The Glorification of Busyness

As well as running The Anti-Fitness Project, I also work twice a week behind a bar.  The problem with working behind a laptop is that actual human contact doesn’t happen as often as when I worked in a gym.  It’s nice to spend a couple of nights randomly chatting to new people.  It also allows me some awesome people watching opportunities.


Recently I worked a stupidly busy shift at the restaurant.  Like, two coaches full of drunk football supporters twinned with the craziness of a Mother’s Day weekend with families “treating” their matriarchs to a night off cooking dinner.  But that night it wasn’t the customers who gave me people watching entertainment, it was the staff.


All of us staff were slammed with work.  The same amount of work.


Half of us approached the busyness in a methodical and chilled out way.  We worked in a relaxed “fuck yeah it’s busy but let’s get it done and bloody enjoy it”.  The other half of the staff were nothing short of hilarious to watch.  Stress and complaints and rushing around, but not actually achieving anything expect maybe a headache.


Guess which half of us, and felt like they’d had a damn good night?  And who do you think stressed themselves into problems which didn’t exist causing themselves more work and more busyness?


I feel sorry for the people that bring pointless stress into their lives.  But the problem goes a little bit deeper than just me feeling a little bad.  Stress and busyness have, oddly, become a badge of honour for adults.  When I was at school – and I think it’s still the same in education now – it was “cool” to do as little as possible.  Not doing your homework and boasting that instead you were in the park with your mates made you the awesome, rebellious one.  I don’t know at what age this changes.  But it does.


Functioning on zero sleep, working 57 hours overtime, and being so stressed that you need to down a bottle of wine to chill out has become the new adult “cool”.  What the actual fuck!  Check your Facebook newsfeed right now and see how many of your friends are “celebrating” how stressed they are.


Don’t get me wrong, I love to fill my day with stuff.  But my stuff comes under two distinct categories… productive or fun.  Not busyness.  If I have a busy and stressful day it means that I have either not planned properly or that I’ve not been efficient enough.  My aim is to become less busy, not more so.  If I work hard and work smart, I can create more free time for myself to have fun.  And you can imagine how much your life can change if you have more fun.


Yes, it may seem that I have an easy life.  I have no kids, I only have to be in a proper job for two days a week.  But my to-do list is a long as anyone else’s.  I have just found a few ways to make my life far more productive:


  • I don’t multi task. It doesn’t work.  I put all my focus into whatever task I’m doing. Whether that be at work or at play.  I try to stay in the present as much as I can.  
  • I put my stress into perspective. Was the customer in the bar going to die if he had to wait an extra minute for his pint?  Fuck no.  He can wait, and I can do my job methodically and well, every single time.  And I’m pretty sure he’d rather have a chilled-out barperson with a smile than a slightly aggressive woman screaming “what do you want?” at him.
  • I don’t take on more than I can handle. I know my limits.  It’s pointless to try and add new tasks and new positive habits into your day when you’re struggling with what you’re already doing.  I am improving my life and my business 1% at a time.

So stop celebrating being busy and thinking of a day in the park with your kids as a treat for yourself.  Plan that shit into your day as hard as you plan doing the washing, or finishing the invoices.


Life is about enjoyment.  Not about busyness.



Stay chilled, you beautiful weirdos!


Dominique

(The Anti-Fitness Trainer)



P.S. Special shout out to Lauren who shared my chilled attitude and need for laughter during that crazy shift!

Call a Spade a Spade

I don’t eat breakfast.  Never really have.  The closest that my Mum could get to “making me” was to insist I drink a glass of OJ before I went to school.  At 10 years old, I wasn’t skipping meals because of a weight loss attempt, I just didn’t – and still don’t – get hungry until I’ve been awake for a few hours.


Now I want to sell you a diet programme based on my life experience.  It’s called “just don’t eat breakfast and save yourself 400 calories”.  No, not sold yet?  Probably because it sounds stupid and way too simple to convince you to part with your dollars for.  But what if it give the same diet a fancy name, like Intermittent Fasting, or 5:2, or The Warrior Diet, or 16:8, or LeanGains, or Eat Stop Eat, or Spontaneous Meal Skipping, or The 8 Hour Diet, or The Fast 800, or Waist Away, or… you get where I’m going with this?  They’re all the exact same fucking thing.


No, I’m not telling you to stop eating breakfast.  There’s no magic pill, remember!  But which would you be more likely to spend money on and put your trust into?  Skip breakfast because Dominique isn’t hungry, or the Fast 800 by Dr. Michael Mosley?


