The Gift of: Healing the Inside

While attending a Young Adult retreat recently I met a woman (I actually should refer to her as a “young lady” since I found out she’s 14 years younger than me) who mentioned her past life as a Crossfit athlete. Her and I bonded over the fact that we both have had a similar “departure” from the fitness world due in large part to the vanity that seems to accompany many of the wanna-be athletes who frequent the gyms these days.

This isn’t a knock on CrossFit by the way (although I do tend to enjoy giving them a hard time now and then). And it’s clearly not a knock on anyone who goes to the gym considering I am one of those people.

I mention this because I find it interesting to read stories of athletes and bodybuilders who didn’t get burn out per se, but they came to the realization that working out constantly and obsessing over their PR’s and what they ate and how much weight they pulled, pressed and pushed, or all their races they ran – none of it truly satisfied them. They thought they would find happiness at the finish line or after they crossed the stage and received a trophy or left the gym a sweaty mess.

They have since found that none of that really matters as much to them anymore.

The Thrill is Gone

I know I was super excited after I did my competition. I couldn’t wait to get in the gym and “bulk up” and hit some PR’s and lift some heavy weight and make progress.

It was fun for a long time. You could even say I made the gym my sanctuary.

But something isn’t quite right when even my independent, solitary-loving self felt like I spent more time in the gym and writing in my workout log than I did writing emails to friends or spent time with my family and friends. And I wasn’t even one of the “worst cases.” I have read and known many folks who became gym addicts and their relationships suffered.

What I find most interesting is that we can become addicted to something inherently good. Like an infatuation.

This desire to be strong, be fit and be a good athlete usually starts out all good. (Or, in some cases and I would actually say MOST, we give up after awhile or we get distracted by other life events and neglect our health).

But sometimes, and I would argue this is happening more and more, especially with social media – this desire to be healthy becomes an unhealthy desire for glory and praise.

You “Look” Amazing!

For me personally, it felt awkward to receive compliments from people. So many times my friends or even random strangers would comment on my blog or to my face, “You look fantastic!!! I want to look like that!” when referring to my before and after pics (I’ve taken them down, so don’t bother looking for them).

Why couldn’t I even accept a compliment of praise? For me, I felt like it was like people were congratulating me on how I looked and my appearance and it felt…vain. Fake. Like, “Why are you praising my body for looking this way?” I know this sounds strange and selfish and whiny – Who wouldn’t want to receive a compliment like that? But the keyword was “look.” I couldn’t get past that word. And to be complimented on my appearance was something I was not used to considering I never looked like that way ever before.

Of course I said thank you, I’m not rude. But still, it felt really strange and it was a feeling I couldn’t shake.

So imagine what it felt like when those compliments stopped after the competition.  I was bulking and trying to put on weight. I was somewhat relieved to not receive any more of them because then the pressure was off! But of course, looking in the mirror told a different story.

I cannot even begin to tell you the mind games the that went through my head. And I considered myself to have a good relationship with food and decent body image of myself.  Imagine what a professional figure competitor or bikini competitor goes through when he/she rebounds and gains a ton of weight too quickly! And we wonder why there are heartbreaking stories of these (mostly) women who can’t see their value anymore other than a body designed to win trophies or look good in photos. The bingeing and the dieting becomes obsessive and their health and metabolism is shot. And they take YEARS to re-cover.  Granted, this is a worse-case scenario but I assure you, the bodybuilding world is full of them.

Prioritize the Inner Self

I think the lesson learned is that we should keep our bodies healthy and in shape the best way we know how and dedicate a good amount of time to doing so. Perhaps invest in a Personal Trainer? 😉

But when the time spent in the gym or measuring our food or taking selfies (please don’t, just don’t) takes up the majority of our days, that’s when pride and vanity enter and that’s when I would suggest you take a big step back and re-asses your priorities.

I will tell you from experience, when outward appearance takes over your life, it does more harm internally than you realize at the time. And no one will tell you this – it’s something you will discover on your own.

