The Fit You

Love Your Body. Love Your Life

Tag: hope

French Women Don’t Get Fat

I’ve always loved French culture… the way they typically don’t brush their hair even when it’s long… the obsession with skincare… their apothecaries where you can find beauty treasures not available anywhere else!

And… the way they eat!

French women eat carbs!  They enjoy breads and pastries!  They drink wine!

They eat dark chocolate and have dessert!

And yet they typically are well known for not getting fat.

There’s even a book out from years ago (no I haven’t read it – I should!) with this title, “French Women Don’t Get Fat!”

This video explores some of the ways they keep fit into old age ❤  So sweet!  And it’s mostly common sense stuff.  Nothing too hard or difficult to manage.

And the cute way they talk about staying fit, is as if it’s just part of daily living.  And it IS for them.

All it takes is moderation, or knowing your body well enough to understand when you need to “take the stairs” as they say.

When your pants start to feel tight, it’s time to ramp up your exercising, and cut back a little.  They do this on their own as a way of monitoring their weight and staying fit and thin.  No strange, difficult diets, no cutting out desserts or breads, just plain old exercising and eating fresh (not processed), homemade foods and desserts along with their healthy foods (proteins and veggies), too.

Here’s to french desserts, en modération😉

Bon appétit!

Stephanie

 

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Valeria’s Easy Weight Loss Hacks

 

Valeria is  a Russian model, 27, two children, and a long history of taking excellent care of her mind and body.  I adore her ❤

One of the main purposes of this blog is to show women how ridiculously EASY and SIMPLE losing weight can be when you have the correct knowledge and advice.  You DON’T have to stop eating carbs, or start making complicated meals that are super high in fat.

Losing weight should be a relaxing, simplistic, lifestyle change that fits into your already busy routine.  It should be something SUSTAINABLE over the length of your entire life!  I don’t promote the most popular diet fads or pills for weightloss or weird supplements that mess with your hormone production.

None of that.

Just simple, easy, kind of “lazy” ways to change your life so that you start seeing and getting the body you feel strong and comfortable and proud in.

And these tips are so easy & true.  I’ve been implementing the “hacks” she mentions since about 2009.  So that’s almost a DECADE of knowing these things work for maintaining a fit and beautiful body you love.

  • Eat on small, salad-sized plates- you psychologically see the plate with TONS  of food and you feel more satisfied and are less likely to get seconds
  • Fill up HALF of your plate with veggies (greens – dark leafy greens especially – are GREAT for this).  I’ve consistently lost the most weight when I was practicing this daily habit.
  • Chew your food… chew it slowly and take your time to eat.  It’s been proven you digest better and that your brain is able to understand more correctly when you’re “full” and need to stop
  • When you do eat out, always order your dressing or sauces on the side.  Yes!  I don’t bring my own usually, although I know women who do that… it’s too much work for me and this is about “lazy fitness” 😀  But just ordering it to be “on the side” that way you can carefully “dip” your food into the high calorie, high fat flavor, you WIN big time in not smothering your food in that stuff!
  • Detox water – I used to do this with lemon, but her recipe is much better (and she promotes making a big batch to keep in the fridge – yea I totally do things like that)

Hope you enjoyed her tips as much as I did!

Remember… losing weight isn’t really that hard… a TON of what you need to do to even begin is just slightly alter what you’re already doing.

Stephanie

How Do You Have a “Fit” Postpartum?

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My husband took this picture without me knowing 🙂 my body is still not exactly where I want it to be (so much loss of muscle and probably still some fat to lose), but it does make me happy that my body is relatively back to normal.  I feel strong and full of energy, and am so proud of what it can do so soon after having our 3rd baby.  It’s like a celebration! ❤

Going on a beach vacation and celebrating our 10th anniversary this early postpartum was a little difficult, but thankfully the difficulty wasn’t so much because I was “out of shape,” but just due to having such a little baby.  We’re a very active, athletic family… so being out of shape really lessens the quality of my life as I’m not able to keep up or do the things I want to do.

But why is getting back in shape after having a baby important?  Obviously, it may not be important to everyone, but to the majority of women out there who eventually do want to get their bodies back, it seems like it is.

