June 29, 2013 by mybattlebuddyfitness
written by Melissa Eisner
If you have decided to start a new workout program to get skinny in the next 2 months, stop. If you are getting on the Paleo or Atkins bandwagon, or if you have decided to go vegan to get that rocking body with the 6 pack abs, stop. If you are thinking that going on some sort of ketosis program will get you to your ‘ideal weight’ and make you beautiful, stop. If you have seen infomercials for supplements (Raspberry Ketone, Alli come to mind) and you think that they are the miracle you are looking for to get rid of the fat, to look like those amazing models on TV, stop. If you bought the new Jillian Michaels or Shaun T videos thinking you are going to get ripped in weeks, stop.
IT’S NOT ABOUT HOW YOU LOOK. Let me repeat, just in case you didn’t hear me: IT’S NOT ABOUT HOW YOU LOOK.
I go to the gym 1-2 times a day, 6 days a week. I’ve been working out for as long as I can remember, at least since college. I’ve probably flipped the switch and gotten a bit more serious about working out in the last 5 years. At times I spend more time focusing on cardio, other times I am hitting the weights. I have had phases of enjoying group classes, and times when I don’t. I will do a certain routine for a while, get bored, and then have to change things up. Working out can be very tedious at times. I sometimes hit a wall where I feel like it is a chore, one of those things that I do because I need to do it, because I have to do it.
And for the record, I am not a size 0. I am not a size 2. I probably will never fit into either of those sizes. I am a size 8, I wear medium size clothes, and I weigh in at around 145lbs. I’ll never be a skinny girl, I’ll never have that beach ready, awesome bikini body. I could try and try and try, and it would never happen. And that’s ok.
Some of you are probably asking yourselves, why on earth, if you are never going to be a skinny girl, would you work out as much as you do? It sounds like torture, right? But it has never really been, at least for me, about how I look. I mean sure, it is awesome when I lose weight, but I have gone through years when I workout regularly and no pounds come off. I have trained for half marathons and actually gained weight during the process. So why on Earth do I do this to myself?
IT IS ABOUT THE WAY IT MAKES ME FEEL. There is nothing that makes me feel better about life, about myself, about the future, about everything really than getting in a workout. When I don’t exercise, I feel physically worse than the days when I workout. Some of it is physical. I feel stronger and I have more energy when I work out on a frequent basis. My feet and my back don’t hurt (probably because my muscles are stronger). I can think more clearly. It is also mental / emotional. I feel good about myself when I work out. Not always that endorphin high way, as I often don’t get that rush, but mostly like, Yay me! You did something good for yourself today that no one can take away.
What I say about working out is true of nutrition. I mostly eat a diet that is low in sugar, fats, and carbs. I don’t drink all that often. Is it fun to eat the way that I do? Well, now, yes, it is, I like doing it NOW . . . in the beginning, it sucked. It was so much more enjoyable to eat things that were high in sugar and fat, they taste good, and my brain loves the rush. And cutting those foods out sucks, your brain is like why don’t I get my food rewards anymore? And your body misses the sugar and fat as well. You drag for a while when you give up those foods, and the afternoons are killer. Your brain and body are screaming for a chocolate or chips, and you just have to say no. But then, with time (yes, people, you have to be patient, we are not talking about days or weeks, we are talking about many months) your body adjusts, and the fruit tastes a little sweeter, and the veggies make you feel good when you eat them. And when you do eat those not so good for you foods, you’ll feel bad, physically. I get sluggish and lazy when I eat foods high in sugar and fat. A weekend of going off the rails makes me feel physically unwell. I know I have just tossed a whole bunch of food in the tank that makes it run poorly, and I perform poorly.
Eating well and getting proper amounts of exercise are all about how it makes you feel. The how you look is a bonus. If you do it right, yes, you’ll look physically better. But don’t make that your primary motivation, as any results you get are unlikely to last in the long term. People yo-yo with weight because they look for that quick fix, when they really need to be changing how they live.
Decide today that you want to feel your best, and if you lead with that, I am confident that you will get the body that is meant for you, the one you will have the rest of your life.