My advice is to focus on mental and spiritual health before anything else. The physical stuff is easy to dedicate time to once you have the internal priorities set.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kids are NOT OK

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“Deep breath. Don’t judge. You don’t know her. She’s not a client. You have no right to tell someone what to post online. You don’t have kids. You couldn’t possibly know the story behind this picture, if it’s fake or real. Don’t judge. Don’t judge. It’s just a kid…”

These are the thoughts going on right now in my mind. I don’t know who posted this. I believe it IS real and not photoshopped from the information I gathered from the original poster of this. *Updated to include that yes it IS real and it was posted by a father who promotes Herbalife. I saw pictures of his daughter and she indeed looks very fit.*

But, the fact that it was shared publicly makes me think I have the right to comment on it, right? Do I have the right to comment? Do any of us? I’m treading carefully here. This is no one I know personally. But it’s promoting a product I have no respect for. It’s using a child to do so and that makes me uncomfortable. When a regular person posts a photo like this on social media, I seriously question them. Do I have the right to do that? It’s on the internet. You put a picture of your child on the internet. It’s here forever, parent! I must first ask, okay WHY? She wanted to boast about her child’s transformation.

This child’s body transformation. And she’s a little girl. A little girl!!! I should be happy for her right?!? Right?! But why does a picture like this make me sick to my stomach?

Here are my issues, and I’m trying very hard not to judge this person. I just feel like a I need to voice my concerns.

  • When you post a picture like this of your small young child, who is your audience? Clearly parents of other children who might need to lose weight? Okay. I can sort of see that.
  • Why is she wearing a bikini in the first photo and then showing off her abs in the after? What message does that send to kids? Nevermind the parents for a second here…the kids. The young girls who look at this. I don’t know any 6 or 7 year old girls so I can’t ask them. Maybe they would be unphased. Maybe they would say “So what?!” But what if a young girl or boy looks at this and thinks, “My belly looks more like that picture on the left. Is that bad?”
  • I’m trying to overlook that this is promoting a product. A product I have ZERO respect for as a company. Spare me the nutritional value in Herbalife products. I do not care. It’s a pyramid scheme. But let’s say it’s NOT a pyramid scheme. Let’s say it’s just a super healthy smoothie. Heck, let’s take it a step further and take Herbalife out of it. Pretend the parent replaces “Herbalife” with “healthy fruits and vegetables and a balanced diet.” Would that change my opinion? Actually no, honestly. I have a problem with the PICTURE itself.
  • Why? I want to know why you feel the need to post your child’s transformation. Why are you using her like this? What happens if she loses that six pack Mom, Dad? Because, as we know as adults, to be that lean forever is a pipe dream. I don’t care if this girl turns out to be a gymnast or a dancer or star athlete. She will not look like that forever. How will she deal with that knowing you boasted about how great she looks now???

I want to cry for this little girl and I don’t even know her.

All I can say is please, to whoever this mother is, please don’t do this again. Please let Zoey go on doing whatever it is that she’s doing and please don’t boast. Be proud of her and tell her. But don’t tell the whole world (that my not have been your intention, maybe you just wanted to share this with a few friends on Facebook and it sparked a firestorm) but please understand that Social media spreads like wildfire.  I’m sure you didn’t intend to harm her or instigate anything with this picture. You’re just sharing. I get that, trust me I get it.

But please, everyone, think before you share pictures of your child. Body image issues and childhood obesity are serious concerns. And young people are so impressionable. We have to be realistic when it comes to setting expectations for our children and their health and their abilities. Obtaining a six pack is a pipe dream for the AVERAGE ADULT. If children think it’s EASY to accomplish this by just drinking shakes, they will be very disappointed when they realize it is not that simple.

And what kind of picture does that paint?

 

Strangers on the Track

Indoor%20Track%201I’ve been going to my local gym for over a year now and I’ve identified several people who are always there that I think are noteworthy. I’ve actually decided to give them names even though I have no idea what their real names are. Just thought it was cute and funny to do so. Here goes:

Harold and Harriet – the Old People

These are the older couple that always holds hands when walking the indoor track.  When it’s my turn or someone else’s turn to pass them on the right side, they stop holding hands and the man walks behind the woman until it’s “clear” to hold hands again and walk together.

I think it’s the coolest and cutest thing. No one else there does it, as far as I can tell. Just them. And they are adorable.

I always have my headphones in so I don’t hear if they talk about me as I speed past them. I have a feeling they might be thinking, “Why is she running so damn fast? Is there a fire?”

