In 1960 the U.S Navy developed the ‘K.I.S.S’ principle relative to procedure protocols, manuals and teaching etc.
‘Keep it Simple, Stupid’, ‘Keep it Simple and Straightforward’ or ‘ Keep it Short and Simple (like me)’ is a theory I believe we should engage when it comes to health and fitness. The industry is bursting at the gluten-free, sugar-void seams with calorie counting, macro measuring and ‘six pack in six minutes’ exercise programmes. So much so, that our perception of what is achievable, realistic and enjoyable is just becoming blurred. Don’t we have enough in our lives without having to weigh 65.5 grams of quinoa while the kale is facing North and recording the 2435 and a half steps it took to get to the nearest paleo cafe? I , for one, need to KISS a WHOLE lot more!
Let’s keep it real. Real food, without a use by date, nice and colourful and fresh, is an easy achievable start to good nutrition. If you prefer iceberg lettuce or baby spinach over kale then live on the edge- buy the iceberg! What’s more, it will probably be on special because it’s trendier to buy kale! Truth be told, any green vegetable is good for you. If you’re heading home to blitz all the green things into a smoothie AND you ENJOY it, go for it. But if you still enjoy munching with molars, no one will put you away for it. When I say real food, I mean food that looks like food. No need for shakes, powders, replacements and pills. For one, these are generally unsustainable. Two, it’s much more fun to eat and three, the multi-trillion dollar protein powder and supplement industry markets so well that it has you believing these products work. If your diet is balanced, and your body functions like it should, you will already be getting all the good stuff you need. Again, eating normally is fun.
Keep refined foods and artificially flavoured foods down as much as you can. Generally these foods (and drinks) fall into the ‘treat category’ anyway. We all live and work for reward so don’t try and deny yourself a little chocolate if you’ve been training hard. If you struggle with self control and stopping (who only ever has ONE Tim Tam-really!?) then don’t stock the naughties in the house. Make a journey to buy the treat, enjoy it, and move on. For me, chocolate is my weakness. BIG TIME. So, my weekly Sunday night ritual is to go out and buy a chocolate and an almond magnum ice cream. I enjoy them. No. I LOVE THEM WITH A PASSION. It is something I look forward to and it is a treat I make sure I deserve once a week. After it’s done, I’m back on the horse.• Wellbeing, mindset. Don’t be too hard on yourself, don’t try and be that person in the mag, work with what u have, don’t believe what u read or hear all the time, no bro science, give yourself leeway and treats, accept good and bad days, be selfish now and then, have a good laugh.When eating your real foods, get back to real portions. Over the past few decades our portion sizes have McSupersized beyond belief. Call it a sign of affluence or call it a sign of availability but it’s just out of control. Whether you’re served half a cow with chips at the pub or your morning muffin is the size of a tennis ball, portion sizes are obese! Our family of six often dines out and orders TWO main meals to share! Cheeky I know but I’d rather that than waste perfectly good food or leave with a good 500 extra calories in my overinflated stomach. What are adequate portion sizes? Current Australian Dietary guidelines recommend a protein portion to be comparable to a piece of meat the size of a matchbox (as opposed to half a cow parmie), a carbohydrate portion to be the size of your palm and a ‘ good’ fat portion to be the size of you thumb (that was ‘THUMB). So, a matchbox of meat, a fist of veggies and a dob of olive oil and you’re done! Make it colourful- to cover all the right vitamins and nutrients, enjoy the experience of eating and have regular balanced meals of real food. If you follow these KISS principles, the calories shouldn’t have to be counted (how boring!), the kale won’t get lonely and you still get to have a Tim Tam slam now and then.
So how do we KISS for fitness? I believe the key is CONSISTENCY. Slowly but surely (and safely) wins the race. I know it’s tempting to try programmes with titles like ” get a six pack in 6 days” and ” get a Victoria’s Secret body in two weeks” but to gain and maintain physical fitness, tone, muscle memory and heart health, you just need to be consistent. Just like having triplets, it’s all about routine, routine, routine….hardly as catchy a title but I assure you it’s true. My most successful clients are the ones who have put up with seeing me once or twice (or even thrice) weekly for months on end. They bounce back quickly after a cold and they don’t let the excuses win.
Along with consistency I’d like you to KISS with something you enjoy (wrong but funny…). If you don’t enjoy your exercise (or at the very least, how you feel AFTER), you won’t stay consistent! If you need to meet a friend or your very awesome PT, to keep you accountable then so be it. If you need to walk or run on the beach instead of a treadmill do it. If you need to run on a treadmill in front of a TV do it. If you prefer HIIT for 30 mins over a three hour hike it’s OK. If you love jumping on the trampoline with the children (without vomitting) instead of the rowing machine, enjoy that. If you need to KISS with gadgets (again wrong but funny…) do it. Fitbits, Apple Watch, Strava, headphones, pedometers, all welcome. If you don’t like gadgets that’s fine. JUST Enjoy!
KISS also allows for fitness possibilities for anyone and everyone with all sorts of ailments and conditions (otherwise used for excuses). Where there’s a consistent will, there’s a way to work with what you’ve got. Got a bad back? Sore neck? Dodgy pelvic floor? Broken toe? Vertigo? You WILL survive and I WILL work out a programme for you. It is a gift I know, but I’d hate for you to miss the fun.
KISS for wellbeing too. If you eat that second (or seventh) Tim Tam or don’t run the last 300m don’t be too hard on yourself. We are all well behaved most of the time. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t reach your goal (or throw up on the trampoline) on that particular day. Accept the mini setback and move on. You’re doing fine!
Don’t try and be that person on the magazine (the person on the magazine isn’t even the person on the magazine). Do your best with what you have, and accept the good, the bad and the downright ugly days. We all have them. Give yourself treats and praise. Don’t believe everything you see or read and leave the bro-science to the bros with their protein shakes. Be selfish now and then (yeah, says the mother of four, I know) and try and have a laugh.
I DO HOPE I’VE KEPT IT SIMPLE FOR YOU. LIFE IS COMPLICATED ENOUGH.
JUST KISS (wrong but funny…….)