Ya Wanna Know A Secret?

cheerleaderI will be the first to applaud your steps on the fitness path, the first to slap your back and shake my pompoms to cheer you on.

But here’s where I run into a quandry: When I see the posts about the insane cardio workouts, the super fast runs, or the current challenge of the month.  When I see the posts about burning off all the calories taken in during a splurge.  Some great things, yes.  When done properly and within a plan.  In the words of Inigo Montoya, let me ‘splain.

First off…not all calories and fats are evil.  Myfitnesspal is a great tool for newbie fitness freaks (I use the term lovingly, as I am a freak myself).  It is not a challenge to come in under your caloric limit, nor do all calories provide you the same fuel.  You can drink that nasty ass Diet Coke with its virtual shitstorm of chemicals and additives; it has zero calories.  Or you can have eight ounces of orange juice, a green smoothie, Shakeology, or even…water.  My point is…you may be staying within your “caloric range,” but you are feeding your body the equivalent of poison.  If the label says “diet,” “low fat,” or “low sugar,” leave it in the store.  The best foods don’t even have labels (think produce!).  And your body requires fat.  Just make sure you’re getting it from the right sources: fish, grass-fed meats, whole entire eggs.

Good-Fats-Vs-Bad-Fats

Secondly…stop trying to out-cardio any falls off the eat-clean wagon.  It doesn’t work.  You can’t outexercise a binge session or a bad diet.  Our bodies simply do not work that way.  Consistency is the only true solution.  Don’t like it, learn to like the body and the health you have.  You will only change those two things when you accept that fitness is a daily journey filled with choices.  There are no quality quick or easy fixes.  You actually have to work – both by exercising and by eating to properly fuel your body.  That run you take today will not negate the cake you ate last night, no matter how much I’ve prayed to God to make it so.

Which means those monthly challenges – while terrific when combined with clean eating and a regular fitness program – aren’t going to garner the changes you’re seeking.  You can’t expect to rock Kate Hudson’s abs because you did crunches – and only crunches – for 30 days and continued to eat food that likely contains pubic hair.  (Bit o’ trivia for ya there, my friends: if you’re eating fast food, you’re eating around twelve pubic hairs a year.  And they ain’t yours.)  Change one thing each week until you’ve got all your bases covered.  But don’t cry to me that you aren’t seeing the results you want while stuffing your face with salty fries (and pubic hair).  Plus, you need to work more than one body part.  Stop with the “trouble zones” baloney.  You cannot choose where the weight will come off first.  Your body decides all on its own (and ladies, it’s your boobs 99.9% of the time).  Food-Fact-Hair-In-Fast-Food

And a quick word about running: don’t go all out all the time.  I understand the joy of faster pace times and longer distances.  I also understand the pain of shin splints, sore muscles, and inflexible knees.  It was not until I researched a running plan – an injury free running plan – that I actually was able to get more speed and distance.  Be kinder to yourself than I was to myself.  Check out Jeff Galloway and find a plan based on your needs.  He’s got ’em all covered.  http://www.jeffgalloway.com/

You seriously want changes?  For real?  Here’s what you do: eat clean, lift, and find a fun cardio workout.  Do all three regularly and consistently.  For the rest of your life.

There’s your solution.

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