Unless you have been living under a rock for the last week, you have no doubt heard about the celebrity we all love to hate, Katie Hopkins, and her controversial television show, My Fat Story. Just in case you haven’t, the general idea is that Katie Hopkins vowed to drastically increase her weight and then lose it again over a short period of time to prove how easy it actually is. Her thought being that this would then justify the many controversial comments she has made regarding overweight and obese members of the community on such shows as ITV’s This Morning.
Now as much as I may enjoy reviewing My Fat Story, we need to remember this is a health & fitness blog and it is that aspect on which I intend to focus. Believe me, boosting Mrs Hopkins’ public profile is not something I would take satisfaction in doing. That being said, beneath all the dramatic television arguments and purposefully controversial comments, it is an aspect of health and fitness that is being addressed here. Can anyone get into shape and maintain it if they put in the effort?
Well let’s take a look at what Katie has got right. Just like I have emphasised time and time again, she too doesn’t believe that fad diets with short time constraints are effective. And her belief is further reiterated by a phrase repeated many times, eat less, move more.
If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know that is an idea that, to a certain extent, I agree with too. Making keeping fit simple is brilliant, it means more people understand it and therefore will hopefully stick with it. The danger is though that it is too simple. Moving more is great, any increase in exercise should be encouraged. It’s the, eat less, comment that you need to be wary of here. Often people don’t need to eat less to get in shape – they just need to start eating different foods. It can be as simple as replacing processed foods for nutrient-rich alternatives – not necessarily cutting down what you eat.
Trying to get to the underlying message of what Katie Hopkins is trying to say means that we need to forget who she is for a minute. Don’t consider her reputation in the media when it comes to assessing the points she is trying to make. Firstly, we need to admire the determination, hard-work and commitment shown by anyone to make the change she did. It doesn’t matter who you are, gaining and losing around four stone in a short period of time is not easy.
But was this really a health experiment? Unfortunately, the truth is it probably lacks the scientific accuracy needed to be deemed conclusive. This was one woman with a very clear agenda. Not to mention a woman who is infamous for doing whatever it takes to get exactly what she wants. She has also been physically active, by her own admission, for most of her life. A lot of the people she is referring to in her demonstration can’t say the same thing.
Certain elements of what Katie Hopkins has said makes complete sense and should be applauded. Encouraging people to try and take 10,000 steps a day is a great thing. As is trying to get inactive people to exercise 3 times a week. Maybe her initial intention wasn’t to attract attention from the health & fitness community but it has happened nonetheless.
Her plan won’t work for everyone, that’s for sure. And she won’t be the face we associate with a healthy lifestyle for years to come. But when we put all that to one side and forget the public opinion of Katie Hopkins for just one second, we can just about see a few grains of valuable fitness knowledge.