Everyone’s an expert……right?

By October 11, 2016Uncategorized

Wrong! I’ve been a Personal Trainer for just short of 8 years now and I spent my first couple of years being surprised/frustrated by various things, whether it be things happening within the health and fitness industry, through to people’s opinions and/or approaches, believing they’re some sort of expert. I did reach a stage where I thought ‘I’m not surprised by things anymore’. Well, it’s safe to say after nearly 8 years I’m still very much surprised and still frustrated at some things I hear or read.

I want to touch on one thing that frustrates me, not massively but enough for me to write this. The overnight expert. People dishing out advice or opinion that has a potentially negative impact on the person it’s given too, quite often because it’s clearly wrong or misplaced and can do more harm than good. A couple of things to think about: Is your advice or opinion asked for? And: Are you the right person to give it?

I hear all the time people having general conversations about health and weight loss. Which is great in most scenarios, people are actively talking about making better choices to improve their health. What gets frustrating is when people butt in to conversations or feel the need to give their opinion, sometimes on the back of that person doing a few days/weeks of a couple of diets. All of a sudden those people become nutrition gurus overnight. Don’t get me wrong I love that people try to help each other and give tips and ideas on the back of their own experiences and I’m all for it, but it doesn’t mean you’re well placed to advise. I struggle with people pushing opinions/advice based on very little knowledge or limited experience, with a likely outcome that people end up confused, disheartened or demotivated. Here’s a fine example.

So I was listening to someone recently talking about their improved food choices to be healthier and lose some weight. The choice in discussion were the raspberries she was sat eating, instead of the usual go to of cake and biscuits. Great choice right? Correct! Another person then throws their opinion out there along the lines of ‘you’re just eating sugar eating fruit’.

Now, this person has a point to a certain extent but this is a very vague and misplaced statement to make and here’s why. Firstly, I’m sure everyone would agree that raspberries instead of cake is a no brainer. Secondly, the person slating the raspberry choice has clearly taken a small nugget of a larger piece of information and landed it in someone’s mind, thus making it misleading as well as misplaced and wrong. Just to be clear raspberries are relatively low in sugar (compared to other fruits) and packed full of hugely beneficial vitamins and minerals. So if you fancy some raspberries knock yourself out.

I know for a fact that this conversation left the person eating raspberries somewhat dejected and unsure. Until I cleared the matter up with her. You can see my issue right? I’m sure the person’s opinion was shared with a view to helping someone but in reality did the complete opposite.

It can take a great deal of effort and hard work to make changes to engrained habits and routines of eating certain foods. Let that be your main focus and find what works for you as an individual. It’s great to share ideas and recipes etc. and I’m totally for that but the issue occurs when people are so forceful or vague, or both with their misinformed opinion or piece of advice that it negatively affects another person trying to reach their goals and aspirations.

Eat Well! Move Well! Live Well!

James