Once in a while they don’t hear/see me behind them and they are still holding hands as I’m coming up behind them. I’ve never had to say, “On your right!!” to them yet. I usually just start jogging LOUDER with my feet so they turn around and have this look on their face that says, “Oh Lord! Here comes that girl again!” And then Harriet probably says, “Move over Harold!”

I’m probably one of the youngest people on the track at the time of day that I go (mid afternoon before the teenagers take over) so it’s mostly stay at home Mom’s and old people. And then me.

Britney and Bobby – The “Too Cool for This Place” couple

But there’s also the annoying “Let’s pretend we own this track and disregard anyone else who is on it” people. And there’s a few of them.  I call them Britney and Bobby. They are the WORST. They are in their late teens, early 20’s and they just don’t give a damn.  They walk around like they own the track, walking extremely slowly,

If you have to yell, “On your right!” as you pass them by, they move over about an inch. They don’t hold hands. They just walk next to each other taking up the entire track. And they talk…and talk..and talk some more. In case you haven’t guessed, Britney and Bobby aren’t there to workout. They are there to socialize…with each other. Infuriating for people who are trying to get a little workout in.

Because of their lack of track courtesy and etiquette, they do force me to pay careful attention to whom I may literally run into as I jog past them. This is the only silver lining I can find with them. Most of the time, I secretly rejoice as they make their way to to the exits when they’re done with their leisurely stroll.

OCD Cindy – The Lap Counter/Obsessive Tracker

OCD Cindy is probably not obsessive compulsive, but she keeps track of everything, including the laps around the track. She holds a counter in her left hand clicking off each lap as she walks. (12 laps equals a mile). She also writes down a lot of stuff in a journal while she’s there. I assume it’s either her food or her laps in written form. Fascinating and also causes me to be curious. If OCD Cindy is walking the track as I come up the stairs to start walking, I want to walk just as long as she does.  This complete stranger pushes me to work harder even though she’s just walking.

So what’s the (life) lesson that we can learn from all these track stars?

– Slow down. But not too slow that you cause a problem.

– Be kind to others as they move past you, perhaps even a little faster than you. Let them go by.

– Be mindful of those around you. Smile, strike up a conversation, say hello.

– It’s not how fast you make your laps around. It’s more about how you feel at the end of your journey.

– Keep a count of how far your journey has taken you, adding a little bit more challenging to it each time.

– Don’t fault anyone for making your journey a little bit annoying. If they’re in your way, just move around them. Don’t let them bother you or get in your head.

– Keep running as long as you can, but know that you can always walk when the road gets rough and bumpy.

Look for those who can teach you something, not just about training and working out and being healthy, but about life in general. You can find them in the most unusual places, even at the gym.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a Shame!

I see the internet is abuzz once again with the latest “No Excuses” photo making the rounds on Instagram.

Rewind: Fitness enthusiast Maria Kang posted this picture of herself on Facebook way back in the fall of 2013.

Maria Kang was accused of “Fit-Shaming” for posting this photo

The internet exploded with half praise for Kang for being “fitsporational” but many others accused her of bullying and “fit-shaming,” making people (specifically women) who have had kids thinking they are just sitting at home on the couch eating chips and bon bons when they have plenty of time to exercise and eat healthy.

So was she bragging or motivating? Kang said on her own website “I felt that if others can overcome incredible challenges to be in shape, why would my story be any different?”

So we’ve had a break with the fit-shaming since then…right? I guess the internet was overdue for another one.

Enter Abby Pell. Pell frequently posts pictures of herself on her Instagram page with motivational sayings, apparently. She posted this picture almost a year ago but it’s making headlines now because she recently won a fitness/bodybuilding competition.

Look familiar?

Her intent seems to be the same as Kang.

 “The message I want to portray is for all the women/mums/girl who aren’t happy or confident with themselves and the reason they don’t try to do anything about it is because they think it’ll be too hard or even impossible to get results.

Everyone could make excuses, too many people think it’s easier not to try than to risk failure. It’s not the case. I don’t want to make other women feel bad about themselves, I want them to look at me and think, if she can do it so can I. Because you can!”

Is this message being portrayed in the best way?

If we are trying to tell Mommies everywhere that having kids is no excuse for getting in shape, does baring your six pack stomach really inspire anyone? Or is it just making people angry enough to comment and post about how much they hate these women?

