Kate Staples: The Boot Camp - Be yourself
A former athlete and Gladiator and now all-round fitness guru, Esher resident Kate Staples shares her top tips with us for getting into shape
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine March 2009A former athlete and Gladiator and now all-round fitness guru, Esher resident Kate Staples shares her top tips with us for getting into shape
Hello and welcome to my new monthly column, in which I hope to share with you my philosophy about fitness. First of all, though, a quick introduction... I have been involved in fitness all my life but only started competing for Britain, in the pole vault, when I was in my twenties. I also played Zodiac on the original Gladiators for six years, before I broke my neck on the show in 1997. Since that time, following years of rehab, I have rebuilt my career, and in 2005 I opened my first Adventure Boot Camp with Daley Thompson. Fast forward to now, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to pass on some of the knowledge I have gained over the years to you, and will hopefully help to inspire you to lead a more active, healthy life. As easy as ABC As well as getting immense personal enjoyment from working with our ABC groups, I always find something comes out of the session to give me pause for thought. Take this morning, when I grandly announced to the group on their first day of camp: "ABC is an NDZ (no diet zone). As of this instant, I want you all to stop dieting!" Silence. They all think I'm kidding. Obviously, with New Year's resolutions still relatively fresh in the brain, these new campers believe that the 'Celestial Fitness God' mandates a strict diet. I tell them that I'm absolutely serious and that we're going to create a plan to address lifestyle instead - and then make individual tweaks for sustainable, healthy change. At no point will we focus on what they are eating, just for some quick fix, doomed not to last. For a minute, they are genuinely taken aback: 'No diet? How are we going to drop the dress size if we don't make the ritual sacrifice to the fad diet god?' The fact it, we put so much pressure on ourselves to fit entirely unrealistic moulds. Super career women, super-mums, super-lovers; you name it. We are bombarded by front covers of stunning women who are either air brushed or don't eat. Take my word for it - that's not real life. Why not embrace your own mould and simply empower yourself to be the best that you can be and not the best that somebody else may, or may not, be? Start by making a decision never to diet again. Instead, eat four or five smaller meals a day. Eat when you are hungry and take the time to sit down and really enjoy it. There are two more simple things, which I guarantee will give you more energy, better health and help regain the radiance of your twenties - cut out sugar and get outside. Simply being outdoors brings so many benefits, even if you only walk 30 minutes a day. And sugar? It's the devil's food, period! To try to rush nature into a complete overhaul and see amazing long-term results in one trite diet plan is plainly impossible. Instead, let's tackle a few goals each time... oh, and let's enjoy the journey. Until next month - to your good health!