Changing bodies, one mind at a time

feeling green & great  I’ve often wondered–with as many theories regarding weight loss and exercise that exist, why aren’t we all a size 4? Why isn’t every guy chiseled from deltoids to calves?  From where do these theories come? Research?  Self experimentation? I know much of what I write about comes from both; but mostly the latter.  I’ve learned to listen to my body, not theories.  As I’ve often said, it’s a matter of what works for you; not a control group, or someone else.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t avail yourself of the latest data.  You should; but you have to try it on for size.  Kick the tires, take it for a test drive.  If you don’t you might find yourself lost in a maze; confused and frustrated enough to say “f#@! this.”

As a nurse and personal trainer, that’s not where I want clients to be.

I also don’t want to hear them sounding like a textbook, or engaging in the latest trend, thinking it will cut calories.  Examples?  Gluten free.  Dairy free.  Sugar free.  My questions for them?  Do you have celiac disease?  Gluten sensitive?  Are you lactose intolerant?  Do you realize what is added to foods to make them comparable in taste, if gluten-free or sugar-free?  Most of them answer with a resounding “no.”  My answer then–do your own research.  Do your homework before you reiterate what the world is telling you.  Why?  Because chances are, like Chicago weather–it will change.  Just wait a little bit.

CHANGING YOUR MIND MIGHT JUST CHANGE YOUR BODY

As a man thinketh, so he is.  You reap what you sow.  Old adages indeed–that may harbor a grain of truth(though it may not be gluten-free).

Not so long ago, pro athletes and celebs alike were lining up to wear the milk mustache.  What about the milk your diet commercials?  You know, the ones where lean, svelte waisted people were drinking up?  A milk glass would then appear, with slight hour-glass curves.  Surely, there are a few of you who recall these ads.

Dairy and I at times don’t always see eye to eye.  I know what that feels like; no one has to tell me.  If you are gluten sensitive or diabetic, unless newly diagnosed, no one has to tell you what that feels like; especially if you eat the wrong food.

For the rest, let’s not rely on the latest craze or hypothesis alone.  Let’s put it to the test in our lives.

Recently, a trainer from Australia I viewed online was debunking what she hailed as “fitness myths.”  One such myth was “yoga & Pilates do little for weight loss.”  She felt yoga was helpful, just not so much for losing excess pounds. Well, this is one theory I test drove for myself–pretty much for an entire summer.

I happen to like hot yoga.  The kind performed with upwards of thirty people, in a room designed to accommodate twenty.  Sad to say I didn’t see much weight loss.  What I did notice however, is that I was more aware of what I was putting in my mouth; particularly if I was participating the next day.  Enter ballet inspired workouts, CLASSICAL STRETCH, ESSENTRICS, and a little Pilates.  Now here’s the kicker.  All I heard in these DVDs and workouts was “engage, pull in your stomach, abs are hollowed up into the ribs.”  With all that hollowing, engaging, and pulling in my stomach, guess what happened? Less food went in, more weight came off.  Matter of fact, my entire body shape changed.  My legs and waist elongated.  Cellulite I’d long since given up on, started to shed.  The first time I heard one trainer state “this will help rid cellulite,” I laughed out loud.  That leg workout was no walk in the park.  But she was right.

As you can see, fitness is not a “one size fits all” endeavor.  Training involves understanding what you enjoy (and despise), as well as knowing what you want to accomplish; besides weight loss.  That will happen.  Once the weight is gone, what’s your end game?  Long, lean, toned?  Muscular arms and thighs? Running a marathon? Running a mile?  How much time do you have to spend training?  On maintenance?  What are you willing to sacrifice to get there?  Yes, I said sacrifice.  When you answer these questions, you can transform.  And not by someone’s theory, newest book, or trend.  Sure they may help.  Yet in the end, it’s not about how they did it, it’s about how you do it.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Questions?  Comments?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

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