It isn’t all or nothing!

I’m a member of several different health and fitness forums and everyday someone comes on looking to “lose weight and tone up.”  Every day I say, ok, you should set reasonable starter goals, focus on healthy eating and start exercising.  Find something you like and will continue to do and move on from there.

Now, I’m saying this right now, no one has to listen to me.  My approach is, I suppose, the slow, steady, non-stressful route to health.  People tend to prefer quick fixes, (hence the multi billion dollar diet industry).

Now, in addition to my posts, most times someone else, usually a personal trainer or body builder, comes on and says you have to do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), you have to lift heavy, you have to cut your diet down to “clean foods,” only fish, chicken, veg.  No junk food, no alcohol.

Often this is followed by a totally unhelpful comment like “”Toning” is kind of a bs phrase that gets banded about a lot. It generally means a combined reduction in fat and increase in muscle mass so your muscles appear more “defined” (ie you can see the muscle outlines). No offence but you are a long way from seeing any definition.”

Umm. How in the world is that helpful?   First of all, that’s all wonderful advice for looking like you. But not everyone has the time or ability to be a personal trainer or a body builder.  The major problem is, these people just starting their healthy journey are going to get frustrated, sad and generally give up because they can’t live up to this woman (or man’s) expectations and because her (or his) body is not a realistic goal for them.  These people are going to give up on being healthy because of this bullshit “all or nothing” attitude towards diet and fitness.

I’ve spent so much time hating what I saw in the mirror, feeling bad about myself, and even crying because I couldn’t cut out enough calories, or because I couldn’t make myself like HIIT or even remotely want to do that.  I actually almost drove myself to a hernia doing HIIT because it completely ignores my split stomach muscles.

Exercise and health are not all or nothing, there are multiple levels in between, just as there is beauty at every shape and size.  People need to find what works for them and do it and stop feeling pressure from others to be or look a certain way.

Whew.  Ok. Rant done. :)

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