Lately, social media is inundated with before and after pictures of everyday women scantily clad, who are following one of a number of programs that has helped them to lose weight and look very fabulous. While I am exceedingly proud of these beautiful people for their hard work and dedication; and while they look incredible, there's a problem.
Even though I don't disagree that these programs may in fact work, spending hundreds and thousands of dollars on shakes, extreme workout programs, supplements and other items that promise to make you look like Jennifer Aniston, although tempting, is unsustainable and unnecessary. How many people do you know that bought P90X or Insanity, finished the program, got the T-Shirt, and kept working out? Those programs are honestly not geared toward McDonalds-eating couch potatoes. They're HARD, taxing on the body, and set up for people who already workout. Shakes, supplements, wraps, creams, restrictive diets that eliminate good sources of whole foods, and gadgets aren't some miracle that you're going to keep up with forever. I understand that, these things may help you to jumpstart a healthier lifestyle. If so, and you move on from it geared up for every day life, that's great. It just shouldn't be a be-all end-all when it comes to health and fitness.
Health has to be practical. Sustainable. It has to fit into the real world; something you're willing and able to keep up with in the long run…The latest diet/exercise/health plan isn't the answer.
HERE'S WHAT IS…
First, those close to me know, I like to eat delicious things, I like to cook delicious things, and I'm not a dieter. I do love vegetables and whole foods, and most of my food intake consists of these things. As I've headed into my early thirties here, I can tell you it's true that your metabolism slows. Also, honestly, I do take vitamins and supplements for specific issues, and my daughter and I don't eat gluten because we become very sick if we do…not because gluten is bad for everyone. I actually gained weight when I stopped eating gluten! It's not a way to diet!
After having two kids, I've lost weight and have become more fit than I've ever been in my life, and I've done it for FREE without a restrictive diet…and I still bake and eat dessert daily. My husband has done the same thing - and he now weighs less than he ever has in the fifteen years we've been together.
Two things I've used:
What YOU need to do (besides being ready and willing to make a change):
1. Move for 15 minutes a day….I don't care what you do. It could be a Fitness Blender workout video, one of the hundreds of thousands of the workout videos on YouTube, dance with your kids, walk your dog, speed clean the house…it doesn't matter. Move. Today and most days for 15 minutes. Make it part of your routine. 15 minutes. When you feel like you're ready to increase the duration, increase it, but do it often. It's all about routine and something you can stick with.
2. Keep track of your food. What are you eating? You can do this in My Fitness Pal, a notebook, or on your phone. Just keep track, and when you're ready, start figuring out the calories your eating…and then eat less. You can then work toward incorporating more whole foods into your diet so that you're actually receiving the nutrition you need!
Unless you have a thyroid issue or another health problem that makes it difficult to lose weight, this will work. It's safe, sustainable, and you don't have to buy anything. After a while, you'll have fun, see progress, and maybe you'll want to reward yourself with some things…Stay tuned for my favorite workout gadgets that just make it more fun for me…but for now…and forever, you don't need to buy anything.
For my friends who disagree with this post, please, post a comment with your thoughts. I'm always open to friendly discussion.
Edited to add: I do NOT think certain programs and extra supplements or diet plans are bad. I'm not looking to discredit or debate them…I only want the average Joe to know they don't need anything special or lots of money to get healthy. As I said before, I myself take supplements for specific issues that I'm having, and support a healthy, balanced lifestyle. THAT is the point of this message.