When a high-profile person loses 100lbs from their body weight in two years, the public are going to be naturally curious as to the whys and wherefores.
Initially, rumours were that Adele’s much-documented glow-up was the result of a new dedication to the Sirtfood diet which, among other things, involves fasting, green juices, kale, turmeric, buckwheat and parsley. Adele appeared to have gone ‘full Hollywood’. What happened to the craic-loving, cans-in-the-park Adele of old?
Well, we were all schooled quickly enough when she took herself off mute as part of her promotional duties for her latest album. There wasn’t a punishing diet behind Adele’s weight loss. She still loves a greasy spoon as much as anyone, as evidenced on a recent viral video.
Rather, she worked out three times every day. She did so to stay in shape for her live performances and also to manage her anxiety.
“I do my weights in the morning, then I normally hike or I box in the afternoon, and then I go and do my cardio at night. I was basically unemployed when I was doing it. And I do it with trainers,” she said. Somehow, she managed to fit some semblance of a life in around all of this. No wonder it took six years for new music to surface.
Three workouts a day is neither healthy nor attainable. “I’m quite addicted to it,” Adele said, as though this isn’t a problem. But I have been that soldier. That gym-disciple, boxing-mad, endorphin-addicted soldier. It didn’t end well for me, and I doubt it ends that well for most.
Let’s rewind seven or eight years ago, to a point in time when I was invited to partake in a ‘drop a dress size for Christmas’ campaign for a newspaper. It seemed like perfectly good sense at the time. I definitely had pounds to spare, so why not shed them and use the potential of publicly failing to embarrass me into it?
Off I trotted to the gym, hating every single second of it, as Adele initially did. At first, I wasn’t getting an endorphin ‘high’, and I resented having to work twice as hard for a body that my friends, with their Doritos addictions and wine diets, had naturally.
Soon enough, my body began to change, and so did my attitude. As the numbers on the scale got smaller, my resolve strengthened.
I was then going daily, taking in a high-intensity class, a 40-minute row or 40-minute jog. Rest days began to stress me out; when the gym closed for St Patrick’s Day, I was aghast. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was also trying to outrun the dreaded anxiety. My mental health sanctuary became a strange vice.
It was never going to last, was it? And off the wagon I bounced, with a double somersault.
The thing is, exercise is brilliant. It’s a fantastic way to self-care and regulate mental health challenges. I should be doing more of it now — much more. But an exercise addiction is not the triumph that you think it is. Getting addicted to it, as Adele says, to “get her mind right” is not a healthy coping mechanism.
Really overdoing it at the gym, even in the name of anxiety relief, produces elevated levels of cortisol, and creates stress on the muscles, bones and organs. It’s not realistic or sustainable for most people, and I doubt it will be for Adele as she moves from being “basically unemployed” to managing the vagaries of life as a musician with an album to sell.
Where will weights, boxing and cardio come in on a world tour, or during TV promotional jags?
That Adele used the word ‘addiction’ herself hints she is aware that such high levels of exercise aren’t healthy. Where to go after that realisation is the big question.
I keep hearing instances of parents finding themselves in a vicious cycle: in trying to get children to avoid Squid Game and getting teachers to discourage the watching of Squid Game, they now have a situation where all kids want to watch is… Squid Game.
Tales abound from playgrounds across the land of kids aping the games from the ultra violent Netflix hit, from tug of war to Red Light, Green Light.
While most parents have put the foot down and taken a hard stance on watching it, youngsters are still managing to see snippets on Roblox and TikTok — the likes of which most Irish parents are, let’s face it, still trying to get to grips with.
It’s all amounting to one of those good old-fashioned moral panics, and one that’s as old as the hills. When this generation of parents were younger, there was much frothing over Robocop, Aliens and Child’s Play (all of which we’d managed to see by the age of 10).
Ultimately, resistance is futile. If everyone else in the class has seen it, children can be unstoppable in their quest. They have ways and means to get beyond a firm ‘no’ and the parenting controls on your TV.
It’s probably better that parents sit down with their kids and perhaps watch some of it together, then talk and debate the issues involved so the difficult stuff is handled and processed relatively healthily.
Besides, it’s amazing how bored kids get of the things that are permitted.
It’s been interesting to watch the online fallout regarding waitresses at the ‘family-friendly’ restaurant chain Hooters complaining about their new uniform, which is basically a thong and crop top.
According to Men On The Internet, the waitresses who spoke out “chose” to work there, and so they should suck it up, stop complaining or quit.
‘Know your place’, in other words.
As usual, Men On The Internet don’t quite understand that quitting and taking action against an employer that’s making you put up with something you’re not comfortable with isn’t as easy as it looks.