 calories/hour.)

Walking 3mph
Elliptical, light pace/resistance
Stationary Bike, light resistance/pace
Swimming
Tai Chi
Weight Training, light weight with moderate rest
Seated Exercise Class
Bicycle, less than 10mph
Light Calisthenics 
Golf

Grey:
(130lbs: 300-400 calories/hour. 200LB: 400-500 calories/hour)

Power Walking 4mph
Elliptical, moderate pace/resistance
Jogging (12-min mile)
Low Impact Aerobics
Body Toning Class
Weight Training, light weight with little rest
Weight Training, moderate weight with moderate rest
Weight Training, heavy weight with ample rest
Beginner Yoga or Pilates
Water Aerobics
Zumba
Stationary Bike with Moderate Resistance/Pace
Swimming Laps
Moderate Bodyweight Exercises
Cycling 10-15mph
Moderate Calisthenics 
Stepper
Rowing, moderate
Tennis

Dark Grey:
(400-500 calories/hour. 200LB: 500-600 calories/hour.)

High Impact Aerobics
Kickboxing
Spinning
Running
Advanced Zumba 
Power Yoga
Circuit Training
Weight Training, moderate weight, with little to no rest
Weight Training, heavy weight with little rest
Vigorous Calisthenics 
Jump Rope
Cycling 20mph
Gauntlet Stair Machine
HIIT
Boxing
Rowing, vigorous

Black:
(130lbs: 500-600 calories/hour. 200LB: 600-700 calories/hour)

Sprinting
BCx Boot Camp
P90x
CrossFit
Insanity
Sports Conditioning
Olympic Lifting
Plyometrics
Tabata 

Get Ready for the Holidays & Help Someone Get Fit: 

Read my fitness gift guide: Top 25 Fitness Gifts for Your Fit Friends

Shocker: Sex Sells Fitness

PFED UP: Sex Sells Fitness, But Does It Sell Results?

Borat did it, “Bikini Boy” Ty Hemmerling American Idol contestant did it, and Tosh does it as often as he can. Why? Although this isn’t much of a shocker, it sells because sex sells – even when it’s funny! Throw on a bikini and you’ll get attention – good or bad.

Steve and I just had the conversation this morning that he’d get more views if he wore a bikini when leading his workouts. It’s sad, but you can have a great workout led by a fully clothed professional and it won’t get half the views a chick gets in a bikini or tight workout outfit doing something lame – or worse yet, wrong.

Alfonso Moretti voiced his outrage against people dropping to the level of using sex to sell fitness in his blog “Angry Issues: Is the Fitness Industry TOO sexual” – and I agree. Although I do enjoy seeing fit physiques, it’s sad to think there is great content out there being missed out on just because they prefer to keep their clothes on.

This is the same for men. As soon as a guy takes his shirt off and breaks a sweat, the views start soaring. Yet, people like Steve, who like their shirts very much, can get overlooked in a youtube line up. Note: I do have some friends of mine that do it tastefully, but I’m totally speaking generally here and talking about the extremes. I’m not saying they are all bad. 🙂

Smart is Sexy
Although I’d LOVE to see Steve teach with his shirt off all the time (and not to say he wouldn’t do it some day if and when appropriate), I’d prefer for people to know him for his brains, not just brawn. The brawn is the icing on the cake – not the main attraction when you are selling results in my opinion.

A hot body, alone, doesn’t teach you anything (except teach you to “want that body”). Maybe I’m being harsh, but when you are learning how to workout, I think it’s important for people to know that person actually knows what they’re talking about, and it’s also important that trainer has the ability to pass that knowledge on to YOU.

Sure, if you know what you are doing, your body should look good too – however, there is a lot of stuff that can make a body look hot besides working out and eating right. Unfortunately, many people use their good genetics with steroids (yes, even bikini models) to get fit bods so they can use their bodies to bring them a paycheck. Meanwhile, they tell you how to do it the hard realistic way. Many of them don’t even care if YOU get fit – they just care if they get paid. Is that right? Is that the kind of person who should be leading fitness?

Disclaimer
Are there awesome trainers with awesome physiques? Sure there are! Is a fit bod motivating? Heck yes! If you have the whole package, more power to ya!! I’ll try not to be jealous. 🙂 BUT, if you are looking for results, and for people to actually HELP you, don’t fall for “sex sells” – because sex doesn’t always sell results.

