What if I told you that how you looked was 90% nutrition and 10% exercise?
Someone told me that once and at the time I really didn't want to believe it. After all, we were standing in my Mother's kitchen and at that exact moment there was a box of Girl Scout cookies waiting to be devoured (Hello, Thin Mints!). However, over the years I've come to learn the truth of that statement.
You can't exercise yourself out of poor nutrition. When we are young we have an easier time at maintaining a fit body while indulging in less than stellar food choices. As we age that becomes much harder to do. Also, it's important to remember that how you look is only the surface of it all nutrition affects our outside appearance but more importantly it affects our internal workings and organs. Our outside appearance isn't necessarily an accurate depiction of what's going on inside our bodies.
My freshman year of college I had the fortunate blessing of making friends with a few girls who were as fit conscious as me. They loved to workout and so did I. The three of us got up every morning at 5 am and went to the college gym together. We'd also go for afternoon runs. This amount of exercise was nothing new for me. I'd been in the gym since I was in the 8th grade, lifting weights and running. However, what did change for me were my eating habits.
These two girls were more conscious of what they put in their bodies than I was. Since we were all together I quickly followed suit. The results? Well you know the old saying "the freshman 15"? Instead of gaining 15 pounds my freshman year of college, I lost 15 pounds. I was literally in the best shape I'd ever been in and looked much better than I did in high school. It wasn't exercise that changed for me, it was my diet.
Three years ago when my cystic acne came back with a full on vengeance I learned the truth of this statement once again. Nothing externally worked. My acne didn't begin to clear until I changed the way I ate.
How do you look and feel? Do you reward a great workout session with food indulgences? Are you exercising your heart out but not seeing the results you desire?
I encourage you to show up for yourself and feed your body well!
Not sure how to do that? Let me help you. You deserve to look and feel your best!
Treadmill girl versus squats girl -- I had to laugh.
First of all, aren't we women supposed to empower one another? So why are we posting an image that implies one looks better,is more attractive than the other.? Which one is it? I'm not sure. Each has nice attributes, and one of the things that makes life interesting is not all of us look the same.
Second, I spent years faithfully following a traditional fitness mindset lifting weights (both heavy and light), cardio (including the treadmill) and an occasional yoga or pilates class. While I was certainly strong and had a lot of nice muscle, I still struggled with not being pleased with the way my body looked. The areas that I wanted to get smaller never seemed to, and the areas I wanted to "plump up" never got that way.
When I was in middle school my dad began taking me to our local YMCA. He taught me everything I know about lifting weights. I treasured our time together and to this day am so grateful to him that he did this for me. During this time, my level of confidence grew, I developed a lot of strength in my body and I got to bond with my dad. It was an all around "win win." One of the greatest gifts you can give a growing adolescent is teaching them how to properly care for their body, nutritionally and physically. This grew into my love for fitness that has stayed with me.
Years later, when my oldest daughter was about 2, we were stationed at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. The gym on post didn't offer child care so I was mostly using my jogging stroller to run outside or doing at home exercise videos. Then I met a group of ladies who were doing a crossfit inspired workout and I was invited to join the group. This form of exercise pushed me to my limits and I developed a lot of strength in my body as well as muscle mass. However, I didn't look or feel balanced. It was the same old problem: the parts of my body that I felt were too big were getting bigger. And the parts I wanted to accentuate (namely my small bottom) continued to look smaller. Probably because my upper body kept getting so much bigger!
I didn't realize what was happening until my family went on a summer beach trip. Later, looking at photos, I didn't like what I saw of myself in my bathing suit. How frustrating! Here I was putting in all this effort at the gym and not feeling pleased with the results.
It wasn't until I completely changed the way I thought about exercise that my body really began to change shape and I discovered I did have some level of control over the way I look. One day I accidentally stumbled across a short clip of a Tracy Anderson workout. My first thought was, "Her form is all wrong." Her method of exercise was very different, and even a little bizarre looking. However, I couldn't deny that I was intrigued.
I found her YouTube videos of a 17 minute butt and legs segment. I figured why not? I got down on all fours and began following along. Even with my then high-level of fitness and strong cardio health Tracy's workout challenged me in ways I never thought possible. I felt muscles working that I didn't know existed. I ordered Tracy's program. After 4 years later Tracy's method has changed my body in the positive ways I had never been able to achieve. I have found, too, that her method strengthened my mind-body connection. I feel more balanced overall.
Treadmill or squat -- I'm not going to suggest which you should be. You have to decide that. The point is, if you are diligently working out, and you're feeding your body with whole food nutrition, and you're still not seeing results you want, then try Tracy Anderson's workout.
For me the treadmill wasn't the answer. Squats weren't the answer. I found my answer when I changed the way I thought about exercise in general and took an entirely different approach.
For the record, both Barbies in this graphic are beautiful please stop body shaming.
Note: I do not receive any compensation from Tracy Anderson products, nor have I been compensated by her or anyone else for this blog. This is a testimonial, pure and simple. Tracy Anderson is a copyrighted name and registered trademark.