Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

I originally wrote some of these thoughts as a FB post months ago. They’re important! They’re relevant! Please indulge me for a few minutes and let me restate what needs to be said.

I love health and fitness. I don’t think anybody’s surprised by that statement. What you might not know though, is that I think there are levels of health.

Competition is a step beyond fitness; fitness is a step beyond healthy; healthy is a step – a huge one – beyond where many people are today and that’s sad.

I want to start with the two extremes.

First, while it’s not popular to say this out loud today, many people have allowed themselves to become (or to remain) unhealthy and unconditioned. Considering obesity rates have more than doubled in both adults and children since the 1970s (National Center for Health Statistics, 2009), and that more than two-thirds of US adults are overweight or obese (Ogden, 2014), the numbers make my point. Do I care what anyone weighs? Not one bit! Do I try to change anyone? Never! Do I believe in body shaming? Absolutely not! Do I think we all need to weigh a certain amount, be a certain size, or fit a mold of what we “should” be? Hell, no!

I do think we need to take that hard look, though, and be honest with ourselves. We need to face the factual reality that many of us don’t take care of ourselves – especially as we get older (and by that I mean from 18 to 25 and 30 to 40…..I don’t mean “old”….whatever to heck that means anyway). The numbers back me up there too.

This table shows the percentage of people diagnosed with highChronic conditions blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes from age 18 to age 90.  

Is health going to decline as part of the normal aging process? Yes. I’m not going to be as healthy at 100 as I was at 18. Does that mean I should just let myself go, become increasingly sedentary, and stop taking care of myself at 30, or 40, or 50, or 80? I’m not going to!

Please understand that “unhealthy” doesn’t always mean “overweight” though. Been there. Done that. I have always been relatively thin but there was a time when I was not taking care of myself. I was living on nicotine, caffeine, and sugar. I wasn’t working out but I was definitely stressing out. I wasn’t healthy. Doesn’t matter what I weighed.

On the other extreme end of the spectrum, you find elite athletes and competitors. Here, too, I have something unpopular to say. A lot of people talk about competition as if it is a negative. “We shouldn’t compete against one another.” Well, I can tell you this: I am my biggest competition. I am always trying to be better, run faster; lift heavier, to do more than I’ve done before. I compete with myself all the time. I get a kick out of being on stage and competing against other people too, though. There, I said it out loud. Yes, if you hop on the treadmill or the rower beside me at the gym, I am going to race you. It’s a fact. I don’t feel guilty about it. Join me in the race and we will be fast friends! (Pun intended.) In my favorite 5K, another racer and myself sprinted to the finish line – competing with one another until the very end. It was fun. Had she not been there, I wouldn’t have pushed myself so hard. She’d likely say the same.

If we back off of the extremes, most people want to be somewhere in the middle. These are the people I want to work with!! In fact, last year I was provided an opportunity to learn to coach figure and bikini athletes with a prestigious team in Las Vegas. I turned it down. I like to compete and it’s fun to play a part in getting a competitor to walk onto stage for the very first time. I work with some competitors. I like it. The difference is that I LOVE helping people get healthy.


And it’s not helping people lose that I strive for (though dropping weight, if that’s what the person is striving for; losing inches, decreasing medication and blood pressure are all very cool).

It’s helping people gain: confidence, self-esteem, knowledge, and health.

Moving from wanting to be healthy to being healthy is a huge step. Actually, it’s a bunch of little steps covering a huge distance! First you need to be tired of living at the unhealthy level. (Let’s face it, it’s exhausting and frustrating anyway! You hate it there.) You have to want to make a change; you have to want to learn and then apply the things you learn. You have to begin making changes incrementally and consistently. It requires work. The journey is absolutely worth the investment! When you feel healthy, when you are healthy, that carries into every aspect of your life.

The fact is that getting healthy is NOT easy but it is simple.

That means that as you start to eat healthier, there will be times you’re hungry – and that’s okay. There will be days when you’re not hungry but you need to eat anyway. There will be days you won’t feel like doing what you know you need to do.Its not easy


To get healthy you need to be conscious of your nutrition (it’s not a diet) and you need to get your body moving!!