One woman in my fitness group recently admitted that if she had known how much excess skin would be hanging off her stomach postpartum, and how awful it would feel to even look at it, she would have DEFINITELY changed all her eating habits while pregnant and would have kept her weight down and been only gaining the minimum amount necessary.

I think it’s relatively normal for Western women to disregard their fitness while pregnant, not really understanding (or caring at the moment) how hard it will be to lose that weight, or to get the skin to go back in, after the baby is out.  And then once it’s a few months or a year postpartum, they start to realize how hard they made it for themselves and live with regret.

So what is the “secret” to having a fit postpartum?  What is the secret to having a pretty good body almost right after you have your baby?

The simple answer?

Having a fit pregnancy.

That’s it.  And it’s the truth. 🙂 The more “in shape” you are, the stronger you are and yes, even “thinner” you are while you’re pregnant, normal weight gain aside of course, the fitter, stronger, and even thinner you’ll be postpartum.

If you stay active and only gain what you and the baby actually need, you won’t have pounds of excess fat and weight to lose afterward.

I’m lucky to be in a fitness group right now where I’ve seen many ladies go through pregnancy and come out extremely fit and strong and capable.  They not only don’t use pregnancy as an excuse to eat anything they want, they don’t even use pregnancy as an excuse to stop lifting weights!!  Or to stop running and working out fairly hard!  It’s amazing to watch these women conquer the usual setbacks of pregnancy with hard work and discipline.  Very inspiring and motivating ❤ 🙂

Will pregnancy set you back some?  Definitely, in those first weeks, doctors don’t want you to workout again until cleared for a reason – because your body really is still healing.  But they also tell you right after you have the baby (the next day in my experiences with all our 3 kids), to start walking like you’re planning to do a walk-a-thon in a month lol!

Walking IS exercising, and they want you doing that 24 hours after having a c-section!

So yes, while you need to wait until your doctor clears you to do more strenuous things, your doctor also expects you to be walking and gently moving your body around actively on your own the day after a c-section.

Why?  Because they know for a fact that it helps you heal faster if you gently exercise those muscles and it keeps your blood flowing which also aids in a faster healing.

We were created to move, and its really no different during and after pregnancy.  Hence the more fit and strong you are during pregnancy, the better (and easier!!) it will be for you afterward.

So take care of yourself during your pregnancy!  You’ll never regret making healthy choices that make it easier for you when you have your baby 😉

It’s already hard having a newborn, but being overweight or weak and fat make it a lot harder.  Be good to yourself, and keep your body in shape.

Stephanie

Fantastic Workout Moves for Diastasis Recti

I don’t believe I’ve had diastasis recti, but I’ve known a couple of friends who have that were plagued by it for months.  It is not fun to have delivered your baby 6 months ago, and yet have a bulge as though you’re still 6 months pregnant!

But you don’t have to live like that, there is real help out there and exercise techniques that will pull your stomach in and even close the gap between your ab muscles.

This woman’s workout video is perfect, and I’m amazed she still has a 2-finger gap even though she looks incredible.  It just goes to show how hard it is to get back to normal sometimes.

It’s not easy.  It’s not for the faint-hearted.

If you want a good body after it growing huge with pregnancy, it’s something you really have to work for.

Just like anything good in life.

Stephanie

7 Great Tips for Getting Your Body Back After Baby

This woman’s video is GREAT for some important tips to try out when losing the baby weight after pregnancy.  She goes over pretty much everything I’ve done or tried at least once and it worked for her personally (and me too), but she does mention that this may not work for everyone.  It really is true that some people respond better or not at all to some tweaks in their diet or exercise routines – basically, you have to do the research for your own body type (it’s out there! I’ll post some on things like that after the baby) and figure out what you should even be eating for your genes etc.

Ashley’s Tips:

  1. Work out – She works out everyday and started working out just a few days after having her baby.  Nothing too hard or crazy, mostly just walking and prenatal workouts which are safe even when you are pregnant.  Even with my 2 c-sections, walking as much as possible (as much as I could do without over-doing it), really helped me heal faster and lose the fluid easier.

