As I’ve mentioned before, the road to getting fit and healthy is a constant learning journey. If you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone, you will find that there is so much to learn and discover about our own bodies. When I first started, I was fascinated by every little fact I experimented with. However, especially in today’s information heavy world, it can get so scary and confusing. In your email you get a newsletter from a fitness expert who says one thing, then your fit friend says another, then your coach says another, then your favorite website says another. Ahh.. where to start? What to do?
To save you some slack, I’d like to share with you my own experiences about when I first fell in love with fitness and the 10 Myths About Fitness That I Completely Fell For. I hope you can take away a thing or two from this so that you don’t either.
1. Want to burn fat? Do 3 hours of cardio.
While performing cardio may help one to lose weight, excessive amounts can easily bring you to a frail looking structure. While adding no benefits to your health other than increase in cardiovascular of course. But the treadmill machine isn’t always so great. As a matter of fact, machines are almost pointless because they limit the free motion that our bodies were made for. When I first started during my sophomore year, I remember I would get on the elliptical machine (thanks to listening to the advice of a skinny friend, oh how much the mind has grown) and I would just work myself for 2-3 hours straight. Saay what? Yeah. I can’t believe it myself. Good thing that I am a fast learner and that only lasted for a few months. But I ended up looking quite frail with no muscle, no tone, no definition, and still some extra fat.
For you to know: instead of spending your precious time running your life away on a machine (which limits your mobility) Go outside and perform quick interval sprints or run up a hill.
The Earth is our playground.
Make good use of it by playing with the natural forces of gravity. You’ll sweat a lot more and you will also spend quality time in nature where you can relax with your thoughts versus being in a gym where you hear constant noises of machines running, people chattering, and men grunting. This is not to say that cardio machines are off limits. When I can’t make it outside or need to squeeze in a quick cardio session, I spend 10-20 minutes on one to simply warm up.
2. DO NOT LIFT WEIGHTS, YOU’RE GOING TO LOOK LIKE A MAN.
I’m pretty sure when I started lifting summer of 2012, I had a few friends try to stop me, stare me in disgust and ask me what I’m doing touching an iron barbell. I was the only girl that lifted in the gym at college and I would see other girls whispering to each other laughing while they were walking towards their elliptical machines. If only they knew how much that completely transitioned the growth in my mind, body, and to top it off, toned me out and gave me the physique I dreamed of when I was a little girl.
Train like a beast to look like a beauty.
For you to know: For those who have always asked for a bigger butt, toner look and tighter skin, lifting was the only form of exercise I knew that got me there.. There are other forms of strength training exercises I use as well but lifting weights has helped me to build the most muscle and stronger bone structure.
We often cringe when we hear, “girls with muscle” yet every girl seems to want to get toned. Toned = building adequate muscles. In order to look toned, you need to incorporate heavier sets of weights to convert fat into muscle.
I mean, have you ever seen fat compared to muscle?
There ya go. So don’t be scared ladies. Lift!
3. Eat less than 1200 calories. Basically, eat like a bird.
When anyone first starts with becoming dedicated to a new lifestyle, they are desperate to find the one best way. It was like that for me, I wanted to understand and try everything. One of which was this horrible advice I actually took for 4 weeks,
“however many calories you burn on the machine, eat less than that”
My goodness, what did I do to myself? I ate like a freaking bird with a small beaker. And had absolutely no idea about nutrition and food. I just ate carrots, cereal, and basically no fat. My oh my. I lost weight so quickly and knew that that definitely is not good for my body.
So of course, we fall down quick but get up even quicker.
For you to know: If anyone, including a professional, trainer, friend or coach tells you to eat anything less than 1200 calories, RUN AWAY from them. I am still baffled by the amount of females I see eating close to nothing and starving themselves just to look good for spring break, only to really feel sick and miserable inside. What happens when you eat under 1200 calories, is you’re saying to your body,
“Hey you, I don’t give a flying *BEEP* about you. This is all your getting today. A sugary, processed protein shake and 3 sticks of carrots.”
This is what your body is saying back to you:
“Alright, I see how it is. Give me what you got and I’ll just hold it and store it as fat.”
When you are eating under 1200 calroies, you are putting on your body on starvation mode. When your body is on starvation mode, you will experience
- increased hunger, weight gain, loss of energy, loss of muscle, reduced anabolic hormones and increased fat
So focus on loving your body which means feeding and nurturing it by giving it what it needs in order to help you function and look good.
That means to also: Eat like a beast to look like a beauty.
4. You Can’t Get Fit without Protein Powder and Fat Burners.
This is probably one of the greatest myths out there (promoted by large fitness companies). While I love using non GMO, non processed protein powder in some of my recipes sometimes, it isn’t needed and getting fit is totally achievable without it. As a matter of fact, the best shape I have ever been in on my life was achieved without protein powder or fat burners but simply exercise, hard work, patience and food. I thought I needed a protein powder shake after every workout and before every workout, but I proved to myself that was not the case.
