Updated: Jan 8, 2019
I can't tell you how much it makes me want to throat punch somebody when I hear things like "no pain, no gain," or "sweat is just fat crying." While it is true that we must endure discomfort or inconvenience while going from fat to fit, (or any bodily transformation, for that matter), meeting your goals should not feel like you are being punished. Many have turned to the self-punishment, boot camp style of motivation, feeling like they DESERVE to feel awful because of how far they've let themselves go, but the reality is that sustainable lifestyle changes take patience, courage, and compassion with oneself.
I came across these instagram posts the other day, by a woman who participates in bodybuilding in the bikini division.
Am I the only one who reads these and actually sees "I do 17 workouts per week, most of them without eating, on a 1300 calorie diet" and "My body and physical health are suffering, but it's worth it to look thin and toned!"? What's scary is that this fitness "professional" sells online nutrition coaching and workout plans. What's EVEN scarier is that these posts have thousands of likes, and dozens of comments from women envying her physique and determination, and measuring their discipline by how few calories they eat, or the fact that they only eat 1-2 meals a day.
Now, I don't think this is the goal of the poster, or that it's her intention to promote disordered eating. But I point this out simply because this has become the norm in fitness and dieting, and a plan on par with a post like this is readily available for purchase. I've had many clients over the years who have been on plans like Medifast or Weight Watchers, both of which provide plans at the starvation level. It's brutally hard for most in the beginning, but as the weight flies off, the pain seems to be worth it. The problem with being in a heavy deficit (especially when doing insane amounts of working out) is--who in the world can sustain that? It's both physically brutal and mentally exhausting. And the message is that this is simply what it takes. Spoiler alert, not a single one of those clients were able to keep the weight off with those programs.
Improving your body composition, whether it means losing extra weight or gaining muscle, takes time, discipline, and most importantly, sustainability. And it absolutely is an act of self love. But working out 17 times a week and starving yourself is not what people who love themselves do. This is simply not the loving way to treat your body, it's punishment.
If you want to change your life and your body forever, adhere to a lifestyle plan that you can actually manage without feeling like crap. Measure small successes over time. Practice patience and compassion with your body. Love the hell out of yourself.
We provide sustainable, long term macronutrient goal setting for weight loss. Contact us today if you need some help along the way!