I have a friend who has been spinning a lot lately at a local studio.  She told me about a pal of hers who has lost a significant amount of weight; I believe it was 100 pounds. We’ll call my friend B and B’s friend N (I’ll explain reasoning later). Before a recent workout, B reached into her bag and took out a banana. N, as in Nazi, looked at B and said, “if you’re going to eat that you may as well not spin.” B relayed the story to me and asked, “isn’t that the meanest thing you’ve ever heard?” It’s not but before I gave my two cents I asked, “so what do you say or do?” B told me she switched her pre-workout snack to an apple.
So let’s first look at the accuracy of Fruit Nazi’s comment. While the banana is a higher carbohydrate fruit, let’s bear in mind it’s still a fruit. One medium banana is around 105 calories. Forty-five minutes of spinning will burn four to five bananas. So even if ¼ of B’s class was spent burning off her banana she still has over 300 net calories burned, endorphins pumping and a great start to her day. N may have cut bananas out on her road to weight loss, she may work out on an empty stomach but her advice to B wasn’t correct and, as mentioned, B found it hurtful.
Due to my profession, I rarely offer face-to-face unsolicited advice. Even when asked or when I have a strong opinion, I’m usually pretty diplomatic (real life is different than the blog). At the end of the day you don’t want to discourage anyone from trying to get fit or eat better. I feel differently when it comes to food companies and organizations I feel don’t have consumers’ health in mind.  I also have trouble being tactful when it comes to processed food, sweeteners and the “s” word, soda. The interesting tidbit with the banana example is that B, though offended, was impacted enough to make a change.  She switched her pre-workout ritual and I would bet will not eat many bananas going forward.
Sometimes blunt is better and certainly sticks with us. I sat in a lecture on organic food once and the speaker said, “I would never, ever eat a conventional grape.” I don’t think I have knowingly consumed one since. I would bet many of you reading have your own habits you can trace to someone who told you something about food or exercise with such conviction that you followed suit. For the record, I bet that if I were to inspect what Fruit Nazi ate in a typical day we’d find some things tweak-worthy, maybe even sweeteners or soda (blech).
Do you think blunt is better? Any behaviors you recall changing based on directness? Do you eat bananas?  


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