Until then, You just may see Steve trying on some sexy tight workout clothes and see if he can get more views. hahahahahahahaha

OK, maybe not. He does NOT make a beautiful woman. Great wig though!

 

What do you think?
Do you lose respect for trainers that use sex to sell fitness?
Do you trust celebrities or trainers who push gimmicks?
What do you look for in an online fitness roll model?

Inquiring fitness minds want to know! 

– B –

Fitness Models: Unrealistic Heroes?

One time a guy, pointing to a poster of me, said “do your abs really look like that?” I was taken off guard, and kind of perturbed. I mean, did he think I would have just drawn them on? Did he think I looked fat now? Was that photo really so unbelievable? The truth is, my abs didn’t look like the poster that day. So much goes into photo shoots, it’s honestly unfair to anyone else who references professional shots as “normal”.

Kristia Knowles, who’s landed the cover of countless fitness magazines like Oxygen and Muscle & Fitness Hers, openly admits magazines photoshop the heck out of pictures. Although I know Kristia is absolutely beautiful and fit in person, the reality of what you may see in print is it’s not always reality at all.

When a fitness article shows off an amazing physique, with a headline to match like “5 Butt Blasting Moves”, the reader automatically thinks (even if they know better) those 5 moves are going to give you “that butt”. How unfair is it that the magazine doesn’t talk about their extreme pre-shoot diet or insane amount of cardio they do to shed fat for that day? Or how about discussing the water pills and laxatives they took to shrink their tummy and skin? Then there’s the fact they are posing on an empty stomach and can’t wait to totally pig out as soon as they’re are done. That, my friend, is the reality.

Aside from the actual physical work a fitness model does to prepare for a shoot, there’s the workout the model gets after the shoot. Abs get painted, skin is smoothed, skin folds are removed, and muscles may even get “pumped”. Although this photoshopped picture of Angelina Jolie is an extreme example of what someone can do with a photo, there are very few pictures that don’t get photoshopped in this business. Kristia says, even the best bodies still get photoshopped. So even the people who already have amazing physiques are made to look even more amazing – and we wonder why we have self-esteem issues.  Read the rest of this entry

The Grunch Who Stole Fitness

Every Peep Down in Peep-ville liked Fitness a lot…
But the Grunch, Who lived just North of Peep-ville, Did NOT!
The Grunch hated Fitness! The whole Fitness life!
Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows why.
It could be that his head wasn’t screwed on quite right.
It could be, perhaps, that his pants were too tight.

But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his clothes were two sizes too small.
But, Whatever the reason, His tight shirts or his jeans,
He stood there with cookies and pie, taunting the Peeps,
Staring down from his cave with a sour, Grunchy frown
At the warm lighted gym windows, below in their town.

For he knew every Peep down in Peep-ville below
Was busy now, working out and losing weight, you know.
“And they’re getting results!” he snarled with a sneer.
“Their Fitness goal is so close! It’s practically here!”

Then he growled, with his Grunch fingers nervously drumming,
“I MUST find a way to keep Fitness from spreading!”
“Why for fifty-three years I’ve put up with it now!
I MUST stop Fitness from growing! …But HOW?”

Then he got an idea! An awful idea!
THE GRUNCH GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA!
“I know just what to do!” The Grunch laughed, in his wit.
And he made a quick plan and workout outfit.
And he chuckled, and clucked, “What a great Grunchy trick!
“Everyone will think I can get them fit quick”

“All I need is a gimmick…” So the Grunch made a plan.
He would launch informercials, and start his new scam
BUT all the Peeps already heard of this Grunchy new trap
’cause Fitness Bloggers were blogging to their Peeps in a snap

Before the Grunch could even make his very first sell
The Peeps warned Peepville of all his new tricks very well
They all knew what to look for, they were wise to his plan
So the Grunch couldn’t sell his Quick Fix to one Peep the land.

And what happened then…? Well…in Peep-ville they say
That the Grunch’s fat waist, grew THREE SIZES that day!
And in that minute, his size didn’t feel quite so right,
He whizzed with his load through the bright morning light
He turned in his thingumabobs and joined the Peeps for a sweat
And, in time, dropped 5 sizes – a year he’d never forget.

Original Dr. Suess story rewritten (and photos altered) by Bonnie Pfiester. 2011

Dedicated to my FitFluential & FitStudio Peeps!!