I definitely don’t have an answer. But I think the REACTION is interesting. Perhaps the picture brought out some…Jealousy? Envy? Sensitivity?

I honestly felt none of these. I immediately thought, “Good for them! Okay…so what else is going on in the news?” I didn’t give it more than a second or two of attention. It wasn’t until almost every fitness person I follow started Retweeting and sharing it that I noticed the “outrage.”

What’s Your Excuse Reason for Getting in Shape?

As for me, several things inspired me to get in shape for the competition.

I don’t have kids and I’ve mentioned on here in the past, I had been a personal trainer but just hadn’t pushed myself as much at the time. I had felt soft and lazy. I didn’t like the way I felt but had become so complacent that I kinda didn’t care all that much. I could have stayed soft, lazy, and kinda average looking but I KNEW I had it in me to look and feel better.

Taking a look around me, I was surrounded by fit people at the gym I worked at.  I saw how hard they worked and wondered, “Why don’t my workouts look like that? How come my muscles don’t look like hers?” Well, the answer was easy: I wasn’t pushing myself. At all. I was just coasting.

I had looked at pictures of some of my former co-workers from back in Chicago, one in particular was incredibly inspirational for me. She pushed and trained and dieted for a competition as well and I thought, WOW. I want to look like that! I want my workouts to kick ass and I want to look like these people when I’m done!

I don’t have kids so maybe training and dieting for the competition would have been challenging for me if I did. But there are plenty of mommies who compete. Maybe they aren’t all pros but they are out there.

So it wasn’t one picture or one person in particular who lit the fire in me to get off my butt and start taking fitness more seriously. It was several people and my current lazy flat butt* that got me going.

*It’s not flat anymore. Thank you deadlifts and split squats and lunges and more squats!

15 Minutes of Fame

Did these women just want to be in the spotlight for a period of time? Maybe. Attention seeking? Perhaps.

But I think what is interesting is these women are real people (i.e. not celebrities). Can you imagine the audacity if Madonna or Britney or Heidi Klum posted a photo with the same caption??? Can you imagine the outrage and the comments???

“Easy for you to say, you’re a millionaire!!!”

“You have 3 nannies and probably a personal chef and a personal trainer!!”

“You get paid $ to look that way!!!”

“You’ve probably had liposuction!!! All your photos are photoshopped anyways!”

But the minute a real woman posts it, all of a sudden the reaction is “Fit shaming! Shame on you!!  Who are you to tell me what I should be doing?!”

Newsflash: These women never ordered or commanded any of us to listen to them. They are merely trying to help. And quite frankly, you don’t need to listen or click or comment if you don’t like the message.

Think of social media as a hobby, not your job.

Some of us respond well to yelling and barking in your face type of personal trainers, some respond well to calm and collected and others listen to no-nonsense types (I put myself in this category). I think the same is said for the type of people you follow on social media, real or…ummm not real (famous people).

Maybe you like the hardcore, in-your-face types who might curse once in awhile and post videos of themselves kicking their own butts in the gym. Maybe you like the fitness geeks who show you how to move better or always have a post about how to keep good form while working out. Or maybe you like just regular good old fashioned easy-to-follow instructions and black and white “I tell it like it is” types. As long as they get you off the couch and ignite a little fire in you, keep following them. But be careful, because sometimes the best sources of inspiration, are right under your nose.

I for one, like to follow and look up to REAL people. As I mentioned earlier, my friends, my co-workers who train hard, my clients who follow their plans. Those people are my “fit-sporation.” Sure I follow plenty of fitness people on social media, but I like following my actual friends who I see everyday even more.

Turn Around

So take a look around you.  Try actually looking up from the phone and the computer. Who around you has the best healthy habits that you would love to adapt? Who has a workout regiment that you think you’d like to try? Who seems to have their act together?

Talk to them. Ask them how did they get to the point where they are now with their physique and fitness level.

Guaranteed the conversation might go something like this:

“I make it a priority. But I wasn’t always like this! It took me a long time to prepare all my meals and get my workouts in.”

or

“My gym is right around the corner from my job so I go right after work. Otherwise I don’t think I would ever go.”

or

“I have the energy to deal with my job and the kids because I don’t eat crap like I used to. I don’t always work out. Sometimes I just can’t get it in, but at least my meals are pretty good 80% of the time. It also helps that I learned how to cook after I got married.”

or

“Oh it’s takes a lot of work to stay in shape but I’m addicted to it! I signed up for some endurance races to hold me accountable. At first it was hard, but I just made it a point to put it in my schedule. Like an appointment that I can’t miss.”

