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Monday, December 9, 2013

One Size Doesn't Fit All

You know that moment when you bump into someone you haven't seen for some time and they have lost a very noticeable amount of weight and all you want to know is, how? You want to be polite and ask how they are and what's new in their life, but all you really want to know is how they did it. You want to know in detail, in hopes that you can mimick the same plan and achieve the same results. You know that moment, right? 

Here's the trouble with it... Trying on someone else's diet/exercise expecting identical results, is no different than going into their closet and putting on their clothes and shoes and expecting to come out looking just like them as a result. I mean, you're wearing their pants. You've got on that shirt they always look so good in. You're wearing those awesome shoes that you fell in love with the first time they wore them. So why don't you look like just them?? Well, for the obvious reason.... You're not them.....

We all know the basics of fitness. Eat right, workout, take care of yourself, get plenty of rest, etc. The mystery lies in the details. You can put two people on the exact same program, but because of genetics, body type, metabolism, etc., the results between the two will not be the exact same. 

You're sitting at home watching an infomercial for Insanity and you want it. You want those results. So you order the DVD set and give it a try. You work hard. Follow the program verbatim. At the end of the program you expect to look just like the picture of whatever model you envied on the infomercial. You told yourself that when you complete this program, you will have that identical body. Surprise! It didn't happen. You got results. You worked hard! You look and feel great. But you don't look like you expected. You don't look just like the model from the infomercial. 

I always preach about how fitness is about fitness. It's about health. The focus shouldn't be vanity. I say that for two reasons. I want to always remind you that you're beautiful the way you are. Stop trying to look just like someone else, even of that someone else is a former "you", and never ever forget why we eat right and exercise. Your primary focus and goal should always be your health, not how you look in a bikini or what the scales say. The scales will lie to you, and as long as you're working out right and eating right, it will show in your appearance. Your skin will clear up, your flab will tighten, your belly will flatten, your energy will increase, and you will feel stronger. 

When you are on a program, the results you get in outward appearance and/or in your health level will be specific to you and you alone. Never forget that. If you join a group challenge or buddy up with a friend and stick to the same guidelines, you will not get identical results. If you expect that, one of you will be discouraged. I know how hard it is not to chase a certain number on the scale, or a specific pant size, but being healthy and fit isn't about that at all. So don't go to unhealthy measures to accomplish what you want to see on the outside. Stick to healthy choices and the rest will happen naturally. Yes, it will take longer than a starvation diet and avoiding strength training because you don't like what the scales say when you tone your body. But it will be a lifestyle that will keep you from being back in the same situation that you are in ever again. Nobody likes to start over.  

So, I ask you today to evaluate your goals and your plans. Ask yourself what you want out of the process. If the answer is to "look like I did when I was XX years old" or look good for summer", or "look good on your wedding day" or any other "look good for a special occasion or short term event", I beg you to consider thinking in terms of a lifetime of healthy living. My post today is focused on the fact that we are all made up differently. We need to have our own goals. We can work together with a friend  and encourage and support each other. That is great of you have that and need it. Just never lose sight of the fact that you are your own person and "one size doesn't fit all".