One of the things that make me sad and disappointed working in the health and fitness industry is magazine covers like this one which feeds on the low self-esteem of many people and creates an even bigger problem for those who get sucked in to these attention-grabbing headlines and it also makes my job even harder.
Firstly, I think it’s a bit insulting to women (men’s magazines are just the same) that they should be viewed on their looks rather than their personalities, brains and compassion. Do women need sneaky tips on how to be happy?
I find headlines like “one simple move to get insane abs” and “Fat Burners”, “Butt Toners” and “Skin Savers” wrong as they lead towards quick fixes unless the actual article features a picture of some green veg, a glass of water and an exercise showing you how to shake your head when someone offers you alcohol/chocolate/processed foods. Not to mention the slightly airbrushed photo of Britney Spears. Interestingly, she does have a trainer and talks about the many different exercises she does in her workouts so the headline about getting her body without a trainer and the one simple move for insane abs is false.
Unfortunately sex, a flat stomach and losing 10 lbs in one week sells and the people who read and believe these articles often end up going on crash diets and taking diet pills and shakes to look more desirable, and like the model on the cover, rather than creating a better version of themselves from the inside out. This can often lead to a spiral and, as most people know, those who go on crash diets often tend to put all the weight back on again within 6 months, if not more.
In my job as a personal trainer, I meet a lot of people who have gone through that cycle of having lost weight and put it back on again and I find it harder to try to change their beliefs that weight loss happens that quickly. It doesn’t, those who do usually tend to lose more water and muscle rather than fat in such a short space of time.
Why don’t we see more magazines featuring articles on people like Victoria Pendleton, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Jo Pavey on how hard they worked to reach the top or other people who are at the top of their fields? What about the regular athletes (yes, I do mean athletes), who take part in marathons or adventure races etc? These people are very inspiring but without the crazy headlines. Maybe it’s because they don’t appeal to what the advertisers are trying to sell?