Once she was past the healing phase, she ran and did other things that **worked for         her body.**  One of these I saw in her video is the “Barre Method,” it’s basically what         I’ve done before using Ballet Beautiful or even Tracy Anderson’s Method.  Those          workouts are extremely hard and not for the faint-hearted!  But the results are beyond fantastic, I mean, you’re doing the same workouts the Victoria’s Secret Angels do when you do the Barre Method or Tracy’s Method (which is barre, pilates, and dance for 30 minutes straight).  Many women’s bodies respond very fast to barre-type workouts as well, so it may be good to try it out.  If you’re completely new to working out though, try something less hard at first like a Jillian Michael’s 20 minute workout video – it will still be hard but it’s so short it’s over before you know it.  That’s how I lost the weight with the first baby.  It took longer with JM’s 20 minute workouts, but it was doable and didn’t kill my motivation and my husband even did it with me to encourage me!!

2 . Use a Belly Bandit after having your baby

So Ashley recommends using one of the belly bands (specifically bellybandit) to kind of squeeze everything in again.  I do think these work, although I only used it with my first baby.  With the second baby, I used compression panties (weird I know, but they had the somewhat same affect).

With our first baby, even though I gained 45 lbs compared to only 23 lbs with the second, I was still pretty active – walking all the time and for long distances on our college campus, going up tons and tons of stairs because we worked for our apartment agency we were living at during that time.  Basically, I gained quite a bit, but I was also very active which seemed to help my body be stronger.  When my doctor did my c-section, he was so surprised that my abs were that good that he took the time to sew up every layer.  Apparently that’s not normal, as even the nurse who was attending the surgery told me during recovery that she’d never seen him do that before, and that I “looked really good in there.”   :O  great, but yuck!

After I recovered for a day he came by to see me again to check in on how I was doing, and he brought me a belly wrap, telling me it would help shrink the uterus back to size and compress everything out.  It did seem to help quite a bit and I was so grateful!

This time I’m thinking of getting another band like she mentions in her video, or going full-out this time and wearing a corset like this:

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I figure if I’m going to do a wrap or band again, better to be serious about it – and from the reviews, this one is extremely intense – but again, it seems to really work!

3. Breastfeed if you can

I’m not so sure about this anymore – whether it helps or hinders women to lose the baby weight.  I’ve known quite a few moms that have sworn that breastfeeding caused them to keep the weight on – but some of them also admitted that they were still ravenous and ate all the time as if they were still pregnant.  For me personally, breastfeeding did seem to cause me to slim down fast – or it was the fluid.  The strange thing is that breastfeeding really does seem to make you hungrier, and I did eat more than usual even though I was burning so many calories my body still looked amazing.  So when I stopped breastfeeding, I gained a bit of weight almost immediately due to probably not altering my eating habits that had been set for a year.  I was also grieving my dad at the same time and going through depression – those also contributed to the lack of exercise and lack of eating healthy (I just didn’t care anymore).  But being so used to being able to eat anything while breastfeeding is something to be aware of – you may have to alter your food intake after you stop.

4. Get more sleep!

She mentions how she aimed for just 30 minutes extra every night and that really helped her lose the last of the weight as she was so rested.  It is so true that being stressed, sleep deprived, or anxious keeps you generally from losing any weight – it can even make you *gain* weight to not sleep enough.  Your body produces a hormone called orexin when you’re extremely tired that actually makes you hungrier, causing you to potentially eat too many calories when you don’t need them.  I know with our second baby, it was just such a peaceful transition for our family – when I was breastfeeding during the day, it literally felt like I was resting on a cloud – the hormones of breastfeeding are like a high and actually relax you!  My husband had to go back to work after only 5 days with that baby, but somehow the transition from 1 to 2 kids wasn’t that difficult.