You see, the thing that you’re being sold isn’t the important thing.  There’s no magic pill.  Any method which gets you to eat fewer calories would work.  But you are being convinced to buy into this shit by clever marketing companies and that has got to stop.


We have an innate belief that fancy sounding scientific words are more complicated and cleverer than the same words in a common language.  We are taught to immediately put our faith into anything that has a “scientific study” to back up its claims.  I could do a study which proves that if you just eat compost you will lose weight.  And if I give it a crazy name like “The Mulch Diet”, I bet I could sell it to some schmucks (I have literally never used that word before, but I’d enjoyed writing it) online.  Marketers are taking advantage of language to sell to you.  I’d like you to start seeing through it.


Remember, it’s not “clean eating”, it’s just eating less processed crap.


It’s not HIIT, it’s moving quite fast for a short time.


It’s not steady state cardio, it’s going for a brisk walk.


It’s not a planned cheat day, it’s just sometimes eating more food.


There’s no such thing as a superfood, it’s just food that quite nutritious.


It’s not a cabbage soup diet, it’s… actually I don’t know what the fuck that is all about except for a weird and probably odourful way of eating fewer calories.


I’ve worked as a fitness professional for years and years.  But I still would rather say “back” than trapezius.  Yes, I could make myself sound fancy and smash some Latin in your earholes to sell you an average workout programme.  But I’m not a knob.  I’d rather call a spade “a spade”.


So here’s the spade.  You don’t need to spend a fortune on diets and workout plans.  What would work, however, is you finding out why you eat more calories than your body needs.


For most people it’s not because you are eating too much sugar, or that you aren’t doing the right type of squat, or that your Magnesium Yellow Moon isn’t in line with your uterus (that’s not a thing, don’t Google it).  Unless you have a medical condition (and this will only be a tiny minority of people), you are overweight because you are eating too much food.


You know in your soul that the next “unicorn” diet and workout is the same as the last shit you tried.  And until you change your mindset then no diet in the world will ever work.  You know what you need to do to lose fat, but you’re not doing it.  But rather then sorting our why you’re not doing it, you are being sucked in to finding unicorns.


Don’t get sucked in.  Call spades, “spades”.  Look at every diet you see marketed at you and see it for what it is… a fancy sounding way of getting you to eat less.  And now look at what you need to do to change the deep-rooted reasons as to why you can’t do the things you know you should do.  Stick with me and I’ll help you out with that.  But giving you real shit.  Not words that you need a masters degree to understand.


And here’s the other thought I’d like to leave you with… if you do take up one of these diets and lose some weight then who gets the credit?  Do you praise yourself because you’ve managed to take back some control in how you eat, or do you give the entire credit to the diet?  I never hear how proud people are that they’ve reduced the amount of processed crap that they eat.  All I hear is “Weight Watchers really works”.  WW didn’t do the work.  You did.  Be proud and stop giving the power to yet another diet company that is simply asking you to eat fewer calories.



Stay weird, people!


Dominique

(The Anti-Fitness Trainer)

“Hey Hun, Want to Buy My Weight Loss Shake?”

This is going to alienate and piss off some people.  I apologise in advance.  But “no, Sharon, I don’t want to buy your shitty weight management shakes!”  Sorry, not sorry.


I am a weight loss and wellness expert.  I know my shit.  I know that miracle diet supplements don’t exist, and it pisses me off that companies think that they can get away with selling them.  But one type of company makes me want to rip my face off more than any other.  And this is the multi-level marketing company or MLM.  


An MLM is a type of company which is close in business model to a pyramid scheme (I legally should say that they are not pyramid schemes).  Members of MLM’s buy products from the company and then resell it to friends and family.  They also recruit other people to join their team who can sell the product too.  Commission is made for them whenever their team makes a sale too.  Simple.


Most of this selling and recruiting happens on social media.  I’m damn sure you’ve read those cryptic Facebook posts asking if you’d like to lose weight just by drinking coffee or some other shit.  And I’ve even started to see more and more ads asking people to join a free weight loss discussion group.  Fuck off Susan, when did you become a weight loss specialist, you worked in Tesco’s last week.


There are a fair few reasons why I dislike MLM’s far more than other weight loss companies like Slimfast, or Jane Plan.  And because of this intense hatred I have conducted a fair amount of research into them (yep, I turn into an angry geek when things bug me).  I’d like to publicly share some of the information I have discovered by completely debunking every single one of the MLM’s claims.


