Beckham might be feeling slighted for being skipped over in the New Year’s Honours list but in my own personal list it’s all about health and fitness.
So bypassing the normal rules for who gets a gong here’s my top five rundown of who deserves more than just a pat on the back for inspiring others to change their life for the better.
1. Kathleen Desmaisons. Never heard of her? Well, she’s an American who sold her house to fund a Phd study of how certain foods, namely sugar, can be addictive and what effects this can cause certain people including depression and low self esteem to name just two. Her book Potatoes not Prozac and her support groups have helped thousands of people all over the world turn their lives around from one of addiction to one of radiance. It was reading her book in 2011 that finally got me off the sugar roller coaster which puts her at the top of my list.
2. James Duigan – an Australian. Founder of the Clean and Lean approach to eating ie eating everything in its most natural state and so avoiding processed foods. He’s also a fitness trainer and founder of the Bodyism gym and so his books are a mixture of healthy recipes and simple exercises. What I like about him is that it is all common sense and he embodies the lifestyle that he recommends.
3. Julia Buckley. We’re back in the UK now and Julia is a Staffordshire lass like myself. She’s also the author of the soon to be released Fat Burn Revolution programme. A 12 week fitness plan with healthy eating guidelines which as many of you know I have just completed. It’s an intense programme with daily workouts of between 20 and 60 minutes and it is brilliant. I went from a size 12 to a 10 and feel stronger and more energised than I have in a long time. More importantly I finally feel like I’ve got back to being the healthy person who enjoys exercise that I was before I had children.
4. Michael Mosley – he gets my vote for his documentaries into fasting and exercise which have gone on to be published as The Fast Diet and Fast Exercise. I don’t follow the Fast Diet (also known as 5:2) but I know plenty of people who do who have had very good results with it. I am fascinated by the science behind it and the health benefits that it seems to bring so I’m keeping my eye on it. What interests me the most though is the more recent Fast Exercise book that he wrote with journalist Peta Bee. It’s all about short bouts of high intensity exercise – a few minutes of hard work a week could make a big difference to a lot of people. I recommend this book to absolutely everyone. If you want to make only one change to your life then this is the one.
5. Jamie Oliver. I know he’s not a typical health and fitness kind of person but he is all about food and cooking from scratch and if more people did that then there would be less health and weight problems in this country than there are now. He’s done a lot to improve food in schools and his books, particularly an earlier book, Ministry of Food, have encouraged people who haven’t been confident to cook before to give it a try. All he needs to do now is set up a national cookery programme to be added to the school curriculum so that the next generation are equipped to cook healthy food for themselves and I’ll be happy. Go on Jamie, you can do it.
Whatever your health and fitness wishes are for the new year maybe one of the above will help or inspire you and I hope you have a healthy and happy 2014.