Do you see what the consistent message is here? “It’s not easy but I made it work for me.” “I’m not always 100% consistent but I try.”  “It took me a long time to get this way.”

I promise, this is the only secret that there is.

Some day, everyone will stop with the quick fixes and diet pills and crash diets. People will see the celebrities on magazine covers and condemn the latest Hollywood cleanse. Women won’t tear each other down. We’ll stop trying to one-up our transformation story as being better or “because I’m a Mom I had to work harder than you!”

Some day this will happen. They’ll understand there are no excuses. There’s just hard work and desire to succeed.

It’s a shame we still don’t get it.

 

 

How to Un-Brand Your Company in Three Easy Steps Courtesy of Experience Life Magazine

Have you ever seen a train wreck? Take a look at this one:It’s a train wreck of a different kind: A Public Relations Train Wreck of Epic Proportions. How do you Un-Brand Yourself you might ask? Here’s a quick summary:

  1. Tout yourself as the No Gimmicks, No Hype Health Magazine. Proceed to put a woman on your cover of your latest issue whose SOLE purpose is to ALARM and CREATE HYPE to the uneducated consumer with outrageous claims not backed by any science or facts.
  2. ACCUSE the naysayers and people who comment negatively on your Facebook Page of being PAID BY THE BIG FOOD COMPANIES to make these comments. Assume these are all robots/fake accounts or paid shills and completely ignore the influx of negative comments because to do so would be to acknowledge that people disagree with you, and that simply can’t be!
  3. NEVER apologize or issue any statement saying how unfortunate and how sorry you are for completely distancing yourself from your audience for accusing them of such a conspiracy and continue to keep your head in the sand and hope this all just goes away. Proceed as if nothing has happened and continue to IGNORE your audience. This is the final step nail in the coffin.

Congratulations! Your brand that you worked for many years to establish is now running itself into the ground. Your magazine will now be associated with words like “hack” “hype” “gimmicky” and “Dr. Oz.” (and no, that’s not a good thing).


On one hand, I can’t feel THAT sorry for a company that makes a ton of $ in advertisers and Life Time Fitness Club members. (The members of LTF get this magazine for free). On the other hand, I feel like I’m watching the reputation of a magazine I really enjoyed reading go down the crapper. It would have been one thing to have this woman (I refuse to even say her name to give her more “clicks”) on their cover and ignore the negative comments. But then they had to go and accuse the negative people of being part of a conspiracy. Just a crazy irrational accusation that clearly was not well thought out. If it was run by the editors or whoever goes through the approval process, I just can’t imagine them saying “Yes, yes go ahead and put that on Facebook. That’s exactly what we should do.” I haven’t been an employee of Life Time Fitness in over 2 years and while I don’t see the magazine having a huge impact on the enrollment there, I do think if I WAS still an employee, I’d have a very hard time standing behind this company for this response. And the fact that they are taking their time issuing an apology tells me one thing: They are not sorry. They actually DO believe that everyone that commented are paid shills and part of a conspiracy and they believe everything FoodBabe stands for. And that is freakin scary. I almost feel like this is break up. Yes perhaps a little melodramatic of a word…but not really. I felt connected to this BRAND long after I quit Life Time Fitness. I read this magazine every month and would buy it even after I wasn’t an employee and getting it for free. I cut out articles and recipes and workouts. I shared articles on my Personal Trainer page encouraging my readers on my blog to subscribe and “read this” and “take a look at this” and “what a great article!” and “isn’t this inspiring?” What a fool I was. I bought in to their gimmick didn’t I? I was just another sucker. I thought what they were doing was game changing. I thought it was “revolutionizing” the way we think of health and fitness. I feel like a fool. If this is the direction they are taking their publication, then I guess there’s no room for me on this train. They will have their followers I’m sure. There will be FoodBabe (I personally like the nickname FraudBabe the best) followers who will pick up that issue and read it and drink that Kool-Aid. Oh wait..not Kool-Aid. That contains chemicals and probably causes cancer, right? But they’ll hop right on board and Experience Life Mag will welcome them with their wide open, fear mongering arms. To add a little humor, here are the BEST comments that you may have missed among the almost 1,000 that they are getting in response to their conspiracy accusation.