  

“I’ve found this amazing miracle weight management system, it really works!”


This is the claim which sucks most people into trying MLM supplements.  I mean, their testimonials and transformation photos are insane.  Why wouldn’t you try it yourself?


So, do MLM supplements really work?  Well, yes.  But are they magical as unicorn shit?  Fuck no.  Take two examples of MLM’s – Isagenix and Herbalife… they primarily sell weight management shakes.  The plan is to replace one of your daily meals with a shake.  Pretty much like Slimfast.


If you follow this plan, I can pretty much guarantee that you will lose weight.  But is this because Isagenix has found the Holy Grail of weight loss shakes?  Bollocks, it is.  It’s because you have just saved yourself 600 calories by drinking a milkshake instead of your normal tuna and mayo sandwich paired with a Mars Bar.  Get yourself a Frijj milkshake and save yourself £40.


I was once scammed into trying the NuSkin plan (long story, but it was a shitty business decision) and paid £100 to be told to drink aloe vera juice for two days instead of eating.  Yes, I totally lost weight.  But not because of the vomit inducing drink.  It was because I hadn’t eaten for two days.


An MLM called Thrive sell a special patch which essentially mainlines caffeine directly into your blood stream.  And guess what?  With extra caffeine you’re going to have more energy and are highly likely to move around more.  More movement equals more calories burned which is going to help weight loss.  Save yourself the cash and pop to Starbucks instead of sticking patches to your body.

   

With Juice Plus you take a pill which contains 14 fruit and veg’s worth of vitamins and minerals.  Shocker but when your body has the nutrients it needs, you feel healthier and more energetic and so will move more.  But would you pay an extortionate MLM price when you could take a decent multi vitamin?


MLM’s use psychology to aid with weight loss too.  You’re hardly going to drop £300 per month on supplements and then continue to eat like crap, are you?  It’s like when you spend £150 a month to become a Crossfit member.  It works well for weight loss because when you spend that much money on a membership you make damn sure you actually turn up to the gym.


I always find it interesting that the advertising posts for MLM products on Facebook never actually tell you what the product is that they’re selling.  It’s always something like “want to lose weight by drinking coffee?  PM me for more details”.  The reason they never reveal the product name is that it’s MLM company policy that sellers are not allowed to make weight loss claims about their supplements.  And this is because the company knows that the product isn’t responsible for the loss of fat.  The calorie deficit is.



“Yes, the products are more expensive then the ones you find in the shops, but that’s because they are ultra-super special”


Except that they’re not.  A protein shake is always a protein shake.  Multi-vitamins don’t ever really change.  Whilst it is normally true that the more expensive a supplement the better the quality of ingredients, this is not the case with MLM products.


Yes, they are fairly decent quality, but no more special than the stuff you can buy from your local supermarket.


So why are they so expensive?  Well, a hell of a lot of people need to make commission from each sale.  There are many levels of sellers above the distributer that you bought the supplement from that need to make money.  Around 40% of the cost of each product goes just to pay bonuses to the people at the top.



“You can get rich by joining my team”


I love this one!  It’s a real shame that most people joining MLM teams never read the company’s income disclosure statement.  If they did, then they would discover – by the MLM’s own admission –99% of people who join an MLM never make any money.


The companies are pretty clever when they explain why their business model sucks for the people at the bottom.  “Oh, they just joined to get a discount on the products, they never intended to sell it” but conveniently they don’t keep records of how many people have tried and failed to make a business by becoming a distributer.  “They failed because they weren’t trying hard enough”.  Smooth work, MLM.  Blame the seller for their failure.  Fuck off and get some morals.  And while you’re at it start being honest and tell people that they are being set up to fail.


Part of the problem is that it’s really fucking hard to get people to buy overpriced bullshit.  You tend to quickly run out of friends and family members to hawk your crap.  There’s only so much protein shake that one person needs.  So instead of focusing on selling the supplements, sellers are told to spend most of their time trying to convince people to sell it as well.  Then you can get your commission on whatever they sell as well as your own minuscule sales figures.  Passive income, baby!


But there’s a problem with this tactic.  You only get commissions and bonuses if you sell a specific volume of product yourself each month.  So what do you do if you don’t sell enough?  Simple.  You bulk up your orders by buying stuff for yourself.  I highly doubt that a profit and loss sheet looks too healthy if you admit that most of your income comes from the shit you’ve had to buy yourself.


