What is the myth that you hear people constantly repeating that makes you crazy?
One is the toning thing. Funny, I was watching CNN and there was a report about some device that you put on your bum to tone your bum. And you keep hearing that kind of thing, and that myth fascinated me. I wonder, actually, if anyone can do any research on this, because I think intuitively people know it’s false. They know it can’t really work, but they still gravitate toward it. And you know, you can’t tone a particular area of your body by working out that one area.
No machine is going to allow you to magically whisk away the fat around your tummy. It really is about losing weight all over your body–and to be honest with you, I don’t think people should obsess about losing weight–they should obsess about living a healthy lifestyle.
Yes! I love it when I hear anyone else say that there are so many other reasons to exercise besides weight loss.
It’s so true. In fact, I always joke there are two things to do to be healthy: don’t smoke, and exercise. Diet, for sure, is in that mix, but those two things for sure, you just get so many health benefits. And the research keeps demonstrating more and more the health benefits of exercise.
You can exercise and not lose weight–that’s what happened to me. I worked out like a fiend since I was 12, and I was putting on weight because I was eating a ton of food.
Yeah, it is kind of hard to exercise a lot, and then not make that up with how perpetually hungry you feel as a result.
But I have found, though, that it is getting easier. That’s actually sort of a good-news message that I’ve found recently. I think sustained weight loss–and this is a cliche, but I’ll say it anyway–really is about making these choices that you can maintain throughout your whole life. Once you start doing it, it becomes a habit. And you don’t feel hungry all the time.
How much weight did you lose, by the way?
In the book, I give a conservative estimate–I say between 25 and 27 pounds–but it was actually more than that because the funny thing is, I was actually at my heaviest. I was a very competitive sprint cyclist, and when I was competing–I went to the Masters World Championships–that’s actually when I was at my heaviest. And I thought it was all muscle. And it clearly was not all muscle. So I would say from that point until now, it was really closer to 30 pounds.
The other thing is that I had high blood pressure then. And because I worked out so much, and I thought I knew all about nutrition and fitness, the doctor actually recommended medication for. And I’m always a little bit phobic about medication, so I didn’t take it. And now, through losing weight and actually eating well, it’s really good. Isn’t that interesting? The doctor was going to give me drugs, and it was really more about lifestyle.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?
I think you can keep it simple. Ignore all the hype and all the noise that surrounds health and fitness. Be skeptical–think scientifically. There are so many twisting influences out there, and just ignore them. The bottom line is this: live a healthy and fun lifestyle. That’s it.
Images: Penguin Books, Flickr user ahfmr