Tag Archives: weight

Mel Collie |Lies in the Fitness Industry

Mel Collie |Lies in the Fitness Industry

Theres so many lies in the fitness industry, so many, I don’t know where to begin, I’m also worried that once I start ranting about them, I won’t stop and might just bore you to tears…so I will limit this post to just 3 of the main ones that really get to me:

  1. Adverts – if you believe the hype you need to wake up . Theres a company currently selling a thick double belt that you wrap around your waist to hold in your fat and make you appear slimmer. FFS. The tightness of this belt will compress and disturb your breathing patterns, and you will use your neck muscles to breathe, creating pain and dysfunction in your neck and lower back..expect that to happen if you buy it. Expect, also, to lower your self esteem even further by thinking that you will be a better person by being slimmer. Accept yourself as you are. Then change anything you want to by moving your body, its designed for that, rather than paying just under £20 for a belt that wont help you out at all…however, if you find movement difficult because of your size, start with changing your brainiest, your thoughts. This post hasn’t got the scope to discuss that in depth, but it doesn’t have to be complex, it does though involve a lot of realisation and acceptance, which can be really tough to do, if you choose to see it that way, many of us choose the path of least resistance , making excuses, blaming others, finding comfort in eating, realising that theres no one else to blame expect ourselves is a tough and bitter pill to swallow. Byron Katies work on managing your thoughts and beliefs and having realisations that will rock your world are available for free on her website and many videos on You Tube plus her books are very helpful – Loving What Is could just change your life. Once you realise something though, accepting it and releasing it can be the hard lessons.There could be tears shed along the way, but remember, to climb the mountain and get to the summit, you have to earn it, train, research, accept truths that flip flops and shorts aren’t the things to wear and you have to invest in some real equipment, ask those who have already been there and done it, ask for help, take the bits that work, discard the rest…every journey to the summit starts with one step, and each step takes your further to your goal, those steps are the most important, don’t lose sight of them.
  2. Movement & Muscles. Its a shame that the industry touts pink small weights and shake weights (really…?)  for women. Lift weights, you don’t have enough testosterone to bulk up. Muscle burns fat, movement creates a better functioning skeletal frame and more stamina. This works its way into your life. Everyday tasks become easier, Walking becomes easier. Breathing becomes better. However – if you are a person with a desk bound job as many of us are, me included, I do a lot of writing, photo editing and research on my laptop, you are deluded (Im being polite) if you think you can just get up and move and function well. It doesn’t happen. If you’ve ben stretching tight hamstrings for months, why aren’t they stretched by now? If you’ve been stretching tight hip flexors for ever, why are they not stretched by now? If your lower back twinges when you stand up, why is that? If your feet roll inwards and your knees hurt, what can you do about it, do you really need orthotics, is there anything else you can do to work your foot muscles? What happens to your glutes when you sit, do they stretch, why is that, and why don’t they work when you stand up, what does their job instead? Is a herniated disc a cause…or a symptom? Is plantar fascia a cause…or a symptom? Why is having a tight toned ab section more important than having a functioning body that moves well so you can keep moving well with no pain well into your old age? Because tight toned abs sell dvds and make money. However..a tight toned muscular area doesn’t mean those muscles are working well. Form doesn’t equate to function . Being sold a toned ab fitness class doesn’t mean those abs doing their job. I’ve seen tight over worked neck muscles for dysfunctional core muscles. I’ve seen tight necks for poor foot mechanics. I’ve seen a class full of men and women doing sit ups so fast they are all using their necks to complete the move. This really gets me. Form is key. In every single rep you do. Unless you have a great reason as to why the 3rd, 4th or last rep isn’t as important as the first.The hardest thing is keeping awareness throughout each repetition.
  3. I cant think of a third…theres no many more..but, well, when I trained to be a  Pilates instructor, I was so fortunate to have a wonderful tutor, Joanne Cobbe of J Pilates. I had a few wobbles on the course, I was unsure of my path and unsure if Pilates was the be all and end all, her advice was that this was ok, its normal to doubt, but to examine why and if I believed Pilates wasn’t for me, then to seek what was. Now, 7 years later, I still teach Pilates. However. It isn’t the be all and end all. It is for some, but so is Yoga, running, climbing, swimming, rowing, weight lifting, canoeing, hang gliding  etc etc Finding what works for your body is key. If you do what you loathe you will end up cancelling sessions, turning up late, feeling demotivated and end up blaming yourself. Bootcamps are all the rage, I was fortunate to go to some workshops run by Paul Mort, I learned a ton of truths from him, and still do from his emails and Ive been a member in his monthly marketing group. he too bemoans the lies in the industry. I ran a bootcamp on a beach. Then i started to realise that getting up early to train wasn’t the right thing for some people whose sleep was being affected by hormonal imbalances. Theres calories in stress and sleep…but these wont sell dvd’s..should you get your sleep and stress sorted out first before signing up for a Bootcamp course. Sure you should. Will you? probably not, but if you go to a great bootcamp instructor who knows about hormone balance, nutrition and cycles of the body, you will learn  that success comes from working from within. This may mean changing some things about your routine – black out blinds in the bedroom, no mobiles/laptop use an hour before bed, no caffeine after mid day(if that works for you, you may have to change that to 9am) reading a book before bed to help calm the mind, keeping em and paper by the side of the bed to write down thoughts when you wake up during the night, eating more fat and protein closer to bedtime if you regularly wake at 4am because blood sugar releases stress hormones, meditating, breathing exercises, going for daily 20 minute walks to de stress and calm the nervous system, practicing 5 slow deep breaths before eating to help improve digestion and calm the nervous system…..stuff like this can be taught at bootcamps, so if you are attending one that just shouts at you to do more sit ups and eat less food, move on…if its not something that you love or thats lasting, or that fits into your routine, you wont stick at it.

