Sexiness isn’t just confined to one particular body type, and that’s why we were inspired by FREEGO’s recently concluded 7 Ways to Sexy Fitness Challenge. This program aimed to help seven ladies find their own shape of sexy, not by starving themselves, but by exercising regularly and eating healthy. At the end of the 40-day challenge, each of the participants took pride in the positive changes not just in their bodies, but, more importantly, in their lifestyles.
The Fat Kid Inside‘s Erwan Heussaff played an important role in this transformation, having served as the ladies’ diet consultant. If you’ve read his blog, you probably know that he managed to shed more than 90 pounds to achieve the body he has now—and he did it on his own, too. We asked him to share the tips he gave the seven contestants to help them discover their hidden sexy and found that these aren’t just limited to people who want to lose weight. If you’re inspired by FREEGO’s fitness challenge to shed those pesky extra pounds or simply want to get started on a more healthy diet, check out Erwan’s advice below!
1. Go back to basics.
“I always tell people when I put them in a program, it’s not a diet. It’s just bringing your body back to a natural state of physical being, a natural state of eating. If I today met Papa Erwan [from] 800 years ago, what would he tell me his diet was? What would he tell me he could eat? [He’d] tell me, ‘Well, Erwan, I’m gonna sprint 200 meters today, I’m gonna walk 5 kilometers, and then maybe I might find a deer. I’ll kill it, and then I’ll bring it home and I’ll ration it for a week. And then I’ll go to my garden, and I might find some tomatoes and cucumbers, I might find some sweet potatoes and then I have a tree with apples, and I’ll eat that.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, cool. Where would you get your bread and everything?’ They would have no idea what bread is, what rice is, because they don’t have the machinery or the modern processes to actually eat those things. So I always tell people, it’s always bringing yourself back to that natural state of eating. What could I kill? What could I pick? What could I dig? It’s simple as that.”
2. Understand your body’s needs.
“Eighty percent of us in this city have a desk job. And our minds are continuously conditioned from the time that we are born through marketing campaigns—genius marketing campaigns—by huge companies or by just getting used to eating so much more than we actually need to. If I tell someone to touch a pan that’s just been on the stove, they’ll be like, ‘Hell, no. I’m not gonna touch that.’ Because it sends information to your mind that it burns. It’s hot, right? So everything that you touch and you sense gives your brain and your body information, right? So what happens when you eat bread and jam and sugar compared to when you eat chicken? It’s different messages, different information.
“It’s looking at food as fuel. So when people say, ‘I don’t understand why sugar is unhealthy,’ it’s ‘cause it sends the wrong information to your body. It says, ‘Okay, you’re putting so much elements and ingredients in me right now. I don’t know how to handle it. I’m gonna store it as fat.’ And if you give it chicken, it’ll be like, ‘Cool. Protein, I can use that. My muscles need it to process and to evolve. Great.’ It’s understanding that food is fuel in the proper portioning and proper quantities.”
3. Bring your body to a natural state of movement.
“I always have naysayers and haters that tell me, ‘Yeah, stop talking badly about rice’—which I don’t always, because I eat rice—’Because people in the provinces, that’s all they can eat.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, well. people in the provinces, most of them are farming for 12 hours a day, and that’s why they have a six-pack and can still eat six cups of rice a day.’ Whereas for example for me, I eat brown rice right after workout because your body needs the carbs. But when you wake up in the morning and have two pieces of toast and jam, what does that tell your body? It tells your body, ‘Go back to sleep,’ because your insulin goes high, so it peaks, then it goes back down. Two hours later, you’re like, ‘Oh, I’m so hungry, I need ice cream or sugar or something.’
“There’s this constant need for sugar nowadays and carbs. People think, ‘That’s the only way I’ll stay awake.’ The only reason that happens is ‘cause your blood sugar levels go high, and then once they crash, it’s like a cocaine addict. You need the drug. You need it again. So people keep eating it. It’s a vicious cycle. I consider all unhealthy eaters as crack addicts. And then, how do I wean them off the crack? By giving them the good stuff, giving them good substitutes and hoping that in forty days, they don’t look for it anymore.”
4. Be your own teacher and coach.
When asked about the first step anyone should take in order to lose weight, Erwan stressed the importance of self-conviction. “The most powerful tool is out there. The internet. And I always tell people, ‘When you wanna lose weight, you start with your mind.’ Once you are absolutely convicted that you can lose the weight and you will lose the weight in a certain amount of time, you’ll achieve it.” He shared his own experience with weight loss, saying, “When I lost weight, no one was helping me. I went out, bought 20 recipe books and 20 health and fitness books, and I read through everything and I made a summary out of it. And I found my own way through it, because I wanted it that bad.
“I always tell people—middle school, high school, college, what was all that education for? Do I remember my math, do I remember my equations? No. I run businesses, and I never use equations. But what did school teach me? School taught me how to learn, and how to learn for myself. So as a responsible adult, you should be able to teach yourself things still… And weight loss is just that. It’s relearning what your body was already born with. So it’s all about being your own teacher.”
Photos and interview from the FREEGO 7 Ways to Sexy Fitness Challenge culminating event at LuLu Restaurant in Salcedo Village. Interview by Liana Smith Bautista.
Looking for more insights from Erwan? Read this: Erwan Heussaff: Sexiness Boils Down to Confidence