Because of his police schedule and the danger of his job, I felt it critically important that I be the only one waking up with the baby all night, allowing him to get his much needed sleep and rest.  He’d get a full night’s sleep and then let me sleep in for 2-4 hours in morning when he’d watch our kids for me since he went in later.  This was only possible because of his weird schedule, but wow did it feel so different from our first when both of us were trying to share baby responsibilities, and he had to be up in the morning as well.  This time he’s taking off for a whole month ❤ ❤ ❤ but I’m still planning to exclusively breastfeed during that time, so I’m going to keep the baby all night and he’ll watch her in the morning so I can rest up again.  It felt so incredible to both of us last time to handle it this way – why mess with something that’s working?!

5. Drink more water

Definitely!  But everyone probably knows this….  If you feel like you’re retaining fluid, drinking more water helps to generally flush it out.  I snack on ice and crave it like it’s candy, even when I’m not pregnant.  So drinking a few liters of water (has to be iced) a day is normal for me.

6.  Try a vegan diet

LOL!!!!!  As if!!!!  Just kidding 😀 – she is right on one thing, eating more fruits and veggies and less dairy and meats does help most women’s bodies lose weight.  She mentions that her body fat pre-vegan was at 23%, versus getting to 15-16% body fat with her vegan diet.  I have to say, that’s impressive, but I’ve also seen women get those results from maintaining a mostly keto diet style (opposite vegans for the most part), or even just tracking their macros and carb-cycling (what I’ve done).  Macro tracking is just keeping track of the proteins, carbs, and fats you eat every day or even weekly.  It’s a little annoying, and shouldn’t be obsessed over, but it does work and the benefit is that you can still eat things that aren’t on a specific diet like “vegan” only foods or “keto” only foods.  You have more freedom when you’re tracking the proteins/carbs/fats, and I always do at least one cheat day so that I can eat things I normally wouldn’t eat throughout the week.  It really is just whatever works for you.

Hidden Tip!!!  Dry Brushing!

She adds in a random tip not numbered that doesn’t go with being vegan that I know of LOL….  She “skin brushes,” otherwise known as “dry brushing.”  This really does work for many women, I’ve seen results from women in my fitness group that are mind-blowing how well just simply dry brushing can tighten and firm loose skin (really loose skin!).  It is very strange that simply dry brushing your loose skin areas can have that great of an affect.

Another thing that is very much like dry brushing only more intense, is “needling,” or using something called the “derma-roller.”  It works by using needles that you literally roll over your loose skin areas creating tiny injuries that cause your body to produce more elastin & collagen in those areas.  I remember when they first came out for this type of device for the face (using tinier needles), my husband and I laughed about it because it sounded like a torture device.  But you know what??  It actually works!  Both for your face and for apparently your tummy! Click here to read just one woman’s response with it.  I’ve seen the same results more than a few times with the women in my fitness group.  It’s legit.

7. Give it time!

Very true, I thought I’d never lose the weight with the first baby, it was just dragging on and on and on.  We were in the gym several days a week at first and then switched to home workouts, and yet it still took a whole year.  Just be committed and willing to try new things.  And just don’t give up!  I’ve often seen it take women a couple of years if not 3 years to get to the place where they want to be with their bodies and there’s no shame in that at all!

Everyone’s body and genetics are different and respond to different things.  It is crucial to find out what your particular body and genetic makeup responds to best, but it may take a year or two to even figure that out unfortunately, especially if you weren’t at all athletic to begin with.  Starting from scratch like that is hard and you HAVE to give yourself time to try all kinds of things to see what works and what doesn’t.  It’s more than worth it though.  Every woman I’ve talked to that lost significant amounts of weight even when it took years has said it was the most important decision of her life to keep with it.  Being overweight affects everything about you and your life, so it’s no wonder there are so many women who feel as though it completely changed everything for them when they get the results they want.

Stephanie

Pregnancy & Postpartum Comparisons

We finally got some good belly/body shots fairly recently, and I cannot wait to not be pregnant anymore – we are SO CLOSE!  Everything is easier almost immediately for me once the baby comes out.  I don’t tend to gain very much weight (the first was a little too much at 45 lbs, second only 23 lbs (perfect as it was able to be completely lost within 2 weeks time), and this time about 25 lbs.  I gain a lot of fluid with pregnancy it seems, with even the first pregnancy I lost about 22 lbs in the first 2 weeks, yet still had 23 more to go.  It seems I regularly have gained about 20-25 lbs of baby, fluid, placenta, extra blood volume, etc with all 3 pregnancies so at least it makes sense with consistency.