It is simple



If you’re looking for a quick fix, or a miracle weight loss secret, that’s it. Re-read the previous few lines and don’t bother going through the rest of the blog.

Truly! That’s it!

  • You don’t need a bunch of supplements or pills.
  • No special gadgets, videos, and not even a gym membership.  [I use all 3 because I want to, not because I need to. Each adds something different].
  • You don’t need protein shakes or meal replacements.  [I use these because they are a convenient way to fuel my body when I’m traveling, teaching, or super busy. They’re also an easy way to add protein to my client’s programs since most Americans are seriously deficient in protein intake, but, again, they’re not required and whole foods are always best].
  • You don’t need a program, or another useless diet plan.  [I write programs for folks and work with clients but I prefer to teach people how to do things for themselves! I am most proud when they don’t “need” me anymore. That’s the teacher in me I suppose. You need to learn how to eat, not what to eat].
  • You don’t need a coach or nutrition or fitness expert to get started moving in the right direction! [A trainer can be awesome, especially if you’re just starting out; you’re not sure what to do and you’re not comfortable yet working out by yourself. Trainers are amazing people [most of them…but that’s a different rant]. I am one and I have several as personal friends but you CAN do this on your own].

 I don’t believe in miracles or quick fixes.

Being healthy is not something you want to do for 6 or 12 weeks.

Health is for LIFE.

 Start with your nutrition.

  • Take baby steps if you need to. Try to cut your soda in half the first week. Then in half again the next, and the next, until you either stop drinking it all together or you have it once in a while as a treat. I drink a Diet Dr. Pepper once every couple of weeks.
  • Decrease the sugar in your coffee a little bit at a time. Stop getting that venti frappuccino (you know who you are…..) and get just the grande this week; go for the tall next.
  • Drink water!!! If you can’t do it plain at first, put some Crystal Light or Mio in it and work to taper that off as you go through time. I hear some people now, “Oh, the chemicals. How could you even recommend that horrible stuff?” I’m recommending that you make the changes you will actually make to begin with. If you’re not going to drink water unless it has some flavor in it right now, mix in some damn flavor. Fruit infused water is also something you might want to try! Yum. Check out for ideas.
  • Same thing with the sweets/treats. Trust me. I have a HORRIBLE sweet tooth and I love to bake – a bad combination. So, one day a week I’ll have a special meal. Gasp!! It might be going to the restaurant, Bailey’s in my coffee, carrot cake, or whatever. Throughout the week when I’m not eating that stuff, instead of acting like a victim “Whoa is me. I can’t have a treat, I’m dieting”…..I remind myself that I am in control. “I can have anything I want but I can’t have everything right now if I intend to meet my goals.” When I do have a special treat, I savor it. I sit and eat it. I don’t play on my computer, talk on my phone, or do anything except enjoy the taste, smell, texture, and flavor of my food. I don’t feel guilty about it and I don’t try to compensate by doing extra cardio to “negate the calories” I just ate. That’s ridiculous!!! I also bake treats but try to find ways to make them healthier (applesauce vs oil; ground oats instead of white flour; using egg whites, adding protein powder, etc).  
  • Eat enough food! Crash diets don’t work and you are not going to be healthy eating one salad or a piece of fruit all day. We’ll talk about protein, carbs, and healthy fats next time.

Try these things first. Once you start to feel better (and you will), add in some exercise. Begin going for a walk every day. Build from there.

The important thing is to do something.


This is a formal call to action: Do one positive thing for yourself this week.


2 pings

Skip to comment form

    • Sylvia on March 4, 2015 at 23:23
    • Reply

    Right on the money!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Sylvia!!!

    • Carol swift on March 5, 2015 at 11:26
    • Reply

    Thanks. I think that was written for me! I’ll be reading that again and again.

    1. So very glad you enjoyed it, Carol!!!

  1. […] my blog Getting Healthy is Simple, I mentioned that I frequently make substitutions when I bake.  I’m always looking for […]

  2. […] But all of those things are simple, if we don’t over-complicated it, AND if we apply a little […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.