Rant over…

Conclusion – don’t believe the hype, stop doing stuff that doesn’t serve you on Facebook ( a great procrastinator!)  listen to people who have been there and done that..got the scars and can help you move on, don’t follow the sheep – find what works for you, your metabolism is unique, what works for your mate (or what worked for you last year…) wont necessarily work for you, spend time on you, be kind, loving , laugh, play, have fun, enjoy life, but most of all, realise your body is a instrument, learn its tune, how to play it, be in harmony with it rather than against it, stop grabbing your spare tyre and hating it, this reinforces negative self talk, but massage it, learn to accept that its just the result of loving what you have eaten, once you accept yourself, change becomes easier, you work with it rather than against it.

Life is worth living. Go live it. With no excuses.


Mel Collie | Fat Kids, Thin Kids

Mel Collie | Fat Kids, Thin Kids

In a very popular newspaper this week theres been articles about fat kids, thin kids, schools that tell kids off for being fat, stories about how that makes their parents feel..and each article is so scant with detail that it doesn’t really tell you anything.

Don’t know about you but that leave me feeling like I’ve just had some of my brain cells stolen for nothing in return. I feel frustrated that the paper leaves the reader…thats me..a feeling of blaming the system, that the system is failing the kids and that the fat kids are to blame.

Are they saying the kids should be weighed more? How much more?What do they do with those figures? What words do they choose to say to the kids that are being weighed. Do the kids truly understand why they are being weighed?

Do they understand the consequences of being over or under weight? Do they understand what food is? Do they get what energy is?

Do they know what carbs, protein and fibre are? Do you?

Do they understand that metabolism changes all the time? Do you?

Do they like moving, playing, running, skipping, jumping, climbing, swimming, games? Do you?

Are they made to do sports in the rain that they hate? (I loved tennis, hated netball…I was very lucky to have the opportunity to play tennis in secondary school, but hated netball when I was in first school…top tp – you cant play tennis in the rain, but you can play netball, Im a fair weather sports girl..Pilates was around but not as much when I was growing up. It only came to the UK in the 1970’s, and Yoga was just for hippies back then, but so was peanut butter and health food shops. )

How is their self esteem?How is yours?

How often do you weigh yourself?

Daily? Weekly? Monthly?

How do those numbers leave YOU feeling?

Like they STOLE a piece of your happiness?

Transfer that feeling to the kids now…

A feeling of failure, not being good enough, hating themselves.

Some of those kids, with the right support and mindset, will use that as fuel to better themselves.

Many of those kids will use the information to go further into themselves, ironically turn to comfort eating, keep walking around in circles, chasing their tales. Crying out for help from the inside.

These stories are becoming more common, and they make me sad to see them

We label everything.

We tell our kids that they are fat or thin.

We do that

They learn from us

We are their example

We feed them

We buy the food, we cook the food, we serve it up on the table….or on laps in front of the Telly box, or as they look at their mobiles/ipads/whatever distracts them.

We buy what we see, and how these things make us feel.

Adverts influence us, theres usually an emotion attached – does the music in an advert create a feeling in you?

If we are feeling like we need comfort from the world we live in, we turn to food that isn’t nourishing us. We eat cake (I do, I love a slice of Lemon Drizzle !)

We comfort eat

We emotionally eat to fill a void.

Could be that you are in a job thats getting you down.

Maybe your relationship isn’t as fulfilling as you would like.

Maybe your financial situation isn’t as rosy as you hoped.

Maybe you don’t believe in yourself. Maybe you don’t like yourself very much.

What helps short term?


What helps long term?


Adults are starting to “get”mindset, understand it more.

