Tuesday, April 26, 2016
It's a lifetime of work
I was at the gym a few weeks ago speaking with some older women about the weight machines, the stationary bikes, and the upstairs track. One of the women told me she had been walking about 2 miles a day but wasn't losing anymore weight. I looked her straight in the eye and told her I have gone to bootcamp for 3 years and have only lost 5 pounds in that time. She was caught up in then number on the scale rather than what her body was able to do that it couldn't do before.
I have a friend who is all about the numbers he lifts. He cheats when he does it, swaying and using momentum, but he doesn't want to drop weight. I'm worried he'll hurt himself, but he's worried about losing numbers. He'd rather lift a certain amount than make sure he does it correctly.
It all gets so confusing between all the voices and our own baggage.
Here's where I am with it all, if you want to know. There is NO quick fix. Nothing will make us tone and firm in 10 days. No diet will work long term, because you eventually come off it. You can't work out ONE area of your body and hope to change it.
Our bodies are an entire organism that works together in a unique and individual way. If we don't respect that we are going to get frustrated and think we are failing. I read in another article yesterday that when we try different approaches (bad diets, bad workouts) and they fail we feel like failures and often give up. But the problem wasn't us. The problem is the quick fix ideas really don't fix anything.
Don't work out to look a certain way; work out to be healthy and strong. I was skinny fat. I could fit into a bikini and did, but I was weak and my endurance was low. We need to not watch for changes on the scale, as much as what our bodies can do.
Don't get so caught up in the work outs either. It's not the number of reps you can do with the largest weight that makes a difference. It's what you can do with proper form and technique. Did you know you work two sets of muscles with one exercise? For instance, the dumbbell curl works out one set of muscles when you pull the weight up, and another set of muscles when you release down. Let both sets get stronger. Don't allow the weights to control you; you control the weights.
And don't worry about time if you are just starting out running or walking. Or distance for that matter. Go, and push yourself a little, but take it one day at a time. I did not decide to do a marathon the first year I started running. When I started running I couldn't go past 1/10 of a mile without stopping. I had to slowly work up to running longer distances, and then it was because I wanted to do it.
Our bodies work differently. You may drop weight quickly at first, but then as you get stronger and create more muscle the weight plateaus for a while. Maybe you change your diet a thousand times and can't seem to lose any more weight, but you notice eating one certain way gives you more energy for the day. Isn't that what all this should be about? Shouldn't we simply be trying to be the best US God created us to be?
Learning from others is awesome. But if their plan doesn't work for you it's not because you are a failure. Maybe you take a little bit of this plan and a little bit of that idea and you realize it works for you? Go with it! Maybe you like strength training but the numbers aren't moving up quickly? It takes a bit of time to get stronger in a healthy way. Keep going until that number is easy for you while you keep your form right. Then when you move up you will know it's safe to and you are ready to, and you know what? You might not have the pain a couple of days later. Crazy right?
There's no easy fix. You are a unique individual who God created. It's okay to do things your way. It's okay to not agree with all the experts out there. This is not a week long adventure. This is part of your life. You want to be healthy and strong? Then you will always be working to be that way. You will always consider the choices you are making. You will always be tempted by the fastest and quickest. But your life depends on you always being consistent and true to yourself.