I find it hard to write up a Christmas list of gifts to help you get fit because, well, getting fit should be, and is, pretty damn cheap, at least to start with. So, I have been racking my brain trying to come up with a good list of things that you can ask for to get started on the road to fitness. I am focusing on people starting down the road to fitness because people who have been doing it awhile have a pretty good idea of what they need, in fact, they have an excellent idea. They probably have their wishlists set up on Amazon, as well as being registered at the local tri store.
Before I start though, I want to be clear here. If you are looking for a gift for someone you care about who is unfit, the best gift you can give is understanding. Really. No judgement, no comments, no sniping, no big eyed looks when they order desert, nothing. As well, do not buy anything related to fitness for anyone who hasn’t indicated that they want to get fit. It is an incredible insult and conveys a sense of superiority that will destroy your relationship. Really, if a person isn’t asking you for help, don’t give it. If you are overweight and are looking to get fit, then ask for help. Ask for one or more of the gifts on this list.
In any case, I have come up with a small list that I hope will actually help.
#1. First and foremost I am going to recommend my book. This isn’t a standard plug, but instead a strong recommendation to start out properly. After having failed to get fit year after year, I found that for me, and I am sure for millions more out there, fitness wasn’t easy. There is a proper way to go about getting there. It involves learning how to work, really work in a positive way, as opposed to working in fits and starts and putting energy into useless endeavours. This isn’t the only way to start, but it is the best. Honestly, do yourself a favour and ask for this book.
#2. Running shoes. If you want to get fit you are going to need to have running shoes. Good running shoes bought from a proper store. In Canada you can get fitted for shoes at Running Room. In North Vancouver, you can get fitted at North Shore Athletics. I am not aware of any shoe stores in the US, but I recommend running stores that will fit you for a shoe. Once you have been fitted, you can buy the same shoes anywhere. Plan on the shoes costing about $75 so ask for a gift certificate from a nearby shore that does fittings. Then get a copy of the couch25k program, print it out and use it after you get the shoes. As well, asking for a calendar would be a nice touch so you can write down your actual workouts. Mind you, the shoes would be a great gift with the You Are Not A Fit Person book, if you know someone who really want to help you!
#3. A great morning meal replacement, or first meal of the day option (if the gift receiver doesn’t eat breakfast) is a protein shake blended with ice and water or milk. It is remarkably filling, super easy to prepare and will result in a reasonable amount of weight lost. The best solution I know of is the Magic Bullet. It is remarkably well priced. You could ask for a Magic Bullet and a tub of protein powder. I use Syntha-6, but I am sure there are many excellent powders out there. The online version of the Magic Bullet sells 2 sets for $99, which is a lot more than the price of this one at London Drugs. Try to source it at a store if you can for about $30 or so. 1 set will last a long time.
#4: The Hamilton Beach Ice Cream Maker. I was recently at Target and bought this exact item. Some times the kids and I make ice cream the very hard way (my daughter had a science project book that involved making ice cream with 2 ziploc bags, ice, salt, cream, sugar, vanilla and a lot of shaking). I figured this cheap ice cream maker would be a higher tech solution. What I hadn’t figured on is how often we would eat frozen yogurt as a dessert. The bowls go in the freezer when you aren’t using them. When you want to make frozen yogurt you just take one bowl out, put in one or 2 individual yogurt containers and turn on the mixing paddle. Boom, 5 minutes later you have a relatively healthy dessert. It is easy to clean up afterwards and easy about the easiest thing every to make.
There we go, some items to put on your wish list or to get for others who may need some help (if they have indicated that they want help). I must admit though, when I titled my book, I hadn’t thought of it as a gift for the holidays. Somehow getting the message that you aren’t a fit person in your stocking really isn’t that nice,but this is a statement of solidarity, not of accusation.
The hardest book I ever gave was a copy of Allen Carr’s Quit Smoking the Easy Way. I had heard online that it was remarkable for quitting smoking. I read it in the bookstore and immediately realized how good it was. I bought it and put it on my brother’s desk. I didn’t say anything other than to acknowledge I bought it for him and heard it was quite good. He got around to reading it a few days later. He quit smoking soon after and has been smoke free for 2 years. Giving a book or shoes is an act of kindness if someone is seeking help, but remember if you follow up or push or needle or in any way judge someone who isn’t fit, you will do a lot more harm than your gift could ever do good. The gift of knowledge is priceless.
In any case, I hope you have an awesome holiday!