I have personally spoken to people that have lost tens of thousands of pounds by being part of an MLM.  They have garages full of supplements.  If you don’t believe me then look at the amount of cheap MLM supplements that are for sale on eBay.  Every single person selling this stuff cheap is likely to be a person trying to clear the excess stock that they bought themselves to try and hang on to their business.


It’s only the top 5% of sellers, the ones that got into the company really early, that make any proper money.  They are making commission on millions of unsuspecting people in the line below them.  It’s a predatory and unfair business model.



“But all you need to do is get 5 people to join your team.  Then they get 5 people and they get 5 people and soon you are making commission from hundreds of people”


Cool.  Except for if you do the maths, you can only do this cycle of 5 people getting 5 people 13 times before that equals the entire world’s population.  It can’t be that difficult to get the everyone on the planet to buy your weight loss shake, can it? Fucking idiots.


So what happens if 5 people do join your team?  Congratulations, you have just created 5 competitors who are also trying to sell what you sell.  It would be like opening a gym, and then suggesting to your clients that they all open a gym next door to yours.  At least if you buy a franchise, the company will ensure that no one else can open the same franchise within a certain radius of yours.  Basic business sense.


You’ll also find that these 5 people probably know the same people as you do.  You are all trying to sell to the same few people.  Trust me, your friends are going to lose patience with the “hey hun, buy my shit” pretty damn quick.



“Be your own boss, and live the life of your dreams just by selling with your phone”


Oh hun.  Stop.  I beg you.  Stop telling people that you have your own business.  You don’t.  You need to follow the rules of the MLM corporation.


Stop telling people that your MLM is better than having a job.  A job gives people security, a pension, benefits, and – more importantly – a guaranteed wage.


Refrain from posting your stupid posts showing you drinking your shakes with a million #bossbabe #entrepreneur #livingthedream hashtags.  You look like a knob.  Don’t forget we are not only watching you start your business, we also notice when you realise that it didn’t make you any money and you quit, or even worse when you start up with a new MLM.  Someone I know has gone from Juice Plus, to Thrive to some new nutrition MLM within the space of a year.  It’s sad to watch.


And most importantly, stop telling people that all you need to do is think positive thoughts and you can manifest your dreams.  That’s not how it works.


To stand any chance of making money with an MLM you need to spend all day every day on your phone.  Be willing to convince those dearest to you to join (even though you secretly know that you yourself aren’t making any money).  And to be willing to pimp out your family and children to help you advertise.  Yes, I have seen women whore out their kids with consistent Facebook photos of them drinking Beachbody shakes.  Suffice it to say I’m not a fan of hers. 



“it’s a legitimate business opportunity, it’s not a pyramid scheme and it’s not a cult”


The definition of a pyramid scheme is a company which promises that you will earn money by recruiting other people, who then recruit other people.  They are illegal to operate as the only people that benefit from them are the people at the top.  Everyone else gets proper fucked.


There’s technically not much difference between this model and that of the MLM’s, with one tiny exception which makes it legal for them to trade.  And that is that they have a product to sell.  Even though sellers are told that the only real way to make money is by recruiting other people, they are allowed to trade because they are selling something.  Even if it’s themselves that are the only people buying it.


In fact MLM’s are so close to being illegal that Herbalife was recently fined by the American Federal Trade Commission for their dodgy business model, and settled for $200million.  And whilst the FTC never officially called them a pyramid scheme, one of their representatives said “it is not not a pyramid scheme” during litigation.

And now to the cult point.  Whilst I am not (for legal purposes) calling MLM schemes a cult, they are pretty fucking close to it:


  1. They have a charismatic leader who becomes an object of worship. Just watch some videos of MLM conventions and check out how the crowds react to the CEO’s of the company.
  2. The followers are brainwashed and do things against their character which not in their interest, but in the interest of their leader. I have spoken to many people who report that their friend’s character completely changed after joining an MLM.
  3. There is economic exploitation of their followers by the group’s leader. People are convinced to join a scheme that the company knows that they won’t make money in.
  4. No tolerance for questions or negative enquiries. It is common practise in MLM’s to delete FB friends who say negative things about the business or cut people out their lives if they don’t support them.  I have personally been abused by MLM sellers online when I asked if they were qualified to sell weight loss products.

To be clear, I am not saying they are a cult.  I’m just pointing out that they do share a few of the main characteristics.