First picture has been up before, it was literally the DAY before our 2nd came out.  Second picture is only 9 DAYS later.  I don’t think it’s possible to lose fat that quickly, hence my theory that it’s mostly fluid + baby+ placenta + blood volume, etc.

I wish I could find the pictures of our first baby (the pre-and postpardum transformations), you would really be able to tell the difference of what it looks like when you still have 23 pounds of fat to lose.  It took me almost a year to lose that measly 23 lbs as well, since my body clings to fat like we’re in an ever-present famine (from my mom’s Polish genes that are more prone to diabetes and being overweight very easily).  Like I’ve said candidly before at this blog, it is hard for our family to not gain weight.

So… I cannot wait to get our little girl out so that I can get back to feeling healthy and active and of course cuddle her and kiss her sweet face!  At this point, even trying to sit in the right way is so uncomfortable and hilarious.

This is 37 weeks:

pregnant with sophie 37 weeks

So ready to workout again and lose the weight!  It’s amazing how only a little extra weight makes every day life so much harder.

Until the baby girl arrives….

Stephanie

40 Years Old & 4 Children – What Your Body Could Look Like

Wendy

This is an awesome woman in my fitness group that allowed me to share her picture along with her encouragement to us.  She is 40, and yet looks better than probably most women in their 20’s!

I always hear the excuse that it has to be your genes or that you’re rich to be able to afford to get the body and fitness level you want, but in almost every case I’ve seen – the people succeeding in their goals are the people who admit they want change, and then actually DO it.

Here was her encouragement to us that I love having the privilege of sharing here:

No excuses:

When you wanna reach your goals as much as you wanna breathe! Early morning workouts are a good foundation for the day…especially when the payoff is lean muscle, mental clarity, stress reliever, feeling confident in your own skin, seeing 💪🏼‘s and just makes ya feel good! 😎

STOP MAKING EXCUSES!

STOP DOUBTING YOURSELF!!

Get up, move your body and make it happen! It doesn’t have to be weights…it could be 30 minutes of stretching, HIIT, body weight exercises, yoga, but do something each morning for 21 days (takes 21 days of consistently doing something to make it a lifestyle).

💡Keep a journal where you log your workouts and how you felt doing them! You’ll also find putting in early morning work will make you think twice 🤔before grabbing life taking foods!! 🌭🍕🍟🍰🍫🍩🍪

Side note: I’m a 40 year old mother of 4…it can be done!!! We got this ladies!!!

I don’t know about you, but this woman was incredibly motivating to me being pregnant with our third baby (and hoping to have at least one more)!

Don’t make excuses, go after what you want wholeheartedly and passionately.  And take care of your body, it’s the only one God’s given to you!

 

Stephanie

Confronting the Insanity of Our Culture Head-On

insane fitness model

Something that I’ve never seen before is starting to come to light in the internet world of blogs and articles and talking head figures.  Apparently, it’s not enough to claim over and over again, that “any size,” woman can be healthy, that curves make a woman more realistic or relatable to people… I’ve come across a fitness model who has decided that she feels extremely guilty over using her fit body to sell women things for the fitness industry.

But she doesn’t just feel bad about selling “bad” things that don’t give real results (false advertising – something people SHOULD feel guilty for), this poor woman actually feels bad about her **success** in her fitness goals.  She feels guilty that her body looks so great that other women (she thinks) sees it and feel bad about themselves.  She takes their issues with their own self-esteem and their own responsibility to take care of their bodies and be responsible for their own fitness levels, and places all that responsibility onto herself and then feels guilty for it.

Her blog post is here.

I do feel sorry for this woman…  and I get it that she doesn’t want to “hurt” people, the problem is though, that the people who she’s talking about are actually hurting themselves.  Her fitness has little to nothing to do with their decisions to be happy or sad. Reading her post comes across as a form of projection of all her shame for being a cover model onto women who (in her own mind) see her, and are “miserable,” because of her existence.  There’s something very off mentally with that kind of shame.  First off, it is not someone else’s responsibility for another woman’s decisions in her life to get fit or stay overweight and unhappy.