LOOOOOL. Coordinated effort subsidized by special interest. If by “special interest” you mean “actual scientific facts” then yes. because going to a four year university to become a dietitian and NOT agreeing with an alarmist makes me ”industry”? Unbelievable response! You should be embarrassed…especially because I was once a fan of your magazine, left a comment on my view of Vani, from an educated person in the field of food science, and all of a sudden you’re going to label me as part of some ”conspiracy”? Really? Major PR mistake!

Goodness ~what an accusation! I am only one woman, a 62 year old marathon running grandma with an Oxford PhD. There IS no industry coordinated response, rather a series of responses from unpaid, concerned citizens of FaceBook-land. Many of us have been banned by the Food Babe for engaging in innocuous questions there. Perhaps you might question her about her ‘no-debate’ policy that results in shutting down debate by manipulating her open FB page.

Bad form. It’s called dialogue and healthy debate with your readers. Not squashing them and labeling them part of an industry coordinated response. Paranoia and bullying don’t seem like earmarks of a healthy way of life company or publication. Yeesh. So what you’re saying is that someone created my Facebook account in 2008, added 200 friends, posted regularly and created an entire life just because you would eventually have someone on the cover that people don’t like? How deluded are you maniacs? It couldn’t possibly be that people dislike your cover choice? Shame on you. Conspiracy? No…. It’s a legitimate concern that you’re placing a lady on the cover of your mag who has no credentials to discuss nutrition. She is not a dietician or a nutritionist, she’s a computer major… Her qualifications are nil.

If popularity determined credibility, she’s the queen. It just doesn’t work that way in terms of science, nutrition and health and it’s embarrassing to see someone like her get exposure over many others who preach a healthy lifestyle without the bad science. They have a Senior Editor in charge of FACT CHECKING???? Hahahaha!!!!! If we really wanted to make a freaking killing financially and had no ethics, we’d copy Food Babe’s business model. The “earmarks of an industry-coordinated response?” Seriously?

Oh man, you need to catch up with how the internet works, especially when it comes to science geeks. We run our own blogs, and we talk to each other. I’m a biologist-turned-EMT-turned-nursing-student. No industry ties. And man, I WISH I was being subsidized, because it would help pay my tuition. I get paid for saving lives as an EMT, not for schilling for the food industry. (And actually, seeing as I prefer to grow much of my food and support small, local farmers, the “food industry” probably wouldn’t like me too much.)

No, darlings, I’m just anti-pseudoscience, anti-false-information, and anti-stupidity. I’ve been teaching and tutoring science (biology, chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, microbiology) for years, and so many people believe all sorts of bogus nonsense because of pseudoscience quacks like “Food Babe.” I know a lot of other very real people with NO connection to any particular industry who are sick and tired of pseudoscience from quacks like Vani Hari.

If you can’t recognize that the flood of comments against Vani Hari are from real people, then you need to catch up with the times.

And here are some epic MEMES: 10632790_10152274713091104_4242161282731127592_n 10650040_10152276100146881_591547837768837249_n 1524987_10153192572988047_11270695186533193_n **Updated: As of today, it’s been over a week and no apology. Their FB Page continued to post random articles from the current issue in the hopes that the “post in question” would travel so far down the page, maybe no one would notice. The comments have been nothing but negative and “We’re WAITING!” in anticipation of SOME sort of response…but they are quiet.

Their Amazon.com rating went down from 5 stars to 2 in less than 3 days. And, as soon as you search for it on Amazon, all the reviews posted are 1 starred. All the posts on Facebook are completely trashing the magazine as well as their sorry excuse for a PR department.  The silence is literally deafening.

The More You Know, the More it Sucks

So I kinda figured out this whole fat loss/dieting thing. I actually figured it out a long time ago, but unfortunately, it just took me until NOW to realize how much it really sucks.

See, there’s really no big secret to losing fat and keeping it off. We all know it’s basically being in a caloric deficit. And yes it requires hard work and patience and time and effort of course.

