Week 10: What does healthy look like?

I’m two weeks away from my final ‘Six-Pack’ post and I think I’m on track. I’m looking forward to seeing what I look like when I’m ripped. If you want to see how I got this far, you can find weeks one, two, three, four, five and six seven, eight and nine here.

To date, I’ve had an interesting run. I joined Black River Crossfit and got regular good quality advice from Nic Collins and Andrew Martin, the two champs who run the morning sessions. They gave me extra exercises to do and kept me motivated.

I stubbed my toe, got food poisoning, had business trips around the country, had my birthday and a few others, a wedding, a bachelors’ party two Christmas parties and I now have a cold. With all the great excuses I had to pull out, I managed to keep my head in the game. Finally, in today’s photo, I have a six-pack. I’m not bragging. I’m relieved. I honestly believe that the only reason I stuck to my guns is because of the bet I made to all the readers in the first blog post.

Even though I’ve arrived at the finish line, I’m not quite happy. If I had to give my six-pack a flavour, it would be vanilla. I can taste it, but I’m not blown away.

I’ve seen ‘fit models’ in photos on the cover of magazines and wondered just how hard it is. What exactly does it take to look as ripped as a fit model?

I asked two of my friends who went from being chubby to posing in fitness magazines what they did. I didn’t interview them. I just asked them for advice. I asked what else I could do to cut some extra fat for my final photo. I want to see how far I can get.

I was expecting tips on cardio training and possibly extra things to cut out, but I got more than I bargained for. This is the advice I got:

1. Add in an extra 20 minute workout in the evening for the next two weeks (over and above my hour and 20 minute morning session)
2. Cut out all fat and all carbs for two weeks
3. The day before the shoot, eat a few large portions of carbs – this will puff the muscles up with glycogen and make them look bigger
4. Drink four litres of water and two cups of buchu tea per day until four days before the shoot
5. Book in for a spray tan – being tanned makes your muscles look better
6. Get hold of Preparation H, a brand of haemorrhoid cream, and rub it on the muscles you want to be ripped and toned – apparently it dehydrates the affected area that helps the skin suck onto the muscles
7. Four days before the shoot, cut down to half a cup of water a day until the shoot – this will totally dehydrate you. Again, it will make the skin suck onto your muscles to make you more ripped
8. Take Waterfall capsules – they help you dehydrate too
9. Book a professional photographer and make sure they understand lighting that will pronounce your muscles

Interestingly, I was happy with the advice I got until step four. I always thought the people in the photos were just incredibly hardworking and looked that good all the time. It turns out, you look ripped like that for about half a day and getting there takes quite a lot of suffering.


I asked my mate whether she would enter more competitions next year. I suggested that it must be awesome to have such a healthy goal. Her response was quite frank – ‘I would hardly say it is healthy’. I have to agree.

Extreme dehydration, haemorrhoid cream on the body and extra help from dehydration capsules seem like drastic steps to look good for a shoot. Some people get paid good money to be photographed so I guess they’ve gotta do what they gotta do.

How is it that the people who represent health on magazine covers are, by their own admission, not that healthy?

Who made the call to make extreme dehydration and haemorrhoid cream the preverbal ‘Picture of Health’?

Howmany people try everything to look like thatand never get there, and can’t understand why?

When is someone going to call the media out on their bullshit? If their standards weren’t so unrealistic maybe there would be more people on earth who love their bodies.

What am I going to do?

I’m going to follow steps one and two until next Thursday 17 December. I’ll take a picture with my phone on Friday morning. Then I’m going to dehydrate myself as per instructions and have a professional photo on Monday 21st – with the right backdrop and lighting.

I’m hoping to illustrate the difference between a realistic, healthy physique and an unrealistic unsustainable and fabricated ideal.

Here’s to haemorrhoid cream.