Blaming fitness models for remaining overweight or unhappy (and this goes for any life situation) is bad overall for one’s mental health because it completely takes away that person’s individual control over their own life decisions.

Not to mention it’s just pure insanity on her part. 😦

Imagine if Olympic Athletes were apologetic in their athleticism.  If after winning medals, they went on “Apology Tours,” to apologize to children everywhere (or people in general), who they deemed would never be great enough to achieve their level of sport success?  What if they apologized that only the best athletes were able to go to the Olympics, and told the kids who were average or not athletic at all that they felt so ashamed of their successes because of how it must *negatively* affect all those kids?   First off, it’s incredibly insulting to tell all these random people (or children) that they’re just never going to be as good as you are.  It may be true, but making it a point to tell them is neither graceful or nice and kind.  Olympic athletes should rightfully feel no shame about their success, even if most of the world’s population will never go on to achieve their medals and fame and glory.  It would be entirely inappropriate for them to talk to children in that way – apologizing that they may never be good enough or achieve their level of athleticism.  They are an inspiration to children and people everywhere for a reason – because it is such a magnificent thing to behold when watching them compete or perform…  and if everyone was able to be an Olympic Athlete, it would no longer be the Olympics.

Now imagine if great musicians (past and present) felt ashamed of how great they were (either naturally or through hard work of perseverance) just because they may have made “normal” people feel bad about themselves when they take up piano lessons?  Imagine if they wrote lengthy, self-absorbed posts about how bad they feel for being so good, about how sorry they are to all those children who will never be quite as good as they are?  Again, just entirely inappropriate and insane for someone to behave that way.

Just as insane as a fitness model apologizing extensively for being her best and using her talent in fitness to inspire other women out there or to make money.  There’s nothing kind about telling people you’re sorry that they’ll never be as “great” at something as you are.  It comes across as fake and lacking genuine compassion or understanding.

***

It’s things like this that I want my children being exposed to, so that they can see through the lies and quickly get to the truth of what is going on.  Especially our coming daughter – I want her to have compassion for people who may feel bad when they see a fit model or are failing in that area of their life as far as being fit and healthy; but I never want her to feel ashamed of her personal achievements and success in her life.  Obviously I don’t want her to look down on others, but I don’t want her to devalue or cast shadow over her own shining light just because other people may have a bad attitude about her success.  I want her to set a good example, to be that shining light that motivates others.  Haters or miserable people will always exist… the only way to avoid them in life, is to do nothing and become miserable yourself.

We should never feel ashamed about succeeding in an area in life like being proud of our children, proud of handling our finances well, proud of taking care of our appearance, proud of doing well at work, proud of having a great marriage and being happy, or proud of using our talents (especially for God!), and yes, it’s even ok to be proud of achieving our highest level of personal fitness and feel great about (proud of) our bodies.

When someone who is successful in any of these areas feels a great deal of guilt and shame, psychologists would say there is a problem their in their mind that’s not healthy or good.  It’s certainly not godly to have false guilt or false shame about your achievements or being able to enjoy your life inspiring others.

So let’s be women who are proud of our achievements, even if they are “great,” and rare talents.  Let’s not be ashamed over gifts God’s given to us to use for His glory, and let’s not hide of our lights under a basket so that we never offend anyone or make them feel bad about their own life choices.

Every person has control over their own decisions, and you can only help the women who actually want to have that control – not the ones who may look at your success and use it as an excuse to remain unhappy in their own life.

Stephanie

Being Overweight is Normal, But this Isn’t Good for Women (or Kids!)

Keeping along the same lines of the last post, when undertaking mentally what is the “fit you,” we need to acknowledge that our society has a problem with even ADMITTING there could be a “fit you.”

Simply put: if you don’t accept your post baby body… if you have any desire to be better, to be fit, or to **gasp** to be thin, you’re shallow, and must be insecure for not wanting to accept your post baby fat and sagging skin.

And… if you DO achieve your fitness goals – well then… you’re just not “relate-able” or a “real w” anymore.