I might seem like I’m kind of passionate about this subject.  And I am.  But for good reason.  MLM companies sell you a dream and a lifestyle beyond simple weight loss.  And all of those dreams can quickly turn into complete nightmares.


If you have any doubt in what I am saying, then either check out this video from John Oliver or watch the documentary “Betting on Zero”.  Check it out on Netflix.


I was at an event where Isagenix was trying to recruit people to their MLM.  At one point the guest speaker asked for the cameras (it was being Live streamed on Facebook) to be turned off.  This was so that the guy could tell people that his Isagenix shakes cure cancer.  I wish I was joking or overexaggerating.


I have witnessed a conversation where a supplement was recommended to someone with Lupus.  The active ingredient in the recommended tea could kill someone with an autoimmune disease.  If these aren’t the kind of companies that The Anti-Fitness Project should help take down, I don’t know what are.


Help me to sort out these douchebags by following my blog, sharing it with the people that need to see it, and joining in the conversation.


And I’m sorry to any of my friends in MLM’s that have been offended by anything in this article.  But feel free to thank me later.



Stay weird, people!


Dominique Geary

(The Anti-Fitness Trainer)

Do You Syn?

Welcome to the amazing world of the diet club. Where all of your ‘body goals’ will come to fruition. Beautiful. However, the reality of a dieters mindset is slightly different to the smiley faces of the Weight Watchers adverts…


  1. Have I been “good” enough to turn up to this week’s meeting? – “ooh shit we went out for Brenda’s birthday and I had 2 pieces of cake so maybe not.”
  2. Can I be arsed to sit in a freezing village hall wearing the thinnest and lightest clothes possible to beat the scales? – “surely I won’t look conspicuous wearing a t-shirt and shorts in the middle of winter?”
  3. OK, I’m going to go do this, but just for the weigh in or do I stay for the whole meeting and put up with bullshit small talk, recipe sharing and “I’ve been sooooooo off-plan this week” chat from your fellow dieters?
  4. And finally, explaining to the leader why I’ve not lost weight, only maintained – apparently “maybe, Karen, I just haven’t been for a shit yet today” is not an acceptable answer.
 

Yes, some people will have lovely, life enhancing experiences by using slimming clubs like Weight Watchers or Slimming World. But 9 times out of 10 I hear “it works for me I’ve lost 5lbs. Sure, I’ve done it 5 times and I’ve put all the weight back on, but that’s only because [insert excuse here]”.

 

The truth is that not many people can sustain the diet being sold to them. But being able to stick to the diet club plan wouldn’t really make good business sense for the corporations that sell them. Far less money is made should the client lose weight and keep it off forever. What does make good business sense is to sell a programme that has great immediate success, but is ultimately likely to fail. But what would be even better is to have the clients blame themselves for the failure (rather than the unsustainable nature of the diet), so that they can re-enrol a few months later.


Even the CEO of Weight Watchers in their 2001 business plan says “its members have demonstrated a consistent pattern of repeat enrolment over a number of years”. You’re a fucking bellend! But maybe that’s why I’m not a millionaire and they are. Damn you, morals!


The vast majority of people just can’t stick to the plan (if Oprah with a personal chef can’t keep it up, then it isn’t looking good for you either). So let’s deep-dive into all the reasons you’d be better off not following the crowd and seeing the slimming clubs for the Synful companies that they are.


THE PLAN: The slimming club diet is basically a calorie restriction diet. And if you reduce the calories that an overweight person eats, they will lose weight. It’s science. But as calorie counting is free, they wouldn’t make money simply asking you to track your food intake. To make real cash they need to sell you a “system”. Rather than teaching you to count calories you are instead required to count Points or Syns. THIS IS CALORIE COUNTING – but less accurate and without ever having to teach you the science of weight loss. If slimming clubs can keep you in the dark you have to rely on them forever, “mwah ha ha” (that’s an evil laugh in case you didn’t realise). It would be like your driving instructor never showing you that the car has a brake. You can’t pass a test if you don’t realise that the car only stops because the instructor is using their own brake pedal.


OK, so a Points or Syn value is assigned to any food which has a high calorie content (high fat and high sugar foods). And you can only eat a certain number of Points per day. There’s no magic in telling people to eat less calorie dense food. But there is some kind of dark sorcery if you imply that a pint of lager (11 Syns) is healthier than an avocado (14 Syns). Or that eating a chemical shit storm of reduced-fat and no-sugar ready meals is a better choice than the whole food alternative.