RANT: Fit Mags Needs to Shape Up!

I think it’s time magazines set some New Year’s Resolutions of their own! It’s time they  shape up their content and lose the useless baggage they’ve all be carrying for so long!! 

I was looking for a magazine at the corner pharmacy while in New York City with the FitFluential team, and was overwhelmed by all the magazine headlines – more like annoyed. “Blast Fat Fast, in only 10 Minutes” must sell magazines, but it should be an insult to our intelligence.

I guess “Blast Fat Realistically” wouldn’t sell subscriptions, or “Sculpt a New Physique in 30 Minutes a Day” (instead of 10 minutes a day) may seem too extreme – but come on people?! When will we quit falling for gimmick tricks that will let you down faster than your worst boyfriend?

When has ANYthing great come out of a little investment? How often have you reaped a big reward for little work? I’m sick of seeing these watered down workouts and false claims that prey on the hopeless. For ONCE, would someone man up and actually put a workout boldly on their cover that (dare I say) looks a little challenging and takes a little more time than 10 minutes a day?

What do you want? Do you want truth or do you want the media to continue delivering half truths and gimmick workouts that rarely actually ‘work out’? Would you actually buy a magazine that featured factual information you may not WANT to hear but NEED to hear? Or are we all going to keep buying this crap and supporting this type of media?

iPhone Pics: Actual headlines on various covers this month:  Read the rest of this entry

“Life’s too short to diet?” OMG Waffle House!

Yesterday, Waffle House proudly tweeted “Life is too short to diet“.

OMG! Did they really just go there? I have such mixed emotions about this tweet. As a business owner, I think “wow, they just announced to the world that Waffle House is not a place for healthy people” and then as a fitness professional I can’t help but think “people need to stop acting like ‘dieting’ is a bad thing”.

Don’t get me wrong, the 4-letter word has a pretty bad reputation. Although I say “I’m dieting” all the time, I really mean “I’m eating healthy, low-calorie meals” – not “I’m starving myself and am miserable“. On the CONTRARY! When I’m so-called ‘dieting’, I feel AMAZING! I am happier, healthier, have more energy, am more confident, look better and feel better. SO, when Waffle House says “Life’s too short to diet“, the message they are sending is “dieting sucks so eat whatever you want“.  Read the rest of this entry

Can you screw up a turkey sandwich? Arby’s did.

HUNGRY FOR A TURKEY SANDWICH
I normally don’t like to name brands in a rant – actually, I rarely rant about anything BUT today I am ranting because I don’t want YOU to make the same mistake I just did!! Ugh!

I normally NEVER eat fast food. However, I was in a hurry today and drove thru Arby’s as I thought that would be better than Burger King and other fast food joints in the area. After looking at the menu, I decided on a turkey sandwich. Then I asked if they had any sides besides anything fried. She suggested the side salad so I ordered the salad with honey mustard.


THE DISCOVERY

When I got to the office I promptly looked up the calories for my choice (while as I was eating the first half of my turkey sandwich I

might add). To my complete and utter

disbelief, the sandwich was a WHOPPING 710 calories. Add that to my 70 calorie side salad  and I am at 780 calories. But wait! There’s more! I looked on my little pouch of honey dijon mustard dressing and it was another flippin’ 180 calories!! O.M.G.!!

So, I abruptly quit eating my darn sandwich so not to consume the remaining 355 calorie half and just dabbed a bit of the dressing on the lettuce so not to completely ruin my whole day, although I am sure I still ended up eating 450 calories when all said and done.


THE REALITY

What a shame is all I can say. I am a fitness professional and I am SURE people who are really sincerely trying to lose weight would have thought they made a good choice with these choices, only to rack up 960 CALORIES!!

This is why people can NOT guess their way through a diet. Even food choices that appear healthy may still exceed our caloric limit when trying to lose weight and sabotage your weight loss.


YOUR CHANCE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
If you have had high-calorie fast food discovery, I want to know! Share your discovery and help spare others of repeating the mistake you made. Together, as we share our fitness journey, we can learn from each other, gain more knowledge and get closer to our goals!

Please don’t leave this post without sharing. Although I encourage you to read my blog as much as possible as I hope you find my blog helpful, educational and encouraging – YOU can make a difference too! Don’t keep it to yourself! Join the movement to get American healthy!

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