For you to know: many supplement and large companies promote fat burners and protein powders as a must have because well, it’s a million dollar industry and if it can bring in the big bucks, why not? But the truth is, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars getting a new protein powder every month or damaging your body by feeding it with fat burners and pills. Think long term health and forget about immediate short cuts. I do not have a thing against protein powders because for some people, it helps them to gain great muscle mass but as far as getting fit goes, it’s most certainly not needed.
5. You Need Energy Pills to Maximize Your Workouts
I never relied on energy pills but was advised many times to take one before working out because it’s supposed to help me work out better, quicker, stronger.
For you to know: the greatest energy pill you naturally own is the switch in your mind.
Turn it on and ignite the born will you need to carry yourself through the workout. Energy pills may help to hype you up but can
cause you to crash later on. Also thinking in long term, it’s not going to be too beneficial to your health. According to the ingredients listed on its box.
6. You Can’t Eat After 6pm.
Mmhmm.. I fell for this one too. I read somewhere that eating after 6pm causes your body to store the food as fat. So I decided to listen and not eat after 6. The results? I was starving, cranky and woke up on a very empty stomach on a grumpy, grumpy morning. My body was also too small from not feeding myself after 6pm.
For you to know: the not eating after 6pm was two years ago and now, i consume delicious foods up until 10 pm. The body, especially when lifting or training, needs to have some source of protein intake overnight so that it can continue to repair muscles that were trained during the day. Case in is normally a good type of protein powder for that aspect. (But I just use foods like cottage cheese, greek yogurt, or tilapia). When you feed your body the RIGHT foods at night, and you get good sleep. Your body is at work while you rest sound asleep. You’ll wake up ready for breakfast and you won’t feel grumpy
7. No carbs, no fat.
I remember being deathly afraid of anything with the word “fat” on it. At one point, I also did not consume carbs either.
For you to know: There are many different types of fat. Fats like saturated and trans then fats like polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are healthy fats contained in fish oil, flax seed oil, and my absolute favorite: peanut butter and butters of all seeds you can imagine. These fats are to be eaten to help you lose weight, not work against you. Then there’s saturated and transfat, the kind you see on grocery store aisles contained in chips, processed foods and frozen foods. Now moving onto carbs, I think its absolutely necessary to incorporate carbs into a diet. Our culture has become adaptive to mainstream goods that people forgot how much more successful they’ll be if they’re willing to simply eat well and work hard.
8. Skip breakfast, it makes you fat.
So not only did you stop eating at 6pm but now your skipping breakfast? So wait a second … starving your body for 10+ hours sounds real healthy…
For you to know: If there is one life changing routine that I’ve made in my life, it would be that I eat breakfast and never ever to no ends, skip it. When you eat first thing in the morning, you are revving up your metabolism adding fuel to your day which increases your energy and allows you to work efficiently throughout. When you sip breakfast, again, you are putting your body on starvation mode and therefore, it hogs the fat from the foods that you feed it later on.
The long term goal is to have a healthy metabolism that will do the work for itself.
Skipping meals and starving your body cannot get you there.
9. You need a gym membership + nice shoes + nice clothes + a+b+c
External sources can stimulate us to believe that everything we need is outside of us. So that means if we have a gym membership, maybe using machines can help us tone out. If we have nicer shoes, maybe it’ll help you to bounce higher
and run quicker. If we have nicer clothes, maybe it’ll help us to stretch better. The list goes on. So then where does it stop?
For you to know:
There is nothing that you can get outside of you that you do not already have.
I mean it. You don’t particularly need a gym membership to get fit. As mentioned before, your own body against the force of gravity is already heavy enough to build you some muscle. While some shoes also help to enhance your performance, there’s no point in spending hundreds on shoes just because it says “faster performance”. If you have the money for it, by all means but don’t feel like you have to keep reaching outside to get what you need.
You already have it all, and it belongs right within you.
10. Eating healthy is bland. Boil your chicken and steam your broccoli.
Okay. To be honest, I never fell for this one. Being the inner fatass that I am, I absolutely love love finding new ways to cook my foods and to enjoy them. It’s a common trend in the fitness world that if you boil your chicken, your reducing the fat since you’re not cooking it with oils or any herbs and flavorings.
For you to know: Eating healthy is yummy, tasty, delicious and absolutely FUN. Not only do you get to nourish your body and have it give you the gift of good looks in return but you get to just simply have fun with it. Healthy is not bland. There are plenty of spices and herbs you can use to flavor your foods and increase your immune system. Many spices and herbs contain antioxidents, anti microbial and antibiotic uses that can really behave as medicine to your body. Never think that you have to give up flavor to be fit and toned.
I hope this article opens your eyes a bit about the kind of journey to fitness looks like and will always look like. As evolving human beings, its our job to continue to learn about our bodies and adapt to what it needs. It’s not easy but being able to open yourself to the world, to not be afraid and experiment is one of the greatest lessons you will take with you for the rest of your life. The lessons you learn and experiment on your own are yours and only yours. Again, everyone is different and no two bodies behave the same exact way. So no matter where you are in your journey, practice self love towards being compassionate to yourself. and always be careful about what information is going around out there, including myself. if anything I say does not make sense to you, do your own research and always, do what works best for YOU.
In Love and Light,