As well as your assigned Points for the day you can also eat as much Free Food as you like. This is food which contains zero calories. Wait… What? There is food that has no calories so you don’t have to track it? Of course there fucking isn’t! I love that slimming clubs encourage folks to eat loads of fruit and veg by putting them on the free food list. But if a person has a problem with overeating the last thing I would tell them is that they can eat as much pasta as they want. I hate to tell you Slimming World, but my meal of scrambled eggs and bacon isn’t zero calories. It has about 250. And too much of that eggy goodness is going to make me fat!


So the plan… yeah, good idea (eat less shit food, and more fruit and veg), bad execution!


THE LEADERS: If I’m looking for a new bespoke table I’d go and see a carpenter. For financial advice, maybe a bank. For nutrition advice, it would be a dietitian or fitness professional. I would not go to see Karen who holds her meetings in the church hall to solve any of these problems.


Both Weight Watchers and Slimming World are very cagey in their promotional material about exactly what training their meeting leaders get. And I probably would be too. For a company who specialise is providing dietary advice, they say very little about what nutrition training their leaders receive. They are, however, more than happy to tell us about the intense training given so that leaders can promote the sponsored products and conduct their meetings.


Unfortunately, not being an expert in what they do doesn’t really work out too well when people are having problems sticking to the plan, or worse still, when they plateau and stop losing weight. This really shits up the leaders when they have to come with solutions for when the plan stops working. Best piece of advice… just stick to the plan, but harder! If the answer to problem isn’t in the leader’s manual then they pretty much just have anecdotal advice and Google to fall back on.


Bless Karen though, she isn’t making a lot of money from her £5 entrance fees, but have no fear, there is way that she can earn some extra cash. By selling some “awesome” diet products. OK, I’m sorry but what kind of healthy eating company promotes good nutrition by selling ready made microwave meals and snack bars? Oh yeah, the ones who don’t mind selling their corporate souls to make a quick buck.


THE PSYCHOLOGY: This leads us to our final “what the… how the… are you even serious…” sub title. But the one that I reckon is the most important. See, we all know what we should be doing to get healthy or skinnier or stronger. It’s putting it into practise that’s the tough bit. Most of us overeat either because our mindset isn’t right, or we have simply learned to ignore our hunger and fullness cues. Every weight loss professional’s job should be to help their clients work out why they can’t maintain a healthy energy balance. Sort out the psychology and the rest is easy.


Do diet clubs step up to this plate? Fuck no! I’d even go so far as to say that they actively encourage an unhealthy attitude towards food. Calling food good and bad is just plain wrong. Food does not have Syns. An avocado doesn’t go to confession every Sunday to ask for forgiveness for containing so much healthy fat. All food is on a scale of how many useful nutrients it provides. A pint is not bad, it is just less nutritious than a chicken breast is.


Telling people that they can eat more Points by exercising is ridiculous. Stop telling people that they have “earned” food by moving more. Exercise can help to create a calorie deficit. It does not give you a pass to treat yourself. If you want a doughnut just fucking eat one, you don’t need to earn it.


And perhaps worst of all is the unhealthy obsessing over your weight. Your gravitational pull does not define your success. Gaining weight but having a breakthrough into why you self-sabotage is success. Maintaining weight but having a week where you have enough energy to play with your kids is success. The feeling of shame when you stand on the scales is a huge failure that can set you up to feel shit. Weighing yourself once a week will not tell you how much fat you have lost. You may have put on some muscle mass, you may be carrying more water then the week before, you may even just be at a different stage of your menstrual cycle. But does Karen tell you this? Like fuck she does. She tells you to diet harder next week.


So please, for the love of [insert chosen deity here] stop giving your money to a company that demonstrates year after year that they are hiding the key facts that will help you achieve your goals. They prey on your biggest insecurities and set you up to fail so that they can make more money.


Instead, try finding a person who will teach you everything you need to know about energy balance, setting yourself up for psychological success, and what to do to keep yourself active and healthy. Maybe someone like me! I promise to teach you enough that you never need to hire me again. Follow me on Facebook for some awesome advice, with not a Karen in sight.



Stay weird, people.


Dominique,

(The Anti-Fitness Trainer)

The £60 Billion Con

When I tell people that I am a Personal Trainer, I can almost guarantee the next sentence I will hear…


“Oh, I’ve put on so much weight, I need to get back to the gym/start running/go back to Slimming World.”


