We can’t even fathom what Michelle Bridges‘ daily schedule looks like. As if running her popular 12 Week Body Transformation program, resuming her role as a The Biggest Loser trainer, and gearing up for the birth of her first child wasn’t enough, the 45-year-old has just released a line of ready meals.
Bridges says her Delicious Nutritious range, available in Woolworths now, is a far cry from the stodgy dishes we’re used to finding in the freezer section of the supermarket.
“There’s really been a gap in the market for some time. If you travel to Europe or even the US, you can get great quality, healthy, nutritious, convenient meals in a snap, but we haven’t been able to do that here in Australia until now,” she explains.
We caught up with Bridges last week to pump her for some fitness and food wisdom.
What’s your best piece of ‘no bullsh*t’ fitness advice?
“I think the reason why people don’t exercise is they put up their own roadblocks… they’ll make so many excuses and complicate things and muddy the waters. Just cut to the chase – what do you want to do? Do you want to get fitter, get stronger, lose some weight? Be able to do push ups? Do you just want to feel better overall in general? Do it. Stop complicating it. Stop putting in the whole, ‘It’s too cold, it’s too hot, I’m too busy, I’m too tired, my mum’s coming around this afternoon…’ If you say you want something, act on it. Action is the only cut through of all the BS. Just cut the crap and train.” (Post continues after video.)
Is there a particular workout you’d recommend for anyone who’s starting out, or has dropped the ball fitness-wise?
“Get out the door. You know what I mean? Let’s not over-complicate it here. Let’s just say go for a walk, go for a jog, go to the park and do some squats, come back home. I can talk about Tabata training, or I can talk about high intensity interval training, or I can talk about doing weights and doing overhead presses, but really that’s just going to make someone’s eyes start to glaze over. Ultimately, just get out the door.”
How do you hope Australians incorporate Delicious Nutritious into their lives?
“The thrust of it is that I get that life gets in the way. I’m a realist. As much as I like to cook from scratch, as much as I encourage everyone to do that, I get that it doesn’t always shape up that way. To be able to have that convenience there as a Plan B that’s still a whole, balanced, nutritious meal that comes in a portion size that’s not out of control, that covers off three serves of vegetables, that gives me good lean protein, wholegrains and legumes, and can all happen relatively quickly when your life has just gotten in the way this time around – that’s what this is all about. It’s a good backstop so that the wheels don’t just fall off.” (Post continues after gallery.)
Do you have any advice for making sure home cooking actually happens?
“It really is all about forward-thinking and planning what’s coming up. For example, in the morning if I know I want to cook a dinner at night, then I will go through my freezer and take out whatever needs to be defrosted. Or if I know I need to pick up spinach or get some vegetables, I’ll forward think that through and make sure I grab some throughout the day.”
Is there one particular excuse you hear from people that really grinds your gears?
"When someone says to me, 'What can I do to get started?' or 'How do I get the six pack I've always wanted?' the first thing I want to ask them is, 'Why do you want that?' And don't give me the platitudes of 'because I want a killer body'.
I want you to dig deeper than that and get gut-wrenchingly honest; tell me why you want your fitness back. Is it because you're over being judged? Is it because every morning you wake up and you still feel crap? Is it because you can't play with your children as much as you'd like? Is it because your mum's got Type 2 diabetes and you feel like you're going to go down that path? ... Your 'why' is what's going to get your arse out of bed at five o'clock in the morning, not wanting to look pretty in a dress."
What's the best fitness advice you've ever heard?