The criticism when you take your health seriously and lose the weight can get pretty nasty.  Women should be supporting each other in losing weight and becoming fit after pregnancy, not shaming women for wanting to do something ANY doctor would advise them is the RIGHT thing to do.

maria-kang

Since when did our culture get so used to overweight women being the “standard-sized” woman, that even seeing a fit mom who looks great in a bikini become something that is “body shaming” to the women who are overweight – to the point where they say she is “bullying” them by looking that good?

Remember when Maria Kang (above) posted her photo on facebook back in 2013 with her three children all 3 and under around her, and she asked “What’s Your Excuse?” as a way to show that if she could do it having 3 babies that closely together, anyone could do it?  Her motivation was coming from her line of work as a fitness instructor and personal trainer, and yet thousands of women were “triggered” by her photo, even calling it “hate speech.”

She got banned from facebook for posting that photo and explanations of her goals of helping women being fit.

I remember that incident well, our oldest was 3 and I had regained my pre-pregnancy body and looked incredible (finally, it took awhile because I gained a lot with our oldest!), and was so proud of my accomplishments regarding fitness!

As a result, I saw nothing wrong with Maria’s photo, it gave me even more encouragement that I’d be able to keep my body how I wanted it, even when I had more children.

She was an inspiration to me, and it was shocking to see other women respond so negatively to her picture.

Sure she is a fitness instructor and personal trainer, but I knew I had none of those degrees and no access to a gym or personal trainer, yet I’d been able to accomplish what she had through lots of faithful exercise and eating healthy.  I knew for a FACT that it was hard, but it wasn’t something impossible for most women to accomplish.

And when I saw “faithful exercise, I’m being serious.  If you want to lose weight, if you’re unhappy with your body, you NEED to be taking it seriously and working out at least 5 times a week for 30 minutes each time.  Otherwise, you need to accept that you will more than likely NOT lose the weight and accomplish your goals.  Because you aren’t serious about it.

It takes extreme determination and will power and discipline even when you only have a bit to lose.  It’s not for the faint-hearted.  It’s not going to happen for you if you just take 3 walks a week and have no intense fat-burning cardio that you’re doing at least 5 times a week on top of those walks and changing your eating habits.

You either go big, or go home and remain unhappy with your body and your weight.  Or try to accept it… along with all the health problems, less energy and overall happiness that comes with accepting defeat and letting fat beat you as a person.

***

Our American society has a major problem with accepting reality and being honest about things that are painful to acknowledge about ourselves.  And we really need to come to a place where we can acknowledge these painful truths in our own lives, in order to live better, more fulfilled lives we deliberately choose.

While it may be painful to see a woman who’s had three kids and still looks like a fitness model in a bikini, we need to be able to look deep inside and see what is CAUSING that painful reaction.

Is it because we are really unhappy with our own bodies and wish we could look like that; that she’s a painful reminder that we don’t yet?

Is it because seeing her makes us feel less confident in our own made-up mental “body acceptance,” and brings out our very real insecurity stemming from the fact that NO, we’re not really happy with the excess weight we’ve gained?

Or does it make us angry because we feel like we’ve tried to lose weight and still can’t – it’s not fair that she is able to and we can’t?

These reactions are normal, but they need to be dealt with psychologically in the correct manner.  It’s not enough to just say that her picture makes you feel uncomfortable or sad.

You need to search out the “why,” and then formulate a plan to do something about it!

Stephanie

 

From Maria Kang on having her picture censored for making women too emotional and angry:

Fit Pride Isn’t ‘Hate Speech’

Why “The Fit You” Matters in 2017

the-fit-you

So many women live their daily lives walking around feeling sad and depressed about the bodies they’re living in.  Let that statement sink for a little while.  Horrible isn’t it?

Whether they’re carrying around too much weight for whatever reason or feeling awkwardly thin, it breaks my heart that so many women seriously hate their own bodies.

I don’t think the solution is to just erase normal beauty standards and tell everyone they look incredible and think that’s going to solve the problem.  First off, there are usually deeper psychological issues as to why we gain weight (or become too thin) that need to be addressed, and encouraging someone toward denial is not being compassionate.  It’s actually prolonging their recovery into a healthy mentality about themselves and their bodies.

