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)

[poll id=”3″]

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.

20 responses to “Why It’s (Not) Soooooo Easy For Me To Stay In Shape”

  1. Ginger says:

    Great rebuttal, Kat! I would have reacted the same way. As a matter of fact, I’ve had people say those things to me before about being in shape, or working off the twin babyweight. I’ts not “natural” or easy & believe me with my schedule, working & 3 kids, I could think of other things I’d rather do than be in the gym but I wanna keep the weight off and keep toning so I do it. Frustrates me that people complain about how I look, about how they look….& then are lazy. 🙂 Kudos to you for writing this and also thanks for sharing bc I found it so inspiring what you’ve done!

    • Kat says:

      Thanks Ginger! I’m glad to know I’m the only one who would have reacted like I did! And can I say … Knowing how tough it was to lose the baby weight of ONE baby (waaaaaay tougher than I ever would have thought), you deserve a ridiculously huge pat on the back for getting rid of twin baby weight! Babies or not, anyone who has lost a significant amount of fat and turned their life around knows how many sacrifices you have to make … Whether it’s lost sleep, time away from family, time away from other things you should or could or would rather be doing … Or just the sacrifice of effort and preparation! Kudos to all of us!

  2. Mike says:

    Kat, This is nothing to fret over. You do yourself and your
    readers well with applicable and informative posts. This clown is
    jealous. Let me reiterate that “JEALOUS”. That’s it. Period! You
    step over these schmucks on your way up the ladder. There’s always
    1/3 that love you, 1/3 that hates you, and 1/3 that can go either
    way. Play to the 1/3 that can go either way and show them how much
    you have to give. Don’t waste your time and effort on complainers
    that will never be happy. Take care and keep up the good work. You
    inspire me to be healthy. I’m grateful for that. 🙂

    • Kat says:

      Thankyou Mike! I think I have heard something similar to the 1/3 idea you talk about … And it makes sense. Deep down I know this wasn’t anything to stress about, but it was certainly still interesting food for thought. I appreciate your comment and feedback 🙂

  3. Bonnie says:

    To be honest I can’t see where this guy is coming from. You work HARD at what you do and get results. You are offering information that is relevant, researched and self-tested. You have helped me with health, digestion and nutrition and while I certainly can’t eat the amount of animal fat you may eat (or red meat for that matter), your advice has been invaluable. A healthy lifestyle is a choice for which at least some effort is required. This reader just sounds bitter and lazy to me. Perhaps a little narrow minded too. You can’t judge something until you try it and if he did he may be surprised by some of the benefits he reaps from the advice. Fundamentally you are recommending ‘real’ food. At the most basic level, what can be wrong with that?
    Keep up the good work. There are many of us who appreciate what you do.

  4. Anita says:

    You are Fantastic!

    People are always affraid of what is different, and you are offering different advice from the average Dr. up the street. 🙂

  5. Marnie says:

    I voted “no” by the way.

    And on another noted, I subscribed to your blog right away because I LOVE the way you handled that comment.

    Good on you.

    • Kat says:

      Thankyou so much Marnie – I’m feeling so great about all the feedback I’ve had on this post, both in the comments and on email. You guys rock!

  6. Cara says:

    My blood would boil if someone made a comment like that! You are well and truly entitled to a rebuttal which you did so well.

    Exercise has been part of my life for over 10 years and I often get comments that I’m so lucky….I’m not sure how luck comes into things, but I’m constantly trying to learn new things and further improve my health and my body shape. Thanks for such an awesome and inspiring blog.

    • Kat says:

      My pleasure Cara – sounds like you definitely feel my frustration there. Keep up the great work with your own learning and healthy outlook 🙂

  7. Sue says:

    I didn’t see the email debate on grain but people get a little put off when their so called healthful grains get slammed. Its hard to get their heads around the fact that grains may be unhealthy.
    You definitely looked more solid when 25. Brilliant transformation which you probably wouldn’t have achieved if you didn’t drop grains and start thinking outside the box in regards to health and exercise. Hoping you have a successful 2011. All the best.

  8. Tanya says:

    GO KAT!!! Fantastic reply! Not overreacting at all. I was SO angry reading what that joker wrote. I used to think that fit people were lucky, it took me 27 years to realise that they just work their butts off to look and feel the way they do. I get annoyed when people ask me how I am loosing my weight and they seem to get disappointed when I tell them what I do instead of telling them about some shake diet i saw on Oprah (nothing against Oprah btw). You look amazing and you practice what you preach. 1 minute talking to you and I could see how passionate you were about what you were suggesting I try in my life, that motivates me and helps inspire me to keep going. So thanks! ” )

    • Kat says:

      Thankyou SO much Tanya! I love that you could tell how ‘into’ what I do I am – ’cause it’s definitely true!

  9. Dr. J says:

    Believe me I know the work it takes to be in the shape you and I are! I’ve heard the easy thing many times. It’s a good fight but still a fight. We do it a but differently, but fortunately, many roads lead to the top of the mountain 🙂