And my response is always “do you, though?”  What has given them the idea that they need to lose body fat, and even if they think they should then why do they need to go to a gym or slimming club?  In this blog I’ll let you know why they think that and (spoiler alert) why I think the global fitness industry is a £60 billion con.


So, settle yourselves in, grab a beverage, and enjoy a little story about the beginnings of “fitness” …


Our tale begins in Ancient Greece, which is when the first real gyms were created.  But oddly enough they weren’t created so the Spartans could look hot in their battle-armour selfies.  Gyms were designed to train armies for war, and as athletic development centres – the Greeks loved an Olympic Games!


This theme of creating fit (exercise-fit, not phwoar-fit) soldiers in a gym environment continued for a few thousand years across shed-loads of different countries and cultures, from the Romans to the Nazis.  


Our next chapter in the story takes place in the Victorian era.  The industrial revolution was in full swing which created lazier posh people with less labour-intensive (i.e. they didn’t have to harvest their own) food available to them.  So, in an environment where people weren’t feeling quite as perky as they used to some genius came up with first commercial gym.  


But don’t be thinking it resembled a Victorian “Golds Gym”.  Instead imagine ladies walking around in corsets, not wanting to get a sweat on (although replace corsets for leggings and that actually does describe some modern-day gyms I’ve used).  The gym’s aim was to keep upper class people active and social.  Weight loss wasn’t a consideration.  In fact, up until the 1930’s the popular medical advice for obesity was bed rest. 


Gyms as we know them didn’t start until the 1970’s.  And they were a roaring commercial success.  Their rapid rise was down to two important happenings…  


Firstly, in 1950’s a famous nutritionist – Jean Mayer – experimented on rats, babies and schoolgirls (an eclectic collection of subjects, but whatever) and concluded that less active people were more likely to be overweight.  There was (and still is) a definite correlation between technology which allows us to move less, more calorie-dense processed food being available, and the increase in obesity.  And so, Mayer’s conclusions still stand as reasonable today.  His findings were taken up by leading governments of the time and lead to the creation of an industry which provided places to be more active… AKA exercise. 


The new gyms’ rise in popularity as the go-to method of weight loss was helped by another exciting new industry – commercial marketing.  The 1950’s brought about an explosion of advertising.  Which meant that by the 1970’s we had a perfect combination of overweight people, plus a way to tell the masses how to solve their weight problems. 


“Ooh look, you’re fat, but here’s a place where you can pay to get skinny”.  Yep.  The mother-fucking gym! 


The moral of the story is that we took some fairly decent science – you’ll probably end up fat if you spend your life on the sofa, eating too much shit food – and allowed Jane Fonda to tell us that your only option was donning your leg warmers and getting your ass to a class.  


Before gyms we didn’t really seem to have an issue keeping our weight in check.  It’s not like we were overrun with obese folks before fitness facilities were invented.  I hate to break it to you, but cavemen weren’t bench pressing sabre-toothed tigers to keep strong.  The Crusaders didn’t need to join an aerobics class make sure their 6-pack looked on point in their tabards.  So who decided that we needed a specific place of exercise to keep fit? … The fucking fitness industry did!  And they’ve been conditioning you to believe them for the last 50 years.  It’s no wonder that people I chat to reckon that this is their only option.  


But here’s the reality… the gym industry is growing year on year and is now worth £60 billion.  But has it solved the problem is was designed to fix?  Hell no!  If you listen to the stories we are being told, then you will have heard that the obeisty ‘epidemic’ is worse than ever.


Our physiology and biology haven’t changed during the last few thousand years.  The only thing that’s changed is our mentality and our technology.  We don’t need to spend our days foraging or hunting to keep active anymore.  


Our ancestors didn’t have FitBits to make sure they got 10,000 steps in.  They didn’t have to worry about going overboard on the Ben and Jerrys or weighing out the perfect amount of granola.  They didn’t need a multi-gym in their garage to get beautifully proportioned muscularity.  Turns out that carrying heavy shit and getting food did the job well enough.   


Now, I’m not saying become a Neanderthal if you believe that you need to lose a few pounds.  Your friends will probably stop visiting you if you shit in a hole and take them out hunting instead of meeting up in a fancy restaurant.  I’m simply begging you to stop complicating your health and fitness.  Stop being a sheep and believing the flat out lies that the fitness industry has done a fucking good job convincing you of.


