Change. It’s a very hard thing. Whether we want to change our bodies, our minds or our lifestyles and trade what we currently have in for a better, healthier version…a lot of us get stuck. Deep down, you want to get in shape. All of a sudden, you’re surfing a “fitness kick”…for a couple weeks, you’re cruising through steady diet plans and daily gym visits. Every night you look…slash stare…at the trim and toned women on fitness magazine covers…they give us hope to keep moving on! You wake up every morning and look at your abs in the mirror to make sure they’re looking a little better than yesterday. You feel focused on a goal…a goal to grow your butt and bring in your waist…and you feel like the very limited amount of salad greens and water you’re purposefully consuming everyday will get you there in no time. Miss Strong knows that women do this, because at one time, she thought this was the right way, too.
But guess what? Stop going to the gym and dieting to look good, and do what you do so that you can make physical and mental gains in strength and performance. You wanna be faster? So train and eat to get faster. What’s that…oh, you want to have the physique of a track athlete? So run track. Here’s the secret: when you are passionate and invested in the type of training you do, and love the way you eat…..you’ll have a rewarding life, won’t be wasting your time, and will still look as hot, if not hotter than you want to look. That’s how it works.
It’s actually kind of disappointing that it’s so simple. But also, so darn great. There is no complicated, fancy, big old secret to looking good. The fitness industry makes millions of dollars off supplements, special workout clothes, gadgets and workout inventions that claim to tone and aid in rapid weight-loss….say goodbye to the shake-a-weight, and focus on lifting mad heavy barbells in the gym. I promise you, that this will yield better results. You don’t need to buy things to ingest or wrap around your waist. You need to wake up, eat a good simple breakfast, train hard, and get over feeling guilty over a bowl of ice cream. Be wholesome. Be strong. You feel confused about all the things you’ve heard about looking good or been told about fitness and dieting? Get over it.
It’s easy to get stuck during your journey to get in shape, especially with all the different methods of dieting and training that are floating around in our world. When I was in high school, I tried almost every single diet known to exist in a Barnes and Noble book…and some that also probably can’t be found in a book. Now, people always ask me what I eat…they want me to walk them through all my meals and my daily nutrition routine. That’s not how I believe in training people, and that’s not how I believe a woman will change her body. There is no easy way out, and there is no specific plan for eating well. I’m not going to tell you that in order to look like an athlete, or have the well defined arms you’re after, you need to “eat exactly 1 1/2 cups of raspberries with Meal 2” everyday. Go back to my rule….if you enjoy the way you eat and provide enough fuel for your body, you will be ok. You need to be a strong enough person not just in the gym, but in your own life, to be responsible for what you eat. Strength isn’t just about lifting heavy weights…it’s about being strong by yourself, for yourself. If you want to look muscular, athletic, lean, ripped, cut…whatever you call it…if you want to look GOOD and have a GOOD physique, I expect you to be able to somewhat get there by yourself. It takes work and personal growth.
And training? What do I recommend for looking good? I recommend that you train like you mean it, like you love it, and like you want to achieve something. And by something, I don’t mean larger glutes. I mean something real. You will see better results much faster if you are training with a purpose, for a specific goal. Athletes look like athletes because they are athletes! Rock climbers look like rock climbers because they like to climb rocks. Weight lifters look muscular because they are constantly trying to lift heavier weights. What are you trying to do? Butt raises on a mat in your rec center hallway will not necessarily make the cut.
I remember a couple months ago when I started climbing, I saw a professional rock climber in my gym training. I looked over at her while she was taking a break from climbing a route, and I thought to myself, I WANT THAT BODY! She was incredibly lean with very well defined biceps and vascular forearms, and I wanted her physique. She started climbing, and while watching her, I realized that I didn’t want her physique. I wanted her strength. What was so much cooler than her perfectly shredded back, was the fact that she was hanging onto a climbing wall by her fingers, and seven guys were standing on the ground looking up at her, pushing her to go harder. And I will be completely honest with you…there has not been a single minute since I started rock climbing, that I’ve ever been on a slab of rock reaching for a hold while thinking, “doing this a lot is going to make my back look so much sexier.” It is about being incredibly strong, being able to lift my entire body weight up over a boulder, and constantly getting better at harder problems. If I happen to look at my physique in a mirror after training consistently at the climbing gym and realize that I have visible veins radiating up my arms and bigger biceps….sweet. That’s a bonus. But when I train, it is NOT with the intention of looking like a climber. It’s about climbing.
Right now, I really love training like a climber, lifting, crossfit and endurance running. Are there times when I google, and look at the physiques of Crossfit athletes? Yes. Do I notice the bodies of the professional climbers in my gym? All the time. Have I gone online and read about endurance runner’s specific diets? Absolutely. And you know what? All that information helps me better to understand the human body, my body, and the type of training I’m doing. But it does not change my rule for success.
When you are passionate and invested in the type of training you do, and love the way you eat…..you’ll have a rewarding life, won’t be wasting your time, and will still look as hot, if not hotter than you want to look. That’s how it works.
Understand what you like eating, and decide on a GOAL for yourself. Losing weight is a good goal…it’s motivating, and a very positive decision for healthier change (to some extent). But instead of walking up to a trainer and stating that you “would very much like to lose 10 pounds” think a little harder. How about, you would like to lose weight through eating well and working out, but even more so, you would like to do 10 squats in a row, or run 3 miles in 30 minutes, or be able to do 25 unbroken pull-ups?
Get out there and reach a goal. Do it now. Get off the computer, stop reading this article, and think about yourself. What can you do to live a more well rounded, wholesome life? Shy away from the diets and the workouts that aim to tone a specific part of the body, and remind yourself of the right way to get results. Be passionate about what you do, invest yourself in training, and stop thinking about your body. You will be ok, you will be stronger, and you will be change.
Here’s to you.