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Sunday, February 17, 2008

The difference between good and great athletes

I have been blessed in my sports nutrition career in the sense that I have worked with elite level athletes across a number of sports including two of the best league and union teams. For many, this kind of work would appear to be the ultimate in career success but you may be suprised to know that this is far from the case. What you learn after wokring with a range of high level athletes in the best known teams it that there are good athletes and then there are great athletes.

Good athletes are the athletes who are physically blessed and do well because it is in the nest interest of those around them that these athletes succeed.

Great athletes are a completely different ball game. Great athletes not only have the natural ability but also the drive that seeks success above all else. For great athletes, the challenge is not only to achieve success based on the teams, media and public perception but to achieve success that they thelselves have mentally defined. Great athletes have respect for their bodies, their team and their support crew. Great athletes strive for the ultimate sporting success no matter what the pay is like, no matter how demanding the training is. Great athletes are one in a thousand sporting stars. Great athletes are the swimmers, the rowers, the track athlete who receive none of the public support or financial backing the footballers and cricketers receive and yet they possess physical attributes and mental focus that far outweighs that of any footy player.

So this year, an Olympic year, pay attention to these great athletes because they are very special people and I feel honoured to work with some of them.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Decent airport food - please?

I dislike plane travel immensely. As if it is not bad enough having to sit in extremely close proximity of hundreds of people you don’t know there is also the really bad food that starts even before you hop on the jumbo. In Melbourne for work over the weekend, I found myself at Tullamarine airport with an hour to kill and with hunger pains needing attention. As it is unlikely that the standard Qantas feed would be anything worth waiting for I took myself off to the food court in search of something filling and a little healthy. My options were palm oil using Hungry Jacks, who, as you can imagine were ding a roaring trade on a Sunday night, pizza or the standard airport catering with sandwiches that look like they were made last Sunday. Oh, and of course Krispy Cream donuts.

You have got to be kidding. Hundreds of people move through our airports each day and this is the best we can do. Where are the fresh sandwiches and salads, the yoghurts and fruits in the book shop or at least a healthy fast food option?

Given the tolls and parking fees we pay at the airport we deserve much better and don't even get me started on the appalling options in the International terminal. There really is no excuse for the airport offering such poor options. The consumer deserves to have the opportunity to eat well when the food supply options are outside their control.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Stop asking me to upsize!

Last week I was asked on three different occasions if I would like to increase the size or number of foods I was purchasing. The first occasion was at the local coffee shop when my tall sized coffee almost come a 500ml Grande, the second, an offer of two large chocolate bars for one at the Shell petrol station when I was getting my fuel with the discount voucher to save a few dollars and the third, a cake with a tea at a chain style café. It is hard enough to and maintain your eating program and weight, let alone do it when cheap, high energy, high fat foods are constantly being offered to you. The statistics on overweight and obesity in Australia are well known, the reality television shows focusing on weight loss are booming in the ratings and yet powerful food and retail chains continue to ask consumers to upsize.

It is time to ask them to stop the upsizing pressure once and for all, are they not making enough money from us already?