There are ways to stay fit, active, healthy and bloody loving life without ever have to slog it out in a gym or listen to an annoyingly perky aerobics instructor.  


Don’t get me wrong, the gym is life to some people, and it helps their mental health.  But for most of us it just doesn’t work.  And if you don’t believe me, ask yourself how many times you have started a new diet and then crashed and burned?  How many times have you taken out a gym membership to be paying for sweet F.A. after one month?  If the gyms, diets, or classes were your thing then you’d never quit and you’d have the life of your dreams right now.  But do you?


So do you want to try a different way?  Join the revolution on Facebook or sign up to my blog to receive actionable and truthful steps to help change your views on what it takes to stay fit and healthy.



Stay weird, people!


Dominique

(The Anti-Fitness Trainer)   

Fuck The Fitness Industry

My official job title is Personal Trainer.  So, it may be a surprise to know that I fucking hate the fitness industry.

 

Allow me to explain…

 

My foray into the healthand fitness industry started when I was 18 – half my life ago – and back then, I didn’t know any better than to accept what was being taught to us new PT’s and regurgitate it to my clients.  All fine and good.  That’s how most trainers operate.  You get your qualifications in a weekend and then get let loose onto the general public.

 

Now I count myself as a fairly intelligent human, which makes me wonder why even at 18, I didn’t question all the weird shit that I saw happening in gyms.  The PT’s who would write the exact same programme for all of their clients – whatever their goals were, the trainers who would discuss which of their clients they would fuck, whilst they munched on their macro-perfect lunch of rice and chicken, and laughed at the sheer number of memberships that were barely or never used (all gyms operate knowing that 25% of their clients won’t use their memberships and 50% will only come in to train 2-3 times per month).

 

Ah well, that’s just the way the industry is right?

 

So, I did my time working in other people’s gyms, and the obvious next step was to open my own.  I owned SHOKK Gym for 6 years and this is where my aha moment came.  My what the fuck am I doing and what the bloody hell is wrong with people? moment!

 

You see I’d like to think that I was a good gym owner and a very good personal trainer.  But I couldn’t help feeling like a hypocrite.  I absolutely knew that the best way to lose body fat was not by joining a gym.  So you can see where my problem was.  My parents brought me up to have morals.  How dare they ruin my gym business!

 

Yes, I wrote killer programmes, and I definitely gave solid nutrition advice.  But I was still telling people to join a gym, and that advice, for most people, is just flat out wrong.

 

Needless to say, I shut down the business.

 

But in closing the gym doors I found myself even more passionate about educating people properly about their health which is why now, today (drumroll please), I would like to welcome you to The Anti Fitness Project hosted by me, your very own Anti Fitness Trainer.

Don’t get me wrong, we all need to be fit and healthy so that we don’t die quite so soon.  But the entire fitness industry can absolutely go and fuck itself with a barbell.  Why?  Because it has spent the last 50 years lying to you and conditioning you to fail.  After all repeat customers make for an amazing business model.  And think of how many repeat customers they can get if their clients not only fail but blame themselves for failing.  Kerching!

 

We’re not stupid.  We all know that to burn fat we need to eat less and move more.  But the least effective way to burn extra calories is to put yourself through a punishing fitness routine 3-5 days a week in a place surrounding by weird legging-clad people who you despise yet can’t help comparing yourself to.  And the worst way to consume fewer calories is to swap out your normal diet for pondwater looking protein shakes and snot looking quinoa salad.

 

But what are we are sold?  An exercise programme and meal plan promoted by the hot but “I want to punch you in the vagina” Instagram model wearing shiny Lululemon and looking smug about her abs (I hope someone reminds her to breathe out after they’ve taken the photo).  Screw you, lady, and pass me another Jack and Coke.

 

So join me for the start of a beautiful revolution.  Where we can cancel our gym memberships and sack off Weight Watchers (oh the shame of putting on ½ a pound because you happen to have not had a shit before your weekly weigh-in).

 

We will be the outliers, the renegades, the misfits, the alternatives.  But also the informed.  This is the start of you getting some practical and actionable stuff – which is backed by the newest science, and years of experience – to help you sort your shit out in a way that fits whatever kind of life you are living.

 

Care to join me on my mission to get you feeling fricking amazing whilst also taking on the fitness industry?

 

And while we’re at it, we’ll pitch in together to buy that Instagram model a doughnut so we can stop looking at that pained “feed me” expression in her eyes.

 


Stay weird, people!

Dominique

(The Anti Fitness Trainer)


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