But to finally finally FINALLY understand that you cannot possibly see good results without adhering to your diet at least at an 85-90% compliance rate 100% of the time?  Well, that’s the part that really sucks.

Here comes the whining (I’m really good at complaining, so brace yourself).

So now I gotta get back to being the tupperware queen again. Now I have to resist the urge to eat something I’m not really supposed to. Now I have to toss the peanut butter that calls my name when I’m not even hungry at night. Now I have to suck it up and just deal with hunger sometimes. (Not starvation, let’s be clear).

I finally understand how most of my clients feel MOST of the time. I’m struggling like they do. I’m frustrated like they are. I’m cheating as many times if not more than they are on the weekends.

And here we go again on Monday morning, starting over. This time we will be 100%. This time we won’t cheat. This time we will prep our foods. This time we’ll get our workouts in. This time we’ll try really really hard and we will not fail.

But a few days or maybe if I’m lucky, a few weeks might pass and I’ll be back here again, repeating the same thing.

So goes this whole dieting thing.

And there’s really no other words of wisdom to share with this. There’s no big revelation. There’s nothing more to say other than THIS. SUCKS.

 

Does this Selfie Make My Ego Look Big?

aliquote

Who says we have to suffer?  When did this stop becoming fun and lighthearted and turn into hardcore and punishment?

At this time last year I was spending a decent amount of time in the gym.  I was working out 6 days week for about 45 minutes at a time.  No cardio, just lifting.  Not overtraining.  Just working towards the goal of the competition. I also worked at two other gyms. And paid membership dues to 3 gyms.

My sister joked once at the time:  “Whenever I call you you’re either on your way to the gym, at the gym, or driving home from the gym.”  I thought it was hilarious…back then.

Now? A year later, I’m kind of irritated that I found it necessary to workout so much.  I think of all the time I could have spent doing other things.  I could have at least cut back to 4 days a week.  Granted, I made sure I didn’t miss out on any family gatherings as much as possible. But it bordered on obsession and addiction.

Today, I can’t help but see others succumbing to the #NoDaysOff mantra.  Take a look at ANY social media forum and it’s right there. Instagram is probably the worst culprit.  I don’t recall all this Selfie obsession a year or two ago.  It has definitely escalated.  I’m sure it started out as motivating and perhaps it continues to motivate others. (I just like the pictures of the food to be honest).  But it borders on Bragging and Boasting.  Now everyone and their mother thinks they have to tweet and post and snap a pic of every rep and set and flex.  #Beastmode? #NoDaysOff? I say #Annoying.

And these are not people training for a competition or a marathon.  These are not Olympians or professional athletes. These are just average people thinking they have to kill themselves in the gym almost everyday.  And they ARE doing cardio and possibly overtraining.  But let’s just say they are being careful and have become addicted to the gym.  I think that’s a great thing except for one small problem:  Too much of a good thing can become a bad thing.

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I think you might need to find a LIFE if the gym is the only good part of your day. I love working out but it is indeed not the best part of my day.

Injuries and overtraining aside, spending 75% of your time in a gym working out is not the point of working out.  The point of being fit is to be healthy so you WON’T have to spend 75% of your time in a gym.  Even if you think of your average overweight or even obese person in this example, they can accomplish most of their fat loss by diet alone and little exercise.  But therein lies the problem – Most of the people who NEED to lose fat, probably have an addiction to food, which is how they got to where they are presently.

So instead of working on a food plan and getting a diet in order, people are under the impression that in order to lose fat, they can just workout and still eat like garbage.  That might work for a week or two, but crappy eating always wins in the end.  You can run a marathon and still gain weight.

Programs like P90X and T25 and CrossFit give the false impression, I think, that you have to sweat until you bleed in the gym everyday or else you’re not doing it right.

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Sorry to my CF friends but this is #lame.

Selfies and Flex Friday and Motivation Monday and #FitFamily can be a great thing, don’t get me wrong.  At this point, it’s just motivating the already-motivated groups though.

Let’s just get the word out there that beating  yourself up in the gym everyday isn’t worth it in the end.  And it’s not necessary or even recommended to anyone.

No one ever said on their deathbed, “If only I had just squatted a few more times!”  And no matter what you believe about the afterlife, I don’t think you can take your dumbbells with you.

Unfortunately the people who really need to read this, won’t see it.

They’re still at the gym.