I named this blog “The Fit You,” because that’s exactly what I want women to think about.  I’m not necessarily talking about being “thin,” or even being at a certain “target weight,” for yourself, but rather the concept of being “fit.”

Imagine if you were able to get rid of the excess fat on your body that made you hate how you look in your own clothing?  Imagine how you’d feel so differently if you were physically stronger, had more muscle tone showing in your pictures on facebook, had more energy throughout the day, and were surprised how much better your face looked in pictures without the excess weight or water retention distorting your natural God-given looks?  Whether we want to admit it or not, these little things bother us more than we even know on a psychological level, which eventually… contributes to our overall happiness with our lives.

I’m speaking from my own experience here.  I’ve been very fit for probably 95% of my life, however, when I get off that track and have some significant pounds to lose, I become very aware when I don’t have the strength in my arms that I usually had.  Or the energy I had when I was regularly exercising.

I went back through our family pictures for the last year and a half, trying to mentally grasp how my body has really changed by adding 30 pounds and I was floored!  I realize some of you might think 3o pounds is nothing – but my body doesn’t hide fat well, and being overweight at all is not the norm for me.  I may be tall (which is an advantage when it comes to weight proportion, sorry short women! 😦 ), but my bones and frame are super tiny… this makes virtually any excess weight 10 lbs+ show up very quick, especially in photos.

My face changes so much when I’m overweight, and even if all these changes didn’t bother me much, the fact that none of my normal clothes fit psychologically affects me negatively.

Can women really learn to try to love the bodies they’re in right now?  I’m sure they can, but I think it’s more from them trying so long and failing so often at losing the weight, that they eventually give up hope of ever achieving their best fitness level and learn to accept defeat.  Then they go around angry at anyone who represents the fitness industry, accusing them of “fat shaming” simply by existing as a thin woman.  That’s not a good way to live your life.  We are all responsible for our choices, and it’s usually a choice to become fit or just accept yourself the way you are.  There are some women who insist they’re fit even though they have 100+ pounds of excess fat.

mental-illness-1denisejollyspoken.com

Where do we draw the line for defining fitness?  When can we be honest and admit when we’ve lost sight of what we really were designed to look like?  And more importantly, why on earth do we feel like we need to lie to people when we know lying to them will never help them solve their problems?

I think all of us to some degree, have to combat the tendency to lie to ourselves and tell ourselves that it’s not that bad.  But when we finally see that Christmas photo a relative took of us when we were caught off guard, sometimes the truth hits us like a ton of bricks!  And we’re faced with the awful reality that bursts our bubble of denial that we thought we really didn’t look that bad.

But why do I want you to think about the fit you?  Because it’s great motivation and is almost always achievable baring medical conditions preventing you from losing weight or exercising.  Professional and Olympic atheletes often imagine them achieving their success many times before they even get to their event.  This imaginging themselves succeeding is actually benefical even for their muscles!  It’s not that different when imagining yourself achieving different kinds of successes or events that take physical and mental focus and training.  When you imagine yourself as being fit, exercising, or even building muscle, you’re actually preparing your brain and muscles in your body for achieving that success.

And your happiness level will go up!  The “fit you,” is proud of herself and what she looks like.  She can go out in a bathing suit and feel proud of her body, is stronger than you are now, has more energy with her kids and husband, and feels good naked in the light!

Simply put, the “fit you,” is more free.

Remembering my fit self gives me incredible motivation because I remember how good it felt – how wonderful it was to feel so much more energetic and not have to worry about which clothing minimized my “problem areas.”  You really are so much more free – free to have fun, free from worrying over how you may look, and free from feeling confined in a body you’re ashamed of at some level mentally.

Don’t you want that for yourself?  Aren’t you tired of feeling like you hate the body you’re in right now?  Are you tired of feeling like you looked better 5 or 10 years ago?  You don’t have to accept defeat or to learn to love your body if it’s truly at an unhealthy state.

You can make some changes!  We can do it!  And I’m doing it alongside you.

❤ ❤ ❤

Stephanie