Now, when I was a kid, I hated veg. I NEVER ate any veg on my plate.

Mum would buy a chicken pie for dinner and I would pick out the peas and carrots, leave them on the side. This isn’t unusual!

Sunday lunch was left to go cold, I didn’t like roast dinners.

Now, though, I adore food, roast potatoes…lush..green veg..gorgeous..

Theres more choice than than when I was a kid.

However, what changed for me was my health

When I went through an early menopause I was put on hormone replacement therapy, which left me feeling very depressed and tearful

I came off it after 4 weeks  and bought a book on natural hormone therapy which leads to change my diet.

I stopped eating white bread and pasta

I started eating green veggies like kale/cauliflower/cabbage/brocolli , lean meat like chicken, turkey, a little red meat like mince(cottage pie!), sweet potatoes, rice, fruit, avocados (make great cakes!)

I became excited about food, I ate a lot more food.

I felt better by changing my diet, I wanted to have more energy. I love afternoon naps but not when I have to work and feel sluggish, relying on coffee to perk me up then having trouble sleeping at night because of the caffeine.

I was going around in circles!

Educating myself changed everything.

Taking responsibility for my health changed everything.

Kids don’t know how to do this unless we guide them, help them, educate them, and if schools are cutting down on classes like cooking then they are going to be lost.

Have we lost the passion to cook at home, are we really too busy?

Can an hour at the weekend be set aside to prepare food for the week ahead so we don’t stress about whats for dinner after we get home from work.

Freezing dishes like shepherds pie, soups, mince for spaghetti bolognese/lasagna, curries.

Trying fruit and veg smoothies as a way of consuming more nutrients.

However, the biggest takeaway (ha! excuse the pun!) from all, this is to have more, much much more:







When you take responsibility for yourself, like yourself more and accept who you are with all your amazing uniqueness, it opens a whole world of possibilities.

Food choices  then become secondary, because you are out there having way too much fun to even bother thinking about calories, fat, sugar etc. Put down the information overload , put Google away and get outside.

Love Life

Love Yourself








Mel Collie | Dont Let The Scales Steal Your Smiles

 Mel Collie | Dont Let The Scales Steal Your Smiles

Uh Oh…no doubt you’ve seen the adverts to use protein powder or increase exercise to get flat abs for the summer..

And maybe thats what you are thinking too…must be skinny for that summer beach body..I’ve been there and done that, I have taught Bootcamp classes and been in a few tone up your abs in 21 days (or less) . I could even tell you I learned my Bootcamp skills from the Bootcamp King himself Paul Mort (google that name, he is now a marketing genius with inspiring daily emails) and Jade Teta of Metabolic Effect.(creator of the brilliant rest based training ) and the awesome Dax Moy for his Elimination Diet coaching (understanding the endocrine system – basically, your liver is the organ that helps you lose fat)

And yes, Bootcamps work, and yes I love some of the sessions, and the results, and having been through them, researched how the brain and body connect, the ONE most important element in all of my lessons learned was…(actualy theres 2…but heres the first one..)

Don’t go by the scales, but go by how you feel….love yourself as you are right now, regardless of your size.

This one can go on forever, because it encompasses your emotions, how you feel about yourself, your reflection, how you feel in your clothes, how vulnerable you feel without putting on your best outfit or your make up, how you feel before opening the kitchen cupboard and looking to see if you can find foods to make you fill that hole that drove you to open it in the first place, how you feel when you are exercising (is it punishing or rewarding?)
How you feel when you weigh yourself..

During one Bootcamp session, we weighed before class, one girl had put on 2 llbs in a week, she burst into tears, because she had been “good” all week…denying herself chocolate, working out every day, sometimes twice a day…and she looked great, but was tired, so what happened?

Well, her happiness was set on the number on the scales.

Muscle builds, fat goes (muscle tissue is great at eating up fat) but the weight can stay the same or increase. What changes is your clothes size , use that as a guide.

If you train too much it can be counterproductive, sleep can be an issue, stress can increase stress hormonal release which increases belly fat – or makes it very stubborn to lose no matter how much you train.

These are crucial to your success. Mindset is everything.
Find something that works for you, that you enjoy, don’t over do it, recovery is key, love yourself as you are from the inside (that can be a hard one that requires daily reminders for some of us, including me) be kind to yourself, chocolate isnt the “baddie” – have a hot chocolate (as organic as possible with no added sugar) every day (made with water or almond milk is a bonus), this helps reduce cravings, boosts magnesium, helps the body “balance”.

Don’t watch the scales, have fun instead, you find that you might just enjoy life and not be obsessed by a number.
Oh, and the second lesson was…choose your health as the reason to change your nutrition, training and lifestyle.

It seems that reason to choose good food and movement lasts a lifetime.

Mel Collie