When times get rough, it can be hard not to sell out. Trust me, I get it. There are many times when we do an event and it costs us money in the end. This was especially true in the beginning. All part of the growing pains of a new business. I get emails often from some crazy companies wanting me to promote their product or service and wanting to advertise on my show or in our conference. I always have to say no.
While I am sure my financial situation would be MUCH better if I hawked every product that came across my desk, my mental state and my sense of integrity would be shot to pieces. I just cannot do that to myself. I also have a HUGE level of responsibility to my family and to the people who listen to my show and who work with me in Plexus. How would it look to see someone in the health and fitness and nutrition industry promoting a fast-food chain or brand of beer? Not too good.
This brings me to the point of this whole thing. On my radio show tonight, I will be talking about the sponsorship by McDonald’s of the Olympic Games. ARE YOU KIDDING ME????
WHAT CONNECTION CAN YOU POSSIBLY MAKE BETWEEN ATHLETICS AND FITNESS AND EATING ANYTHING FROM MC DONALD’S????
To me this is the absolute epitome of selling out. Not only is McDonald’s a sponsor of the games, they are also be putting its’ largest franchise in the world at the Olympic Park. This new restaurant (is it really fair to call a place giving us fat, chemicals, and processed garbage in between two pieces of bread a restaurant?) will seat over 1500 customers and will be two-story. There will also be another McDonald’s in the athletes’ village.
MCDONALD’S IN THE ATHLETES’ VILLAGE? I would love to interview a handful of them and ask how many will be chowing down on a Big Mac (540 calories, 29 grams of fat, 1040mg sodium) or a 6 piece Chicken McNuggets (280 calories, 17 grams of fat, 600mg sodium)? Something tells me NOT MANY! This is sending a terrible message to the millions of impressionable kids who will watch these games and watch their heroes and dream of one day being an Olympic athlete themselves. If anyone is naive enough to think kids will not be asking their parents to take them to McDonald’s even more after being pounded with advertising from them during the games need to wake up. It will happen.
A quote from an interview with Terence Stephenson, a spokesman for the Academy of Royal Medical colleges really sums it all up. “It’s very sad that an event that celebrates the very best of athletic achievements should be sponsored by companies contributing to the obesity problem and unhealthy habits.” I have to agree. Obesity costs this country billions and billions of dollars a year. Do we really think promoting patronage of McDonald’s is going to help this?
America is not the only country with an obesity issue. The games are in London this summer and about 25% of the British population are obese with the number expected to climb to nearly 50% by 2030 according to experts in that country.
How can we even dream of associating fitness and athleticism with fast food and processed garbage? This whole thing is beyond insane to me. It is a sad example of selling out for money. We are taking a huge group of runners to participate in the 2012 Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. Do you think for a minute there will be ONE bit of fast-food suggested during our training plan? NOT HARDLY!
To me, when we take our kids to places like this to eat, we are selling out as well. We are selling out for the sake of convenience and in many cases, to keep our kids quiet. Of course kids are begging to go to fast food restaurants. They are bombarded with advertising from these places and also with the effects of the food. The food industry does an excellent job of manufacturing flavor combinations and chemical combinations that make us crave these convenience items. Don’t believe me? Research it yourself. They make no secret of these facts at all.
There is a reason you cannot eat just one Lay’s chip and a reason why you crave the taste of that Big Mac. These guys are pros who know how to combine salt sugar and fat in such a way that our brains literally crave the food like a drug. Many of these engineers used to work in the tobacco industry as well.
Sure it is quick and easy and cheap to run through a drive through and hit up the 99 cent menu, but why would we do that? Why would we sell out our overall health and well-being for the sake of saving a few minutes or a few dollars. Fresh fruits and veggies can be prepared at a low coast with amazing health benefits. We teach this to people every day through our programs.
There is no place for fast food to be connected to athletic competition and there is no place for regular use of the stuff in our homes either. I know life is busy and we can get into situations where we need fast and cheap. THERE ARE BETTER CHOICES. If we know we have a hectic week coming up with kids activities, work, and other things, we prepare on the weekend and make meals and freeze them. The last time we got ourselves into a jam and failed to prepare and had to stop at a fast food restaurant, both Ben and myself and two of our kids who were with all got so sick.
Why did we get sick? It is simple- our bodies are no longer used to eating trash food. Our bodies are used to clean and nutrient-dense food and the shock to our systems was just too much. Lesson learned the hard way.
I personally sleep better at night knowing that I turned down the advertising dollars from businesses that I felt contradicted my message of good health and fitness. It is a shame an organization as large as the Olympic games cannot do the same.
I cannot speak for every athlete out there, but I think if you took a poll of every person in America who regularly engages in some type of sport, or who is a runner, swimmer, biker, etc. and ask them how often they eat at fast-food restaurants, the answer will be VERY RARELY. And if you ask what they eat to fuel for sport and to recover after sport, I can almost guarantee NONE eat greasy fast-food!
We only get one body, and one life and it is never too late to get it to a healthy state and cut the crud! Once you do it, your body will thank you in many ways!